AFI is really big now. I mean big. Not quite Def Leopard big, but I think you get the idea. I made thre trek from Richmond, VA to NYC for a little vacation, and some great rock from 3 of the most innovative and entertaining acts in the game today. It was a weekend of no sex (shut up), drugs and rock n' roll, so I apologize in advance for a lack of clearer detail.
First things first, Irving Plaza is a great venue. Security was actually quite polite, and the kids at the show showed a great deal of respect for one another. And ladies, I'm still salivating over how good you all looked.
For those of you not from NYC, and that have never been to Irving Plaza, the best way to describe it would be a fine mix between the size of DC's Nations (formerly Capital Ballroom) with the style of the (new) 9:30 club.
Now, back to my original point. AFI, you know, really big now? Yeah, at least 1 out of every 5 kids there was either wearing an AFI shirt (an older one, not purchased that evening), or something to mimic the style of one Davey Havok.
So I arrived in plenty of time, being that one my favorites, our own local favorites, Strike Anywhere, would be tearing shit up first. And let me tell you, thats exactly what they did. Immediately, I could feel my goosebumps building as the thunderous drumline from "You're Fired" began, andfThomas jumped into the powerful vocals. To my suprise and delight, the crowd was in a fury, pumping fists and singing along to every word. It had been a very long time since I had seen Strike Anywhere be anything but the headliner, so after a short set of only about 7 songs, I was a tad disappointed to see their segment of the show come to a close.
But never fear. Boston's own the Explosion was next, and came with would be the most energetic performance of the night. The set was comprised mostly of tracks from the incredible 'Flash, Flash, Flash' lp, and I can honestly say that no one at this point felt the the two openers were not worthy to be on the bill.
As AFI began to take the stage, the crowed went onto and monsterous chant of "Strength From Wounding", as the the members began to take the stage. And finally, AFI came, sending the crowd into mayhem, Tracks from the set included both older favorites such as "A Single Second" (my personal favorite), newer material such as "Days of the Phoneix", and even the newest single "Girl Turns Grey". Suprisingly, "Girl Turns Grey" sounded much better and energetic in the live show, as opposed to the recorded version. I think I may like the song now.
As AFI ended their set, their was silence and darkness coming from the stage, which of course could only mean one thing, the pre-planned encore. Oh how I hate this. But, I guess its part of the game.
Anyways, they came back out, I remember hearing "God Called in Sick Today" and the show ended.
My expectations were very high for this show, and naturally the Explosion and Strike Anywhere delivered on key. I won't say that AFI let me down, but I kept feeling the strong sensation of change. Hopefully, this change will eventually evolve to become part of my normal view of AFI, but as of now I am unsure on how I feel about the metamorphasis of one of the East Bay's greatest acts.