AFI was for the longest time, my favorite band, I, like so many other fans have watched them climb from the depths of the virtual underground, to a full blown worldwide sensation. It came as a surprise they were doing an taping for MTV. AFI? An MTV taping? Live at the fucking Hard Rock? Not something AFI fans of yester-year would have thought would become of them. Playing one off show before heading off to Europe, A Fire Inside took the stage at Orlando's Hard Rock for what will become an all new MTV special.
We arrived around 30 minutes before the show was to start, the first thing I noticed was there must have been one thousand people outside in the city walk area, all begging for tickets. Luckily, I had bought 2 extra tickets for this very reason. I'll just say I made out pretty good. In any case, I arrived to find the floor packed with people. Surprisingly, the number of trucker hats and mall punks was signifigantly down from the last few "big" shows Orlando has had, but this seemed like the "Sublime" crowd none the less.
At 9, the time the show was to start, the crowd was addressed by Buckethead, a sorry excuse for a human being, and coincidentally, a DJ at the local mainstream rock station! He came on stage, obviously at MTV's request to announce that Simple Plan was doing the same thing (An MTV taping) in September, he was met with nothing but boos and "fuck you's!". Then to pump up the crowd he said "Who wants to be on MTV!??!?" and was once again responded to with a plethora of boos and "fuck you's!"...I was right, there weren't many trucker hats here.
After that, MTV had to get crowd shots, so they told us to act "CRAZY!" so we could be on MTV. Hmmmm. After 20 minutes, they played that shitty song off of the new album that sounds like the Terminator, Davey walked on stage to thunderous cheers, as he had perfected the Ian Curtis, Madonna and Danzig wrapped into one look. I have all of AFI's albums, however I am not familiar with the Sing The Sorrow things, so the chants at the start were lost on me. There seemed to be something missing, all of the lights were on so the cameras could get good shots, the crowd was 1/2 diehard fans and 1/2 drunk frat boys and it just seemed half hearted. After that, they went right into "The Lost Souls" which was liked largely by the crowd, however during the opening vocal line, Davey did a flip into the crowd (kneeing me in the face) and it sent everyone to the ground, it took about 1/3 of the floor out of the song, and made many fat girls cry. Davey should know not to be so aggressive with us. There were TONS of girls in backwards hats, crowd surfing with the "Rock" symbol formed on their hands. Did AFI want this?
After the song, which fortunately had great crowd participation, Davey addressed the crowd, saying "Alright Orlando, let's show the world how we do it" (I think that's what Nelly says too). In any case, they played another STS track, which went over big with most of the people there, then into "Ever and a Day", "Morningstar", "The Leaving Song Part II" "Girl's Not Grey" and "Days of the Phoenix." Unfortunately, it was getting fucking hot down there, I passed out in the bathroom during some slow song. Sorry. My return marked "The Despair Factor" which was followed up by more new songs, then Davey said "This song...is from another time" And played what I believe was Cruise Control. I was in disarray, they were one hour into their set and no Black Sails? I was pretty bummed. Next was the closer "Total Immortal". Of course, they didn't end for real on it, and came out again to play "Death of Seasons" (surprisingly, during the opening bass line, a barrage of boos were heard) and ended with God Called In Sick Today. That's when it hit me how big AFI was, Davey jumping from the MTV statue on stage, Jade doing his stupid hand things and everyone in the place (3,500) singing along, huge rockstar lights behind the band...it just didn't seem right.
Well, there you have it, if you get or watch MTV, this one will be on your tube in a few months. Look at Jade's stupid hair. I think that if you've seen AFI before, you'll see on this that their live show has suffered over the years.