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AFI / Tiger Army

AFI / Tiger Army: live in San Franciscolive in San Francisco (2006)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: Phantom_MaggotPhantom_Maggot
(others by this writer | submit your own)

AFI was the first band that I can remember feeling cool listening to. In 8th grade, I got my copy of Very Proud of Ya on cassette and that was all I needed. They were my own little band that me and 4 other kids from my high school had heard of and we all loved them. They also happened to be from Ber.


AFI was the first band that I can remember feeling cool listening to. In 8th grade, I got my copy of Very Proud of Ya on cassette and that was all I needed. They were my own little band that me and 4 other kids from my high school had heard of and we all loved them. They also happened to be from Berkeley, which was right in our backyard, which made them feel like hometown heroes to us. I proudly wore the East Bay Hardcore t-shirt (you know, the one with the guy holding the gun) to school and was repeatedly called a "fag" by some of the football players, but I didn't care because I knew how great AFI was, and I didn't care jocks like that to join my little club anyways. By the time I finally got to see AFI live I was a junior in high school; it was right before the All Hallows EP came out, and they blew me away. I felt like I was watching some modern day Misfits (they did their cover of "Halloween," which is one of my favorite covers ever). I found the make-up a little cheesy, but the energy and intensity blew me away. While screaming "Through our bleeding, we are one!" with the frenzied crowd I felt like I was really part of something. I saw AFI twice more started to be less and less excited by each release (I haven't even purchased Decemberunderground). When my friend called me up to see Tiger Army and AFI in their triumphant return to the East Bay at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco because she had a free ticket, I was a bit apprehensive as I hadn't seen AFI for 4 years, but this was the band that I had loved through all of the good times and the bad so I figured for free the show would be worth it.

The first band of the night was Saosin, but I missed them due to my friend with my ticket not being there. I didn't really care though because I am not a huge Saosin fan. By the time I finally got in to the 8,000 person capacity Civic Center, Tiger Army was about to take the stage. I hadn't seen them since I saw them with AFI and the Nerve Agents about 5 years ago and I was really excited to see them. Tiger Army did not disappoint, as they played a fairly high energy set that sounded almost CD perfect. The only low point was when the band played the steel guitar ballad "The Orchard," which Nick dedicated to his family, and in return, nearly killed all the momentum that the set had generated. The set heavily drew on material from the band's latest release, Ghost Tigers Rise. The band started off with "Ghostfire," and finished with "Anabelle Lee" (a rendition that included a few solos by the drums and bass and awesome backing vocals). For those familiar with the newest album, they will know that most of the songs are moderate in tempo, and the songs remained lively, sometimes leaving the crowd wanting to dance but being unable to do so, but never too much to the detriment of the set. I am a huge fan of Tiger Army's first album, but the only song played from there was "Nocturnal." Overall, Tiger Army played a brief but triumphant set and seemed excited to be playing to such a huge audience.

45 minutes later AFI took the stage. The first thing that popped into my head was, "My God, they have stage props!." The stage was decorated with white dead "trees" covered in Christmas lights which could change color. Then all over the sides of the stage where these artsy film camera apparatuses that were actually lights and fog machines. Finally, behind the band was a giant movie projector that played various clips of their videos or band members, etc. This is all to be expected from a major band, but still, it caught me a little off guard coming from AFI. The band then came out dressed in pure white, Jade with his fashion mullet proudly displayed, and the crowd went nuts. The band started with "Prelude 12/12," which went straight into "Girls Not Grey,"which I must admit is a catchy song. The band played with all of the energy and passion which AFI is known for live. Hunter was running everywhere and beating the crap out of his bass, while Jade twirled in circles like some neo-glam rocker, and Davey pranced about like some sort of tortured punk/goth Freddie Mercury. The crowd was eating it up all of it. Davey stopped a few times to thank the crowd and say how glad they were to be back home where they started, but other than that the talk was kept to a minimum.

Often I felt very much on the outside as the band only played 3 pre-Sing the Sorrow tracks, with those being "Totalimmortal," "God Called in Sick Today" and "Ever and a Day." I was hoping because they were back in the East Bay and with Tiger Army I might get at least "A Single Second," but alas, no. The band played songs like "Silver and Cold" (complete with a confetti explosion) and "The Leaving Song" and several songs off of the newest album. What got me was that the older material seemed so much more full of life than the newer stuff, but from the crowd's reaction to each song, I can only guess that I was in the minority. It was while standing in the crowd, thinking about all of these things, staring at the guy in front of me with an Aus Rotten patch that I wondered why we were there. I knew this is what the show would be like: all the newer fans and goth kids loving everything while I remembered the greatness of AFI shows gone by and knew few of the new songs. Then it hit me, I was there to pay my respects.

AFI has achieved a level of success that few bands that started writing songs titled "Brownie-Bottom Sundae" could hope of achieving. They still play a high energy show that is entertaining more kids than an album like Very Proud of Ya or even Black Sails ever could have. Hell, two of the guys from their first two albums aren't even in the band anymore. Also, after hearing really new AFI, it isn't too hard to see the evolution form "Morningstar" to "Endlessly, She Said." AFI have more than paid their dues and are now reaping the fruits of the labor. They no longer need fans like me (and I don't mean this in a negative way), when they have legions of dedicated fans covered in Decemberunderground tattoos who worship Davey and Mac eyeliner. In the same vein, I no longer need AFI. I have my memories of what they were and what they meant for me at the time and that is more than enough. I was there to see what the little band from Ukiah had become, and see them dazzle a whole new group of fans.

The band closed with "Miss Murder" after about an hour set and the crowd left sweaty and happy. If you like the two new AFI albums, I highly recommend catching this tour, because the band is tight as a unit, Davey's voice sounds stellar and they still put on a high energy show. I myself never need to see AFI live again, as we have gone down different paths from the road we once shared. I harbor no ill will, hence the three stars. I have to congratulate them and their success, thank them for the fond memories, and wish them the best of luck.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
replaceablewren (September 15, 2006)

Molly is your cousin?! Oh awesome! She is a total sweetheart. And of course I've listened to Model American. :) One time at a Nerve Agents show at Slim's Timmy randomly did a MA song and the crowd went so insane I thought I was gonna die. I was against the stage and everyone dove over/onto me and I couldn't breathe for like 3 minutes straight. Obviously it was amazing. :)

Um.. you should email me sometime or something since apparently we are 4 degrees of separation haha.

daytime email: rhenderson@cinderblock.com
www.myspace.com/replaceablewren

Sick_Nick (September 14, 2006)

Awsome review man.

Phantom_Maggot (September 14, 2006)

Jeremy of Dispute fame is a rad guy...he actually married my cousin not too long ago. Also I did not give Adam his props: he was very Adam like and played drums and just seemed to go with the flow. And if you like early AFI and Nerve Agents check out the band Model American/

Anonymous (September 14, 2006)

It's ok but yes it is kinda of...undescribable

MikeStupid (September 14, 2006)

"AFI sold out when they signed to Nitro"

Whaaaa?

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

AFI sold out when they signed to Nitro. Green Day sold out over ten years ago. Who fucking cares. Get over it.

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

Where's Adam Carson in this review? The guy who's been there holding it down since day one? Come on!

allyeah (September 13, 2006)

Oh man, I'm smearing my eyeliner right now. Touching.

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

Great review. Oddly enough, I grew up in the earlier era of punk/hc, so I was raised on the likes of older bands such as Youth Brigade, Weasel, DK, Raygun, Samoans, Dickies, Clash, etc., so I always dismissed AFI just as Misfits look-a-likes. But, a friend gave me a copy of Sorrow a few years back, and I can honestly say that I really liked that album, and because of that, I bought their earlier work. I enjoy all of it and take it as it is: musicians who began playing punk/hc who grew out of it. To me, that's fine because it's not like they were ever these political punk leaders or something along those lines. Kudos on the review and AFI for their success.

Deadpan (September 13, 2006)

"Is it possible that AFI just don't like their old songs that much anymore? I mean, Rancid's albums all sorta sound the same (they're not exactly taking any stylistic leaps, except for Life Won't Wait, and even that's not too far), but obviously, AFI have had lineup shifts and sonic shifts to accompany that. Maybe playing those old songs, pre-current lineup, make them uncomfortable?

While a band should please their fans, they should also please themselves first.

(And this is coming from someone who doesn't like AFI whatsoever.)

-Scott"

I can accept that for the first 3 albums, but for Black Sails and AOD? Those are their fucking benchmark albums, man. Those were the albums where they really started to blow up. Like someone else said, no Days Of The Phoenix? What the fuck is up with that?

baseball (September 13, 2006)

that was a great review

AFI Black Sails era was still one of the best live bands i've ever seen

replaceablewren (September 13, 2006)

I still think this is the best review of this show and what you're saying rings more true than what anyone else has said. And thanks for calling out Ukiah instead of Berkeley cuz I was just about to.

Yes, I love Dispute. I couldn't wait for Jeremy Lux to sing for a band because he's so hilarious and charismatic. I was there for Nerve Agents shows before the days of Scissorhands, but man it was fun when they started playing together like every weekend.

As for everyone who misses the Nerve Agents, since Eric isn't really on the radar right now you can at least check out Zac's band Hudson Criminal (Robin from Scattered Fall is the singer).

-Rachael

Phantom_Maggot (September 13, 2006)

I have lived in the East Bay (Castro Valley) for almost my entire life.

Phantom_Maggot (September 13, 2006)

I have gone over this several times....I know San Francisco is not the "East Bay" but until AFI play's the Oakland Arena or Yoshi's, or Gilman agian there is no venue in the "East Bay" big enough for them. Also, Afi is from Ukiah, they just like saying Berkeley cuz it sounds way better.

maverick (September 13, 2006)

Is it possible that AFI just don't like their old songs that much anymore? I mean, Rancid's albums all sorta sound the same (they're not exactly taking any stylistic leaps, except for Life Won't Wait, and even that's not too far), but obviously, AFI have had lineup shifts and sonic shifts to accompany that. Maybe playing those old songs, pre-current lineup, make them uncomfortable?

While a band should please their fans, they should also please themselves first.

(And this is coming from someone who doesn't like AFI whatsoever.)

-Scott

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

All good points. I definitly came up with the same conclusion the last time i saw AFI. Sucks thought that they dont play any old stuff these days. That was a good time in Music when Very Proud of ya and Shut You Mouth and Open Your Eyes came out

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

they were compared with strung out a lot back n the 90's. I always thought SO was better.

well-written review. hopefully strung out's next album will be good.

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

It's funny that the reviewer mentions AFI being "hometown hero's" and being from the Berkeley CA area because he seems to have no clue that.....

SAN FRANCISCO IS NOT THE EAST BAY!

sorry, I'm and Oakland native born and raised and mistaking SF for the East bay is like saying Jersey City is in NY state...

Dave Cropknox

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

when i saw rancid they played for an hour and a half and played 25 songs, divided almost equally between all of their albums.
when i saw afi they played for an hour and played about 15 songs, all but 4 of them from the last two albums.
hopefully in a few years new AFI fans will dig into the back catalogue and AFI will be able to play more shit. at LEAST more stuff off Art of Drowning or Black Sails because those aren't that far removed from their sound now.
ah, well.
i would like these bands i grew up on to start taking an example from rancid and greats like bruce springsteen and play their whole fucking catalogue and play for as long as they want. just cause its punk doesn't mean it can't last ALLLLLL nite!!!!

FuckYouOiOiOi (September 13, 2006)

Holy shit, what an amazingly accurate and well written review. I don't think Aubin himself coulda done it better.

Score is for the review.

davebrave4 (September 13, 2006)

Here's a challenge for you guys: write a review of any recent AFI release or show without once mentioning their fashion sense. The review would be like two lines long.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

AFI sucks they went from singing about mom won't let me get a mohawk to gay ass wanna be goth, but look more like retarded emo kids. They suck and should go away.

Phantom_Maggot (September 12, 2006)

I don't think AFI sold out...I think that their music has taken a natural progression to where it is currently, and in all honesty I don't expect them to play much if anything off of their first two releases. What caught me off guard was their lack of any material from even "The Art of Drowning" or "Black Sails" (I mean no Days of the Pheonix)? Also, Rachel, you probably don't know me. My name is Ian and I didn't go to tons of the Nerve Agents/ Scissorhands shows that Gilman used to have. I enjoyed the bands but I think I only saw the Nerve Agents 3-4 times. Do you like Dispute?

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

AFi is the definition of disappointing

gladimnotemo (September 12, 2006)

"their triumphant return to the East Bay at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco"

Heh.

TraumaSponge (September 12, 2006)

"AFI is the definition of a sellout".

Selling out is going against your own personal beliefs to make money. Remember all those AFI songs about destroying the record industry and capitalism? No? Huh.

wildo (September 12, 2006)

"I'm sick of all these fucks saying how great afi was and how torn up they are because the band doesn't play what you want to hear anymore. so you bought some of the early albums and maybe you saw them when they toured under shut your mouth and open your eyes. big fucking deal. your argument is stale. get the fuck over it already. crying like a bunch of bitches isn't going to change anything."

i'm sick of people being sick of people being sick of people being sick of people being sick of people being sick of people . . .

cantsitstill (September 12, 2006)

oh, and since when was '99 "the day"?

cantsitstill (September 12, 2006)

davey broke his punk vocal chord so he can't sing anything old-school anymore. sorry.

Mute98 (September 12, 2006)

but let me add, afi was always a 2nd rate nerve agents

that band was off the hook, i hope eric gets his new band up and running

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

http://www.punkrockvids.com/?mod=videos&subid=archive

Check out the AFI vids on here. Now THOSE were the days.

Mute98 (September 12, 2006)

ill admit, sing the sorrow was a great album, but the new one is just horrid

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

This review sums up everything that is wrong with music and the state of the "scene"

Deadpan (September 12, 2006)

Yeah, I guess. Anything earlier is referred to as "stuff from before they were cool".

notfeelingcreative (September 12, 2006)

Are we supposed to refer to 'sing the sorrow' as AFI's 'first album', now?

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

this review really summarizes all the conflicts i have with this band. i was obsessed with afi after 'shut your mouth...' and like this dude, i have found it difficult to let them go with the evolved sound and mainstream success of their last 2 albums. oh well... so what's up with eric ozenne?

Deadpan (September 12, 2006)

As an aside, I phoned someone who was going to see this show right before they went in. I was way too drunk to remember the conversation, but apparently they said hi to Saosin for me. Awesome.

Deadpan (September 12, 2006)

"I'm sick of all these fucks saying how great afi was and how torn up they are because the band doesn't play what you want to hear anymore. so you bought some of the early albums and maybe you saw them when they toured under shut your mouth and open your eyes. big fucking deal. your argument is stale. get the fuck over it already. crying like a bunch of bitches isn't going to change anything."

Bollocks to that. It's a perfectly legitimate complaint.

It's not as if people are going "Boo hoo!!111!!! They're not playing that obscure b-side where they cover the Wombless theme tune using pots and pans as percussion and rubber bands as instruments! I am such a hardcore fan! Woe is me!"

The fact of the matter is, that this is a band that has a substantial back catalogue which is largely responsible for propelling them to their now dizzy heights. Well, that, and a seriously devoted fanbase that would do a hell of a lot for this band primarily on the basis of that back catalogue.

AFI's older albums represent a lot of what they are as a band, even today, and to ignore that, especially considering that a lot of their mad/devoted/mindlessly devoted fans love that stuff, is pretty lame. It'd be like Green Day ignoring their older material to play mostly stuff off American Idiot because that's what rakes in the cash. Oh, wait...

mustard (September 12, 2006)

Great review...not like many of the people here would care but the red hot chilli peppers do the same thing. They only play like their last 2 or 3 albums live.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

AFI is the definition of a sellout.

Morgan (September 12, 2006)

The fact I'm only 14 mean I never could have seen Very Proud Of Ya... done live but I bet it was amazing.

replaceablewren (September 12, 2006)

I have to know you. You basically wrote the review from the mouths of me and my ten friends who decided we paid $25 to see each other all in the same room that nite. The next nite in Santa Cruz was better because the venue was much smaller, but you summed up how I feel about the roads we're on perfectly.

In other news, I'm a Nerve Agents fan from back in the day also, big time. I'm assuming I have to know you. Who are you?

-Rachael

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

I'm sick of all these fucks saying how great afi was and how torn up they are because the band doesn't play what you want to hear anymore. so you bought some of the early albums and maybe you saw them when they toured under shut your mouth and open your eyes. big fucking deal. your argument is stale. get the fuck over it already. crying like a bunch of bitches isn't going to change anything.

threechordsandthetruth (September 12, 2006)

Oh, and also, I woulda killed to see Tiger Army play In The Orchard when I saw them, I love that song.

threechordsandthetruth (September 12, 2006)

Yeah, good review. I'm seeing them in a month and kinda regretting it, although I saw them in 2003 just before STS came out and got to hear a few old tracks, so I'm not too bummed.

LeightonESmith (September 12, 2006)

AFI did a big fat shit on all of their old fans. It was called Decemberunderground.

sirens (September 12, 2006)

I last saw AFI on the Strike ANywhere/ Explosion tour, right when AFI was getting big. Waste of time. For some reason Jade was tuned a half step down and Huter wasnt.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

Wow, amazing review.

DiscoFucker (September 12, 2006)

Amazing review. I actually kind of like some of the new songs, but for the most part, I share your sentiments.

MikeStupid (September 12, 2006)

Great review, but I feel a lot more bitter towards AFI than you do. Probably because I somehow managed to never see them live until this year, so there's a good chance I'll never see any of my favorite AFI songs live.

Phantom_Maggot (September 12, 2006)

Yeah I know that I am from/live in Castro Valley...but they aren't playing in the East Bay anytime soon that I know of.

lushj (September 12, 2006)

San Francisco is the West Bay, not the East Bay. Just sayin'...

Candypatrol (September 12, 2006)

Great review, I feel the same way about AFI, although I did talk my share of shit as they went their new direction. I was dissapointed, I guess. Thinking back to their shows in the day... some great times, good memories. Saw them with Strife in like 97 or 98, absolutely amazing. Also saw them with At the Drive-In and Good Riddance around the time "Ballads from the Revolution" and "A Fire Inside EP" were released, wish I could go back in time for that. Oh yeah saw them open for Sick of it All once, Rancid once, and 88 Fingers Louie but they broke up for the second time the day before. That was lame.

iconoclast (September 12, 2006)

you put into words what i feel too. its sad, but what can ya do? good job on the review.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

Ditto. What happened to the Halloween shows in the Bay Area?

ilikepunkrock (September 12, 2006)

That review was really good, very proud of ya is an amazing CD.

sickboi (September 12, 2006)

Bummer. Great review, but I honestly have no desire to ever see AFI again. I can appreciate the new material, but when a band more or less abandons their roots, and doesn't even acknowledge an amazingly extensive back catalog, I lose interest.

Its great to know where you are going, but don't forget where you came from. Well, maybe we can look forward to the "we're doing a whole tour which will include us playing Black Sails... from start to finish.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

You basically put to words what I feel. Good job.

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