AFI - live in Sheffield, England (Cover Artwork)


live in Sheffield, England (2003)

live show

Matt Andrews

AFI - Sheffield Hallam, NMB

The evening began with my dad taking us to the show by car. One hour of awkwardness awaited us as we got in. He, as I predicted, made some lame attempts at humour, maily concerning "punk rock". Needless to say, he wasn't amusing.

When we arrived in Sheffield, after some messing around trying to find the NMB, we got out and joined the queue. After waiting in the freezing cold (and I cleverly forgot to bring a coat, damn) for around an hour, we were inside. We took a look around, it reminded me of my local club at home, pretty small and squashed. I took a look at the merch area, was amazed at how full it was. After walking around a little more and watching a bit of the opening band, I decided to get some merch. I must've waited around 30 minutes to be served, but I got 2 shirts, so I was happy.

After that, we headed back into the concert area and made our way to the front of the crowd, sensing the second band were almost finished. Once they went, on came AFI's roadies to set up, which seemed to go on forever. I was wearing the 2 shirts I had just bought, on top of the 2 shirts I already had on (one short sleeve top over a long sleeved one) so I was already pretty hot. After a while, it was time for AFI to come on. The crowd were chanting their name, until the stage lights went out.

Suddenly, Jade and Hunter bounded onstage, followed by Adam. The crowd went insane. The band (minus Davey) started off with Adam playing a fast drumbeat while Jade and Hunter bounded around omstage like crazy. The crowd went wild again, and then Davey came on, then havoc (haha) broke out. Davey started off the chanting (to the uninitiated, it goes 'through our bleeding, we are one') which got everyone into a frenzy. After Strength Through Wounding, the band shot into The Prayer Position, which caused shouts of delight upon the opening riff. Everyone sang along, I barely heard Davey above the crowd, which was cool, but annoying. After that, Sacrifice Theory was played, which was when it got really heated.

Davey did some crowdsurfing. Right as the song was playing, the girl next to me (who, incidentally, had been jabbing my eyes with her 7 inch mohawk all evening) was beginning to pass out. I helped her, along with some other people. As we were trying to move her backwards, I felt the whole crowd surge forward and some hair and in my mouth (...). I looked up to find Davey Havok around 3 centimetres from me, with everyone around us going seven shades of mental. I ripped some of Davey's mesh shirt by mistake (I was pretty taken aback to have my favourite singer appear above me). In the confusion that followed, Davey landed on around 3 or 4 people, including me. As everyone was pushing to reach him, they forced the people next to me onto the floor. I could feel my knees digging into someone's side on the floor, and them shouting for help. Note that Davey was even closer to me at this point, and was actually below me, on top of these people. The next few moments were a little hazy, all I know is that Davey got out of there and had to haul myself up on someone else's shoulders, having to drag my body out from under two people's legs.. not fun, I couldn't stand up on my own. It was getting quite frantic by then, so Davey went a little easier for a while.

The band then played Over Exposure, which was cool, everyone sang along again. Then we got Girl's Not Grey, which sounded great live. I was proud to be one of few people in the crowd to join in with the verse and chorus. Then Ever And A Day was played, one of my favourites, so that was great.
A Winters Tale passed quite quickly, I'm not the biggest fan of the song. A Single Second created the most frenzied moshing of the evening, it was great, and the whole place was singing. This Secret Ninja was a cool surprise, and Morningstar was great. During the song, as tacky as this sounds, Davey looked towards me while I (like everyone else) was singing along. He stared at me, and I stared back, still singing the song, which was cool, it felt like we shared something in the song, which was cool.

Somewhere in the setlist (I cant remember exactly when), Lower Your Head And Take It In The Body cropped up, which was great, we were speculating in the car as to whether AFI would play any of the older stuff. The Despair Factor was good, everyone joined in one the '' part. The Hanging Garden was cool too, one of the highlights of the show. Then we got Midnight Sun, which started pretty weird (I wasn't sure if it was or it wasn't Midnight Sun until the vocals came in) but it went down well, especially the Baudelaire part, which sounded cool, seeing Davey kneel at the drumkit to sing.

Then a rousing Days Of The Phoenix was played, which really had us singing again. Then the band left the stage, and some roadies came on for a minute. Then, of course, the band came back on to finish off with God Called In Sick Today, one of the best tracks, and of course, Totalimmortal (which messed up somehow, Hunter's bass went wrong and when Davey sang the start of the second verse, there was only him and Adam playing, but it was okay because Davey laughed and they continued on anyway). They left the stage, I got out of there and had the best Coke I have ever had in my life.

Strength Through Wounding
The Prayer Position
Sacrifice Theory
Over Exposure
Girl's Not Grey
Ever and a Day
A Winter's Tale
A Single Second
This Secret Ninja
Lower Your Head And Take It In The Body
The Despair Factor
The Hanging Garden
Midnight Sun
Days of the Phoenix
God Called in Sick Today