Tonight’s show at the House of Blues was AFI with opening act Ceremony. I must admit, being an AFI fan, from their punk days in the early 90s, I was hesitant of what kind of performance it would be.
Ceremony opened with pure punk rock energy. Their sound was loud, gritty, fast, and carried along by a strumming low bass line, reminiscent of old-school hardcore. It was easy to be sucked in to the angst, and before I knew it, I was throwing fists up! They got dirty, ripping their shirts off, jumping into the crowd, climbing on every speaker, writhing on the floor all the while screaming and moaning every word. Ceremony is a great band with immense energy. It is good to know punk rock is still alive.
This show was sold out, and by now you could tell. The venue was filled wall to wall and you could feel the fans anxiety about to burst. AFI opened fast and loud with Medicate. Davey Havok jumped out, sporting a pompadour and shiny vanilla suit, began singing atop the speaker. The crowd went wild. AFI sounded clean, loud, hard, and their years together certainly showed, as the music didn't skip a beat. They continued to with Girl’s Not Grey, The Leaving Song, I am Trying Very Hard to be Here, Kill Caustic, End Transmission, and Ever and a Day.
Davey then stood atop the speaker, and spoke to the crowd. “We would like to thank our Las Vegas fans. We have been doing this for 18 years now. Did any of you see us at the Huntridge?” My heart jumped! I am one of those fans! I thought, “This is the moment, they have not forgot their punk beginnings, their old fans.” He gave the audience a choice, to play an old AFI song or “Today’s Lesson” by Filth. The crowd went wild for Filth, and the bass line started… “Here is your Lesson for Today!!!!!”
I went wild. Going in a frenzy, jumping in the pit. Never, ever did I think I would have the privilege to hear a Filth song live. I gotta give it up to AFI for playing Filth. That truly shows they know where they came from and were not afraid to acknowledge and be proud of that. Truly epic in my book!
They brought the boil down with Beautiful Thieves, Dancing Through Sunday, The Leaving Song, On the Arrow, and Death of Seasons. AFI had done well by all their fans. Everyone was cheering, throwing up fists, and singing along. AFI held their audience and Davey sang them along word by word.
After a quick break, AFI came back out for an encore including Miss Murder, Too Shy to Scream, Love Like Winter, and finishing on their biggest hit, Silver and Cold. The crowd sang along as one. It was truly amazing to see the bond between Davey and the fans. Whether you are an old or new fan of AFI, I am sure this was a concert most fans will not soon forget.