Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MN
Reviewed by: Justin
AFI is one of my favorite bands to see live. I got to the venue (Epic) around 30 minutes before the doors opened. It was a cloudy/rainy night, but the line still extended around the block, and nobody seemed to mind it that much. I was excited to not only see AFI again, but to see the new Epic since I hadn’t been there since it was the Quest Club. There were a lot of good shows and good memories there, so I was hoping to start new ones here.
It’s kind of fitting that the venue they played at was called Epic, because that’s what a lot of fans waiting in line were hoping that the show would be. Many of the fans were seeing AFI for their first time, and many of them traveled across the country to make it to the first show on the tour. Now THAT’s passionate! Traveling across the country and standing the rain hours before the doors open. Well, it’s either passionate or insanity – or both – especially when it’s general admission, so it’s not like there are better “seats” for the early birds.
The opening band was Gallows, from the United Kingdom. I’d never heard their music before, but I came away impressed. They were a great opener for a band like AFI. Maybe I’m still immature (probably), but I’m still thoroughly entertained by British accents… not pronouncing the R’s at the end of words, keeping the T’s silent, etc. I couldn’t make out some of Frank Carter’s stage banter, but he certainly had the crowd with his charisma. He’d sing the last two songs IN THE CROWD, a la Butch Walker. A couple nice little circle pits and some catchy music would be the perfect precursor for AFI.
I’ve had “Crash Love” for awhile, and I was lukewarm towards the album at first, much to my dismay. It certainly wasn’t as good as DECEMBERUNDERGROUND to me after the first few spins, at least before seeing them live. There are a handful of bands where, once I see them performing the new material in a live setting, it enhances it for me, and once I give it more listens, I get really into it. AFI’s not that type of band, but this album certainly was.
The set list was as follows:
Girl’s Not Grey
The Leaving Song Pt. II
Silver and Cold
Dancing Through Sunday
The Leaving Song
On the Arrow
Death of Seasons
Veronica Sawyer Smokes
Love Like Winter
The encore would be 6 to 8 and, of course, Miss Murder.
For all of those long-time fans seeing the band for the first time, they really put on an excellent show for them. Davey Havok has a style and charisma all his own where he’s able to connect with the crowd so easily. Botched stage dive attempt aside, the band was “on” tonight. From the new material, “Torch Song”, “Beautiful Thieves”, “Medicate”, and “Veronica Sawyer Smokes” were the best songs live, with the latter being my personal favorite.
AFI has constantly grown and evolved with every subsequent album, but they still have a rabid, passionate fan base. While I don’t know the precise capacity of Epic, the club was packed upstairs and downstairs on this rainy Minneapolis night. If you’re on the fence, for whatever reason, about going to the show, make up your mind fast before it sells out – if it’s not already. And if you’re like me where the album didn’t grab you after the first few listens, you’ll feel otherwise once you see them live.
Check out our recent interview with AFI guitarist Jade Puget here