There are few things that were certain last night at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.
1. If you didn’t get to the venue 3 hours before showtime, you were not going to get a good spot.
2. Gallows was going to have some of the most intense pits to hit Starland this year.
3. AFI was going to put on an AMAZING show.
Rarely do you go to a show these days and fans start repeatedly chanting the bands name a half hour before they take the stage. Such was the case last night. For a little over an hour, AFI frontman Davey Havok was king and we were all his minions, ready to serve, protect and worship. The crowd was enthralled by each and every word and movement from Havok. The show was very Crash Love (the newly released album) heavy as it comprised five of the seventeen songs on the setlist. Judging by the audience’s singing, you’d have thought that the new songs were AFI classics. At one point, one of Havok’s followers lost one of their shoes after “The Leaving Song, Pt. II”. Havok asked for the shoe to be throw on stage to him. When Havok discovered that he had returned the shoe not to its original, he said “You just want it because I touched it? That’s fucked up.” It is but it also shows how much AFI’s fans love their leader and this band.
The band would dedicated one of its first ever written songs “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” to Gallows, the British punk rockers who opened the show and incited a tornado pit in the middle of Starland Ballroom. (Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Gallows knows how to put on a good show!) Not to be outdone, AFI’s Davey Havok dove into the crowd on a few occasions, climbed onto amps and speakers, perched himself on top of the front stage monitors and swung in seemingly every direction. Lou Koller, of the hardcore punk band Sick Of It All, also made a special guest appearance and shared vocals with Havok on “Kill Caustic.” After closing the initial set with “Medicate” and “Love Like Winter”, the band would start the encore covering The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”, playing last album’s first single “Miss Murder” and closing with “Silver and Cold.” Perhaps the only disappointment with the show is that it wasn’t longer. Seventeen songs are great but ending a rock show before 11pm is kind of a buzz kill.
1. Torch Song
2. Girl’s Not Grey
3. The Leaving Song, Pt. II
4. Veronica Sawyer Smokes
5. Ever And A Day
6. Kill Caustic
7. End Transmission
8. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
9. Beautiful Thieves
10. Dancing Through Sunday
11. The Leaving Song
12. On The Arrow
13. Death of Seasons
15. Love Like Winter
16. Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)
17. Miss Murder
18. Silver and Cold
(click pics to enlarge, videos below the pics)