AFI’s ‘Blood’ Runs Deep in New York City With Sold Out Show [Review + Photos]
It was a cold a blustery New York night as fans filed into Terminal 5 for a sold out AFI show, featuring openers Nothing and Souvenirs. After being met with tunneling wind as they awaited to be cleared for entry, 3,000 fans pressed together inside the venue, which was a reprieve, albeit a sweaty one, from the elements. As the house lights dimmed, the capacity crowd began chanting "Through our bleeding, we are one" — a line from Black Sails at Sunset track "Strength Through Wounding" — for the first of several times throughout the remainder of the night
Walloping the packed house from the first note, AFI opened with the lone Decemberunderground setlist inclusion "Miss Murder," sending fans over the front barricade almost before the introductory bass line was joined by the rest of the group. The song's bouncing, anthemic nature invoked the feeling akin to the energy of a fan-favorite track being withheld until the encore.
Instantly transforming the crowd from a sea of nervous anticipation into ecstatic fanatics, the energy snowballed as they went straight into the Sing the Sorrow favorite, "The Leaving Song Pt. II." With two of their most famed cuts out of the way and 6,000 transfixed eyes ready for anything that's coming next, it was time for AFI to dip into some material from the reason for the tour: their acclaimed new record, AFI (The Blood Album).
"Aurelia" offered a moment for fans to catch their breath a bit, dialing back the intensity for the bass-driven, effects-drenched track that toys with some New Wave moments amidst the subdued energy. It was clear from the reaction that fans weren't just here for the classics, but when "Girl's Not Grey" followed, the floor of Terminal 5 turned into a tidal wave of black shirts as fans tumbled over each other as others beneath them ushered the crowdsurfers forward towards the waiting arms of security at the barricade while others looked on from above, lining two levels of railed balconies.
AFI's setlist offered plenty of diversity, queuing up tracks from a total of eight albums, even breaking out "Triple Zero" off Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes for the first time since 2010. Mixing up the setlist nightly, the group left fans wondering what would come next through the set's conclusion, as cheating and looking up the set beforehand would have been of little help.
Focusing on the most recent aspect of their career, they tore into four Burials offerings, including "I Hope You Suffer," which followed the new classic, "Snow Cats." Before jumping into the song, frontman Davey Havok dedicated the track to "New York's own, Sick of it All," citing the hardcore outfit's influence on AFI through the decades.
While the singer had been bounding across the stage all night, the most engaging moment of Havok's dynamic stage presence came after this dedication, stepping out from the stage and into the crowd, where the outstretched arms of fans acted as a pedestal where he was perched, throwing his hands up in animated fashion while belting out the song's refrain.
AFI's energy was ceaseless throughout the night. Havok's reputation as frontman is well-earned and his bandmates, guitarist Jade Puget and bassist Hunter Burgan, were equally captivating with wide-stride leaps that were met with short-footed gallops and twirls in sync with the more emphatic moments of songs like "Clove Smoke Catharsis" and the new track "Dumb Kids."
Closing out the set with "Silver and Cold," the hit left fans anxious for more and they got their wish when AFI returned for the encore, launching into "The Face Beneath the Waves." Havok thanked the crowd repeatedly throughout the night, stating how New York is always one of the band's favorite places to play before the final song of the night: "This Celluloid Dream."
Chants of "one more song" followed, but to the Terminal 5 crowd's dismay, the house lights illuminated the room, signaling it was time for a mix of 3,000 punks, emos, metalheads and more to spill back out onto the New York streets and blend back in with the vibrant city's vivacious nightlife.
See the full setlist below and scroll through the gallery at the top of the page to see photos of AFI, Nothing and Souvenirs!
AFI Setlist, Feb. 3, 2017
01. "Miss Murder"
02. "The Leaving Song Pt. II"
04. "Girl's Not Grey"
05. "The Conductor"
06. "Triple Zero"
07. "17 Crimes"
08. "Dumb Kids"
09. "Clove Smoke Catharsis"
10. "End Transmission"
12. "The Days of the Phoenix"
13. "Snow Cats"
14. "I Hope You Suffer"
15. "Silver and Cold"
16. "The Face Beneath the Waves"
17. "This Celluloid Dream"
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