Photo Credit Brittany Robinson

AFI – Express Live!, Columbus, OH, US (14th July 2017)

On July 14, AFI / Circa Survive / Citizen kicked off their summer tour at Express Live! in Columbus. Those that were lucky enough to bear witness heard mixed sets of old hits and new releases alike for all three of the bands. The night offered up the stylings of emo, hardcore, and punk; progressing along in different ways.

Citizen, partially from Ohio themselves, opened up the show with some good, old-fashioned emo. Starting the night off with brand new music, the boys began with ‘Jet’ which was released not even a week beforehand. Their newest album, ‘As You Please’ is set to drop in October of this year.

Following was Circa Survive, who are better known for their (progressive) post-hardcore musings. Also releasing a new album this fall, ‘The Amulet’ will be available in September. Fans heard the first-ever performance of the first track off of that album, ‘Lustration’. Frontman Anthony Green is a perfectly bizarre and emotive precursor to AFI’s Davey Havok, readying the venue for his ways.

Not only representational of the stereotypical emo/punk rock style, AFI (also known as A Fire Inside) have been in the game for quite some time. This brought a varying crowd of ages and personalities, as the quartet’s fan base has changed just as much as their sounds have. Over the last 26 years, they have produced ten studio albums as well as ten EPs. This tour majorly celebrates their latest release ‘AFI (The Blood Album)’.

If one thing hasn’t changed for the band, it is their appeal and connection to listeners. The start of their set featured a mix of ‘This Celluloid Dream’, ‘Girls Not Grey’, and the newer ‘So Beneath You’. No matter the timeline of music, the same performance and theatrical qualities remain steady throughout the show.  Bassist Hunter Borgan and guitarist Jade Puget moved about the stage, jumping on top of risers for feature moments and continuously switching sides of the stage.

Davey Havok, main vocalist, is a performance artist of his own. He has mastered the art of theatrics while performing, and somehow still manages to showcase his insane amount of vocal range at the same time. It stays true that no one can swing around a mic the way that Havok can. The most surprising part, despite his command of the energy of the room, was that it took until the last leg of the show for the most intimate of mosh pits to form.

Other new releases that made it onto the set list included the growingly-popular ‘Aurelia’, ‘Snow Cats’, and ‘Silver and Cold’. AFI closed out their main set with top hit ‘Miss Murder’, much to the crowd’s delight. In typical AFI cult fashion, the chanting of “Through our bleeding. We are one!” erupted following the performance, as ode to the band’s song ‘Strength through Wounding’.

AFI is somehow a band that still manages to be just as good as they ever were, even though they’ve been around for the last twenty-six years. Which, is respectably a longer time than some of the night’s audience members! The guys will be continuing on with their tour for the next ~2 months, and it is definitely a line up that you will not want to miss.