Coming straight off of three sold-out nights at the Observatory North Park in San Diego, rock band AFI kicked off two more sold-out shows at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on Friday night.
Out in support of its 10th studio album, a self-titled release also known as “The Blood Album,” which dropped on Jan. 20, the quartet offered a powerhouse set that included a solid mix of the old and the new. Opening with “Strength Through Wounding” off its 1999 album “Black Sails in the Sunset,” AFI immediately caught the attention of those in the crowd, who raised their fists and chanted along to the short song.
The band kept that momentum with a clear fan-favorite, “Girl’s Not Grey,” before heading into a brand new track, “Aurelia.” Throughout the evening individual members were given the opportunity to shine, such as drummer Adam Carson going into beast mode on “Love Like Winter,” bassist Hunter Burgan taking center stage on “The Great Disappointment” and guitarist Jade Pudget raging through “The Lost Souls.”
With the new song “So Beneath You,” each time charismatic frontman Davey Havok would throw out his mic, the audience roared right along as if it were a classic in the catalog. The new stuff, specifically something like “Snow Cats,” fit so well alongside the older material in the set, whereas a song like “Veronica Sawyer Smokes,” off its more poppy 2009 release “Crash,” definitely stood out among the vast majority of darker content.
However, this crowd, which included fellow artists and fans Tony Kanal of No Doubt and Deftones’ Chino Moreno, didn’t seem to mind as every softer offering was followed by something a bit more ferocious. Havok delivered his smooth, whisper-like vocal on “Morningstar” and transitioned flawlessly into a screaming, high-jumping punk with “The Days of the Phoenix,” both songs clear favorites off its 2000 record, “The Art of Drowning.”
The entire group flexed its muscle…