Halloween costumes and Halloween parties were all around Pomona, CA. People were beginning their Halloween celebrations early but the real party for the night would prove to be something else- a sold out AFI show, celebrating the band’s newest album, Burials, which was released a few days earlier on October 22, 2013.

The venue was filled with loyal fans; AFI tattoos, shirts and jackets were seen all throughout the venue from longtime fans and new fans alike. The fan dedication was obvious as familiar faces graced the front of the barricade at multiple shows in a row, waiting over night to be in front. AFI (27)

Chatter filled the venue after both Coming and Touché Amore opened up the show. The crowd for those two bands was incomparable to their energy for AFI; the difference was night and day. At around 9:10pm, the lights dimmed as the music from the PA faded out. The chants had begun, “Through our bleeding, we are one” echoed through the room as the diehard fans threw their fists into the air. One by one the members walked on stage to the crowd’s deafening applause and screams.

Guitarist, Jade Puget played the riff to the band’s opening song, The Leaving Song Pt.2 and the crowd went crazy. Front man, Davey Havok stood on the drum riser, jumping off, almost doing a toe touch, right on cue as Puget’s guitar faded out and as drummer Adam Carson started the breakdown of the song. Those first 30 seconds of the show gave everyone an idea of how the show would continue on throughout the night. Everyone had their hands in the air and were screaming their lungs out with Havok. Bassist Hunter Burgan constantly ran around the stage, jumping off of everything he possibly could. As their set continued, the energy only increased. The band members weren’t fazed at all and were constantly jumping and running to different sides of the stage, giving every fan a chance to see them up close and personal.

AFI (3)Just on their thirds song, I Hope You Suffer, off their latest record, Burials, Havok jumped from the stage and stood on the barricade, holding the microphone out; Havok stood up onto the crowd, who willingly held him up on to his feet. Fans from the back crowd surfed their way up to Havok who embraced the fans, holding them and letting them sing along.

As the night progressed, the energy of both the crowd and the band hadn’t let up. They took it up a notch by playing old punk favorites including Wester, Ever and a Day and Today’s Lesson. Aside from pleasing the “old punk AFI” fans, the band also satisfied everyone in the room, playing a diverse, assorted set, full of songs off of many albums, but none from their 2009 album, Crash Love. Although no songs were played off of Crash Love, the fans indulged in favorites including, Miss Murder, 17 Crimes, Love Like Winter and Kill Caustic. In addition, the band also did a debut performance of Heart Stops for the first time. They ended their set on a slower note with God Called in Sick Today, but not without Havok going into the crowd and doing his infamous head walk. Following the song, the band bowed and walked off stage. The second the band was off stage, the cheering and chanting had begun. “AFI! AFI! Through our bleeding, we are one!”  In reality it only took several minutes, but in the eyes of fans, the time it took the band to come back on stage seemed like an eternity. But the band did come back on and they performed their 3 song encore with as much power and force as their first 3 songs. The encore included, 6 to 8, Dancing Through Sunday and Silver and Cold.AFI (47)

            AFI brings a dreamlike performance each time they perform, as it is almost flawless. Aside from their solid precision with their instruments (even with two musicians being self taught), Havok’s choreographed movements on each note of the guitar and each hit of the drums, add another level to the band and their performance as a whole. When not looking at Havok, Burgan is constantly running around, never missing a note as Puget plays with his guitar held in the air , all whilst Carson is throwing and spinning his drum sticks, none of them ever missing a beat. After 20 years in the industry, AFI doesn’t look like they are ready to stop or slow down any time soon, and who can’t appreciate that?

Be sure to buy your tickets when AFI is in your town, before they are sold out. You can purchase tickets here:

Review by: Nicole Lemberg