AFI Burns Again in Chicago
By Randy J. Klodz
AFI made its first Chicago appearance in support of the major label debut
"Sing the Sorrow," as part of the "Death to Spring Tour" that left the sold-out
Riviera Theatre in awe after 60 minutes of fury on April 12.
Seattle’s spazz-rock youngsters, the Blood Brothers took the stage first
with its double-barreled vocal attack of Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney,
while Cody Votolato (guitar), Morgan Henderson (bass) and Mark Gajadhar (drums)
rounded out the line-up. The packed Riviera crowd seemed stunned by the heavy
melodies and screeching vocals on such tracks "Guitarmy" and "Burn Piano Island,
Burn." The band may have also been a surprise to unsuspecting fans just arriving
to the venue because the Blood Brothers were not listed on the Riviera’s outdoor
marquee. The Explosion followed the Blood Brothers’ 30-minute set.
AFI—short for A Fire Inside—led by the vocals of Davey Havok, charged through
its set as Jade Puget (guitar), Hunter (bass) and Adam Carson (drums) played
host to the legion of dedicated fans. AFI’s loyal following was displayed
as the line for the band’s merchandise snaked around the Riviera’s entire
perimeter lobby, while the beer line remained nearly vacant.
Havok—dressed in black fishnets that covered most of the canvas of tattoos
etched into his arms, infamous black eye make-up and trademark long-black
hair that frequently hid his face—leg kicked and stage crawled with a Danzig
meets Maynard James Keenan stage presence on such tracks as "Miseria Cantare
(The Beginning)," "God Called in Sick Today," "Sacrifice Theory" and many
more, including the hit single "Girl’s Not Grey." At the end of "Death of
Season," Havok seemed to melt into the stage like the Wicked Witch of the
West as his voice echoed throughout the Riviera as streams of lights whipped
AFI’s current stint in the United States is scheduled to run through May
25 when it hits the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Mass. AFI is also schedule
to make another Chicago appearance when the Vans Warped Tour makes its way
to the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park, Ill. on June 29. For more information
on AFI, log on to www.afireinside.net.