††† (Crosses), the new project for Deftones frontman Chino Moreno, saw him trading in the metal sound he has owned for more than two decades for synthesisers, atmospheric electronica and a much softer rock approach. The set was delivered with the finesse and energy of seasoned musicians but did nothing to get the crowd moving. While the set was peppered with interesting moments made up of hip hop beats and house dance sections, for the most part it felt too long and undifferentiated.
Not often do you witness a support band playing an hour long set, but tonight the audience were treated to almost the entire Crosses discography, and soon song after song began to bleed into each other – if only separated by the applause given to the group between each one. The groovy melodies of Telepathy midway in started to wake the crowd but future efforts from the band couldn’t get more than 10 people clapping along. Crosses played a classy set with an interesting sound but tonight they were getting little in return.
It was a very different scene as soon as AFI stepped onto the stage. Opening with The Leaving Song Pt. II and Girl’s Not Grey – a double-header from 2003’s Sing The Sorrows, whipped the room into an immediate frenzy, proving that the sold out crowd were long time devotees. The small venue seemed as if it would burst at the seams, and by third song I Hope You Suffer, vocalist Davey Havok was already utilising the no-barrier crowd access. Love Like Winter from 2006’s Decemberunderground proved to be a mid-set favourite before The Leaving Song brought things down for a slower sing-along.
AFI closed the main part of their set with their most commercial hit Miss Murder before returning to the stage with a cover of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven and throwing back to evidently their most popular era with Dancing Through Sunday and Silver And Cold.
While AFI may not be playing in arenas as big as they did eight years ago, they still put on a thrilling live show, full of memorable moments and packed with an eternal enthusiasm and spark. It was clear from the state of the crowd leaving the venue that it is still a joy to watch AFI put on a show with a flair that only AFI still can.
BY GLORIA BRANCATISANO
Loved: Feeling like I was a 14-year-old with too much eyeliner again.
Hated: The muddled sound in the small room.
Drank: Water and cider – drinks of champions.