fox theater (oakland, ca)

Originally slated earlier in the spring, rock band AFI finally brought their “Bodies” tour to the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA, in support of their newest album, Bodies, released in June of last year. It was a long-anticipated bay area hometown show as it had been three years since the last time the band performed in the area, but the show they put on was well-worth the wait. When the band members came on stage one-by-one, the energy in the already-eager crowd swelled as frontman Davey Havok led the “through our bleeding, we are one” chant of their opening song, “Strength Through Wounding,” to kick off the show.

The momentum and energy carried on through the set with moshing and crowd-surfing as the band took over the stage, leaping off of stage risers and Havok even standing on top of the crowd. You could feel the dedication of the longtime fans as they easily kept up with each song that was performed, singing along every word. The setlist itself is worth noting as AFI, a band that has been on the scene for over 30 years, performed a setlist that contained songs from eight different albums spanning 25 years.

Before playing the the oldest song on the setlist, “Perfect Fit” from their 1996 album Very Proud of Ya, the band paused to address the crowd. Havok described Berkeley, CA (just north of Oakland) as the “sanctuary from which they came,” recalling how they played 924 Gilman Street - a legendary alternative music venue - for the first time in 1995, to which the crowd reacted with loud cheering. The loud and rolling “Perfect Fit” led into the mellow, yet powerful “Caught,” being performed live for the first time. Just as abruptly as it slowed down, the energy came back to even greater heights as the band finished up the set. Going back to some of their earlier music, they closed the show with “The Days of The Phoenix” - a nostalgic ending to the night, going back to their roots as a band from east bay.

photos & review by carolyn wang