AFI Summer

Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Columbus. That is where AFI lead me to next. ( See AFI: Atlanta )

It wasn’t intentional that I ended up going to three more shows. To be honest, after going to Atlanta in February, I thought that it was a long shot that I would see them again at all before at least the year 2020. More dates were announced, though, and because I couldn’t make up my mind between the two closest shows, I decided to do both since they were each under a three-hour drive each way and nearly three weeks apart. I got my presale tickets the minute they went on sale and began the grueling 3-month wait for the first of the shows.

When more shows yet were announced, and Columbus was on the list…well, you know I had to get a ticket for that one as well! I mean, how can I pass up on a show seeing my favorite musical artists in the city in which I live? But…I couldn’t bear to part with either ticket to the two other cities either. And so seeing AFI three more times over a 6 week period began.

AFI: House of Blues Cleveland

A friend that I met in Atlanta back in February flew up to meet me for the show in Pittsburgh. I left Columbus at around 9:30 pm on Friday evening and picked her up at the Pittsburgh airport just past midnight. We drove an additional 40 minutes to the hotel, rested up, and got to the venue at about noon on Saturday. There, we talked, chatted with the people in line around us, and once we were inside anxiously awaited the band that we made the trip for.

Cleveland and Columbus, I went to alone, and yet again got there hours before doors opened. Let me say, though, that when going to an AFI concert, you are never truly alone. Through getting to know people from other shows, you form friendships. I ran into the same people at all three venues and even one who was in Atlanta as well for Blaqk Audio in May of 2016. We all watch out for one another, stick up for each other, and just have fun together. It truly does have the feeling of family. It’s largely what makes the experience all the more special. I know without a doubt that for future shows to come, whenever they may be, I will reconnect with some of the friends that I have made along the way. We come from all over, traveling hundreds of miles, so I know I will be seeing them again.

Hunter Burgan: Express Live, Columbus

Each of the three shows was special and unique in their own way, and each had their own setlist. I ended up blissfully crushed against the barricade, just left of center for all three shows, putting me in perfect position right between Hunter and Davey. The energy was addictive and the crowd (for the most part) respectful of one another, just there to have a great time.

AFI always puts on such an unforgettable, interactive, and high energy performance. From the heavier So Beneath You and Paper Airplanes ( Makeshift Wings) to the slower This Time Imperfect and On the Arrow, they definitely don’t stand statuesque in one place for long, but instead, work their way around the stage the entire time, running, jumping, spinning, and even literally walking into the crowd. So much goes on that there is no way you can take all of it in at once, but nobody can get away with saying that an AFI experience is boring. These guys were born to do this, and you can tell that they love what they do by the passion that they put into it.

During two of the shows, when somebody in the crowd was injured and it was noticed, AFI stopped completely, mid song, to find out if the person was okay. I’ve been to my share of concerts for other bands and singers, and I have never before seen this happen. I’ve witnessed paramedics fighting their way through the crowd, pushing somebody out on a stretcher, and the music went on. This just makes my respect for AFI grow further because it shows that they truly are concerned for the safety of the people who are there to see them.

Davey Havok: House of Blues, Cleveland

And then, there was getting the chance to meet with and talk to the members of AFI after the shows once again in Cleveland and Columbus. Along with others, I waited to get the chance to say what I failed to in Atlanta due to my mind freezing up on me. By patiently waiting my turn, I still didn’t say completely get to say what I wanted to, but I was at least able to get a little more out. I cannot say enough that they truly are four of the kindest, most humble people you could ever meet. My admiration and respect for each of them are immense and their music has impacted my life in such huge ways. And because seeing them one final time during this tour ended on such a high note, I didn’t even get the feeling of post-show depression this time around, just a content feeling that I got to experience and carry with me some incredible memories.

I don’t know when I will get the chance to see AFI perform again, or where I will be in my life, but I will without a doubt be at several shows once more in whatever cities the journey takes me.

To all of the fellow fans of AFI out there, what shows have you been able to make it to this year? 

Adam Carson: Express Live, Columbus

And finally, the setlists:

Pittsburgh ( 6/3/2017)                                                                                                                    

Strength Through Wounding
This Celluloid Dream
Girls Not Grey
So Beneath You
17 Crimes
Aurelia
End Transmission
Despair Factor
Face Beneath the Waves
Paper Airplanes
Days of the Phoenix
On the Arrow
I Hope You Suffer
Snow Cats
Silver and Cold
This Time Imperfect
Miss Murder

Jade Puget: Express Live, Columbus

Cleveland (6/20/2017)                                               

Miss Murder
Still a Stranger
Girls Not Grey
Above the Bridge
Paper Airplanes
Bleed Black
Anxious
Perfect Fit
Beautiful Thieves
Who Knew
Veronica Sawyer Smokes
Days of the Phoenix
Snow Cats
I Hope You Suffer
Silver and Cold
This Time Imperfect
This Celluloid Dream

Hunter Burgan, Davey Havok, Adam Carson: Stage AE, Pittsburgh

Columbus (7/14/2017)

This Celluloid Dream
Girls Not Grey
So Beneath You
Beautiful Thieves
Bleed Black
Ever and a Day
Aurelia
Despair Factor
On the Arrow
Of Greetings and Goodbyes
Silver and Cold
I Hope You Suffer
Days of the Phoenix
Snow Cats
Miss Murder
This Time Imperfect
Paper Airplanes

Ashley Written by:

One Comment

  1. August 5, 2017
    Reply

    I’m glad that you had fun with this. 🙂

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