Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet and welcome to another live gig review. Now Alien Ant Farm are one of those bands that some people know for their cover “Smooth Criminal” and that’s it, but there’s so much more to them than that, and after the Anthology album of 2001 they still continued to release good stuff (Always and Forever may be an exception to that rule), and for me they are one of my favourite bands that no one today really knows about. So when I heard they’d be playing live in London I jumped at the opportunity to see them live.
Firstly I have to talk about the venue, this was my first time at KOKO and I have to say that it’s a nice venue with a great sense of style, an intimate kind of setting on the ground floor near the stage and I got some Brixton Academy vibes but just on a smaller scale. I also have to talk about the supporting acts; The Dirty Youth and InMe. While The Dirty Youth don’t have a sound I’m usually down to jam to, some of their songs was really addictive especially that Hurricane one, and InMe, damn, those guys were a revelation to me, their sound was SO good and I think they got a better reception than AAF did when they eventually came on.
But let’s finally talk about AAF, man it was good to hear their sound live especially since I’ve been listening to their music since 2001 and have wondered what a live session would be live, and while some of the songs were slightly different in their pacing and composition, overall they were just like I remembered them. And lead singer Dryden Mitchell was a lot of fun, he was funny, strange and a little foul with his use of profanity and spitting, but he delivered where it counted; in his vocals for the songs, .and while he did get as aggressive or as high-pitched for certain songs, overall he was great and so was the rest of the band. As for the songs themselves I did no expect the band to play the entirety of Anthology and it was great for them to start out with “Courage” and “Movies” as they were my favourites, and the sounds of “Sticks and Stones“, “Whisper“, “Attitude” and “Calico” were also welcome too. However it was when I heard “Summer” and “Stranded” when I really freaked out, “Summer” is one of my favourite jams, but “Stranded“, my god! That is my all-time favourite song and with the discography I didn’t think it’d get played, but it did and I was in heaven. And when they played “Glow” and “These Days” off of Truant I was having such a good time. But the crowd really went mad for “Wish” and “Smooth Criminal“, with the latter really creating a mad frenzy and starting the filthiest of mosh pits.
Now I will admit that my experience was hampered by a few things:
- Firstly there was a very annoying brick of a man who wouldn’t move out of my way and really squashed me into the left side of the floor and ever so often he’d look at me awkwardly and I’m just thinking”Yeah I’m having fun, you got a problem with that? Then move over!”
- Also the sound in general was a little messy, with the bass from the drums and bass guitar being too overpowering when it came to the vocals of the singers and guitars.
- And finally with AAF having 5 albums (4 fully formed ones anyway), I was surprised that the gig ended so soon without more songs being played off of Truant and Up in the Attic, heck I even listened to the new album Always and Forever because I assumed they’d play at least a few songs from that one, but nope, it was over fairly soon.
In conclusion Alien Ant Farm at KOKO was a good time for sure, that being said I was hoping for more songs from their other albums and which the sound and bass coming from the instruments was balanced better. However, to hear some of my favourite jams live was an experience I won’t forget any time soon.
So did you get to see Alien Ant Farm last night or any time during their previous or current live shows? And if so what did you think? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see you all on the next blog post yo! 😀