Hello all, this is something I’ve wanted to do for a few weeks now so I’m finally doing it.
Call this a blog entry, if you will.
Similar to something awesome I did for the FIRST time seeing AFI back in '01 (I’ll post pics of it later), I actually typed up and printed out my experience along with photos… it was really cool for me to find again years later, because I had written it right after the show… so in a way, it was like living my '01 Warped Tour experience all over again. Yes, I went to Warped Tour for AFI and AFI only. @_tonibell was at the same show… we’d find out 16 years later that we were both there!
My wife and I were going to see AFI at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. It would be my 6th time seeing AFI after a period of being absent from the AFI scene for many years due to life. I originally bought the tickets to surprise my wife. She had never seen AFI but through our relationship, she had grown more of as fan over the years.
I don’t know why… maybe adult life had a choke hold on me that I was only subconsciously aware of, but prior to the beginning of January, 2017… I had very little interest in going to concerts anymore. We have two kids, a house, working full-time… so maybe I was taking too much of the “man of the house” mentality… I don’t know. Regardless, seeing AFI on this night completely… did I say completely rejuvenated my love and passion for AFI. I had tears in my eyes watching them. My wife even told me she was looking at me during the show and could tell how happy I was to be there and see them again.
this is a video I made to express how much I had missed AFI after seeing them on 02.07.17
However, I do not recall even going to the merch table that night… I believe I was still waking from my coma… which I obviously regret to this day. That experience alone led to the creation of these forums after finding that the DF forums had gone away.
I had done my research… asking AFINewsHQ, even emailing the old webmaster to receive this response:
“The old forums won’t return as they were, no, but the DF probably has some forums.”
No, we didn’t have forums. So without wasting another day because I knew the work ahead of me… I created these forums. We were originally called “WeAreAFI.com” but I changed our name to a DF name to make it more recognizable and more of a “home” feel.
Granted, sometimes I feel like these forums are working a losing battle with social media, but I can only hope that AFI or AFINewsHQ recognizes them in some way. If I ever got the opportunity, I would be honored to call these forums official and handle all server costs myself (as I do already of course). But, that’s dreaming - time to talk about my 2018 shows!
08.04.18 & 08.05.18 #mourning-in-amerika
I have to give credit to a fellow DF member and someone who I call an acquired friend, @Cher_I_Despair for me going to both of these shows. Before, I would go to that one show that was closest to me, but Jacob inspired me to reach further.
When the Mourning in Amerika tour was announced I had planned on going to 3-4 of the tour dates, but it ended up being only two due to a family vacation, travel, work, etc. My family was on vacation week ending 08.04.18 so right after vacation we ended it perfectly with two AFI shows back-to-back.
Festival Pier, Philadelphia, PA: this would be the first time I would be seeing AFI at an outside venue. Let me just say that I’ll see AFI anywhere, but at an outside venue isn’t a preference. When you see AFI at a venue like the 9:30 Club or any venue inside… you appreciate the theatrics of AFI coming on. From the venue going to complete darkness just before, followed by the roar of the crowd… there’s no feeling like it.
Regardless, AFI was amazing this night. We got “No Poetic Device” from Black Sails in the Sunset… just an overall awesome show. My wife and I were also towards the front left, about 5 back from the barricade. During this show I was fortunate to meet AFINewHQ’s Josh as well as see Jacob again.
Cell Phones: I know Davey mentioned in an interview before about cell phones bothering him and how everyone seems to be on their phone rather than being involved in the show. Well, I tried to practice less cell phone usage (recording and taking pics) during this show, but I would then regret afterwards. In retrospect I would have recorded “No Poetic Device” since it had not been played since 2010.
Davey would do the usual and walk on the crowd suring “I Hope You Suffer”… it was awesome!
Merch table: My wife and I did have to leave right after AFI’s set due to babysitting reasons, so there was very little time to stick around and meet Adam or any other members that came out. However, after the show we headed to the merch table where I would drop $180 on basically everything they had to offer. I also gave a DFC card to a teenage girl who was at the merch table with her parents… maybe we’ll see her on here sometime.
Stone Pony, Ashbury, NJ: this would be my 8th time seeing AFI. Parking for this show was much more difficult. The Philly show, we found a parking garage maybe two blocks from the venue; perfect. For this Ashbury show, we had to park probably 6-8 (no pun intended!) blocks away, but hey, it was free at least. My wife and I also brought my nephew Kaleb along. This would be Kaleb’s first-ever concert of any kind that he would go to. What better way to start than to see AFI?!
After we got into the venue we went straight to the front; as far as we could. We were about 4-5 back from the front, center. We would of course be at this spot throughout the entire show through AFI. The only bad thing about this experience was the sun was in our eyes and they couldn’t lower the back tarp to the stage due to the wind… they tried. Luckily, I was wearing sunglasses which helped a ton, plus the sun wasn’t much of an issue at all when AFI came on.
The funny thing is, I had put “Very Proud of Ya” in my CD player on our way to NJ, so my nephew was able to hear some earlier AFI including the track they would go on to play that night, “He Who Laughs Last”! It was amazing!
Davey would attempt to walk on the crowd during “I Hope You Suffer” but the crowd failed this night… oh well! Davey always smiles when it doesn’t work out.
At the end of AFI’s set we would proceed to the merch table where my wife and I planned on surprising Kaleb by buying him whatever he wanted at the merch table. Without knowing we were doing this, I asked him what he wanted; he wanted the hoodie and the signed record. Viola. May he never forget his first concert memory by going to an AFI show and getting merch on his aunt & uncle.
Thanks for reading.