Every time Alexisonfire release a record, the content is always highly commendable. Not simply just because its good music (which it is), but also because Alexisonfire are one of those bands that just don’t change.
They grow, they mature and they improve but they have not once sacrificed any area of their sound to adhere to the ‘practicalities’ of becoming mainstream. Where I once respected, say, Armor For Sleep and Lifetime for the same reasons, we all know that their next major label records will be as pop rock as Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory were three years ago (don’t get me started on the scenes THEY came from…).
Anyway, the point is, the respect I have for this group is one of the reasons I was so excited by the fact that they completely sold out the Astoria. And there were no tickets in reserve this time; the venue was so jam-packed that even the support bands’ guestlists were halved.
(Un)fortunately I missed dubious new wave Brummie rockers Beat Union‘s set, but apparently they kicked up a good fuss, because by the time Victory Records’ Comeback Kid hit the stage the crowd were absolutely wetting themselves. Elbows flying and nails clawing their way to the front just to thrash around a little bit closer to these crazy metal boys. Their set was amiable, although slightly amateur – vocals a little less menacing than on the record and guitarwork fumbling over itself at times, this nervousness can probably be attributed to the fact that this was this band’s first really important overseas performance.
Of course, after Comeback Kid came the agonising 40 minute wait for the headliners to restart the riot. I was toying with the idea of detailing every movement onstage between the two acts just to pull something original out of this review but realised you would probably only skip the paragraph anyway. And so, after a short wait, Alexisonfire literally bounded into view, shorts and all, to re-energise the crowd with a mixed set list of all three of their records. Yet another reason to adore them, by the way, because they’re one of the few bands I know of that have released that many albums and are still proud to put as much effort into their old material.
Witnessing Alexisonfire onstage is always quite relieving. They put on a passionate, crowd-destroying show still unrivaled by anyone they’ve ever played alongside here in the UK, and you can always rely on them for hitting all the right notes. Obviously I am incredibly biased (in case you didn’t notice the halo I drew around them five years ago), but so what, I’m pretty sure the 2000 spectators clapping in the Astoria auditorium sweatbox tonight would certainly agree.
Photo from www.myspace.com/alexisonfire