“Another Minnesota show, another frigid night!” AFI packed the house at Minneapolis’ Fillmore event space Wednesday November 16, welcoming a diverse crowd of avid fans who dutifully lined up outside in the 10-degree weather to see their favorite alt/goth/punk/rock/hxc band. AFI is touring on the release of their 2021 album ‘Bodies’ for the similarly named Bodies tour, with post-punk duo Drab Majesty supporting them across their North American trek. This is actually not the first time the 4-piece had toured on last year’s album – previously touring with Cold Cave – though this tour is the first one of theirs to carry the name, so fans came in expecting to hear a fair amount of material from that album.
Self-styled “tragic-wave” band Drab Majesty kicked things off with a cloud of fog, then a wall, and then an all-enveloping storm as the two piece let their synths slowly build to a crescendo, standing in silence and establishing atmosphere before Deb Demure and Mona D.s’ haunting vocals enter and finish the casting of the spell. Known for their striking visual appearance and sound steeped in modern aesthetics as much as it borrows and iterates upon themes and sounds from the distant past, Drab Majesty’s live sound is immediately striking, transporting the listener to this alternate bedroom world that is both unnerving and all too familiar. Drab Majesty’s set danced across their discography, playing songs from both The Demonstration and Modern Mirror (though primarily the former). Their ability to blend multiple genres into a sound both foreign and familiar makes them the perfect partner for a tour with AFI, and after their all too short 40-minute set, the stage was set and ready for the headliner to arrive.
AFI hit the mainstage at full speed, Davey Havok running up onto a riser and launching right into “Girl’s Not Grey” without a moment’s hesitation. Havok and co’s decades of experience shine through as their natural stage charisma immediately arrests the Fillmore’s entire attention. Watching each of the band members (with the obvious exception of the drummer) fly across the stage and perform with as much energy as one might imagine they had at their very first show is always a real treat, and AFI were no different in this capacity.
The band shows absolutely none of their age and smashed through their first few songs in under ten minutes, possessing all the verve in the world. The band then covered the range of its back catalog, playing hits from Sing the Sorrow, DECEMBERUNDERGROUND, and many others. The band has been changing up their setlist considerably as they go from show to show, and tonight the tour’s new track was a live rendition of “Darling, I Want to Destroy You”. The band carried on for a solid 75 minutes, eventually preceding their encore with “Miss Murder”, and ultimately closing with “Silver and Cold”.