AFI at the Roseland


I took the day off from work today, in anticipation of really needing it. Last night I went to the AFI concert at The Roseland in Portland. For those unfamiliar with them, they’re a punk/alternative band. It was just fantastic, one of the highest energy bands I have ever seen. Hunter, the bass player, and Jade, lead guitar were just all over the stage. Davey, the lead singer, is so dramatic and has such a great presence on stage. He even jumped out into the front rows of the crowd for a little crowd surfing, and periodically would get someone else up to the mike (via being pushed up by the crowd) to sing a refrain. They really involve the audience. It was a great mix of all their albums, including several cuts off the latest, Crash Love. All photos are raw, unretouched, and mine.

Davey Havok
Davey Havok of AFI

And for the first time in my life, I found myself being pulled into the mosh pit. Now there’s an experience! If I hadn’t been worried about my camera, I might have actually hung around and checked it out, but as it was I decided discretion was the better part of valor, and headed to the back of the crowd. The security guard had me plant myself on the stanchion holding the chain dividing the up/down directions of the staircase to the balcony, where I was allowed to shoot pictures to my heart’s content. I was a little worried I was going to be told ‘no pictures’ and would have to run back to the car with the camera, but the security guard at the entrance sort of looked at the camera as she patted me down (at no extra charge 😉 ) but said not a word about the camera. I could have danced for joy.

We had general admission tickets, but headed upstairs to the balcony where we (most of us, except our driver who is a straightedger meaning he doesn’t drink, smoke, or use any form of drugs) got some beers, then wandered over to the standing section in the balcony (no booze on the main floor). I got a good spot at the railing in front, and hoped that would be a good spot to brace myself with the camera, but it turned out not to be so great. I took a good number of photos of the opening act, Ceremony, and was extremely disappointed that none of those turned out at all well. Some are marginal, but nothing even close to ‘good.’ Too bad, they were one of the best opening acts I’ve ever seen.

At one point Davey asked the audience how long it had been since they’d played Portland. When he was told seven years, his response was “I am so sorry!” It was packed to the rafters; if it wasn’t a total sell-out, it had to be very close.

Most of the photos of Hunter are just a blur. Even when he’s not moving around the stage, he’s still moving. I’m sure he’s violating several laws of physics… Here’s my adorable Hunter, I just love him. He’s so cute in interviews. He’s intense on stage, but kind of shy when being interviewed.

Hunter Burgan of AFI
Hunter of AFI

Jade was just awarded “Guitarist of the Year” for 2009 by Alternative Press Magazine. Well done, Jade! He’s hard to photograph, too, but I managed to get a couple halfways decent shots.

Jade Puget of AFI
Jade Puget of AFI

Davey and Adam

So, I didn’t do any crowdsurfing, but the rest of the people I was with did. Maybe next time…

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18 thoughts on “AFI at the Roseland

  1. Oooh – choosing between the camera, or the mosh pit – if that choice doesn’t define the Yin and Yang of Digital Dame’s temperament, I don’t know what does 😀 It seems you’ve been making that choice all your life, and this time, same as it ever was, the documentarian, the artist, the one who bears witness won out just a tiny bit – maybe 51/49 – over the headbanging free spirit. Of course, we all benefit b/c you have the pix to show for it!

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  2. Haha! But I seem to have a war wound anyway. The little bit of time I was in the moshing crowd seems to have resulted in a small bruise on my arm 😀 . Think I’ll wear it with pride. I don’t know how it happened, I don’t recall getting hit, but hey, whatever, it’s all good. My son’s ex-gf had to loan me some punk clothes for the occasion, too. She let me wear the cutest scarf with skulls all over it, and fingerless wrist gloves covered in multi-colored hearts, and cute top. They wanted me to wear one that said “I only believe in gay marriage if both chicks are hot” but I vetoed that. Gay women tend to like me anyway, I try not to encourage them 😉 Now the two of them want to take me shopping at Hot Topic to stock up on more punk styles. I can hardly wait! 🙂 My head is still at the concert, it’s a good thing I took the day off yesterday. I would have been good for nothing at work.

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    1. A couple of cute accessories to go with the black jeans you probably already own, some black nail polish, and you’re set. Ask the kids if punks are still wearing black Converse Chuck Taylors and/or Doc Martin boots – I can recommend both as comfortable, practical, and versatile enough to blend w/your non-punk clothes. (One time our friend L’Italiana and I were shoe shopping, w/the same goal in mind: a pair of cute waterproof shoes that we could wear to work. she found a pair of little fauz-patent leather ballerina pumps, and I came up w/a pair of Docs, also in black patent: she is a dear friend & we have many other things in common, but the look on her face when she asked me “and where are you gonna wear those?” was unforgettable.)

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  3. I did see a lot of the Converse, which seems to be what the band always wears as well. The Doc Martins seem to be out, though, I don’t think I saw any of those. I made a careful study of clothing styles and they ran the gamut, from regular Columbia sportswear to really cute punky berets and glittery hair bows, band t-shirts, etc. Skulls, aliens, Hello Kitty were all in attendance. And lots of ink. I need ink.

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  4. Hi Lis’Anne,

    We had the BEST time, they really have an infectious energy. I was primed for this concert for weeks, I could not wait 🙂

    Both Davey and the guitarist Jade are straight edge, and Davey and Hunter are both vegans. I think Jade is vegetarian, can’t remember about Adam (the drummer). Very interesting bunch of guys.

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  5. Good role models for the young ones, y’know? Proof that clean living does not equal boring.

    How ’bout some tarot ink? A good tattoo artist could probably copy a detail from one of your favorite star cards onto your ankle or the back of your hand. (BTW, this reminds me that next Fall, when FX channel starts running the new season of “Sons of Anarchy,” you MUST give it a look. It’s a soapy nighttime drama about a badass motorcycle gang – much ink in evidence, even in the opening credits)

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  6. OOoo, I think SoA is on a channel I don’t get. I’ll have to check.

    I think I have something picked out I want to have done, and know a place to get it done. At the concert some stoner (I assume he was high by the way he just wandered over and started talking our ears off, but no slurring of words like you hear with a drunk) with full sleeves on both arms told us where he got his ink. Evil Son was clever enough to input the name of the shop into his phone 🙂 I got photos of the guy’s arms, the work was really good. I might have to do a second post with more photos.

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  7. Just make sure the place is supa-clean, and nobody with tats from there got any infections or illnesses or anything. (Speaking of motherish advice. It must be the schoolteacher in me )

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  8. Hehe 🙂 I appreciate your concern. Yeah we’ll definitely take a good hard look before offering up any skin. Evil Son is good at detecting drug users so if the artists look high, we walk.

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  9. OR if the customers don’t look right – god knows you don’t need somebody else’s hepatitis. Still, assuming the place is hygenic, you should make him take you to get inked for Mother’s Day, just cuz it’ll make a great story.

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  10. Hehehe 🙂 Now that would be a different Mother’s Day gift!

    One thing you do is insist on watching them break out a fresh needle from an autoclave bag before they start. There’s a whole host of things to look for, and before I even worry about that, I’m going to interview them, talk to them ahead of time and see if I even like the artist’s vibe. The shop should be clean, the artist clean, you can ask to see certifications, proof of Hep B vaccination, etc. I’ve done some research on the whole process, it’s not something I would do on a whim. I want to see the artist’s work, see if I like their style and so on. If they don’t want to take the time to talk with you, it’s a bad sign. As you can tell, I’ve been thinking about this for a long while 😉

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  11. I am totally intrigrued by the the ink conversation here. I am too much of a twinkie-ass to get a tatoo. My spouse and kids are even more prissy that me about it. But I like your well-thought-out approach to both the creative and practical parts, and I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day gift. (if only as fodder for a future story, but it’s also a nice family project ~ sort of like sitting for a family portrait.)

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  12. Hi Rosie,

    Hehe, well if I do get around to it, I’ll be sure to take a photo of it and post it here 🙂 As far as the pain involved, as I read on a web page, it’s not that bad or people wouldn’t keep going back for more and more. I understand getting inked can be addictive, though. Kind of like potato chips, one is never enough! LOL

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  13. I love AFI, their songs are just lyrically beautiful. I’m still considering joining the Despair Faction (I love the name) but I’m not sure how much time I can devote to it.

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  14. Hi Chazz,

    Thanks for coming by. Nice to meet another AFI fan! 🙂 Davey is so poetic, “Silver and Cold” is one of my favorites. I’m not a member of the DF either, though, and I have no idea what’s involved in being a member. Let me know if you join.

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    1. I’m not really sure what you get extra out of joining DF, but I do like the idea of been apart of it. I love Sing For Sorrow as an album but i think there is more poetry in Decemberunderground. I don’t think I could choose a favourite song

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  15. I’ve just about od’d on decemberunderground, I love that one. I did the same with Crash Love, I think I listened to it for 4 solid months before I put a different CD in!! CL is, I think, their best work yet. It’s an interesting song cycle, kind of going from the first rush of infatuation of a new love interest in “Torch Song” to the the bitter end of a relationship with “Darling, I Want to Destroy You” and “Cold Hands.”

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