Aftermath: AFI, Looking Slightly Dated But Still Bringing the Goth-Rock at Verizon

Aftermath isn't one so much for biblical allegories generally, but damn if AFI's Davey Havok didn't remind us of Samson on Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Theater. He proved to us exactly what happens when you sacrifice your locks and your pores to the fashion gods.

See, Mr. Havok used to have quite the glamorous countenance. In late 2002, the frontman of the erstwhile California punk band sported long and stringy black hair and donned make-up that made him look like a butch Suicide Girl. The band got super popular that next summer after major-label debut Sing The Sorrow and its slew of singles.

Admittedly, a lot of the success was due to Havok and his visage live and in the latter days of televised music videos. His hair and make-up added to the band's allure, since the rest of the band looked pretty much like anyone you would see at art gallery opening or in line at a Starbucks in the Heights.

Flash forward two albums and six years, and Havok now looks like he's trying out for Chevelle. He's removed the powder and foundation off his puss and he now rocks a Morrissey-style pompadour The band's music is still ace, though their new album, Crash Love, is alternately stellar and shaky.

In a live setting now, AFI seems like old hat. All of Havok and company's acrobatics look forced in light of the time that has passed in rock and roll these past three years since 2006's decemberunderground. Havok now comes off more like a Scott Weiland acolyte than his former fey-Danzig appearance. He still moves, but now it looks kind of painful.

The setlist was actually a healthy mix of new and old, with the band even reaching back to 2000's The Art Of Drowning, when they were still steeped in pumpkin and goblin lore. It did lean closer on Sorrow, but when a million copies sold is factored in, you gotta keep the kids happy. Havok even gave a shout-out to the folks in the crowd (about five) who were present at the band's last Fitzgerald's stand in the fall of 2000.

Aftermath was there and actually prefers the band now, fashion bitchin' aside. It wasn't a bad show per se, it was just a change from the usual AFI we have seen in the past, back when Havok was the kind of dude who you see from behind on the street somewhere and wanna holler at until he turned around and had an Adam's apple.

Aftermath has said too much.

For more images from the show, check out our slideshow.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty