Squarely entering the territory of “punk legacy act,” goth-leaning pop punk legends AFI seem to be adopting a pattern of emerging every few year to renewed interest, new music in tow and ready to tour. They last hit Nashville three and a half years ago, and will return tonight, July 19 in celebration of their eponymous, return to form tenth LP (also called The Blood Album), part of a co-headlining run with proggy, beloved, indie/emo outfit Circa Survive with support from up and coming faves Citizen. Tickets are still available (there’s even a buy one get one free deal happening right now with code ‘NASHROCKS’), so grab yours now and read on for more about the lineup!
After a bit of a breather, California punk outfit AFI (short for A Fire Inside) returned with a mature, industrial/alt rock leaning new album, Burials, in 2013, hitting the road for their first tour in several years, and reestablishing their status as one of alt rock’s biggest mainstays. Earlier this year, the group emerged once more, again met with a wave of positive buzz and nostalgia, with a tenth, self-titled full-length, calling back to their punk and goth roots and seemingly resonating on an even broader scale, hitting hard at a time when punk popular in the early ’00s has never been hotter. Though they’re best known for mid ’00s hits like “Girl’s Not Grey” and “Miss Murder,” AFI actually started as a much heavier punk and post-hardcore act with an affinity for dark, horror-inspired imagery, in the early ’90s. Countless tours and underground releases later, the band found mainstream success with the pop punk-leaning Sing the Sorrow in 2003 and continued their momentum with 2006’s Decemberunderground, helping pave the way for similar bands to dominate the airwaves. Though busy with other projects (bombastic frontman Davey Havok notably launched a supergroup Dreamcar with members of No Doubt), when AFI do emerge nowadays, it’s with the same focus and ferocity that make them so special in the first place, and live, they’re still every bit the same force to be reckoned with.
Though they haven’t been around quite as long as AFI, Philadelphia’s Circa Survive found similar breakout success amidst the ’00s punk boom, adopting an indie, emo, and progressive rock infused sound that instantly set them apart from the largely more straightforward, simplistic musicality of many of their peers. Formed by powerhouse vocalist Anthony Green after his departure from Saosin (a project with which Green has since reunited), Circa’s debut LP, Juturna, was met with immediate critical acclaim, and helped them swiftly forge a rabid fanbase. They haven’t slowed down since, weaving in and out of the punk scene and crossover appeal, touring regularly, and releasing albums at a steady clip (2010 major label debut Blue Sky Noise was another particular high point). It’s been three years since the band dropped their fifth album, Descensus, and while they seem to be currently focused on celebrating the 10th anniversary of their beloved sophomore effort, On Letting Go, new music is in the works as well.
Hailing from Michigan and Ohio, Citizen are part of that new wave of up and coming emo-infused, poppy, indie punk groups we love to rave about. Though they started out as more of a pop punk band, Citizen quickly found inspiration from grunge, post-hardcore, and, of course, emo and indie rock, captivating the scene with their impossibly strong debut, Youth. The dynamic, road-word rockers further built on that sound with 2015’s stellar Everybody Is Going to Heaven, a more somber, personal, and introspective effort, and are currently hard at work on their third LP. A great young band to compliment this bill, Citizen are worth showing up early for.
AFI, Circa Survive and Citizen will perform tonight, July 19 at War Memorial Auditorium. The show is all ages, begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $29.50-35.50.