As Alien Ant Farm bring their ANThology tour to a packed Arts Club, Getintothis’ Connor Ryan is there to enjoy a great start to the New Year.
Support bands can have a tough time when an audience this hyped wants nothing more than to get to the main event, but Dirty Youth grabbed the crowd’s attention with their high energised set. An incredible vocal performance from frontwoman Danni Monroe and her intense enthusiasm helped get the night off to a cracking start.
Followed by InMe, another band who’ve been doing the rounds for years, both supports hit the mark and did their part in raising the anticipation for AAF, with InMe’s lead singer and guitarist Dave McPherson putting on a particularly impressive performance.
After a start like that, the crowd were primed for the main event and AAF took to the stage to a huge roar from an invigorated crowd. Dryden Mitchell, looking up-for-it from the start, showed he’s lost none of his onstage showmanship, a shout of “House of Scouse” being met with a huge roar as the band launched into classic opener Courage.
Ripping straight into fan favourite Movies, the crowd was a mass of head bobbing that continued through an hour and a half of thumping hits. I hadn’t heard some of these songs since the mid 2000’s but they all remain fresh and anthems such as Flesh And Bone, Summer and Sticks And Stones kept the buzz going for the entire night.
The band were tight, Mitchell’s vocals were as unique, exuberant and meaningful as ever and despite their debut album ANThology being 15 years old this didn’t once seem like a cash in, the band really looked like they had found a new enthusiasm for playing these numbers.
Mitchell worked hard to engage the crowd, throwing out comments about such things as the joy in the fact he got to Skype his kids, the confession he needs to apologise to his mum for, and odd Muppet references, all greatly received by the crowd who responded with claps, cheers and bevvie induced woooooo’s! The band don’t take themselves too seriously and are always humble, which are traits not owned by too many bands these days.
Wrapping up the traditional set with the glorious and apt Goodbye, everyone waited with anticipation for what they hoped was coming next. AAF are probably most known, whether they like it or not, for their altrock take on the Michael Jackson classic Smooth Criminal and they didn’t disappoint, delivering a perfect performance.
As soon as they launched into it the whole room seemed to lift off as more and more people flung themselves towards the stage. At times, being in the middle of this crush of bodies, was a slightly frightening experience but it underlined that Alien Ant Farm were simply sensational. If the Arts Club continue to pull in this kind of performance, it’ll fast be the place to get your live music fix in Liverpool.
Pictures by Getintothis Peter Goodbody