I had waited a whole eighteen years to see Alien Ant Farm and tonight that 12-year old inside me who overplayed their debut album Anthology to death was jumping for joy.
As I made my way up the stairs inside Glasgow’s Garage, opening band Local H had just started and sounded brilliant. I was pleasantly surprised walking in to see just two people on stage in the form of a drummer and lead guitarist/vocalist. A member of the crowd shouted “Where’s your bassist?” to which one of them jokingly replied “I killed him”. They had a sound which was very befitting of a show inside an arena and will no doubt gain many fans along the way as they play this tour. It was like Motörhead meets Rise Against and the sound was perfect for the crowd that gathered for tonight’s rock show.
SOiL then walked onstage to the tune of “Wild Thing” and tore the roof off the venue as they blasted through tracks to a large crowd which included many fans. I have never witnessed a band be so appreciative of those in the audience and those who have been fans for a long time. Continually thanking them for all their support and showing how much it meant to them that people were taking time out of their lives to spend this cold, wet and windy night with them.
Ryan McCombs also commented on the fact he didn’t get any haggis for his dinner which greatly “un-amused” him. As they blasted through a set that absolutely defined what a rock and roll show is all about (and included an epic rendition of “Black Betty”), they finished off with well-known “Halo” in which lead singer Ryan McCombs joined the crowd for the entirety of the song much to the delight of the audience.
Next up was tonight’s headliners Alien Ant Farm who kicked things off with the lesser known “Bad Morning” and “Forgive & Forget” before playing the absolute classic “Movies” which was lapped up by the crowd who began to crowd surf and didn’t stop for the rest of the evening. It’s possible by the end I may have been the only one who didn’t do it!
AAF played a mixture from their albums (yes there are more songs than just “Movies” and “Smooth Criminal”) but predominantly from debut record Anthology. “Attitude” was dedicated to Dryden’s Mum and Chester Bennington (who often spoke of it being his favourite song by them) before they played the very catchy “Glow” which I find is an extremely underrated track. Alien Ant Farm as a band are underrated though and I feel their “Smooth Criminal” cover was the best and worst thing to happen to them. Sure, they rose in popularity and it gave them fame, but at what cost? They’ll forever be known mostly as the band who covered Michael Jackson and it overshadows so many other brilliant songs they have produced since.
It’s that cover which finished the night off and as you can imagine the crowd went nuts. We’ll never truly know if Annie is okay but with the enthusiasm shown that keeps Alien Ant Farm going after all these years, their attitude is always welcome.
Photos by Jack Barker