P.O.D. and Alien Ant Farm are both bands that exploded in popularity and saw a lot of radio play in the early 00’s, an age when the M in MTV still stood for “music”. You still hear some of their most popular singles playing now and then but no new music, leaving a lot of people thinking they simply had vanished into oblivion… but it turns out both bands have been releasing new music and touring over the years.
This all-American lineup started off with ‘68. When I saw them in London as an opening act for Every Time I Die back in 2016 they became one of my favourite bands to see live. If you’ve never seen them on stage or heard their music before, then you probably don’t expect much knowing it’s only 2 people, but the moment they hit the first note it’s like a gut punch, it hits you hard. They play raw and unfiltered rock music, it’s all about the harsh vocals, heavy riffs and pounding drums. What makes it all work so well is the chemistry between singer and guitarist Josh and drummer Niko. They feed off the energy of each other making it almost feel like they are just jamming and having fun without much of a plan… and it’s just epic.
Alien Ant Farm took the stage with an immediate reaction from the crowd. They played a good mix of the songs we all know and could sing along to as well as lesser known songs that the fans love. They started easy and built up excitement as the show progressed, with the best moments being when they played songs from the album Anthology such as “Movies” and “Wish”. Dryden Mitchell’s voice was on point the whole time, singing every note flawlessly with a little help from the audience on those more memorable choruses.
There were some slightly cringey moments of banter in between the songs, but it’s nothing that fans of the band wouldn’t be expecting. The show ended of course with the one song that made them famous, the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”, with the crowd jumping around and singing every word of it while being coated in confetti.
There were a couple of moments in the evening when homage was paid to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. They were one of the bands that was sharing the top end of the charts with Alien Ant Farm and P.O.D. in the early 00’s and his death shocked many. Just before P.O.D. took the stage, “In The End” by Linkin Park was played and the whole venue sang it in unison. This was a beautiful thing to witness and it’s what concerts are all about.
P.O.D. had a strong start with “Boom” and the message was clear, this was going to be a party. With a recently released album to show off, the band played a few songs that some people might not have been very familiar with, but all the classics were still there. The band showed a lot of energy with singer Sonny Sandoval moving and jumping around from start to finish. The mosh pits started forming early and stayed strong right until the end and in the more popular songs the crowd could be heard singing the choruses loud and proud. The highlights came with the song “Satellite” from the album of the same name as well as, expectedly, the song “Youth Of The Nation” from the same album, seeing the crowd sing along even louder than before.
This was a show that brought back memories for many who were in their teens or early 20’s when these bands were highly popular. While the show might have slightly banked on nostalgia, it was still a great night in its own right and all the bands provided a good time. It was the kind of show that puts a smile on your face.
Photos by Luis Rodrigues
- Rock the Party (Off the Hook)
- Will You
- Panic Attack
- Rockin’ With the Best
- Soundboy Killa
- Always Southern California
- Without Jah, Nothin’
- Youth of the Nation
- Listening for the Silence