It’s been a few years since Alexisonfire released their latest full length album, or any other new music for that matter. That was until recently when the single “Familiar Drugs” started making waves on social media, followed by “Complicit” which was released just a couple of weeks ago. Along with the first single also came the announcement of a tour, starting at Alexandra Palace in London, where they were joined by Chastity and Child’s Pose.
Sadly, we were unable to catch Child’s Pose. Their show was scheduled to run from 19:00 to 19:30, but by 19:15 they had already left the stage. At that time there were still quite a few people hanging about outside, trying to get in, or crowding inside around the merchandise stand and bars.
Chastity, the project of the fellow Canadian Brandon Williams was up next with a short delay. It was a show that got some mixed reactions from the crowd. The commentary before and after songs felt a bit too much like filler and was cringy, with some opinions about the UK’s state of politics drawing a bigger reaction than the music itself. It’s moments like these that make me appreciate bands that don’t talk to the audience at all. Sometimes if there is nothing interesting to be said, it’s really best to leave it unsaid. Focusing on the music, at times there were hints of excitement coming through, but they never fully materialised. There was some energy on stage and some good music to be heard, but this was a crowd that was there to see Alexisonfire, and the expected energy levels were much higher.
Half an hour later, the lights go out for a few seconds, and Alexisonfire came erupting on stage. There were no ceremonies or dramatic intros needed for this bunch, their stage presence and music alone were enough to make an entrance. The band were all smiles and genuinely looked happy to be back on stage in London. It didn’t take long for the security staff in the pit to change strategy and line up by the guard rails to receive all the crow-surfers which were steadily coming as beer flew around.
Singer George Pettit has a reputation for ripping his t-shirt to shreds at some point during the first songs, and this time around he didn’t even wait until the end of the first song to do it. There was not a single moment of calm, and even when playing their slowest songs on the setlist there would still be an excited crowd wanting more. Moments for the crowd to sing along were many, and the highlights came, unsurprisingly, with “This Could Be Anywhere In The World” as well as “Young Cardinals”, where the crowd also clapped to the beat of the drums in the bridge section of the song. The whole band was on point and in tip-top shape, tirelessly moving around the stage, and keeping the crowd moving all the way to the very end.
I had wanted to see Alexisonfire live for a while and had very high expectations after all the praise I heard for their live performance. I was not disappointed, in fact, they actually exceeded my expectations, and those of others, with some people posting on social media that this was the best show of their lives ever. The “The Only Band Ever” moniker might seem exaggerated, but on that night it was truly well deserved.
Photos by Luis Rodrigues
- Pulmonary Archery
- Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints
- Boiled Frogs
- Side Walk When She Walks
- Rough Hands
- Old Crows
- Waterwings (and Other Poolside Fashion Faux Pas)
- We Are the Sound
- To a Friend
- The Northern
- Familiar Drugs
- .44 Caliber Love Letter
- This Could Be Anywhere in the World
- Dog’s Blood
- Little Girls Pointing and Laughing
- Young Cardinals
- Happiness by the Kilowatt
Child’s Pose: bandcamp