We almost missed this one after yesterday's deluge of rock 'n' roll coming attractions: AFI is coming to town, too. The one-time horror punks announced Monday that they'll be hitting RCKTWN on Mar. 12.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I liked AFI enough to buy a couple of their CDs during my misspent punk-rock youth, but they were a different band altogether during the early part of last decade.
From about 1999 to 2002, AFI was little more than a Misfits cover band. By then, they had abandoned their roots in California hardcore punk in favor of filming music videos in graveyards and singing songs about how much they hate sunlight. Singer Davey Havok (née Marchand) even adopted a modern form of Jerry Only's devilock, the crown prince of impractical punk hairdos and the prime culprit for the existence of swoopy emo hair.
Certainly, those two albums--Black Sails in the Sunset and The Art of Drowning, plus the handful of EPs buffering them--are derivative as hell, but there's a place for derivative bands. Those of us who missed the brief window of time when a Danzig-led Misfits roamed the earth needed something contemporary to sink our teeth into, something we could experience live and use as an excuse to knock around similarly dressed strangers. As far as Misfits knock-off bands go, AFI was far from the worst.
These days, however, they're pretty close to the bottom. They shed their horror punk image almost as quickly as they donned it in favor of black guyliner and mallcore jams with titles like "Too Shy to Scream" and "Paper Airplanes (Makeshift Wings)." Good grief.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow at Ticketmaster. Use the password "Love" to get in on the pre-sale. If you miss the pre-sale window, or you're not old enough to have a credit card, the RCKTWN coffee bar will be selling tickets starting Saturday.