ALIEN ANT FARM DELIVER NOSTAGLIC HEADLINE SHOW AT LEEDS' O2 ACADEMY
Local H - hailing from Chicago - were the first band on tonight. Vocalist and guitarist Scott Lucas covers both guitar and bass tones through an extra pick up in his guitar while drummer Ryan Harding supports the blistering riffage with an impressive drum performance that sounds like there is more than one person behind the kit. "Eddie Vedder" was a highlight track from this great band that certainly got the crowd ready and wanting more.
Soil were the next band out on the O2 Academy stage and it was clear to see that a huge part of the audience was here to see them by the amount of Soil hoodies scattered throughout the crowd. Although the crowd were begging to hear "Halo" right from the start, Soil certainly put on a fantastic set with a brilliant cover of "Black Betty" that got the whole crowd joining in and ready for the main act of the night.
Tonight's main act were Alien Ant Farm from Riverside, California. Formed in 1996 they have had a number of big hits including their well known cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal". Tearing through their back catalogue, AAF were playing to a crowd that were desperate for nostalgia: the third song of their set was their massive 2001 single "Movies" and the audience loved every second of it.
Lead singer Dryden Mitchell is a true showman and plays to the crowd. Somehow he manages to make eye contact with everyone and make them feel as though he is just singing to them, strutting across the stage with absolute confidence. A crowd surfer was even invited to join in and sing on stage with the band. Dryden is as much fun to watch on the stage as he always was in the band's often comical music videos and encourages the audience to be a part of the experience and sing along.
A touching moment was felt by all when the band played a small snippet of 'In The End' by Linkin Park during 'Attitude', a real tribute to how Chester Bennington has touched so many people in the music industry. Not one person left the room as the band left the stage for the first time as they KNEW there was more to come. At the end of the encore they of course played "Smooth Criminal", the song the whole audience was waiting for and the perfect way to close this great night of fun and nostalgia from a great band.
ALIEN ANT FARM SETLIST: 02 ACADEMY LEEDS, 11th February 2018
- Bad Morning
- Forgive & Forget
- What I Feel Is Mine
- These Days
- Lord Knows
- Never Meant
- Attitude (with snippet of 'In the End' - Linkin Park)
- Sticks and Stones
- Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson cover)