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The evening started off calmly, up until a notorious South African band called “Half Price” took to the stage. I was impressed by their skills, because my first impression was that I shouldn’t have any expectations at all. Half Price proved me wrong. The band impressed with enthusiasm, attitude and solid musicality.
In 2016 they became the first South African punk band to sign with an American digital record label, Punk Outlaw Records. Prior to that the band remained independent before that.
You can view a snippet of their performance below:
The second support band that took to the stage at Mercury was Made for Broadway.
Made For Broadway is a four-piece pop, rock, and punk band from Johannesburg, South Africa. The band formed in 2014, released 2 EPs and launched a local tour within the first 10 months. The band self-produced their debut album and created a tour to support it, which took them to California, USA.
I love the band’s energy and songwriting abilities.
You can see the band’s performance below:
By the time AAF was due to perform the excitement from the crowd was palpable. The audience started chanting for the band to start.
The band entered with a bang and launched their set with “Courage” which I find is more aggressive in comparison to the other songs on their “Anthology” album. It is a great song to get the crowd going.
“Sticks and Stones”, “Attitude”, “Whisper” and “Flesh and Bone” were the deeper cuts off of their debut album that they chose to perform. In my opinion those were great set list choices. I love the guitar intro to “Attitude” as it is really unique and instantly recognizable accompanied by structured drumming.
“These Days” was understandably another crowd favourite and AAF didn’t dissapoint with their performance of the song.
I wish I could tell you that I held my composure when the band performed “Movies” quite early on in the set, but I would be lying…
I had to record a second video, because I couldn’t stand still any longer and started jumping way too much, while recording the first one. A total failure, but totally worth it!
Needless to say the band ended their set with “Smooth Criminal”, hearing it live and seeing the crowd’s reaction was incredible. Added to that I think the crowd enjoyed every single song and wasn’t just waiting for the most famous song of all, which makes the entire experience more enjoyable.
Leading up to this concert, I think I was in the same boat as most people when I say that only “Smooth Criminal” came to mind when I heard the name “Alien Ant Farm”. At the time the band was at their peak I wasn’t listening to the rock music genre except for what was in the media at the time. Leading up to the concert I downloaded the band’s debut album and I enjoyed it immensely, although it made me feel like I had missed out on a great part of the punk rock era. This night made me feel like I could at least relive a part of what I had missed.
Shout-out to a friend who made this possible.