Tiger Army and AFI – two of the East Bay's greatest – share a camaraderie and brotherly love, but that's expected given the approximate 15-year history between the two. Tiger Army singer/guitarist Nick 13 grew up and attended school with three of the four AFI members in Ukiah, CA. Tiger Army even borrowed AFI drummer Adam Carson for a number of local gigs, and Havok screamed his heart out for “True Romance” on Tiger Army's self-titled debut.
It seemed, Nick 13 was holding back on his vocals as he sang in a low voice, demonstrating an undeniable display of modesty. Perhaps, it was partly due to the shared bill with bigger brothers, and definitely bigger band, AFI.
But all's well that end's well, for in spite of a semi-timid, somewhat-reserved Nick 13, Tiger Army rocked out with its unique blend of punk and rockabilly, ultimately creating what they like to call American Psychobilly music. The band brought a mix of newer material off its latest album, III: Ghost Tigers Rise, and classic cuts including “Incorporeal” and “Never Die,” which kept the pits moving and had the crowd chanting the band's two-word battle cry.
AFI took advantage of the shared Tiger Army/AFI fan base and completely let loose on all the Havok clones and look-alikes. Luckily for every other innocent bystander not pitting or crowd surfing, there was no punks versus psychos tension as normally found at shows like these.
Maybe it was the filming for the DVD or maybe it was, according to Havok, the fact that this has been the band's biggest tour to date, but AFI was on key to the point of near perfection. Kicking the show off with “Prelude 12/21” off of DecemberUnderground, AFI quickly moved into some of the band's more popular hits including “Days of the Phoenix,” from The Art of Drowning , which may have been a bit too early into the set, but sounded amazing nonetheless.
AFI's performance felt a bit like a sermon, as Havok continuously raised his arms to the sky and called for the crowd to participate during the band's easily memorable and infectious choruses, which began to sound much like a gospel choir. Havok himself even appeared to look like Jesus Christ as he stepped into the crowd and walked on the hands of the concertgoers as they carried the slim singer to the middle of the floor.With all the AFI/Tiger Army love going around, the night was perhaps one of the best displays of East Bay hardcore, with two of its most prominent figures representing to their fullest.