It is hard to find a better venue in the Nation, or a better crowd, than that of and those at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. Having come down from NYC for a family visit, I was stoked to have the chance to see AFI there once again. It had been 14 years since the first time I saw them at 9:30, when they were with The Explosion and The Bronx. As I looked around I could tell that although the band has drastically evolved, musically and vocally since that tour, the fans have not.

Nothing has changed about the excitement, both on stage and in the crowd at the shows. (Although we have aged, so there was far less crowd surfing than I’ve seen in the past.) With a new album out, AFI (The Blood Album), it was refreshing to be led off with a relative classic, “Strength through Wounding” straight into “This Celluloid Dream.”

They did a good job of scattering the hits in between the new songs and balancing the set to where the newer, more singing, cure-inspired songs didn’t seem too out of place with their former self. As the set rounded out they did a two-song encore, and lucky for me, since I wouldn’t not have gotten it in New York, they did a second encore. The crowd was given a vote between “The Lost Souls” (my vote) and “Morning Star.” “The Lost Souls” won out.

Setlist:

01. Strength Through Wounding
02. This Celluloid Dream
03. Aurelia
04. 17 Crimes
05. Of Greetings and Goodbyes (First Time Played Live)
06. Above the Bridge
07. The Leaving Song Pt. II
08. Greater Than 84
09. This Time Imperfect
10. Now the World
11. Snow Cats
12. Wester
13. The Days of the Phoenix
14. I Hope You Suffer
15. Silver and Cold
16. Girl’s Not Grey
17. Encore:
18. The Face Beneath the Waves
19. Miss Murder
20. Encore 2:
21. The Lost Souls