Alien Ant Farm – Review – Leeds O2 Academy
Alien Ant Farm – Review
Leeds O2 Academy, February 2018
by Victoria Holdsworth
The O2 had a particularly sentimental, yet still electric atmosphere developing at rapid pace tonight. The whole building buzzed as the final sound checks were completed and we were dazzled by the neon bass strings of Tim Peugh.
Finally Alien Ant Farm took to the stage, kicking off with ‘Bad Morning’ from the 2006 album, Up in the Attic. Dryden Mitchell’s words: “Wiping the sleep from my eyes” bellow out across the sea of bouncing heads, and it’s clear that he was just getting warmed up.
“Simple but brutal”
With arguably the band’s best days behind them and despite the fumbling antics of Mitchell – putting his microphone in his front pocket, pacing around the stage – they are so much better live than on recording and Mitchell’s eyes light up when he sings the songs we love. Now everyone was feeling nostalgic.
Mitchell takes time out to chat with the crowd and wishes everybody a happy birthday. He searches all the faces in front of him, before declaring that we had certainly all grown up.
‘What I Feel is Mine’, sounded outstanding. Its simple but brutal lyrics still cut sharply through the engaging guitar and Mitchell asks if anyone remembers when they crashed the BET awards and deftly plunges into ‘These Days’.
‘Simpatico’ starts with it being played on the lead singer’s phone with the whole band joining in afterwards, which was just pure genius. AAF have a commanding presence which is pretty infectious and you can’t help but nod along, however much you tell yourself you were never a nu-metal fan.
Dryden Mitchell at one point complained about getting old, but there was no evidence of him getting long in the tooth as he relentlessly worked the stage. The band was truly on form tonight, and it was a joy to hear bassist Tim Peugh lay down some massive grooves and Terry Corso lash out some incendiary riffs.
They all performed to an exceptional level, of course saving their best until last. ‘Smooth Criminal’, that exuberant rendition of Michael Jackson’s hit song saw the fans jump up and down with abandon.
Alien Ant Farm more than proved themselves tonight. They came, they rocked… and they rocked hard!