REVIEW: Alien Ant Farm 15 Year ANThology Album Anniversary At The Empire

On Friday October 21 Belfast celebrated with a live performance of the Alien Ant Farm’s AAF Anthology Album 15 years after its original release as part of a current tour in the UK.

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Photo by Liam Kielt

Alien Ant Farm was joined by (hed) p.e., Sumo Cyco; and Kaleido; all bands from the states ranging in various different formations of metal, punk, reggae and rap

I was impressed with the choice of venue and look forward to hearing bands perform here in the future. The decor and stage setting made for a really nostalgic and intimate event and the bands were able to fuse with the crowd throughout their sets, setting a relaxed tone for the event.

The first band to play was Kaleido; a 5 piece metal band from Detroit. The band are quite new in comparison to Alien Ant Farm but the music was catchy and Christina Chriss’ vocals were unreal. She set a brilliant atmosphere for the rest of the night and got the crowd buzzing as soon as the music began.

“We loved every minute and thought it was a great show. We cannot wait to come back and play in Belfast again!” – Kaleido

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Photo by Liam Kielt

Next up was Sumo Cyco and by this stage and the venue was packed. Electric female vocals pierced through the crowd accompanied by fast paced heavy punk music – the room picked up and went mental. Despite never hearing this band before I really liked them, their style was highly energetic and they put on a great show.

“We had a super rad time! For our first time playing Belfast we were honoured to play to a sold out crowd! The Empire Music Hall is a beautiful venue, perfect for getting in the crowd with our stage antics!” – Sumo Cyco

Hed PE came on to play around 10.30, frontman Jared Gomez jumped into the crowd with his mic in hand and walked around greeting everyone while he was performing. I liked their sound straight away; they played punk and metal riffs with hints of reggae and ska and some hip hop vocals over the top for good measure.

AAF’s Dryden, Terry, Mike and new bassist Tim then took the stage and played the Anthology album in its entirety. After all the time that’s passed since first releasing their album in 1995 the standard each song had been played was just as great as the albums initial studio recording.

“Alien Ant Farm were as good as ever, I seen them at download 2016 for the first time. They really rocked the empire and I hope they’ll come back in the future. Hed PE had an unusual style which I never thought I’d like, but I actually do, they were absolutely fantastic,” – Lyndsay Nicole

They closed the show on a high note with “These days” and the well-known cover; “Smooth Criminal”, alongside an excellent and very interactive live performance. All in all, an amazing show!