The Amity Affliction taught the Masquerade a valuable lesson – anticipation makes pleasure more intense. An anxious crowd bit their nails and peered around the venue in suspense as the night grew old. Those scrolling through Twitter found lead vocalist Ahren Stringer tweeting about his beloved Baltimore Orioles, presumably backstage, and read the lighthearted tweets in wonderment. Anticipation swelled inside the venue and while the audience focused their attention elsewhere, the overhead lights began to slowly dim.
The Masquerade grew dark and white smoke hovered inches above the stage. Riotous cheers of “Amity, Amity” erupted within the venue and a loud clang of a bell rang out. Suddenly, the Australia natives rounded the corner and broke into the spotlight. Unclean vocalist Joel Birch bowed and buried his microphone between his jaws as he broke the applause with the heavy lyrics “I bring the weather with me!”
The Amity Affliction’s highly anticipated performance commenced with the first single from the band’s fifth studio album, This Could Be Heartbreak, “I Bring The Weather With Me.” The crowd immediately broke from their standstill and bounced with the beat. Vibrant white spotlights flashed as Joel and Ahren traded verses while the first crowd surfers began to climb atop their peers. Fans fed off The Amity Affliction’s energy and Joel fueled the crowd’s involvement with his enticing statement.
Let me see you boogie!
The Aussie’s audience responded with the creation of a large circle pit, front and center, as Joel requested. The Amity Affliction dove into tracks from This Could Be Heartbreak, in addition to their most heavy hitting songs from their fourth record, Let The Ocean Take Me. The transition between the two allowed Ahren’s sweet vocals to soar on the latter songs while Joel’s emotional screams spearheaded the quintet’s pre-2016 songs.
Midway through the set, The Amity Affliction paused to offer their crowd a few wise words – “Tell everyone that you love them, everyday” – before breaking into their most recent single “All Fucked Up.” The Masquerade sang the revealing song word-for-word with the vocalists and embraced the lyrics.
The Amity Affliction restored their 100 miles per hour, up-tempo vibe with “Death’s Hand,” “Some Friends” and “Shine On.” Guitarists Ryan Burt and Kyle Yocum traded stage positions periodically while Ahren soaked up the moment, bouncing from left to right, all while showing off his dab. Joel joined in on the amusement, jumping in the crowd-surfer’s iPhone video frame as they flowed over the barricade.
The crowd’s deafening applause shook the venue’s walls that surely struggled to keep the joy inside. Chants of “Amity, Amity” broke once again as the musicians strolled back stage for a moment, only to return with three additional tracks. As expected, “Pittsburgh,” “Don’t Lean On Me” and “This Could Be Heartbreak” capped off a night and set that was far from heartbreak.