30 Years of AFI
We all form one dark flameSUBMIT YOUR MEMORY
Meet and greet with your favourites
Meeting your favourite band or celebrity doesn’t always work out the way you imagine it in your head.
Meeting AFI did.
They were humble and chatty and genuinely interacted with the small group of us who won a meet and greet at their September 2017 show in Eatons Hill in Brisbane. The memory is one I’ll cherish forever.
They then went on to play a killer show turning my husband, who came with me, from someone who knew a few songs because his wife always had them on to fully impressed, those guys have got the complete package fan.
Here’s to another 30 years.
I was late to this party. I honestly didn’t think I was young enough or cool enough to belong at an AFI concert when I bought tickets to see them for the first time back in 2009. I am so glad I didn’t let self-doubt stop me. From that night on, I have been to as many AFI shows as possible. My home is on that rail, screaming along with my AFI family. I’m going to love the guys forever for the music and for creating a place I belong.
I’ve unfortunately never had the chance to come see AFI 🙁 but I’ll never forget sitting at my friends house one Sat morning, watching MTV and Girls Not Grey came on. I said, “man i really like this.” And that same wkend,I got my mom to take me to get CDs. I was 15. I’m 30 now and still a huge fan. Someday I WILL come rock out!
2 Generations of AFI
When I first heard of AFI through the Offspring, I searched local record stores in an attempt to purchase their albums but to no avail. I mentioned it in passing and my uncle said “Well I have AFI CDs, in fact, I met them”. Next time I saw him, he handed me ATASF and VPOY. The rest is history.
An evening in Providence
Over the past decade and a half, I’ve been lucky enough to meet the band several times. Each moment was unique and will be remembered – especially the time that Adam showed his incredible generosity and gave the HQ team sets of drumsticks used on AFI (The Blood Album), and let me have the sticks from “Dark Snow”.
But as much as that evening will forever stick in my mind, my absolute favorite moment wasn’t one where I even met the band. It was May 28th, 2010, and 3 of my New England DF friends made the trek to Providence, RI, to see AFI play an outdoor skating rink.
Not only was AFI playing, but so were Violent Soho (another favorite of mine) and an unknown band – at the time – called New Politics. Both support acts were great, but in the end it was the atmosphere of this show that set it apart.
AFI absolutely killed it that night. As the springtime heat faded into a cool, damp evening, the band tore through a set that included the first time I got to see “I Am Trying Very Hard To Be Here” and the last time I saw them play “Death of Seasons”. Something about experiencing that song out in the open was truly amazing.
It was also my first time seeing any major show outside rather than in a stuffy venue, and 11 years later is still one of my favorite shows of all time. I doubt it will ever leave my top 3. That is one show I could relive over and over and never get bored of.
Keylime pie, a cat in boots, and a creature only Davey could design
I’ve traveled to so many cities thanks to your concerts. I’ve made so many friends thanks to the DF boards. I was able to survive thanks to your music. The impact of AFI on my life is indescribable.
I jokingly asked if you’d draw something instead of an autograph… you surpassed my expectations.
21 years of eternal gratitude
I can vividly remember buying The Art of Drowning as a freshman in college in 2000. Older friends of mine had made me aware of AFI, but until then I hadn’t really gotten into them. That album just blew me away, and still does. The combination of aggression and melody was like nothing I had heard before then. I immediately bought all of the older albums, and have been with you guys throughout your progression since. My half-sleeve of AOD and All Hallow’s artwork is a constant reminder of how influential your music has been for me over the last two decades. Here’s to another 30 boys! And come back to Buffalo!
My 2010 college admissions essay about my love for AFI
First heard AFI in elementary school in 2001, started following them in middle school, continued to be a fan in high school, wrote my college admissions essay about AFI in 2010, and now in 2021 AFI continues to inspire me in graduate school as I finish my PhD.
… But Your Fire Makes It All Worthwhile
You guys are such role models who have taught so much about integrity & have been the brightest light in my darkest moments for 15+ years…I can’t thank all 4 of you enough for that. ❤️🔥 I have too many memories for one post: my first show in ’06, ’09 Scranton signing, meeting Jade and Davey at/backstage after ‘American Idiot!!’, watching side stage in ’13 & the recent short film+Q&A are only some of the highlights. I can’t even try to count the many, many times you’ve saved me in these 15+ years – I can never thank you enough. You bring me so much inspiration & have greatly impacted my life. Your ethos taught me so much & your music inspires me everyday. It’s been 30 years, 11 records, but Bodies is likely my favorite; every single track slaps.
The art of drowning
I’ve called a lot of bands favorites over the years. But none hold a place in my heart like AFI. My high school sweetheart bought tickets for us to see them in Pittsburgh around 2002-2003. Show opened with the lost souls. Davey running and jumping into the crowd while he sang the opening verse. From that point I was hooked.
I would bore you with all the memories since and all the songs you’ve made that meant so much to me.
So I’ll just close with this. Davey, you’re the coolest damn frontman I’ve ever seen. 30 years and youve never lost a step. Freddie Mercury would surely have you down as one of his favorites if he was still with us I’m sure.
Saved from the darkness
My teens where a hard and dark time for me, I always struggled with depression and dysphoria. I always found meaning and purpose through music. AFI was always on my playlist from the early punk to the newer EMO music. After all these years i will finally see them live next year! Love all you do!
My Long-Awaited AFI Tattoo
After years of mulling AFI tattoo ideas over in my head, I finally landed on this design. I wanted something a little more feminine than the traditional artwork. It combines the artwork of my favorite albums, The Art of Drowning and Decemberunderground. I hope y’all love it as much as I do!
Meeting Adam at a Vegan Food Truck
After a show at Stubb’s in Austin, we went around the corner to grab some vegan food. Aren’t I lucky that the boys are vegan?! My friend past me walking and subtly said, “Kelly, don’t freak out, but Adam is behind us.” So naturally, I turned around and freaked out. We invited him to sit and chat with us while we waited for our food, and he did. We talked about their tour, music, movies, and specifically Childish Gambino. Hands down one of the best nights of my life!
Every weekend in highschool we’d get together at a friends house, the whole block. Kids would skate, we’d blast music, & just hang. So many laughs, just being kids.That was the 1st time i got introduced to your music. I always felt so free & careless listening to your music there. Home life was stressful, & I never felt like I fit in there or at school being, one of a couple Hispanic students in the whole school. When we were there rockin out on those weekends.. We all fit in. Didn’t matter how crappy our home lives were, how good we were doing in school, if we had money. We fit in, we belonged. We all related and united under something we loved your music. I really hold on to that. That feeling, of just being free…belonging no matter what situation arises even as I grow older. So thank you for that. Much love❤️
Half my life with AFI
When I was 14 I was introduced to AFI by a friend. The moment I heard AFI I fell in love instantly. The first album I ever owed was art of drowning, this album got me through many tough times and still remains an album I always turn too. Sing the sorrow is another iconic album which is the sound track of my life. Every album AFI have released I have connected with
I’ve been to every AFI show in Sydney since 2005. Headlining and festival shows. I had the privilege of interviewing Davey and Jade on triple J (aus radio station) in 2014 for the Burials tour.
I am now 31 and I can still say AFI are my favourite band of all time. Thank you for the countless memories and authentic music you bring into the world.
The Best Birthday
I thought my 25th birthday would be my last. To my surprise, it turned out to be my very best. After the concert, for the very first time, I got to meet AFI. I teared up in front of Davey and was able to explain that it was a very special day for me. He wished me a happy birthday and even complimented my makeup. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to end my night.
I served in the US Army from September 2002 until January 2009. Decemberunderground was released in the middle of my first deployment to Iraq.
I had already been a fan for years and eagerly watched the Mystery unfold during my brief periods of Internet access, but I wasn’t able to participate directly.
However, my close friends and family all knew that I was an AFI fan and reacted accordingly – by sending AFI-themed care packages.
Magazines, picture discs, concert merch, fan art… pretty much any piece of DU shwag that could fit in a flat rate box found its way to Baghdad that summer.
I’m on the Autism spectrum, so my behavior is a bit unusual and I have trouble interpreting social cues. As such, I’ve always felt isolated from the rest of society – a feeling that was magnified exponentially when I went overseas and was cut off from all the weirdos who actually liked me. AFI’s music and the kindness demonstrated by both friends and strangers helped to make that year a little less bleak.
The photo you see here is a copy of Decemberunderground that a friend got signed for me when she went backstage at BFD. I kept it by my bunk throughout both of my deployments as a reminder that someone cared enough about me to schlep backstage and get that thing signed.
Awkward Angsty Teen Years
December Underground came out when I was 16. My then boyfriend sent me Prelude 12/21 via IM, which took hours to download via dial-up. I had to sneak to listen to it (strict parents), then later skipped school to go to FYE one town over to buy the CD, which I had to hide between layers of Mercy Me & Vivaldi. This album was my constant through my angsty, awkward teen years, and remains an album I enjoy revisiting as an adult. (I had to buy a new copy as I wore the old one out.)
AFI through the years
I’ve been going to AFI shows since 1999. I was friends with a few bands that toured with them throughout the years. One time they asked if I could drive their gear up to Fresno for a show, obviously I did. The show was at an old elks lodge. Since Davey is vegan it was quite an interesting show with animal heads all over the room.
The First Show
My first concert was AFI (2010) and it couldn’t have been more surreal. Before the show, I snuck away for Adam’s autograph(Very patient and kind!) and later, had an angelic Davey in my arms as he leaned over me to sing. The energy there was a spiritual one, where everyone felt like very old friends.
Through our bleeding, we are one
I haven’t met or seen the band live (yet, hopefully this will change very soon!) but over the last 15 years, whether I’ve been happy, sad, tired, anxious or just want to appreciate good music, AFI has always been there for me. Many memories are tied to your songs for me. Your music have left an indelible mark on my soul (and skin!) and I’ll be forever grateful for you and everything you’ve done and still do for us. Happy 30 years, here’s to another 30!
Sing the Sorrow – the most memorable
My first AFI album was Black Sails in the Sunset. However, I was listening to it after AOD was released and right before STS was being released. I remember listening to BSITS right before chemistry class. I was so proud that I blasted the stereo high enough so that passengers could hear it. In April, 2003, I went to AFI’s STS tour at the Rialto in Tucson, AZ. I was dressed in this fairy/rockabilly shirt, a short skirt and these glasses that I had just got. I put my hair in spikes and a bandana. When AFI got on stage, I screamed so loud that others gave me scared looks.I remember Davey had just crowd surfed and apparently someone groped him because he said: “Don’t grab my balls. It really hurts!” The next show I went to was KFMA day at the rodeo grounds. I squinted at Davey because the sun was in my eyes. Davey had costume make-up on, like a ghoul. I missed the next concert because I was in the hospital. I went to the Burials show next, in Tempe with my sister. I missed my fav song, Ever and a Day because I was smoking outside – what a bummer. That was the last AFI show I’d seen. I already have tickets for Bodies. I’ve been to one Blaqk Audio concert, Only the Things we Love. It was so fun!
Love Like Winter
I vividly remember my first encounter w your music – I was watching jtv (mtv for australia) and had gone to the freezer to get an ice cream when I heard the opening bars of love like winter and I turned back to the tv and just stood there, mouth open, while the fridge beeped at me to shut the door. 13yo me had never seen or heard anything so beautiful. Ever since then your music (including blaqk audio) has always been there for me, most recently when I was hospitalised for over a year for various reasons. Anyway thank you, I love you guys and your music and always will x
When I met AFI for the first time after 15 years
Being an AFI fan in Italy it’s not easy. I’m a fan since 2003 and saw them live in Milan the 5/5/07. Incredible thing is that the 5/5/17 I met them in London winning a M&G thanks to Afi HQ. Best day of my whole life (and they signed my arm so I could ink their names too)!
In 2017, I flew to Toronto for the Blood tour. I had been a DF member since 2007, but I had not yet had the opportunity to see AFI headlining. Watching my favourite band perform a headlining show from the front row made it well worth the wait, and I hope to see AFI the next time they come to Canada.
My sister saw Jade and Davey eating somewhere in Berkeley
Whether it was outright hardcore influence or blindly buying records because any of them were wearing a shirt, or any of them happened to namedrop some band in an interview, my entire pop music taste draws from this band! I remember blasting Skid Row much to my parents’ chagrin, all because Davey mentioned Sebastian Bach in a Nardwuar interview.
Late 90s-early 00s is the era I was most into, just found out this past Halloween that an older coworker of mine was a fan when I wore my Fall Children shirt to work. He told me a story about how he almost saw you guys. His pal had two tickets to some show in LA after The Art of Drowning dropped. The friend was extra dumb and drove them out to the place a week earlier than the concert. They drove up into an empty parking lot wondering what was going on lol.
The new wreckord is slapping tho
Warped Tour 2003 – Davey
Awkward 17 year old me had been hanging out with Scruffy from the Dropkick Murphies all day. After this photo I asked Davey if he had seen Scruffy so I could talk with him more but I was scared to ask anything of Davey (teenagers are fucking weird) so I mumbled and had to ask him 3 times before he heard me. I’m sure I was beet red by the time he understood me.
How I knew it was okay
When I was in middle school when I found AFI. I would secretly listen on my mp3 player when my parents weren’t home or asleep. I finally was able to watch a music video and seeing Davey have eye makeup made me so happy. It was the first time I saw a person not designated woman at birth wear it and it made feel like it was okay. Thank you so much.
So my memory goes not too far back in my life but I remember I was 14 years old. I had spent a weekend at my best friends house who I had been like sisters with since 2nd grade lol. How time flies… anyway, I was hanging out with her and got bored and wanted to hear some music. Then she showed me her CD collection it ranged from yall (AFI) to many other bands like The Used, Shinedown, My Chemical Romance, Simple Plan and many other bands but something about yalls album cover that just intrigued me it just caught my eye and from then I found Miss Murder, Love Like Winter and those became like anthems for most of my days as a teen haha and then anything else yall had put out needless to say I had started my own CD Collection and had to have anything yall put out or any other great bands but the December Undergroud record started it all for me as a rock music fan so also in this memory I wanna say Thank You for being a huge part in myself finding my love and heart for Rock music 🤘🤘🤘
I was told a story of crushed velvet, candle wax, and dried up flowers
I was a senior in high school and never expected to be allowed to make the almost 200 mile journey to a tiny, 300 person venue to see a band I absolutely loved. Imagine the shock when I was given the green light…I was going to see AFI! My friend and I jumped in his tiny car, singing along with Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Cure, Siouxsie & the Banshee, and, for course, AFI the whole way. I remember trembling as we moved into the venue and pushed our ways up to the front. The opening bands were great and entertained us with originals and covers of songs like White Wedding, but my focus was on the main event. They stepped onto this tiny stage with such an energy, it was breathtaking. The chanting began…”Through our bleeding, we are one!” Unifying. Beautiful. Enchanting. Needless to say, I was captivated from the moment they stepped onstage. The teaser came and they left the stage, only to be provoked to return and play a few more for an enthralled crowd. That evening, I was told a story of crushed velvet, candle wax, and dried up flowers that I will never forget.
Warped Tour 2006!
My first time hearing anything by AFI was at Warped Tour 2006, in Houston, TX. A couple of friends from out of town let me tag along with them to Warped Tour in exchange for letting them crash at my house. From the moment y’all hit the stage, I absolutely fell in love with your music and have been a fan ever since.
Miss murder destroyed the old me
Like any other day I went over my friends house and he was like “hey check out this song” and he played the music video for miss murder! From the beginning till the end many moments created goosebumps it was so inspiring and amazing. So inspiring that from that day on I decided to be my one true self as extreme and intense inward and outward. My fashion my love.
I was at the premier/listening party for December underground in Toronto on 06/06/06 and then you came on stage and played a short set 🖤🤍 there were rumour you would be playing. It was confirmed when I saw techs setting up the stage. Best freebee show ever. Just one of my many AFI memories. The picture is from years before during a radio interview at theEdge
I bought this album having never heard a single AFI song!
I was on vacation and watching the VMAs when I saw AFI accept an award. Davey said something in his speech to the effect of, “it doesn’t matter who buys my album, I can be as fabulous as I want to be.” That was the exact energy I needed in my life right then. I stopped at Best Buy the next day to find out and have loved it ever since.
Summers and shudders
I’ve been a huge AFI fan for forever but the summer that December underground came out I was a freshman in high school. My best friend bought the album and we listened to it on repeat ALL summer. The first listen through that album I’ll never forget, we were laying on her bed encapsulated by this amazing album and I knew my whole life was going to change. The next morning was my first day at band camp. The entire week of band camp I had to listen to summer shudder every single day over and over. It reminds me of her and my freshman week at band camp to this day. She lost her life to an overdose in 2020. Under the summer rain, I burned away. Under the summer rain, you turned away.
From MySpace daze
My handle on MySpace, tumble, livejournal, and deviant art was always some variation of “Before I Was Born” because of my much I loved “Love Like Winter”. The line “I met my love before I was born/ He bit my lip, and drank my war/ From years before”. Thanks for all the music y’all have given us!