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.