About 5 minutes into the AJJ show last night, after “The Michael Jordan Of Drunk Driving” and halfway through “Gift Of The Magi 2: Return Of The Magi,” a fight broke out right in front of the stage. Sean Bonnette stopped the band and asked those involved what the deal was. As usual with fights at shows it was over something dumb and the band told them they’d have to go to the back of the venue if they wanted to watch the rest of the show. It was the first of many times AJJ would call for some kind of order while the audience jumped and screamed and moshed their way into one another. It wasn’t a mad kind of scolding, but I kept waiting to hear “We aren’t upset we’re just disappointed.”
As with all AJJ shows I’ve been to (4), there are those that want to get rowdy up closer to the stage and those, like me, that hang toward the back. I still got run into a few times during “American Tune,” but for the most part people were respectful.
While their can be some tension in the air with all the bodies knocking around, I still prefer a crowd like these to a show where the disconnect between players and spectators makes it hard to watch. People weren’t playing on their phones or talking loudly to each other-everyone was paying attention and enjoying the music.
AJJ just put out The Bible 2, which is a very good album. It’s in my top 25 of the year so far and should have no problem maintaining their slot. The songs take on even more urgency live, where the band plays everything a little faster. “The Brain Is A Human Body” felt much more alive than it does on the record.
This was an early show, which was kind of weird. AJJ went on at 7 and played for an hour and a half. By the end the room was so hot I was running for the exit just to cool off a bit. All that sweaty skin rubbing together up front must have been scorching when the final note was played. With the night over by 9, it was a tough choice between going out for drinks or just going home to bed. AJJ shows are exhausting.