A week ago, I travelled down to London for the night to see my favourite band of all time, AFI, who were supporting Deftones at Alexandra Palace. It’s been 7 years since AFI were over here last, when they did a headline tour, so I’ve been impatiently waiting for another chance to see them – needless to say, as soon as they got announced for this support slot, I told one of my best friends Vicky about it and she managed to grab us tickets to the London show (Manchester would probably have been easier for me to get to now I live in Yorkshire, but it was already sold out, plus I didn’t mind travelling to London for AFI!) We also booked into a hotel for the night, so we wouldn’t have to rush back and risk missing the last trains.
We met up at Kings Cross, as we both needed to come through there anyway, then made our way to the hotel – I really needed a break before we headed to the venue, as I’d left my house at around 9am to get into London for 2pm, when we could check into the hotel. One of the first things we noticed about the hotel is that it was pretty much right next to our tube station – which is always helpful, as we were worried it might be quite hard to find. We also saw there was a McDonalds pretty much next door, which was also good for us, as we didn’t want to pay £10 each for the hotel breakfast!
Our room was really nice, actually – we stayed at a Premier Inn and I don’t know if I’ve ever stayed in one before, but this one was really cool and had a purple light at the top of the double bed – which Vicky kindly let me sleep in, as I currently don’t have a proper bed and have been sleeping on airbeds/a mattress for the past few months (the joys of moving and not immediately having a house to move straight into, haha, but that’s another story for another day!) There was a massive mirror in the bathroom, and another one directly opposite it. We also decided to keep the purple bed light on all night, so we didn’t have to turn on a main light if we had to get up in the night – I ended up waking up a few times and the light was good at helping me get back to sleep, so it was a good call! I’ll include some photos of the room down below, instead of trying to describe it (probably badly).
Neither of us wanted to queue for ages – those days are long gone now, haha – so we just spent some time relaxing in the hotel before we had to get ready, and we also went to grab some food before the show! It didn’t take us long to get ready or to get to the venue in the end, so we still got there slightly earlier than we planned to! The queue was actually moving pretty fast, too, so we got into the venue pretty quickly – neither of us really wanted to buy any merch (although the AFI hoodie was cool and I was pretty tempted by it) so we headed into the main room.
Pretty much as soon as I saw the AFI backdrop, my heart skipped a beat and I started to get excited. The venue opened at 7pm and AFI weren’t on until 8pm, so we wasted some time playing around with snapchat filters and chatted for a while – I hadn’t seen Vicky since January, before I moved, so we had a lot to catch up on! They were also testing the lights before the set started, some of the combinations were so cool!
I didn’t take too many pictures during the set – I don’t want to be one of those people who watches a show through a screen and doesn’t enjoy being there in the moment – but I did snap a couple of (rather blurry) shots where the lighting looked really cool and one during my all time favourite song! I’ll include some pictures below, and also the set list, if anyone’s interested in what they played – Vicky and I were both happy because they played both the songs we wanted them to play!
SET LIST :
Girl's Not Grey
This Celluloid Dream
The Leaving Song Part 2
I Hope You Suffer
The Days Of The Phoenix
Silver and Cold
One thing that did really irritate me about the night, however, were the crowd around us. I get that AFI were the support band, and a lot of people wouldn’t have been there to see them, but it’s also no excuse for people to stand around loudly chatting to each other while the band are playing – fair enough, do that for a bit between songs, but don’t chat the whole way through a song, when the sound in the venue isn’t great anyway! I couldn’t properly hear half the songs because of this, which obviously dampened my enthusiasm a LOT – especially because I’d waited so long to see AFI again, so it was irritating to not be able to hear the set properly because of inconsiderate people!
After the show, we hung around for a while, so I snapped a couple of other photos I kinda liked!
We were also starving by this point, so we googled pizza places near our hotel (I’d mentioned that I’d been craving pizza earlier in the day and it made Vicky want pizza too) and on the way back, we grabbed a pizza each – they also almost accidentally ushered us out before we’d paid for our food! When we’d changed into our pajamas, we ate our pizzas in bed and chatted for a while before we fell asleep.
The next morning, we decided to get up early and grab some breakfast before we left – especially because I had another 5 hour journey ahead of me – so we headed out to get some food and drinks (the pizza left us both really thirsty!) before we left.
Overall, it was an amazing trip – I got to hang out with one of my best friends, seeing my favourite band in one of my favourite cities! It was also nice because when they toured 7 years ago, me and Vicky travelled up to Birmingham to see them and stayed in a hotel, so it was lovely to be able to do that again!