Alien Ant Farm at Koko
A particularly nostalgic yet electric atmosphere brewed in Camden venue Koko last night as Californian alt-rock hybrids Alien Ant Farm performed their 2001 album ANThology in its entirety to a capacity crowd, celebrating 15 years since the release of what is arguably their most significant record. The American quartet’s era-defining rock sound (juggling nu-metal, alt-rock and pop) would always be well received, and tonight was no exception.
The band played through ANThology from start to finish, opening with Courage as a thunderclap of high-voltage guitars, clamouring drum rhythms and the fiery vocals of Dryden Mitchell conducted the energetic crowd. The big, anthemic hits kept on coming in jet engine velocity including Movies, a track that personifies the turn-of-the-century rock landscape with its indelible chorus melody (closely resembling The Calling), and, despite the muddied acoustics, their relentless energy drove through the night.
To perform material from more than a decade ago was bound to bring about some wistful memories, especially in tracks like Summer and Attitude. With the band’s nu-metal identity left backstage, Summer shone a spotlight on Mitchell’s brooding vocal tone and meaningful lyrics about love and making promises, whereas Attitude held a close place in his mother’s heart as her favourite song. Supported by a mild rock backdrop, the Californian four-piece filled the venue with subtle moments of contemplation, bringing the audience in close harmony with each other.
From their reflective episodes, the quartet wrapped up the night in vibrant fashion with an encore that included the cover of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal – the track that saw Alien Ant Farm explode in popularity. From the moment the song’s recognisable riff was heard, the venue erupted for a final session of euphoria with the crowd and the testosterone-driven ensemble.
Stereotyped by some as a one-hit-wonder, Alien Ant Farm affirmed with this performance that they are a much more ubiquitous name in the journey of rock music. Although they may be associated with a particular generation, their tried-and-tested musical formula proves to have lasting appeal.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information about Alien Ant Farm and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Smooth Criminal here: