Photos By Jade Falconer
The age of nu metal seems like a distant memory, especially now as we welcome 2016. Despite middle age taking over the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit, era defining nu rock band from sunny San Francisco, Alien Ant Farm, leap into the New Year on a nostalgia driven UK Tour, revisiting their record breaking album, ANThology, which landed them third in the UK charts back in 1991, playing it in its entirety.
While the nu metal pioneers sang about alienation, and cherished ANThology, singer and founding member, Dryden Mitchell, expresses his excitement to begin their most anticipated UK tour with support from The Dirty Youth and InMe, “We waited 15 years to do this.” Even with their success, it was their bouncy cover of Michael Jackson’s hit song Smooth Criminal that took Alien Ant Farm into the charts across the world.
The Dirty Youth, alternative band from Wales, opened the night with passion, despite being welcomed to a sparse crowd, they pulled out all the shots and it was worth it. Welsh quintet are full of potential, as rhythm guitarist, Luke Padfield, totally emerged himself in the music and took full advantage of the fact that this was their first time playing London’s famous venue KOKO. Singer and front lady, Danni Monroe, was totally unfazed, and owned the stage, her strong and similar Christina Aguilera style vocals massively complemented the heaviness of the guitars and nonetheless grabbed the crowd’s attention. The brave five piece, also played a new song, ‘Confident’, which experimented with keyboard samples, showcasing their range of talent. Yet, when performing ‘Alive, singer Danni Monroe, couldn’t help but ask, “London are you feeling so alive?” It was obvious that London peeps were not at all that interested, but still The Dirty Youth, gave it their all and overall was a cracking performance. 7/10
The KOKO was significantly full at this point and buzzing with life. To greet the stage next was alternative metal Essex lads, InMe. There was a noticeably clear fan base as the crowd were responsive and wanted to dance. Dave McPherson lead vocalist, was no stranger to the stage, and only celebrating their 20th anniversary the other day, the stage was the quartet’s second home. There was a huge range of vocals, from high notes to screams, however not enough to open a circle pit. In between breakdowns and super guitar solos, InMe were much heavier than the previous support and again not in the slightest affected by the fact they were playing a now sold out KOKO. The whole band graced the stage, and when announced that they would touch on some old tunes, KOKO came alive, and crowd surfers took to the stage. Vocalist Dave McPherson, mentioned several times how much he and the band missed playing shows and even hinted at a UK tour. Towards the end of the set, InMe thanked the audience ‘for making this so easy’ suggesting that they were nervous coming back. Performance wise InMe were strong, how every live band should be. 8/10
Up next taking the stage by storm was the band everybody was waiting for, support acts or not, the crowd was ready to bounce and relive the 90’s. From the moment the first chord was strummed by guitarist Terry Corso, everybody lost their shit. The crowd belted out killer track Courage, and it was obvious that Alien Ant Farm had everyone in the palm of their hands. Only better with age, it was clear that nu metal lads still had it. Movies was next and you could easily say that KOKO had turned into a portal that sent everybody back into the early 90’s. Vocalist Dryden Mitchell was so stoked to be back in London, as he greeted the crowd, ‘How you doing Las Vegas?’ Everyone in hysterics, the band quickly moved on and continued with their set. Every song was welcomed, between screams, ‘oooohs’ and ‘awwwws’ it was obvious that London had missed the San Francisco nu metal giants. Dedicating crowd favourite, Attitude to his mother, Dryden Mitchell shared the mic with the audience, creating a huge sing a long, Camden High Street could probably hear. Shortly after, Alien Ant Farm, engage in small talk, letting the crowd decide what they should play next, Death Day, performed acoustically went well with the crowd as it slowed things down. Though, curfew was dawning, the crowd still wanted to hear more, chanting, “Play ANThology again.’ Lights switched off and there was only one song left, Smooth Criminal. KOKO roaring with screams, everyone partied as if it was their last day on earth. Alien Ant Farm, haven’t lost their touch and defiantly know how to put on a show. 8/10
Because with no Ants, life’s no picnic.