Written by Samuel Barker
Aug 03, 2003 at 10:00 PM
ImageBarely over a year ago, the future of Alien Ant Farm was up in the air. Guitarist Terry Corso’s leg was broken, their head of security lay in a coma and vocalist Dryden Mitchell had a broken neck. All of this came from a bus accident that occurred in Spain on the band’s European tour.Now, a year later, the band is almost completely healed and has a new album, truANT, coming out later this month. They\’ve also hit the road to promote the album with Die Trying and Strata opening the sets.

It is safe to say many a fan were waiting to see exactly how Mitchell had recovered from his injuries, which nearly led to paralysis and, of course, what their new album would sound like. One other question floating around was whether the band would have the same silly demeanor they’ve always had after such a sobering experience.

Well, it’s safe to say Alien Ant Farm hasn’t changed too much, and what they did change was for the better.

Not ones to beat around the bush, AAF kicked off their set with a new song, 1000 Days. Surprisingly, kids wasted no time to sit and stare, instead they started flailing about and getting just as wild as they would for any other song the band played.

Bassist Tye Zamora was at the top of his game, prowling the stage with his 6-string bass, keeping the sound tight with drummer Mike Cosgrove. Corso’s riffs stood out and got more complex on the newer tracks like Sarah.

Of course, the set saw quite a few contributions from ANThology, which made the audience go absolutely insane. Sticks and Stones led to an absolute frenzy as Mitchell patrolled the stage reaching out to crowd surfers and letting people in the front row sing into the mic.

A few times during the set Mitchell just threw the microphone into the audience as he toweled off or got water, which led to some humorous audience commentary.

As a chance to play with all the kids who were eagerly awaiting the band’s cover of Micheal Jackson\’s Smooth Criminal, AAF went into Sade’s Smooth Operator playing it true to the original. It was during this song that Mitchell displayed his ability to truly sing, not in the metal sense, but in the soulful sense.

Then, as all the kids got bummed out, AAF kicked into Smooth Criminal and the melee began. People bounced around, screamed out the lyrics and went insane. Mitchell took the opportunity to change up a few of lines here and there, but in the end, the kids in the audience wanted something to go wild for and expend that last bit of energy they had saved up. And the band gave them the right opportunity to do that.

Spent and exhausted, both Alien Ant Farm and the audience called it a night. As everyone walked toward the exit with smiles on their lips, I thought of Mitchell’s last words to the audience, “Thanks for your youthful enthusiasm.”

Opening the set up was Strata, and only Strata, since Die Trying had their van break down.

Strata played some dark rock with haunting vocals that played nicely to the audience eagerly awaiting Alien Ant Farm to take the stage. These guys recently changed their name and have had to rebuild the fan base and this was definitely a great place to start.