By Max Gayler

It’s a double-edged sword when you sell-out a tour where you’re playing a 15 year-old album in full, especially when you’ve just released your first album in nine years. The future for Alien Ant Farm hangs precariously over the depths that have devoured most bands of their kind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reminisce for one more evening listening to songs you used to love.

The offering this evening is nostalgic, but a tad confusing. New and exciting, alternative rock outfit The Dirty Youth initiate the proceedings in the already packed out room. A few numbers into the set and you understand why this band have been put on. It’s a sound much akin to that of InMe and Alien Ant Farm. There’s gritty guitars, exaggerated vocal lines, and angsty lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, this would have been fantastic ten or fifteen years ago, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

InMe suffer the same fate, despite having 20 years of experience up their sleeve. If you can get the image of middle-aged men in slacks and jumpers crab-coring out of your head, they sounded great. Dave’s vocals land like dynamite and that guitar sound on ‘Faster The Chase’ sounds as thick as it used to. A band who’ve fought the test of time and come out of it healthy and sounding just like they used to, InMe were a very welcome surprise.

Alien Ant Farm come on stage to an old recording of some ambiguous and muffled speech. It already feels like 2005, where every band from living rooms to arenas were coming on stage to some sample from the sixties. All the clichés aside, let me remind you that this tour is sold out and the venue has been upgraded, TWICE. ANThology obviously meant a lot to a whole generation and that is very apparent when the band arrives on stage. The guitar line on ‘Courage’ kicks in and everyone loses their minds. From the 154th floor(KOKO has a lot of floors) it’s hypnotising to see how packed out this place is with the crowd swaying in every direction.

The crowd’s voices fill out the venue and the surprise on the band’s face is obvious. After selling out the same venue the year before with a co-headline tour with P.O.D and Hoobastank, I doubt they believed they’d be able to do it on their own, yet here we are, 2,000 people offering their hands and voices in the name of nostalgia.

I’ve been waiting to see ‘Movies’ live since I was ten, so it brings a tear to your eye when hear that first neck slide. Moments like this come up throughout the evening, especially on ‘Summer’ and ‘These Days’ which receive a big response from the very appreciative crowd. Aside from this, you can’t help but feel like something is out of place.

There are certain points where the band look bored and almost void of feeling. The tongue-in-cheek humour that comes with the band can only cover up so much. These songs were written so long ago and now they’re all grown up. Tonight is simply a gift, a token of appreciation, and because of this, the performance felt inauthentic. Transitioning between songs felt like you were listening through the actual recording, as did the songs themselves. Live, it needed something raw, something real, anything to prove that this band is still the same, but maybe that’s the cold, hard truth of it. Nostalgia doesn’t work both ways.