Filing into Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale to see the seminal emo act American Football, you'd be forgiven for not knowing the band's highly influential debut came out nearly 20 years ago.
Before American Football took the stage, though, fans were treated to a rapturous set from the Florida band You Blew It!, whose members
The basic components of emo are all there — diary-
After a short interlude, the members of American Football modestly emerged, guitars in hand. Thunderous cheering ensued, soon giving way to exuberant "ooh"s as the band launched into a familiar standout from its debut, "Stay Home." They played against a backdrop of the art from their 2016 LP, an inside shot of the instantly recognizable house that adorned their debut, this time a cracked door instead of a lit bedroom window. The air of mystique wrapped in the familiar stillness of home is an image that still resonates with the band's wistful yet buoyant sound.
Their newest record is undoubtedly a spiritual successor to the debut but employs a more restrained, adult approach to the structures and lyrical themes that have defined the band. New songs like "My Instincts Are the Enemy" slotted in nicely next to their well-worn '99 material, but the crowd was notably more amped for classic cuts such as "Honestly?" whose extended coda was adorned here with extra lyrics and more guitar-crunching heft.
The set was rife with pretty, tessellating patterns and locked-in, odd-metered timing, the players perfectly synced and seemingly unable to misstep. Comically, some of the loudest howling from the crowd
That the band doesn't take itself incredibly seriously is a welcome respite from lyrics such as "So let's just pretend that everything and anything between you and me was never meant." That gut-wrenching line is from fan favorite "Never Meant," which was wisely reserved to close out the show with ample bombast. After another round of cheers and promises from the band to return soon — "I don't know what took us so long to play here," Kinsella admitted at one point, along with "We're going to come back every month" — the packed venue emptied into the relatively cool night, the crowd itself a reflection of the mirrored anxiety and elation of youth that the bandmates have worked to encapsulate since they were roughly the age of the attendees.
- "Stay Home"
- "The One With the Wurlitzer"
- "My Instincts Are the Enemy"
- "Home Is Where the Haunt Is"
- "You Know I Should Be Leaving Soon"
- "Born to Lose"
- "Give Me the Gun"
- "For Sure"
- "I'll See You When We're Both Not So Emotional"
- "Desire Gets in the Way"
- "Where Are We Now?"
- "The Summer Ends"
- "Never Meant"
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