The Amity Affliction at SWX Bristol - review

The gig had the kind of passion and outpouring of emotions that makes live music worth it and a very communal therapeutic experience

My emo roots fell out years ago and I can only dream of a fringe nowadays - so as I turned up to see Aussie rockers The Amity Affliction, along with the supporting bands, at SWX I was really interested on how it would go.

My last visit to the venue was to see Dean Lewis. This would certainly be a different show - and so it proved, as I turned up to a find a mini-festival vibe with American hardcore punk band See You Space Cowboy on stage.

And soon after finding my usual place (front right), the second support act Gideon hit the stage, yelling at the crowd ’Come on!’ He had them in the palm of his hand and soon split the crowd before they all charged at each other without a second thought or care.

I got the feeling that singer Daniel McWhorter came out of the womb screaming. He can go from a growl to a scream at the flip of a middle finger - and he spoke as loud as he screamed. Too Much Is Never Enough led to a very messy but smiley mosh pit in which the wagon wheel I’d stashed in my pocket got squashed. I was glad my friend said to get there early to see this band, by the end I was fully acclimatised and back in the emo mood.

Next up was metalcore band Fit for a King. I was so glad to be position where I was to be surrounded by fans who were clearly here to see them. The guy over my shoulder gave singer Ryan Kirby some competition. It felt like he could take the stage if things went wrong!

Screaming in tune with a smile on his face when we made eye contact, Kirby shouted ‘Bristol!! Do you like heavy music? Show me!’ Bodies were flying all over the place for Back Breaker with no room to move and nowhere to hide from the circle pit.

All it took was Kirby to twizzle his fingers and he lit the touch paper for a black hoody filled, very sweaty pit. They left us with God on Fire which had a driving drum beat that had me doing a strange marching dance - this was going well.

So with the crowd all riled up and the floor sticky, there was the air of anticipation for The Amity Affliction. They flew through anthems like Drag The Lake then into Shine On, which was a highlight for me and was the side of emo which I’m more familiar with ‘its sink or swim and we’re too strong to give in’.

A gig of passion and outpouring of emotions - The Amity Afflication at SWX (Credit: Giulia Spadafora)

This song had everything for me with the blending of the softer vocals of Joel Birch with the screaming of Ahren Stringer making emo- metal perfection.

At one point, I caught myself thinking ‘where’s the crowd surfers?’ It didn’t take long, 30 seconds I think! I saw a guy fly into a security guards arm like he had jumped off a turnbuckle in WWE! The security looked like very vigilant from this point on!

The band later led into piano lead banger Show Me Your God and by this point crowdsurfers were flying all - all inhibitions seemed to have left the building. Chasing Ghosts was dedicated to all the people who have been there for the band since the beginning.

It was a gig made for crowd-surfing - with security having their hands full (Credit: Giulia Spadafora)

The night’s closer was Soaked In Bleach which has a groove to it after building with a dramatic piano-led introduction before being launched into a heavy distortion which then slows with softer vocals.

This gig was intensely enjoyable. It had the kind of passion and outpouring of emotions that makes live music worth it for me and a very communal therapeutic experience. I forgot how much I like seeing someone scream in my face! I was so excited I almost bought a hat.