I Set My Friends On Fire Brings Nostalgia And Energy To Amsterdam


Sure, going to giant shows like Beyonce is amazing but have you ever been to an intimate club show where a band from your past plays through an album that you had on repeat for months on end? There’s something about getting high on the drug that is nostalgia while moshing around with complete strangers that are having the same experience. It’s just something that you can’t get from those giant stadium shows no matter how much the band means to you.

Thursday night’s six band line-up kicked off with local group Nomad. The fact that there were over twenty people at the venue by the time this group kicked off (this was an early show and typically people don’t show up until after dinner and, in the case of old people like myself, a nap) just proves that, although still up and coming on the local scene, Nomad is making waves. Their energetic set was exactly what I needed to snap out of nap mode and get in the mood for a show. Singer Sean Mohnkern had a way of making you want to move and, although the crowd stayed pretty stagnant throughout the quick set, a few people started pushing and shoving a little bit.

Following a quick tear down and set up, local More Weight took over the stage next. More Weight’s sound was definitely less metal and more hardcore than the rest of the night but I loved it. With only a handful of songs played, I’m not sure if they loved it as much as I did. It was obvious that they were out of place and I got the vibe that they knew it and weren’t super stoked about how the modest crowd was just standing there as they blasted through their set. With that being said, their set packed a punch and I was thoroughly impressed with their sound and energy.

I was honestly starting to feel my exhaustion by the time The Motion Mosaic was about ready to start. I knew I was only two bands in and still had four to go but I was so tempted to move towards the back and find a seat like the 29 year old I am now. That’s when The Motion Mosaic kicked into their set. The last of the three local bands, I honestly thought these guys were part of the tour package until I posted a picture online and had a bunch of local kids from the scene telling me that it was about time I caught onto these guys. Their clean and professional heavy sound had me sold and their endless amount of energy had me envious. You can typically tell when the local bands end and a touring package begins based on the excitement level of the audience but that was not the case last night. The audience seemed just as excited for these guys as the rest of the touring acts and, again, their sound– it was just too good for a local band. I say it time and time again with nearly every local band I see but I will say it again- The Motion Mosaic is a band that is already making waves and I truly expect them to make some huge moves in the near future. With a shoutout from one of the touring bands claiming that The Motion Mosaic was the best local band they have played with this entire tour- it’s clear that I’m not alone in my thought process.

First of the three touring acts was Georgia based The Funeral Portrait. I had seen these guys before and didn’t remember much other than the fact that I didn’t like them. Either I was in a super pissy mood the last time I saw them or they have completely changed but I fell head over heels for these guys within their first song. With a sound that felt very Hawthorne Heights before they got overly emotional and a look and theatrical vibe that scream My Chemical Romance circa black eyeliner days, The Funeral Portrait was a perfect blend of nostalgia and newness for me and had my captivated throughout their set. Although each song was clearly different than the last, there were elements in their music and performance that stayed the same throughout creating a truly cohesive show that had me wanting a bit more when it was all said and done.

Annisokay from Germany was up next. I had never heard of these guys prior to seeing them on the line-up for Thursday night’s show but with the way their guitarist apologized to me previously in the night after accidentally kicking a water bottle in my general direction said everything that I needed to know about this band. Their excitement to be touring the United States was clear and the fact the crowd was actually interested in what they were serving up and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it was just the icing on the cake. Annisokay’s music was intense and energetic which matched the mood of the audience perfectly. With some lyrics in German and some in English, I loved the way that these guys brought something new to the metal scene here in the states that seems to get a bit redundant at times. Their music mixed with the obvious sense of humbleness that radiated from the band members created a dynamic set that could have gone on for hours for all I cared.

Closing out the already amazing night of music was the one and only I Set My Friends on Fire. These guys were my jam back in the day and it was hard to believe that last night’s show was part of a tour celebrating ten years since their album “You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter” came out. Although I definitely moved away from the chaotic and intense sound that these guys had me obsessed with, the nostalgia factor in watching them perform last night made it a truly amazing show. Even though it has been ten years since these guys were my everything, it seems as if not much has changed. The members still look young and their sound make chaos seem like a comfort. With screaming, chugging guitars, fast-paced drums and whizzing lights, their headlining set felt much bigger than what it actually was. The crowd wasn’t huge but it was mighty. Although much younger than I had expected, everyone in the crowd was clearly having a great time.

Stadium shows have a wow factor that can leave you speechless and talking about it for days but small club shows with that nostalgia factor give you a feeling that just can’t be put into words. I get the allure of the giant shows but I honestly find my comfort at little shows like last night’s.