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The Amity Affliction Celebrates 10 Years of ‘Let The Ocean Take Me’ in Chicago

Show Review and Photos by Ari Karnezis

On Wednesday May 29th, The Amity Affliction brought their Let The Ocean Take Me 10-year Anniversary Tour to the Concord Music Hall in Chicago.

Opening for the established metalcore act were Currents and West coast hardcore bands Dying Wish and Mugshot. To the delight of many early birds like myself, the show was an early one, with doors at 4:30 and showtime at 5:30. 


First up was Mugshot from San Jose, California. Signing to Pure Noise Records in May 2023, the band has since toured with the likes of The Acacia Strain, Escuela Grind, and Alphawolf. They have been on the road with The Amity Affliction since December 2023 on the latter's Not Without My Ghosts tour. They provided a warm welcome to the show with their hard-hitting riffs and visceral screams from vocalist Ringo Waterman.


Next was Oregon's Dying Wish. Full disclosure: this band was one of two reasons I felt I needed to cover this tour. The band's stage presence and latest Audiotree performance were what caught my initial attention, and this 30-minute performance was certainly a stand-out part of the night. Vocalist Emma Boster's haunting vocals and unrelenting shrieks cemented both her and the band as an important hardcore act that needs to be followed in the coming years. Perhaps one of their most memorable moments in their setlist was when the band allowed themselves to slow it down (but only just a bit) with the incredible track, “Lost in the Fall,” which could also be heard during the aforementioned Audiotree performance. In short, this band is going to continue to do great things.


Currents, another metalcore band from New England, was next. This would mark my third time (one being their tour with Polaris and the other their headlining tour for their latest record The Death We Seek) seeing and covering this band in a year and a half, and their set has not declined in any way. While the band stuck to their opener setlist – a 30 to 45-minute setlist that seemed like it did not nearly cover the best of their best – their performance of the songs “Better Days,” “The Death We Seek,” and “So Alone” remain prominent and strong ones. Out of their last three Chicago shows, this remains just as memorable as their last. It is nearly impossible to think that the band would ever put on a lackluster show.


And of course, at approximately 8:30 P.M., The Amity Affliction took the stage and launched right into their 2014 record Let the Ocean Take Me.

The band was recently faced with a challenge more than halfway through their tour: bassist Ahren Stringer would be returning home to Australia to deal with his addiction and mental health struggles. (Note: Stringer later commented on the band’s announcement that he did not choose to leave and was booted off the tour for no reason.) At the start of the show, on the rail stands a fan with a large poster proclaiming, “We Fight Together, Not Alone! Shine On, Ahren!!!”

The band treks through all ten tracks of the album, each performance perfectly paying tribute to a powerful album. After “My Father’s Son,” vocalist Joel Birch notes, “I wrote that song shortly before I met my father, and he just celebrated 20 years sober yesterday.” His aside is greeted with an eruption of cheering from the audience.

The album playthrough ends on a hopeful note with “Give It All,” the crowd singing back the lyrics, “I give it all, and when I fall / I get up and give some more / Until there’s nothing left of me / Just some bones stacked on the floor.”

“I wrote most of this album about drinking and addiction… and after it was released, I relapsed and stopped and relapsed again and stopped again and relapsed again and finally stopped, and now I'm 8 years sober… If you're struggling, it is not the fucking end of the day. Keep thriving,” Birch says before continuing with more setlist staples, most notably “Drag the Lake” and “All My Friends Are Dead.” The band would perform an encore and close out the night with “It’s Hell Down Here” and “Soak Me in Bleach.”


With this anniversary show and Let the Ocean Take Me actually turning 10 years old on June 5th, the band has cemented their legacy in advocates for mental health and sobriety and showing (not just telling) that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Revisit Let The Ocean Take Me

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