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The Rock Show: Storm Surfing: Aiden 666
Posted on Friday, June 30 @ 11:22:41 MDT by roadrash
 Shows06/06/06 ... the day of the beast. Aiden brought the party, complete with a storm straight from Hell. In a blazing performance of biblical proportions, they brought the wrath of their unique style down on the masses at the Mesa Amphitheater and didn't let up until they owned every last soul!

Storm Surfing: Aiden On 666
Story and photos by Janice French

Wil Francis

Aiden is a goth/punk/post-hardcore band that puts on a fantastic theatrical performance and only they could have brought such a strange day with them. I was apprehensive about the journey to the venue because not only was it 06/06/06 (666) but one of the earliest monsoons ever was gathering on the horizon. As I hit the highway the huge black belching beast of a storm swallowed my truck.

The temperature outside registered 112 degrees, visibility dropped to 5 feet, lightening struck all around and high winds created a glowing orange vision of hell as red mud rained down. Determined, I out ran the storm, stopped for gas and got 1.57 in the tank before it overtook the station, blew out the power, filled every nook and cranny with dirt and buried it in an eerie afternoon darkness. Being chased, I surfed in and out of the wake of the tempest for 150 miles and finally emerged at the Mesa Amphitheater fully expecting them to call off the concert. Then like an other-worldly event the threatening black beast groaned and veered off. I had been spit out onto the doorstep of Aiden. 

Like a tornado spawned from the storm Aiden whirled and spun their guitars as Wil Francis, the lead singer performed "Genetic Design For Dying." The slow suicide of hard drug addiction and the seemingly insurmountable wall of wreckage it puts in one's path was brought to light in this intelligent and honest piece. He leaned out to the crowd and in his youthful punky voice sang "Can you design living through hell and back again?/It's the life that's killing you..." Wil stretched out his arm and pointed while waving is hand across the audience and called out "Walk away/WALK AWAY..." Nick Wiggins the bassist ran to the front of the stage and held his guitar in the air while he played then stuck out his tongue and licked the handle. These guys really moved with each member putting on an energetic performance that was fun to watch. People were rocking out as Wil stood on the barricade rail and finished the song to a cheering crowd.

"I thought the apocalypse was coming" Wil said, looking up at the sky. The heavy chugging guitar intro to "Die Romantic" began while Wil wildly swung his microphone in circles. Colored lights were flashing as he stood front and center and finished a chorus "I don't think she'll make it through the night..." Then Nick and Jake Davidson on Drums played a background beat as Wil stopped and addressed the audience "Is everybody hot as fuck?" He discussed this heartfelt piece which was based on a true story about holding a friend as she died in his arms " about loving somebody" he said passionately then launched back into the song. "So take care of what you love..." he roared while banging his head hard and heavy. He jumped down in the pit and worked the screaming crowd as security rushed to hold them at bay. The mosh was in a fury and people were straining to touch him. He brought closure to the piece on stage, holding his right hand in the air with his fingers outspread and sang "...Die romantic/tonight." The people went insane when it was over.

Nick Wiggins

"Who is ready to start destroying shit?" Wil shouted. The guys in the mosh pit looked ready to me...actually they had already started. "I Set My Friends On Fire" assaulted our senses with thunder. Angel Ibarra and Jake Wambold on guitars supplied the back-up vocals and roars to this ferocious song about lies. All hands were raised, beating the air as people screamed "Fuck you..." with the band. The song lulled and an intricate guitar lick played, Wil dropped to his knees bathed in red lights. He stood back up as Angel roared "One more time..." and the two traded verse till Wil leaned forward, reached out to the crowd and finished with the line " more lie."

Nick strapped on a red guitar and stood at the front of the stage then Jake joined him in the hard hitting intro to "World By Storm." Crowd surfing was going on and the mosh churned like a hurricane. Angel and Wil draped their arms around each others necks. They paused to thank security "for catching you mother fuckers" then encouraged the crowd to sing with them and put their arms around each other too.

Wil said "We started coming to these shows when we were 13 or 14, it was the first time I knew I wasn't alone in this fucking world." Then the rabble shouted with him "It's in our heads/It's in our hearts/The world by storm..." He ran madly around the stage, leapt high in the air then jumped down into the pit, walked on top of the barricade rail and out onto the shoulders of the fans. During this the crowd sang in unity with him. Hands reached up and he fell back on them then was passed back up onto the stage where he finished the song. It was a dramatic and moving finish to an incredible performance.

After the concert the sandstorm began to move back in. I looked at my black truck, dirty and streaked from the red mud rain of the monsoon, and remembered the title of Aiden's upcoming release ... Rain In Hell. If this show and this day were a portent for what is to come from this amazing band I can hardly wait to hear it.

It will be another hundred years before there will be another 06/06/06 and by that time all of us will be in the afterworld. I plan to make a big storm.


AngelIbarraAiden2.jpg (113726 bytes) JakeDavisonAiden2.jpg (151731 bytes) JakeWamboldAiden2.jpg (141426 bytes) NickWigginsAiden19.jpg (170398 bytes) WilliamFrancisAiden38.jpg (139320 bytes)
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WilliamFrancisAiden2.jpg (119460 bytes) NickWigginsAiden1.jpg (129328 bytes) JakeDavisonAiden3.jpg (152990 bytes) AngelIbarraAiden3.jpg (148798 bytes) WilliamFrancisAiden21.jpg (155820 bytes)

Mesa Amphitheater
Tuscon, AZ


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