For most teenagers who grew up in the mid-2000’s, there will probably be no other band as influential as emo post-hardcore stalwarts Funeral For A Friend (FFAF). A band most prominent in that era, the landmark screamo juggernauts have gone on to place their indelible mark on successor lynchpins such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
Despite the shortcomings that plauged promoters before their show, FFAF‘s final show raised serious emotions of nostalgia, passion, and – a whole lotta moshing – for a small, intimate crowd of 450 die-hards at *Scape Ground Theatre last Friday. We take a look back at what we took home from their last and very final performance.
1. We hate goodbyes.
Goodbyes are always difficult, and it was no different with FFAF’s final show. The highly emotional show reached tipping point when vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye raised a two-fingered salute during “History”, with many audience members echoing the gesture back in return. This signalled a bittersweet moment for both band and fans alike, providing a stinging reminder that there will never be a show like this again.
2. Songs by the fans, for the Fans.
FFAF wasted no time in filling the hall with their older and more-recognised tunes, keeping songs from later albums played to a minimum. To echo the sentiments of a disgruntled (and seemingly drunk) audience member – who made his feelings crystal clear by yelling: “We don’t want to hear [you play] your new sh*t!”
3. Near -40-year-olds can sure rock the heck out
Back in 2007, FFAF played a sold-out show at Far East Square at the point where the emo era was at its zenith. Using the same raucous energy employed from seven years ago, FFAF’s boundless energy and antics was a match that burned brightly. We couldn’t even tell that members of the band were fast approaching 40. Rock on, gentlemen.
4. We fell in love with the bassist
In most cases, the bassist is often the most unheralded member of the band. Not in the case of FFAF, where bassist Richard Boucher showed us the way with his nifty finger work – favouring the use of his twin-pronged finger style, a rarity in hardcore music – over the use of a plectrum.
5. Emo – A genre forever in our hearts
For a genre that rose to prominence in the mid 2000’s, this presented a general demographic of hormone-fuelled angst-ridden teenagers back then. Fast forward to 2016, the show was accompanied by the same demographics – this time much older and clad in office wear.
6. FFAF can try a hand in stand-up comedy, post-career.
We’ve got to give mad props to vocalist Davies-Kreye, who solely entertained the audience with his spirit-fuelled, snarky one-liners. A few of his noteworthy lines include, “I will come in and save the day like a Bawse!” and spilling into an impromptu performance of the Bee Gees classic Stayin’ Alive. Classic.
7. Kris Coombs-Roberts makes a pretty good screamer
Taking over unclean vocals position last vacated by ex-drummer Ryan Richards in 2012, the hirsute guitarist filled in with guttural and growled vocals, melding beautifully with vocalist Davies-Kreye higher-end notes.
8. The loudest cheers were saved for last
The last three songs were greeted with the loudest cheers, when the band segued into songs like “Roses for the Dead”, “Juneau” and Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation’s (2003) hit classic “Escape Artists Never Die”. It was at this point where many concertgoers casted aside their inhibitions and engaged in a popular teenage concert-going pastime: The Art of Moshing.
9. 10:45 Amsterdam Conversations
After endearing calls for an encore, FFAF relented magnanimously and as a fan service to Singapore, performed rarely heard single “10:45 Amsterdam Conversations” from debut EP Between Order and Model (2002). It summed up the perfect cycle for a band that had built up their laurels with an extensive discography of seven EPs and seven full-length releases.
10. Thanks for the memories, FFAF.
With the closure of one post-hardcore/emo’s foremost and intrepid bands, FFAF‘s evocative swan song ushers out an era of skinny jeans, side swept fringes, and black apparel. For the most of us, with bands like My Chemical Romance and Underoath put out of the question, the 2010’s seems – to us, like the closure of a beautiful and formidable era. More emo-revival, anyone?
Photos by Aloysius Lim and Alvin Ho for LAMC productions.