Anti Flag have built up quite a following across this mighty land of ours, and much to the delight of W.A. fans, included a visit to Perth’s Amplifier Bar. For a Sunday there was a good turn out. Scott Reynolds had the task of supporting Anti Flag at all their Australian shows and he and local band The Decline, ripped through their sets and warmed up the appreciative and receptive crowd.
It seems like it’s the ‘thing’ these days to perform an album in full, and this is no bad move when you consider the album of choice for this particular evening was For Blood and Empire. This L.P. is ten years old, but still contemporary in terms of lyrics. Whether this fact is a good or bad thing is down to the individual, but it certainly allowed for a sense of authenticity as punters sang and moshed along.
‘The Press Corpse’, ‘War Sucks, Let’s Party!’, ‘1 Trillion Dollar$’, and ‘This is the End (For You My Friend)’ continue to astound with their astute, politically inflammatory words, whilst being the product of Anti Flag’s first foray into the big league. Somehow they manage to mix the music’s production by a big corporation with their anti-corporation stance – sometimes you’ve just ‘gotta’ mix it with the power brokers to get your work out there.
You know that when you see this band, you’re in for something beyond the ordinary. Anti Flag have toured here a number of times, and each show has been an absolute pearler. To mix things up somewhat, Justin Sane (vocals) took on the task of singing ‘Welcome to 1984’ solo. Anyone who knew that text would have developed an acute sense of paranoia right about then. Sane followed up with a solo rendition of ‘Spaz’s House Destruction Party’ to ‘lighten’ the mood. As always, each band member supported Sane’s vocals with a musically tight performance. Chris Barker (bass guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals), Chris Head (bass guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals) and Pat Thetic (drums percussion) have been performing with Sane and Anti Flag for so long now that they could play most of the numbers in their sleep, but they are way too professional to be complacent.
Perhaps the highlights of the night were hearing ‘Drink Drank Punk’ performed in all its live glory, and the punters singing along to the last song of the evening ‘Power to the Peaceful’
There’s a lot in the world to make us feel desolate, but while Anti Flag, and bands like Anti Flag sing their songs and profess that peace and breaking down barriers is the way, we know that the proletariat still have a voice. A brilliant show as always.
Written by Wayne Harper