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Anti-Flag / The Nightwatchman / Strike Anywhere

Anti-Flag / The Nightwatchman / Strike Anywhere: live in Cincinnatilive in Cincinnati (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: ZDPZDP
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A crowded room, a great deal of smoking (although the band tried to make it a smoke free show), and loads of "political insight" (ie: Fuck Bush!). Yep, sounds like an Anti-Flag show to me. On this night however, one act would go ahead and steal the show from the headlining AF: Those Virginian des.


A crowded room, a great deal of smoking (although the band tried to make it a smoke free show), and loads of "political insight" (ie: Fuck Bush!).

Yep, sounds like an Anti-Flag show to me. On this night however, one act would go ahead and steal the show from the headlining AF: Those Virginian desperados known as Strike Anywhere

Mike Park hit the stage about half an hour before the show was even scheduled to start, acoustic guitar and DVD projector in hand. He hit the play button on the player, and launched into his set without any sort of introduction. The media presentation drew cheers from the audience, as the screen played a video displaying Park holding up all of the records which he claimed got him through high school, and later his thoughts on Asian Americans in American society and entertainment. All the while, Mike sang through a few of his songs, his voice never wavering. Although his media presentation was insightful, it detracted from the songs themselves, as a great deal of the crowd was paying more attention to Mike Park in the video rather than Mike Park himself. Overall, an enjoyable, albeit short, set.

The A.K.A.s (who are still apparently everywhere) took the stage second. They immediatley started playing "Gotta Get Outta Here" from their debut album White Doves and Smoking Guns. I'd have to say that The A.K.A.s are a band that comes off a lot better live than on record. All of the songs sounded fuller, and rocked harder as a result. The only thing lacking here was the energy of the band themselves. With the exception of lead singer Mike Ski, the rest of The A.K.A.s were quite subdued. A few kids in the audience sang along, but for the most part stayed almost completely still (except for the obligitory "let's start a circle pit" song that seems to plague every band that tours with AF).

Midtown seemed a bit out of place on this tour. They also seemed to be in total denial of the fact that they also had two other CDs besides their recently released Forget What You Know, as the bulk of their set came from that album. These thoughts aside, they managed to put on a somewhat enjoyable show.

Then, in the coup d'etat of the evening, Strike Anywhere stormed the stage and managed to prove to everybody that they should have been the band headlining this tour. Easily the most high-energy band of the night, they played a nice mix of tunes from the two full lengths, opening with "Lights Go Out" and keeping up the momentum until the climactic "To The World". Quite possibly worth the entire ticket price, Strike Anywhere is the band to see on this tour.

Playing on select dates, The Nightwatchman (aka Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine) came on next and played what sounded to me like a series of almost sterotypical protest songs, all delivered in a strangely Johnny Cash-esque voice. A lot of people probably cheered just because of the man's pedigree, but as a musician, his act could use some work. What was entertaining to see though was Morello pulling out some of his RATM stage moves all while playing an acoustic guitar.

Then, after an enternity of a set up time, in which loud screeches of noise came from something on #2's bass setup screwing up, Anti-Flag took the stage after being introduced by an independent filmaker (who's insight for the night could be summed up with the line "Fuck (insert controversial topic here)". "Rank and File" was first, and of course, the crowd lost their shit. Hearing "Captain Anarchy" live for the first time since the first time I saw them was a pleasant surprise, as it also acted as a way for them to lighten up a bit. The show ended with the 1-2-3 punch of "Got The Numbers", "911 For Peace", and "Death Of A Nation".

Then came the encore, that of course being "Die For Your Government" and in a pleasant surprise, Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land", which became a total all-star sing-a-long, with everybody from almost every band up there singing along. A great way to end the show.

Something I have noticed about Anti-Flag in the past year or so, is that they are becoming more and more cartoonish as time goes by. Be it the height of their mohawks, or the more juvenile their onstage banter is becoming. I've always been against our current president, but when I'm looking for people to allign with in the struggle against him, I'd like to hear a bit more insight into the situation than "Fuck Bush!" or "Fuck the War!". I will commend AF for making voter registration a larger priority this time around, but at the same time, I wish they would give the crowd more information, so instead of kids just running around screaming about how much they hate Bush and the war, they'll have more concrete reasons to back up their feelings. How about distributing literature on the other candidates in the election? Or more literature on the issues in this election? Anything could help to make us sound a little less ignorant than bands like AF are sounding now. They should take an example from Mike Park or even Strike Anywhere.

Overall, however, the show was a good time, although the slightly aimless and excessive political banter, plus the apparent lack of energy on a few bands' parts put a slight damper on the experience for me.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (October 17, 2004)

LOL Kirby you fag. Pizza and french fries. Who gives a fuck?

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

"can't wait till anti flag cashes in on their next record and are shown for the tools they actually are...trust me it'll happen"

okay. you're a balloon head. I've been following Anti-Flag since 1996 and they have cashed in more and more on each album and still maintained credibility. The first time I saw them play was in a basement to 75 people. Just because they grew by leaps and bounds to be playing large theaters and clubs by the time you saw them doesn't mean they're going to take the next leap on the next record. You're new to the bandwagon, not an old school fan who has seen more credible days. Jackass.

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

holy shit.. you mega-punks act as if anti-flag are the worst band in fucking history. they arent the best, thats for damn sure, but fuck, whenever you think about bashing them, just make fun of limp bizket. now everybody, keep rolling rolling rolling. thank you los angeles and good night!

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

replace midtown with NMDS and this would have been a much better show.

Anonymous (October 14, 2004)

can't wait till anti flag cashes in on their next record and are shown for the tools they actually are...trust me it'll happen

Anonymous (October 14, 2004)

God... all anyone does here is bitch bitch bitch.

Anonymous (October 14, 2004)

"Die, gonna die, gonna die for your government, die for your country like shit..."

Deep, man...deep. Anti-Flag should really stop touring their pre-pubescent-esque "fuck government" slogans and try reading up for once.

Anonymous (October 14, 2004)

Could someone please kick tom morello in the face or curb him or something? Just get back in RATM. Audioslave is so cliche and boring. And the Nightwatchman? It's the diarreah of Bob Dylan.

princessdanarchy (October 13, 2004)

Hey ZDP, yes that was me. Nice review. It made me regret leaving. It would've been cool as hell to see that cover of this land is your land. Anyways, The D4 show was awesome, despite my losing lots of money on it. did you come?

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

I'm really glad smoking isn't allowed in clubs here.

The sad thing about Anti-Flag is that pretty much everybody basically grew out of them when they hit puberty.
At least they're spreading their message though...

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

The Nightwatchmen, wow literally some of the most terrible shit i have ever heard. Maybe he's doing a personal favor to a friend who asked him to make the most horrible bob dylan esque songs imaginable.
And Antiflag, good job guys, selling out all your views and voting for the least worst. It's a good thing the third party abolitionist party didn't think like you guys in the 1840s and just say let's just vote for 8 lashes instead of 10.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

"Anti-Flag are a bunch of pinko un-American insurgents. The American Nativist Party supports sending them to Gitmo immediately where they will be shown what it's like to not have freedom, liberty, and be surrounded by a bunch of smelly terrorist Ay-rabs."

that, and their music is kind of boring too

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

Anti-Flag are a bunch of pinko un-American insurgents. The American Nativist Party supports sending them to Gitmo immediately where they will be shown what it's like to not have freedom, liberty, and be surrounded by a bunch of smelly terrorist Ay-rabs.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

"Anti-Flag is a very good band. Anyone who has not yet heard of this band should check them out. Very good band that packs a meaningful message. Bravo."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

ZDP (October 13, 2004)

Danarchy - We actually talked after the show was over, I think. Were you the guy out front giving out flyers to the None More Black/D4/Briefs concert? We talked about how I tried to get my band on the bill, but failed.

Kirby - Don't think I was trying to stir up shit with you, I was just pulling your leg.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

Anti-Flag is a very good band. Anyone who has not yet heard of this band should check them out. Very good band that packs a meaningful message. Bravo.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

strike anywhere is amazing. they fucking blow all these other bands away. the akas are good, but fuck anti-flag and midtown.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

Hooray for Strike Anywhere's ability to rock. Boo everything else.

kirbypuckett (October 13, 2004)

ZDP -- I figured I'd just toss my LJ entry in there. It's too in coherent to be a review.

- Kirby

princessdanarchy (October 13, 2004)

I was at this show and Strike Anywhere were sexy. Unfortunately, I missed Mike Park and The AKA's. I walked out halfway through Anti-Flag's set, but I listened to "This Land is your land" from outside. Sounded pretty cool.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

Strike anywhere rule... come back to Australia soon! hahaha

Anonymous (October 12, 2004)

way to not talk about midtown, the best band on the tour. honesly...

ZDP (October 12, 2004)

haha, my review not good enough for you Kirby?

Anonymous (October 12, 2004)

"here's the video of anti-flag and the nightwatchman playing “This Land Is Your Land”.. and my score is for this song alone. its fucking sick..

kirbypuckett (October 12, 2004)

Here's my LJ update on the subject:

With dripped egg stains on the windows and a three brand new unslashed tires the Rock Against Bush tour bus pulled into Pittsburgh's Strip District yesterday for a show at the World. The Punkvoter.com sponosred tour brought together quite a lineup that was sure to please almost anyone at somepoint. Mike Park, The AKAs, Midtown, Strike Anywhere, The Nightwatchmen (Tom Morello solo project), and Anti-Flag. A rather diverse lineup, but all the guys and girls had one goal in mind, to spread the word of ousting George W. Bush from the Oval Office on November 2nd.

Opening the show was an acoustic performance by Mike Park. A big screen television sat on the stage next to Asian Man Record's brainchild as he poured his heart into the microphone. A DVD played a video Mike made of the records that got him through high school and a few other miscellaneous things promoting unity. A few songs off of his solo debute filled the air, while the Chinkees and Skankin' Pickle got their fair share too.

Following Mr. Park were the AKAs. Explosive rock 'n roll with punk rock influence, and the cutest keyboardist in music. I saw them earlier this year and I felt that this performance was superior to that of the one in Erie. Mike Ski packs a lot of energy into his vocals and onstage poise, while the rest of the band provides a powerful musical backdrop.

Midtown took hold of the stage next and were probably the band people were least into. They should be a lot more popular than they are, however I'm sure label problems have plagued them. They played the majority of their new album, essentially matching their Strhessfest performance. The peak of their set was one of the many highlights of the night as Thomas from Strike Anywhere rushed the stage to join the pop-punk quartet in a slaying rendition of a Gorilla Biscuits song. Sorry the title escapes me, but daaaamn I didn't know Midtown could rip like that!

Maintaining the intensity the rest of Strike Anywhere were ready and plowed into a memorable performance. Easily one of the best bands running in punk music right now. They played an enjoyable mixture of songs from their releases, a few were missing like Extinguish to name one, but I won't cry about it too much. The crowd really ignited for the group and even little Vinnie got up on stage to pour his vox into the mic aswell.

We all know who Tom Morello is, ex-Rage Against the Machine and he produced the latest Anti-Flag record, but for the majority of the venue are ears were unfamilar with what the Nightwatchmen had to offer. Once he began to strum his acoustic guitar and caress the mic with his disgtinguishable voice, nearly everyone felt it was a political Johnny Cash -- not the worst music, but not jaw dropping either. His lyrics were good at times, but a little 'eh' at others. His voice however was one that could easily fill a room with much force and we all devoted our ears to his reasoning behind rocking the acoustic guitar against Bush.

It was seemed like an eternity (sans the Warped Tour) Anti-Flag finally returned for a hometown show. No doubt the majority of the soldout building were there to see their favorite punk rock icons do their thing. People will knock AF for what they do, but you can't deny them that they put on one hell of a show, especially a Pittsburgh one. Justin, #2, Chris, and Pat were all right on key tonight as they supported a cause that was meant for a band of this calibur. Dominating their setlist was the majority of The Terror State, while classics like "Got The Numbers," "You Gotta Die For Your Government," and "Fuck the Flag" amongst others trickled in. Pausing halfway through their set was the most emotional part of the evening. A member of Iraq Veterns Against the War took the stage to inform of us of what went on while he was there. He reinforced the points of how his friends and countrymen's lives were lost in a useless cause because the Bush regime is lying about its motivs. He also stressed how many soldiers are not protected well enough because the adiministration refuses to provide enough armor for the people and their equipment. I had no idea such a group even existed and it really hit me, because it essentially proves what we all know. The gemtleman's name (which I forgot) left the stage calling out on Operation Ivy as he bellowed into the mic "We've got to stop this war!"

Capping off the shows events Tom Morellow carried his guitar onstage to join Anti-Flag for a cover of Woody Guthries This Land Is My Land. Easily one of my favorite moments in rock 'n roll as Mike Park and misc. members from all the bands joined the stage to sing the familar folk lyrics.

One hell of a night.

One hell of a cause.

Throughout the night the Pittpunk crew in our own little circle chanted everything from the Mighty Ducks cheer to a sarcastic "Four More Years." We even stirred up an Against Me! singalong! Hanging out and bullshitting with my friends was worth the ticket price alone.

A handful of us all went to the O afterwards and ate pizza 'n french fries like the Yunzers we are.

The end.

- Kirby

Anonymous (October 12, 2004)

here's the video of anti-flag and the nightwatchman playing “This Land Is Your Land”.. and my score is for this song alone. its fucking sick..
http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2004/10/12216.php

Anonymous (October 12, 2004)

midtown is the best band on this tour...and i don't mean that in a good way

Anonymous (October 12, 2004)

Anti Flag is a joke

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