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Anti-Flag / Strike Anywhere / Midtown

Anti-Flag / Strike Anywhere / Midtown: live in Washington, D.C.live in Washington, D.C. (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: joegjoeg
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The Rock Against Bush tour came to Washington, D.C. I thought it was a bit ironic considering this was a tour designed to get people out and vote yet much of the fanbase of these bands were probably still in high school. Nevertheless, the small crowd of about 400, which wasn't surprising consideri.


The Rock Against Bush tour came to Washington, D.C. I thought it was a bit ironic considering this was a tour designed to get people out and vote yet much of the fanbase of these bands were probably still in high school. Nevertheless, the small crowd of about 400, which wasn't surprising considering it was a Wednesday night, entered the club Nation and was there to see the rock.

Mike Park was up first and this man needs no introduction. His influence on the "scene" has been undeniable from playing in bands like Skankin Pickle and The Chinkees to running Asian Man Records to setting up the Plea for Peace tours. Some call him the Asian punk rock messiah, some call him a great guy. Tonight, Mike liked to refer to himself as an activist first and a musician second (I'd agree with him on that.) He was playing songs off his latest acoustic record that deals with racism and other life issues. The setup was: Mike, his acoustic guitar and a video monitor next to him. I'd never seen this setup at a show before. While he was playing, the monitor would show a recording of Mike as he wrote down a series of questions on a board. One question was "What records kept you going through high school" and he would start flashing us his vast vinyl record catalog (The Specials, Clash, Devo, Elvis Costello, Sex Pistols being some). Another question posed on video was "Are these your heroes too?" and images of Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr and JFK were shown. Some songs I liked were "From Korea" and "Blue Marble." It was a short 15 minute set but the crowd seemed pretty receptive. Mike was also telling us that his hometown San Jose was one of the nations' biggest cities that still did not have an all ages venues. He told us that he is trying to raise money to build a center for music and arts. We could all only hope every city has a guy like Mike Park working this hard.

The AKA's, with mod haircuts, ties and all, from New York City were up next with a 30 minute set of bare bones, full throttle, rock 'n roll. 3 guys, a girl on keyboards and one crazy frontman kicked off the set with tons of energy. The lead singer was doing his best Mick Jagger impression, slithering and sliding all over the stage. The crowd seemed a bit annoyed as he pleaded with the crowd to go pick up their new CD at "11 songs. ONLY $5!!!!" Too bad the crowd of mostly mohawked kids wasn't into their set because this is a solid band. Although I wasn't too familiar with the band, they did play one song I knew called "Generation Vexed," amongst others. A lot of times, bands I don't know too well can win me over with their live performance and this was the case with the AKA's. They won me over by the end of their set and I considered buying one of their CDs but didn't have enough money. I'll be sure to pick up their record in the future.

Some guy came up to me and asked me who was next. I told him it was Midtown to which he replied with a groan. My thoughts exactly.

I was never a Midtown fan before and regardless of their performance, I was never going to become a Midtown fan. Their set was mostly a blur of forgettable songs. They did have some fans up front that were having fun. One thing that annoys me at shows is when bands have to tell you to get going and start moshing/pogoing. If the crowd isn't doing this on their own, it seems pretty lame to me when you have to force them to get excited. So when the bass player cried out "Do you guys know what a circle pit is?" and a few kids proceed to mosh, I turned around and checked out the merch table. Next.

At this point, the crowd, other than the tiny little pit that opened at Midtown's pleading, was fairly subdued which is typical of a D.C. crowd. But Richmond's Strike Anywhere started to set up and almost within minutes, the crowd swelled and people started moving up front in anticipation. There is something very special about Strike Anywhere that separates them from other bands. It's almost a perfect combination of everything you need to call a band great. They're obviously very passionate about their music. The music they play is uplifting, musically very tight, has great melodies, and Thomas is a great lyricist. They always put on amazing shows and tonight was no different. Strike Anywhere appeared on stage and jumped right into Infrared and for the first time that night, the hibernating crowd erupted into a moshing, sweating, finger pointing frenzy. And Thomas responded accordingly by several times during their set coming down to the front and shoving the mic in kids' faces. Other standout songs they played were "You're Fired," "Timebomb Generation," and the amazing "Sunset on 32nd." Shouts of "Richmond rocks" at the beginning of the set put a smile on Thomas' face. The political banter was kept to a minimum. Funniest point in the set was when someone requested "Hungry Like the Wolf" to which guitarist and Gillette model Matt (he will never live this down) replied with a curt "No." My only complaint with their set was at 30 minutes, it was way too short.

Anti-Flag was up next but I'd seen them before and wasn't really up for Bush bashing after every other song. The theme of the night was getting out and vote. The bands did get their shots at Bush but not to the point where it was nauseating. Too bad they may be preaching to the converted (or in this case, the underaged kids as well). A good show for me nonetheless.

 

 
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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 21, 2004)

anti-flag aren't rock gods?

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

even though anti-flags music has the deepness of the shallow end, they still got me into more political bands that i love now like strike anywhere, the clash, and propagandhi. also, don't forget that they do have some great songs, like for instance "america got it right", "a new kind of army" and "the panama deception" to name a few. DICKS!
also, yes it is funny that the only kids going to these shows are not old enough to vote, but anti-flag is a lot more appealing when you are 15. i would know, i thought they were rock gods.

ZDP (October 18, 2004)

"I thought the girl in the A.K.A.'s left and they now had a guy playing farfisa"

You might be thinking about The (International) Noise Conspiracy, because that's definitely the case with them.

Anonymous (October 17, 2004)

I don't care to read this review I just saw Anti-Flag's name and wanted to state once again....Anti-Flag is one of the worst bands in history! "Drink, Drank, Punk" is the lamest excuse for a song. I wish they'd stop making music , They're so fucking mundane with their cute little stage names & their wannabe Dead Kennedys attitude. YOU GUYS FUCKING BLOW!!!!!

Crookedsuperhero (October 17, 2004)

Mike Park could murder an orphan and still be amazing.

Anonymous (October 17, 2004)

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=33&ItemID= 5083 What's your breaking point?

Anonymous (October 17, 2004)

AHAHAHAHA! You like terrible punk!

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

"We're AntiFlag! We are pro-gay marriage, We're anti-Patriot Act, We're Anti-Iraq War, We're in favor of a living wage, We're pro-leagalization and We're Anti-Corporate Corruption! And We're voting for...John Kerry? (We're Sellouts!)"

AHAHAHAHA! You are a genius! That's the most original, hilarious, and perfect Anti-Flag diss ever! How ever did you come up with that? How long did that take you? Your sir, are comedy's future! Get an agent immediately, because Hollywood needs on one of you!

kirbypuckett (October 16, 2004)

I thought the girl in the A.K.A.'s left and they now had a guy playing farfisa.

That's one really attractive guy then.

- Kirby

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

I thought the girl in the A.K.A.'s left and they now had a guy playing farfisa.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

i'll say it again... replace midtown with NMDS and this would have been a much better show.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

We're AntiFlag! We are pro-gay marriage, We're anti-Patriot Act, We're Anti-Iraq War, We're in favor of a living wage, We're pro-leagalization and We're Anti-Corporate Corruption! And We're voting for...John Kerry? (We're Sellouts!)

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

"Shouldn't this review just be for Strike Anywhere then, since you didn't review the other bands at all"

Huh? He covered Mike Park, The AKA'S, Midtown (a little) and Strike Anywhere. And he left before Anti-Flag.

And this score is for Anti-Flag.

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

"Shouldn't this review just be for Strike Anywhere then, since you didn't review the other bands at all?"

Are you retarded, the review covered everyone except Anti-Flag, which can be summed up in two words "Total crap"

Question, is Strike Anywhere giving away free razors at their merch table/is anyone busting Sherwood's balls for being "simply unresistable". I wonder what he thinks when Thomas yells, "i am not resisting you!". Hes probably thinking, "No shit, why bother, Anna Kornikova came to my house and told me im unresistable and then preceeded to hand me a plasma television."

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

Shouldn't this review just be for Strike Anywhere then, since you didn't review the other bands at all?

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