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Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag: live in Londonlive in London (2005)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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



On a beautiful summer evening in the middle of London, Anti-Flag were about to play at the London Astoria, and perhaps the most memorable scenes on the streets outside weren't the punks, the goths, the mohawks, etc. etcâ?¦it was what wasn't there. No ticket touts, no weirdos pushing illegal shirts and very, very few doormen. The reason for this? Surprisingly, the show didn't sell out; in fact, numbers were so few that they shut down the upstairs part and cut down on staff! At first, I thought this was a shame for one of the most outspoken and long-standing punk bands ever to not "sell out." But then, I think most of the people who came to see Anti-Flag saw it as a bonus; after all, it is rare that you get to see a band like that in such an intimate setting, even if the night might have been better suited at a venue like Shepherds Bush or the Garage.

The support band sucked, no two ways about it. They sucked so much that they failed to illicit any response whatsoever from the crowd other than slight applause at the end of their set, and they sucked so much I couldn't be bothered to find out their name. Of course, for any punk band, sharing the stage with Anti-Flag is a tall order; you must respect them for having had the privilege and giving it their best.

As soon as they left, the crowd really started to get psyched, and the chants for Anti-Flag grew louder and louder, which was surprising as Justin Sane had managed to really, really piss off half the crowd before they entered the door with a "completely no smoking policy." There were some grumpy, nicotine-starved faces floating through the corridors that night, but luckily (well, lucky for me, anyway) most of the crowd were punk enough not to give a damn and light up anyway. The lyrics "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" drifted about all night, and I'd like to think that Justin Sane respected the fact that people chose to do what they wanted rather than what they were told. But I doubt itâ?¦

As for strange requests from the band, I was talking to the owners/promoters of the venue about the band's stay, only to find them jaded and fed up with some admittedly strange requests. I knew the band were all vegan, but it turns out they also have a thing for cheese! Apparently decaf coffee, cheese, tofu and a strange taste in DVDs were at the top of the band's long list of requests that included no smoking during their performance. The main guy in charge of hospitality said "You wouldn't believe some of the stuff we had to buy them!"

The band wandered on stage as if lost, only to receive a massive cheer before they broke into a tight and fast set. Often the songs flowed nicely into each other, but every three or four songs they stopped to talk to the audience, which you don't see bands do that often these days. What did they talk about? Well, what do you expect from one of the most politically-charged anti-establishment bands on the planet? "Mind The G.A.T.T." was followed by a vicious rant aimed at Tony Blair and George Bush, where Chris exclaimed that "this next song is a message for Tony Blair, George Bush and all the politicians who only care about greed and money, they don't care about us!" before breaking into "One People, One Struggle." The speeches kept coming throughout the night and any mention of Tony Blair or George Bush was greeted with a prolonged jeer from the crowd, which only excited the band into greater and more venomous rants, which although meaningful were still highly entertaining.

Chris also had something to say about the crowd; looking out into the venue you couldn't help but see a large and random collection of all-ages punks. "We've got the numbers -- it doesn't matter what colour, creed, sexuality or whatever you are -- we're all here to have a good time!" Judging from the constant enthusiasm and the mosh pit, which was much larger than usual for the Astoria, it seems that the crowd really were enjoying themselves.

We were lucky enough to get some insight as well as some previews of the new album that Anti-Flag is currently working on. Justin Sane explained that the overriding message of the new album was one of disbelief and a loss of faith in the governments that went to war in Iraq, particularly highlighting the lack of WMD as their main grievance. "There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Saddam is no more of a threat to us now than he was then!" Justin explained that the message of the new album was that "we could not believe those mother-fuckers then and we won't believe them now!" The highlight of the new material was "Antithetic To The Cure" (which is also available to download from their website) which sounded amazing live with a trademark wandering bass line that kept the song rolling while Justin delivered more chants for the crowd to follow along with. Before playing the song, Chris #2 told the crowd that the song was for "those of you who don't wanna fight for the George Bush / Tony Blair war machine!" and demanding that the crowd start a big circle and "fight!" before adding "and then afterwards you should all give each other a big kiss!" The crowd responded to the irony with style, but I must say I didn't see too much communal love afterwards, but all the same the crowd appreciated it.

Other highlights were a brilliant rendition of "Underground Network," which was "a song about an idea, in our heads and in our hearts" (Justin Sane), and a fast-paced "911 For Peace." The interval didn't last long at all, and a lightning fast "Death Of A Nation" got the crowd going again very quickly; however, the best song of the set, the one everyone had been waiting for all night, was also the last. Chris told the crew to put the lights up over the crowd and yelled "look at these people, you know what?" before shouting "You're all gonna die for your government!"

If anyone could take a bunch of London punks who were pissed off at a "no-smoking policy" and turn that anger towards the government while working them into a frenzy in the process, it would have to be Anti-Flag, and massive respect for them sticking to their convictions, even if that meant pissing off 500 punks! A very good, tight show of some of the band's greatest work, even if I was a little disappointed at the lack of "Seattle Was A Riot" in their set list, which would have worked brilliantly after they mentioned the protests in London before the Iraq war. But, all said, I was very impressed.

 


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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.
mcbren (November 1, 2013)

I love how you've got all these lifestylist-type punks - who have never seen a picket line, who have never been to a demonstration, castigating Justin because he eats cheese?? First and foremost - which anarchist group are you a member of? You cant be an anarchist if you aren't a member of a group. Only in a group can you practice your praxis.
Moreover, Veganism doesn't challenge capitalism at the point of production. I usually find that vegan moralists don't do shit. You'll rarely find them actually organising, educating, agitating or demonstrating in the interest of a better world. They perceive their dietary alteration as somehow sufficient. Give me a break...you ain't changing shit. The problem is with industrial production - a boycott is completely ineffective (and maybe give me a few examples of ones otherwise...?). Go abstain from eating meat but don't try to pretend that you're an activist - veganism just doesn't cut it.

Anonymous (December 8, 2005)

Anti-Flag aren't just another "Bush Bashing" band, they have always been politicly based, and stop complaining about them, no one says you have to like them, but at least they get out and do something ( and don't say they don't, cause they support many charitys and human/animal right organisations and attend protests and rallys ) oh and Justin Sane is alergic to dairy based products (he mentions it in Anti-Flags tour diaries, or you'll find it somewhere on thier site), and who said that he eats meat, do you have any proof?
Anyway,
Peace

Anonymous (July 25, 2005)

True, I wuz sticking up for them. But I just don't see the point in talking shit about them. Hell, If You don't like them then don't pay attention to them...
-Vaughan Boggs

ekmesnz (July 8, 2005)

Shut your faces. Anti-Flag is as angry about politics today as the rest of you should be. I don't know which is worse: that you make fun of them because they're talented and you wish your shitty band was, or that you make fun of them and talk about "real" revolutionary music because you'd like to prove to everyone else how fucking badass you are.

Grow some stones and find something else to bitch about.

Gowb (July 7, 2005)

"Why do so many morons come on here and attack bands for their personal lifestyles and beliefs? This website has become "The Star" for the punk rock community. I remember when everyone in the punk scene supported one another. I guess such shit-talking is a natural result of the increased popularity of punk rock- With popularity comes all you fucking dorks who around because punk is "cool" and you blah blah blah but know nothing about the spirit of punk rock or politics.

Joe Strummer weeps-"

Thank god for you, man. There are a few of us who still adhere to solidarity and all that jazz. I don't like Anti-Flag, but I don't go out of my way to fuck with their fans. I just don't listen to them.

Anonymous (July 6, 2005)

Yay, rebellion, take out the system!
It doesn't matter your race sexuality or whether you smoke! No wait, don't smoke.

this band is so ignorant it makes my pubes curl

Anonymous (July 6, 2005)

"What Justin has to eat meat? What a lie. I'm a meat eater with a background in Nutrition, I know for a fact that you can be vegan and be allergic to soy and lead a healthy life without meat or dairy."

Then you know damn well about the damage to intestinal fibres that can be caused by eating substances you cannot digest. For example, some people go years feeling sick daily not knowing it is because they cannot eat a certain food. Then, when they finally stop eating it, there is still damage that has occurred making it difficult to absorb nutrients, thus making in some cases meat eating essential. Vitamins don't solve everything. Idiot.

Anonymous (July 6, 2005)

"I'm not sticking up for them"

Dude, you really were.

Joe

Anonymous (July 6, 2005)

Man, I'm getting so fucking sick of hearing all these comments of Anit-Flag sucking and/or blowing...Ya know whut? If You don't like them then quit being a fucking cunt and don't comment them. Hell I love Anti-Flag.Not that i'm sticking up for them i just don't see the fucking point to talk shit about them.If You don't like them then go listen to sumthing else and quit talking shit.God damn u must have a lot of time on your hands to have to talk shit about sumthing u don't even know whut ur talking about.
-Vaughan Boggs

Anonymous (July 5, 2005)

"I actually agree with the leftist views bands like Propagandhi and Dead Kennedys put forward....

but Anti-Flag?!? I mean c'mon people, they are fucking the lamest of the lame. they're all about cliche slogans and lyrics at a 4th grade level. Seriously, to get into their music you have to be 13 and hate your upper middle class white parents for sending you to the most expensive private school in town."

Hahahahahaha... spot on man. Score's for you.

Anonymous (July 5, 2005)

What Justin has to eat meat? What a lie. I'm a meat eater with a background in Nutrition, I know for a fact that you can be vegan and be allergic to soy and lead a healthy life without meat or dairy.

notfeelingcreative (July 5, 2005)

"actually agree with the leftist views bands like Propagandhi and Dead Kennedys put forward....

but Anti-Flag?!? I mean c'mon people, they are fucking the lamest of the lame. they're all about cliche slogans and lyrics at a 4th grade level. Seriously, to get into their music you have to be 13 and hate your upper middle class white parents for sending you to the most expensive private school in town."

I agree, but you're kidding yourself if you think the kids you speak off and kids that listen to DK and Propagandhi are completely mutually exclusive groups.!

Anonymous (July 5, 2005)

''...And he's also very allergic to cigarette smoke, which is why they have a no smoking policy. Next time you go to an Anti-Flag show, remember that every cigarette you smoke increases the chances that he won't be able to play..."

There are people on this planet that may love to play baseball but are allergic to excessive amounts of sunlight. You know what? Baseball just isnt for them. Even if they are super talented, they have to choose a different career path. It's not fair, but life rarely is.

Anonymous (July 5, 2005)

I actually agree with the leftist views bands like Propagandhi and Dead Kennedys put forward....

but Anti-Flag?!? I mean c'mon people, they are fucking the lamest of the lame. they're all about cliche slogans and lyrics at a 4th grade level. Seriously, to get into their music you have to be 13 and hate your upper middle class white parents for sending you to the most expensive private school in town.

Anonymous (July 4, 2005)

That's true about Justin being allergic to smoking. Go here for more Anti-Flag info:

http://thepeopleunited.net

Kenjamin (July 4, 2005)

yea if you're allergic to soy, you can pretty much kiss being vegan good-bye. Unless you want to die.

Anonymous (July 4, 2005)

To all the dumb fucks out there,Justin is allergic to alot of stuff. In order to maintain a healthy diet, he has to eat meat to get essential protiens. Without it, he'd develop nutrient deficiencies. And he's also very allergic to cigarette smoke, which is why they have a no smoking policy. Next time you go to an Anti-Flag show, remember that every cigarette you smoke increases the chances that he won't be able to play because of your ignorant "oh man, I'm fighting the anti-smoking establishment" bullshit.

Anonymous (July 4, 2005)

"Another funny thing is, Chris, #2 and Pat claim to be Vegan, with Justin being vegetarian. HOWEVER, Justin has to east certain meats for health reasons!?! I as a vegetarian myself, find this highly fucking offensive. And it proves to me that Anti-Flag are hypocrites on more that one level."

He probably has iron difficiency dumbass. Vitamins and suppliments are sometimes not absolute solutions.

PS Anti-Flag are awful and always have been awful.

Anonymous (July 4, 2005)

They might put on a good show but their political rants are juvenile and boring. Not to mention clueless.

psychoos231 (July 4, 2005)

ha They're ok

Anonymous (July 4, 2005)

"fighting is just wrong.........very very wrong....
'Wonâ??t Somebody PLEASE Think of the Children!!' "

You summed up Crass perfectly. They are a very good band.

psychoos231 (July 4, 2005)

And when did Crass ever come out with something good? Never.. fighting is just wrong.........very very wrong....
â??Wonâ??t Somebody PLEASE Think of the Children!!â?ť

Anonymous (July 3, 2005)

Anti-Flag? Are you new? Minor label or Major label. Anti-Flag? YAWN!

fallingupwards84 (July 3, 2005)

i dont know how you listened to a starting line album long enough to review it.

zing!

rkl (July 3, 2005)

Anti-Flag - live in London
Posted by Sally_Field on 2005-07-03 13:12:49

I don't know how you wrote so much about an Anti-Flag show.
i dont know how you listened to a starting line album long enough to review it.

rkl (July 3, 2005)

Anti-Flag - live in London
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-07-01 01:31:24
My Score:

stupid anti flag. preach and whine against the times. Just you wait til what they fuss over when a democrat is in office

Die For Your Government(1996)
Their System Doesn't Work For You(1998)
A New Kind of Army(1999)

these happen to be the three best anti-flag albums, and the only real basis for defense.
the world didnt start being fucked up just because bush hit office the economy is cyclical. the pendulum was starting to swing down when clinton left office.

yayforapathy (July 3, 2005)

Fuck you. (puffs on ciggerette.)

Sally_Field (July 3, 2005)

I don't know how you wrote so much about an Anti-Flag show.

Scolex (July 3, 2005)

Of course, for any punk band, sharing the stage with Anti-Flag is a tall order; you must respect them for having had the privilege and giving it their best.

What?!

Seriously, dude, get over it. AF are just a band, not shining gods of the counterculture leading us towards peace, freedom and a smoke-free world.

Privilege? You make it sound like bands are queuing up to crawl on broken glass just to play half a song on a bill with Anti-Flag. They're fucking Anti-Flag! It's not like they're gonna be on stage with Joe Strummer and Johnny Cash.

They are just another "fuck Bush" band, no worse than loads of others, but certainly no better. And Propaghandi piss all over them.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

Was this review written by a second grader?

And yeah, I do like Anti-Flag, and will be buying the new album.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

No I'm sorry, this band has really become a total joke now - it's a shame because I enjoyed their music for some time.

Joe

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

Maybe they should change thier name to Anti Smoke.

Kenjamin (July 2, 2005)

I enjoyed reading this review.

notfeelingcreative (July 2, 2005)

"Hahahaha...go buy a Nausea or an Aus-Rotten Record - you wouldn't know politically charged if it walked up and burned a flag on your head."

Actually that's really good advice!! I was into anti-flag for a long time, about 6 years ago this dude Matt introduced me to Aus Rotten and Nausea, it got me out of the pop-punk phase pretty fucking quickly.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

"Well, what do you expect from one of the most politically-charged anti-establishment bands on the planet?"

Hahahaha...go buy a Nausea or an Aus-Rotten Record - you wouldn't know politically charged if it walked up and burned a flag on your head.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

whatever. There has always been people fighting in the punk scene - Crass fucking hated the Clash...Animal Rights vs. Apathetic punks (remember the Feederz?). Bickering is worse these days 'cause its so easy with the internet.

geoffweobb (July 1, 2005)

Why do so many morons come on here and attack bands for their personal lifestyles and beliefs? This website has become "The Star" for the punk rock community. I remember when everyone in the punk scene supported one another. I guess such shit-talking is a natural result of the increased popularity of punk rock- With popularity comes all you fucking dorks who around because punk is "cool" and you blah blah blah but know nothing about the spirit of punk rock or politics.

Joe Strummer weeps-

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Twirling, Twirling! Twirling toward freedom!
Didn't Anti-Flag get kicked off a Dropkick Murphys tour for being lame?
Anti-Flag are just a bunch of self-rightous children of privelge.

They can sit around with their big label money and their phone calls from other "radicals" like the Tom M asshole and hippo-crit MMoore . They act self-important and profess to know how to run the world..

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Apparently when Justin Sane was a little kid he had his nuts ripped off by a republican. This explains his political views, but does not provide a scapegoat for his music.

gladimnotemo (July 1, 2005)

"What did they talk about? Well, what do you expect from one of the most politically-charged anti-establishment bands on the planet?"

If they are one of the most charged bands, I'd hate to hear what the so-so political bands say. "Hey, guys, um, government is bad, okay?"

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

"...Sane explained that the overriding message of the new album was one of disbelief and a loss of faith in the governments..."

Really? Since NOFX is now a political punk band, I thought that Anti Flag were going to start writing songs about vaginas & stuff.

lushj (July 1, 2005)

"Not to be an asshole or anything but Vegan, as you should know is no meat/meat based products. AKA dairy. AKA cheese, which is dairy. "

Vegan is no animal products. Dairy is an animal product, as are eggs.

Vegetarian is no meat. Vegetarians can choose to eat dairy and eggs.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

"No Smoking Policy"

how about fuck off?

did they mention that beforehand? - it may explain why they didnt sell out the astoria. No fucking dick with a wanky name is gonna stop me smoking a some chronic while i take in a show. lame ass.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Another funny thing is, Chris, #2 and Pat claim to be Vegan, with Justin being vegetarian. HOWEVER, Justin has to east certain meats for health reasons!?! I as a vegetarian myself, find this highly fucking offensive. And it proves to me that Anti-Flag are hypocrites on more that one level.

-
I am going to go eat meat now.

sickboi (July 1, 2005)

I wish #2 sang all the time, his voice is much more tolerable.

SoupIsGoodFood (July 1, 2005)

I enjoy Anti-Flag's music. Number 2 is a great bassist and singer. I think he plays bass anyway... Anyway, fuck you guys.

notfeelingcreative (July 1, 2005)

Abortions for some, miniature american flags for others!

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Get those abortions now, US kids....O'Connor just retired. Kiss Roe goodbye...

notfeelingcreative (July 1, 2005)

" I don't mind, but Anti-Flag have the political savvy of 8th graders."

hen I first heard "Die For The Government", I thought to myself, "this is ok, the lyrics are pretty basic, they'll mature lyrically once they establish themselves more,"Three full lengths later, I'm still waiting.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

What douchebags!

crackpotdemagogue (July 1, 2005)

I once had the opportunity to hang out with Anti-Flag, and i found out the reason for the 'no smoking policy' that they always employ. Pat Thetic apparently has very bad asthma, and the combination of playing drums and inhaling smoke does him alot of harm.

Another funny thing is, Chris, #2 and Pat claim to be Vegan, with Justin being vegetarian. HOWEVER, Justin has to east certain meats for health reasons!?! I as a vegetarian myself, find this highly fucking offensive. And it proves to me that Anti-Flag are hypocrites on more that one level.

Never-the-less, still, a fucking good band!

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Anti-Flag are a lacking live band. Not to mention a lacking band on record. They go on the most boring, stereotypical, cliche, and ultimately pointless political rants about a thousand times during their set. When it's a band like Propagandhi that actually has an IQ of a whole number and that practices what they preach, I don't mind, but Anti-Flag have the political savvy of 8th graders.

If they were actually vegan, I might cut them some slack, but they're vegetarian and Justin's not even that.

This reviewer needs to get Anti-Flag's balls out of his mouth.

alejandro (July 1, 2005)

YEah well, the two opening bands were good actually, i really enjoyed both of them....anti-flag were also good, and btw the non smoking thing didn't really work out cause i was smoking cigarettes all night......

your mama

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Did you really have to quote absolutely everything Justin and Chris said onstage? We've all heard it before.

And political rants are kind of useless when none of your audience is old enough to vote...

sickboi (July 1, 2005)

"Any band that uses dopey names like Justine Sane or Andy Flag is just Pat Thetic."

That was gold. Comment of the day award.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

I've been hating these tools waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before they signed to the majors....Any band that uses dopey names like Justine Sane or Andy Flag is just Pat Thetic. Anti Flag, if you won't die for your government, please DIE FOR US!!!! This band flat out sucks and/or blows!

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Shepherds Bush Empire is totally unsuitable for a punk gig as it's almost entirely seated. Quite good for singer-songwriters though.

The upstairs at the Astoria closes quite often due to poor ticket sales.

threechordsandthetruth (July 1, 2005)

"Of course, for any punk band, sharing the stage with Anti-Flag is a tall order"

hahah

bloodbrothersburnpiano (July 1, 2005)

uhh sorry but i must have missed the memo that said signing to a major after talking shit about other bands who did the same thus becoming complete hypocrits is not selling out.

also, don't you realize that by smoking you are actually inadvertently dying for your government? maybe that's what he meant. think about it.
(this might not be as true there as it is here in the US)

fallingupwards84 (July 1, 2005)

btw, not all of the Anti-Flag band members are vegan.
Justin is just a vegetarian.

fallingupwards84 (July 1, 2005)

nice review.

i'm excited to hear the new album. the new song on their website sounds akin to the Underground Network album.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Of course the club people could be lying...

Because, as most people know, Justin Sane has an incredible health and is about allergic to everything, including smoke from smoking.

CellarDoor (July 1, 2005)

Some kids booing a band "because they suck" and then cheering when Anti-Flag hits the stage is simply hilarious.

darkstarm (July 1, 2005)

Not to be an asshole or anything but Vegan, as you should know is no meat/meat based products. AKA dairy. AKA cheese, which is dairy.

Anti-Flag are turning into rockstars. Hilarious.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

stupid anti flag. preach and whine against the times. Just you wait til what they fuss over when a democrat is in office.

and did you just say vegans and cheese in the same sentence?

stupid brit.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Wow, what a bunch of bullshit posturing. Is there any question that Anti-Flag is in it for image and money?

xwileyx (July 1, 2005)

Its nice to know they are acting like true rock stars. Man am I glad I never liked the, I think would feel really fucking let down right about now... I hope thier new records does as well as TINC's and brings about well WHATEVER IT TAKES yeah thats what i want

stevejonestherealbones (July 1, 2005)

I'm tom lincoln!! No! i'm tom Lincoln!

fuck you and all your fucking words and shit. offense to you

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

crazytoledo (July 1, 2005)

I sure hope people dont hate them for signing to a Major Label...

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