As if possessed by some mad, chaotic uniting force, a band of brothers and sisters formed up against the stage at The Horseshoe Tavern on Thursday night and pumped fists, moshed, and chanted those ever so relevant words, ‘I’m standing with the rank-n-file, I’m marching with the underground, our black hearts worn on our sleeves!’ And on the stage in front of that crowd, like the leaders of a revolution, stood Anti-Flag, who in that moment seemed as much a part of that rank-n-file as the crowd themselves. What a night.
Anti-Flag are touring on the back of the tenth anniversary – give or take – of their 2003 release ‘Terror State,’ and are planning a new album for May 2015. This isn’t your typical anniversary tour, though. Anti-Flag are as passionate about their message, about social justice and inequity, as ever. They even had representatives from Amnesty International up on the stage mid-set, and there was a booth in the back of the room with more representatives from the organization. They’ve definitely lost none of their fire, and that’s great to see. All too often bands who have had stellar careers tour on the back of that success with half of the passion, but not Anti-Flag.
As well as playing through all of ‘Terror State,’ Anti-Flag lit the crowd up with favourites ‘Fuck Police Brutality,’ ‘Die For The Government,’ ‘To Hell With Boredom,’ and many more. The crowd definitely responded; crowd-surfing was consistent throughout the night, the moshing was rough, stage-dives by members of the audience were plentiful, and one girl was even diving into the crowd from the tables at the back of the room. It was a bit mental, but that’s exactly what you want when you’re seeing Anti-Flag, isn’t it?
Everyone in that room on Thursday night will be looking forward to Anti-Flag’s May release, ‘American Spring,’ and you should too. Punk is not dead in these boys, not in the least.