Thursday, March 8, 2012

Anti-Flag - The Flatliners -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Mar 7 2012

The Flatliners - I caught half of the set from this Canadian punk band. I have long been a fan of punk rock from the great white north and these guys seem to work pretty well with that great foundation. I hear more of an SNFU sound, than that of DOA or the Nils. It's buzzsaw punk with plenty of melody and assertive vocals. Passionate, of course, and they add some cooler slow tempos which really do help avoid that old feeling of redundancy which dooms many a punk set. Decent job here to a very jam packed room.
Anti-Flag - No, not Wild Flag as originally misstated in my coming events column. Not even White Flag, Black Flag, or their earlier fellow Pennsylvanian punk forefathers, Flag of Democracy. These guys have been around a while and I surprisingly have not caught up to them. But they lived up to my expectations with the requisite combination of passion, power, speed, and melody. They were even a bit better than I expected with some creative guitar touches that kept things interesting for a set that went about an hour. The youth were working the pit up front, but things were contained and fairly normal beyond all that. A few cliches were had and it was amusing to see club staff check with the soundman that the microphone they slammed to the stage was the band's own microphone. If it wasn't already their mic, they would have been buying it. Still, good punk still has its place and the better bands who work the road hard can keep their fans energized. That is evident tonight.

Quote of the Night: From the Flatliners... "Starting early is a good idea since we have time for a couple more songs and won't go too long."    Oh cruel irony! It is great to see shows run in a timely fashion, but of course this is one of the rare nights where my dinner plans (with old friends and workers) kept me from seeing the opening set by the Have-Nots and had me missing some of the Flatliners. I don't always require early starts like tonight, but the point of getting up and stage and getting in a full set and then some is so very true. And the kids were smart enough to get there early and cut loose.

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