The Message of Unity

4 Feb

This show was a different kind of line up for me. I don’t usually listen to a lot of hardcore punk. There are exceptions, with the fantastic PEARS and Tarter Control. But I usually just don’t get into the Hardcore punk. Enter a night where one of the highest ranking bands on my favorites list, Anti-Flag, comes to town with three of them in tow.

If anyone this night made a case for another Hardcore band that I could get into, it was Sharptooth. This was a band with similar ideals to Anti-Flag from the first break between songs hearing from their lead vocalist, Lauren. She spoke of being a victim of rape more than once. She has come out stronger using music as her avenue to advocate for women to be strong in our society. Lauren wants concerts to be safer, welcoming spaces for everyone.

With that, Sharptooth puts on one hell of a performance. Their music fuels them as they move around that stage. I don’t know if anyone outside of Coner, on drums, was actually stationary for more than a minute. They made for one of the best opening band performances I’ve seen in my concert going. I would certainly want to go see Sharptooth again after this.

After them was the White Noise, our second Hardcore band of the night. I feel like Shawn, lead vocals, spent an equal amount of time perched on the barricade as he did on the stage. At one point, he tried to get crowd surfed with their guitar amp. However, he didn’t think he had enough support to get surfed with it. Instead he invited a member of the audience up to sit with him on the amp.

Add in another excited band performing behind him and you have the ingredients for a memorable performance. I certainly didn’t enter expecting it, and left with a good impression from the White Noise.

Stray from the Path perhaps the calmest sound of the Hardcore groups this night. If I took a stab in the dark on their sound and performance, our local Inept Hero is influenced by them. They have a blending of hardcore and melodic singing by Drew, leaning out as he hits those strong notes from whatever part of the stage he is at.

Between songs he spoke about how they want their shows to be inclusive to everyone. No one should feel alienated. He welcomed people to chat with them after the set, and any of the bands that performed. Demonstrating this inclusiveness, Lauren joined them for a song near the end. I loved their ideals and enjoyed the performance that Stray from the Path gave us.

Last up was the band of similar amazing ideals, and the biggest reason I was in attendance, Anti-Flag. This is a band I’ve been watching for over a decade. Almost became a ritual for a couple albums in a row that I would purchase it at Warped Tour, and get it signed by them. Anti-Flag have been pleasant in my interactions getting to talk to them. They are a band that I have related to their ideologies in their music. It doesn’t hurt that they are one of the few bands I know a good portion of their lyrics for.

The performance was as fantastic as any prior. It was a blending of classic songs like “Die for your Government” and “Fuck Police Brutality” with new songs “When the Wall Falls” and “Rascists.” It was our usual theatrics of Chris #2 leaping from various parts of the stage. There were the energized and animated performances by Justin, Chris Head, and Pat in concurrence. Anti-Flag ended on their usual moving of Pat and Chris down into the crowd for the encore. This set with added confetti showering down during “Brandenburg Gate.”  It was another Anti-Flag performance to remember. This time I was leaving in the happy daze of getting to take pictures one of my most favorite bands.

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