Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Rock against Barack

Article by: Kris Callahan

One wonders what an Anti-Flag show would be like without George W. Bush in office. Well, nothing’s changed in Washington, so nothing has changed with Anti-Flag. Their message remains clear.

An Anti-Flag show is not just about the music, it’s about leaving the oppressive, racist, sexist, tyrannical, corporate-driven world at the door and having a great time with complete strangers. It’s about unity. It’s about picking someone up if they fall down and appreciating the people around you.

While most of the crowd seemed to be there for Aiden, the Star Fucking Hipsters rocked the Paradise Rock Club with an energy that most bands lack. The Cancer Bats did much of the same, working the audience, even getting into the crowd to get them pumped up for the closing act. Not to mention the circle pit contest that the Cancer Bats challenged the opposing sides of the crowd to. Aiden, however, was not the best. The lead singer walked out after every other band member to teeny boppers screaming “I love you,” and had his side kick roadie tune his guitar for him, delaying the show for about 10 minutes before he could play the right chords.

Anti-Flag was next. Playing mostly new songs, the band’s energy never died. At some points it was as if lead singer, Justin Sane, was feeding off the crowd’s energy, playing his guitar in people’s faces and smiling when kids would sing along. Of course, their shows are not just the music, it’s a lesson as well. Sane once asked the crowd who had watched President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Sane went on to say he only got through about five minutes of it before he had to turn it off.

Sane, a passionate social change activist, explained to the crowd that he had low expectations for the President, but had no idea that he would surpass them by this much, citing his reasons as Obama’s failure to pass health care reform, the failure to punish the banking systems, and the failure to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The band also dedicated multiple songs to the late historian Howard Zinn, whose ideas have been channeled through many of the band’s songs.

“I do believe that we have an opportunity and one of the things that I learned from Howard Zinn is that [Washington] may have the money, but we have the fucking numbers, and that’s what counts in the end! They want us to believe that we are powerless, they want us to be apathetic, they want us to give up. But what we need to do now is put pressure on people such as Barack Obama so we can put an end to this fucking corporatocracy in Washington D.C. With that said, my friends, let’s dedicate one more to Mr. Howard Zinn!”

Anti-Flag closed their set with their most popular punk-politico hit, “Die for the Government.” The song ended with their bassist Chris #2 jumping into the crowd of his fellow punk, hardcore, and goth brothers and sisters.

Anti-Flag would come back with a tribute to the greatest punk band of all time, the Clash, with the songs “Guns of Brixton,” “I Fought the Law,” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” which got the crowd moving. “I hope you brought your dancing shoes!” proclaimed #2.

The show ended with the unity-driven “Power to the Peaceful,” which states, “This is not a war of the average people, this is not a war of economic independence. It’s a war for conquest, it’s a war for military power, it’s a war for money. The road to universal slaughter.” They went on to play the remainder of the final song among their brothers and sisters in the middle of the crowd.

Punk’s not dead, after all.

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Rock against Barack