Before I start I apologise for not having posts about these gigs/shows sooner. I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget things and wrote as much as I could about these Anti-Flag shows. Thanks for waiting for them if you were, now onto the shows….
I was up at 4am to get ready for my Mum to drive me to the airport and we got there about 5:30am. Once I got there I had to go through security checks and then wait for my friend to get there so we could board the plane.
Our flight landed in Sydney around 8:40am so we made our way out to get a taxi to our accommodation. We checked in and put our bags in our rooms and then made our way to the venue for the shows. At this stage it was 10am and the first show didn’t start til 2pm.
We were waiting out just talking and everything. Before I go on if you don’t follow @Brave_The_Sea on Twitter or on Tumblr then you should! She came with me up to Sydney for these gigs so it was even more awesome to go with her.
Justin Sane came out to say Hi to both of us and gave us hugs. He just talked to us about why we were waiting there and everything so that was awesome. We got let in early for the show in the afternoon and I’m not 100% sure of the reason. I think it was because we’d been there so long and we even saw Anti-Flag soundcheck which was really cool.
SHOW #1 (Songs from Die For The Government, A New Kind Of Army, The People Or The Gun and The General Strike)
There were three support bands so by the time Anti-Flag were due on stage I was more than ready for them. They definitely did not disappoint!
To start, I apologise if I forget the exact order of songs because that happens to me at shows all the time. I remember them playing so many songs I had hoped they would. This show had a fantastic line up of albums they chose songs from. Highlights for me included: The Gre(A)T Depression, Drink Drank Punk, That’s Youth, You’d Do The Same, Captain Anarchy, Got The Numbers, Tearing Everyone Down and of course Die For The Government. Anti-Flag walked onto the stage to lots of cheers and declared how happy they were to be in Sydney and “We’re going to try our best not to die!” before they launched into their first song (they had only flown in to Australia 10 hours ago). I am 100% sure that Drink Drank Punk was what they opened with. It’s a song I’ve always wanted to hear Anti-Flag play live but never have so getting to hear it at this show was definitely worth it. Songs like Captain Anarchy and Got The Numbers were certainly crowd favourites and it shows how much the fans wanted to hear these songs. During Captain Anarchy Chris #2 was saying how much Chris Head doesn’t like playing it and then next thing we knew Head threw guitar picks across the stage and had this funny look on his face. Just before Safe Tonight Justin Sane was talking about when A-F come to Australia or other places that aren’t where they’re from that they feel like where they are is their home away from home. Die For The Government songs always go down a treat live so to hear You’d Do The Same, Red White And Brainwashed and Safe Tonight was great. Even Fuck Police Brutality never loses its charm live no matter how many times it’s played at an Anti-Flag show.
The encore of any Anti-Flag show never disappoints and this show was no exception. The crowd wanted Anti-Flag back for an encore before all of them had left the stage! When they come back Chris #2 introduced a song they’ve only played two or three times live You’re Fired. This song was a great way to start their encore and everyone in the crowd was happy to hear it. Next up was 1915 which is one of my favourites off their latest album The General Strike and there is just something so special about it because it is suited to be played live. Anti-Flag ended with Die For The Government. It is still their most well-known song and the best one to get the crowd involved for. About halfway through the song a guy punched a girl in the front row. Anti-Flag stopped their song and asked what was going on and if everyone was okay which they were. They picked up where they left off with Die For The Government and thankfully it ran smoothly after that. I honestly was not sure how they were going to top this show.
Setlist photo via Chris Head’s Twitter: @xchrisheadx
SHOW #2 (Songs from the albums Underground Network, The Terror State, For Blood And Empire and The Bright Lights Of America)
Once again I was front row but this time I ended up being pushed to Chris #2’s side. Honestly being at the front regardless of where exactly you are is the best way to experience an Anti-Flag concert.
Anti-Flag opened with Turncoat and the crowd were immediately involved with singing/shouting out the lyrics. This was the best way for them to open the second show. If Anti-Flag were tired and jetlagged they didn’t really show any signs of it that’s for sure. When I heard I’d Tell You But I was in the best mood and just didn’t want the song to end. During the chorus of This Is The End (For You My Friend) Chris #2 moved the microphone directly in front of where I was to get the crowd to sing the words. He looked directly at me when this was happening and it definitely brought a smile to my face. They “broke the rules” by playing 911 For Peace because it wasn’t off any of their albums they were playing songs from. At this stage I wasn’t complaining because I really wanted to hear that song. 1 Trillion Dollars slowed the pace down a bit and you could hear everyone singing back to Anti-Flag. When they started Spaz’s House Destruction Party it was obvious that the crowd was awaiting this song and it was well and truly worth it. Smartest Bomb is one of my favourite Anti-Flag songs so getting that one at this show was the best.
This encore was almost as good as the last time I saw Anti-Flag which was earlier in the year. Hymn For The Dead started it off well and hearing Post War Breakout was also another highlight for me. As soon as I heard the drumbeat of Cities Burn a big smile spread across my face. This was the song I asked them to play when I saw them last so to hear it again was amazing.
All I can say is I’m glad I made the decision to fly up to Sydney for these Anti-Flag shows as it was well and truly worth it.
I met everyone in the band and got photos with all of them. I’d already got a photo with Justin Sane after the first show. After this show he hugged me and my friend then thanked us for coming out to the shows. Chris Head and Pat Thetic were really friendly and also thanked us for coming to the shows. Chris #2 asked us if we were okay because we were being pushed really hard into the speakers (there was no barrier at the front of the stage). It was really nice of him to even think of that. After we got photos with him he thanked us for being at the shows too. Anti-Flag spent ages just hanging out in the venue after their show that night. They didn’t have to but the thing is they wanted to because they love to acknowledge their fans because they got them where they are today. Honestly they are the most caring band that I’ve ever met.
Overall I had the best day/night and loved every minute. I just wish it never ended!
Setlist photo via Chris Head’s Twitter: @xchrisheadx
Anti Flag (Krazyfest 2011)
Anti-Flag Sweden-09! :D (the pictures is taken by me ^^)