Within any bands career, they can only imagine to reach a moment that will allow them to take the stage and play a full record on an anniversary tour of a fan favorite album. However, for Anti-Flag, 2013 is a special year as they embarked on their 20-year anniversary tour, which included two nights in the Bay Area at the Oakland Metro Opera House.
As the four members took the stage, the anticipation in the venue hit a level that would only be topped as the 21 song set moved along. Within only three songs, bassist Chris #2 was demanding circle pits and for the crowd to repeat after him as the band went into the likes of “911 For Peace” and an old favorite “That’s Youth”. As the night moved along the band pulled out even old classics such as “A New Kind of Army” and “Red White and Brainwashed”.
By the time the hour-plus set was nearing its end, the band and crowd were not done, as lead singer Justin and #2 worked in tandem to lead the crowd in throwing up their middle fingers and declaring their frustration to authority to the likes of crowd favorite “Fuck Police Brutality”. As the band thanked their fans, young and old, they would tell them that over the 20 years of being a band, it has come as a great honor to experience the things they have around the world and in cities like Oakland and San Francisco. With a look of gratitude and humble honesty on their faces, they kicked right into an all-time crowd favorite, “Die For Your Government” to close out the evening.
With the passion and commitment Anti Flag gives to their fans, they have without a doubt shaped the way punk music has gone through the years, both on a major scale then down to a kid experiencing them for the first time. So here’s to the next five, ten or even twenty years; why don’t you show us what you got you pukes!
Photo and story by Jason Harrel