Anti-Flag 20 Year Anniversary show

It’s been 20 years of heart pumping music from the iconic band, Anti-Flag and I am pleased to announce that they are as energetic and inspirational as ever. Immediately after their tour with the recently reunited Pennywise, Anti-Flag’s two night stay at the Troubadour in Hollywood, California on May 18th and 19th during their 20th anniversary tour was a great success. Each night had a completely different set lists touting songs form all ten of their albums.

The first night started off with local rockers Chotto Ghetto. Their quick set was entertaining but quickly overshadowed by The Donots. All the way form Germany The Donots prove just because you were raised on a steady diet of heavy metal doesn’t mean you can’t make a name for yourself with punk rock. The Donots embarked on their first U.S. tour a few days prior, popping up as supporting acts at shows and festivals with bands like Nations Afire, Dropkick Murphys, and Anti-Flag. Their albums may not show it but their energy on stage and crowd interaction is rarely seen in other bands of that caliber.


Next up was Dead To Me, A punk rock band from San Francisco. As the interment venue began to fill up it became apparent that Dead To Me brought it’s own small but hardcore following. You could hear the echoing of lyrics from the crowd during almost every song complete with crowd surfing and scattered circle pits.

After these fantastic opening acts, Anti-Flag hit the stage with their usual antics and heartfelt lyrics. Lead singer Justin Sane was quick to announce in a very humble manner “this is your stage” resulting in a mood unparalleled by most punk bands with this big of a reputation. The venue security seemed extra relaxed allowing plenty of people to surf, stage dive, and try their hand at their favorite song. The fact that there was no barricade just added to the mood and made it feel like everyone at the troubadour during those nights were family.Anti Flag (17)

The first day had more of an old school vibe, complete with songs like Red white and Brainwashed thrown into the mix that have never been played live before. Anti-Flag brilliantly shared the inspiration behind some of their most famous songs along with the reason they started the band which gave me more respect for them, and the punk genre as a whole than ever before. They kept the crowd happy with a mixture of old and new songs ending with Die for the Government and immediately hopped off stage to talk and take pictures with all of their adoring fans.

Night two sold out just before doors and was started by another local band, Destruction Made Simple. This Hispanic punk band was very happy to fill the bill with their angsty songs but spent what seemed like more time sharing stories than actually playing. The Donots were back and added a cover of Twisted Sister’s popular song We’re Not Gunna Take It, complete with an audience sing along. Dead To Me improved the technical aspect from the night before with sharper sounding notes and clearer vocals which paved the way for Anti-Flag to hit the stage once again.

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This time around Anti-Flag created a whole new set list starting with Turncoat and picking up the most popular songs off the five albums they did not play during the night before. Although some people were angry with the exclusion of Die For Your Government ,eventually fans started a chant while Anti-Flag prepared for their encore. The night was ended with Cities Burn complete with drummer, Pat Thetic bringing his drum kit into the crowd and finishing the night on a high note.

Anti-Flag’s ability to connect with the crowd, energy on stage, and inspirational song lyrics has propelled them to a notable spot in the tough world of punk rock. I am glad to see they have not lost any of their reliability, humility, and spirit on their way there. It has been a memorable 20 years and they are bound to have plenty of entertaining albums and shows in the future.


Review by: Eric Walden 

The Donots