3. 6. 2016 — Anti-Flag, Mental Strike
On June 3, Anti-Flag rocked Gala Hala (Ljubljana, Slovenia) along with Mental Strike. Altogether, it was a nice, intimate show in front of an audience of about 200. Here’s a little report of what went on.
Mental Strike (Slovenia — Skate punk)
The first act of the evening was a local Slovenian band called Mental Strike from Laško. Approximately 50 people in the venue heard 30 minutes of fast skate-punk music. A few jokes and 10 songs were very enjoyable for all. The local punk scene has been expecting their first album for some time now and after talking to band members after the show they ensured me that it will be released in the fall. They have some demo material and a split with The Morrons available on their Facebook page so if you like Satanic Surfers and early Good Riddance you should definitely check them out.
Anti-Flag (US — Punk Rock, Pop punk, Hardcore/Anarcho punk)
I first heard Anti-Flag seven years ago in Celje, where they performed together with Golliwog. What I remember most about that show is that there wasn’t really a stage, and everyone was invited to join the band on-stage and sing and play instruments, which I believe is an excellent testament of Anti-Flag’s principle: equality, not borders between people. When the show was over, they shooed away the bouncer who was shooing away me and my friend, and then they invited us backstage and offered us pizza. How cool a band is that? I’ve heard them several times after that at the Punk Rock Holiday festival in Tolmin.
On Friday, I had the feeling they haven’t aged i.e. slowed down a bit. There were no borders this time either. Anyone with a wish to stage-dive, crowd-surf or just join the band on-stage for a moment was free to do so, which is great. Why? That’s only possible when there’s mutual respect between a band and their fans. We all like respectful people, don’t we? There were also intense mosh pits and circle pits throughout the show (nothing violent), which helped create an intense, energetic show. There weren’t quite as many socio-political monologues between the songs, which I believe was due to the fact they were a little pressed for time, and so they just tried to play as many songs as possible. Still, they got the crowd hyped to participate with their hands, voices and bodies. They played all their biggest hits; in fact, most of the set list consisted of older songs, which was obviously fine with all the people there who chanted and jumped along to each one. We also heard a cover of the Dead Kennedys’ classic song Nazi Punks Fuck Off, contemporarily re-titled Nazi Trumps Fuck Off, and an awesome cover of Waiting Room, a song by Fugazi. Anti-Flag still have that twinkle in their eye; they still do what they do with great enthusiasm. But most of all, they still believe in people being capable of creating a better world, which is sort of how I’ve always seen them. So they keep writing songs about it, playing shows and spreading the message against ignorance, greed and racism to the people.
I’d call it a very successful debut for them in our nation’s capital. Here’s the set list and some pictures of the show:
I’d Tell You But…
Death Of a Nation
Sky Is Falling
Fuck Police Brutality
All of the Poison, All of the Pain
This Machine Kills Fascists
1 Trillion Dollar$
Nazi Trumps Fuck Off
This Is the End (For Your My Friend)
You’ve Gotta Die for the Government
Drink, Drank, Punk
Power to the Peaceful