Live Review: Anti-Flag - Wollongong Uni Bar

13 June 2012 | 5:13 pm | Adam Wilding

Wearing their hearts on their sleeves, their political messages still ring loud and clear.

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Strike Anywhere quickly brought their brand of social political activism to the stage. Frontman Thomas Barnett took a few songs to rile up a modest crowd, a number of whom made a repeat visit after the shows at the Manning Bar the previous night. To The World and Sunset On 32nd scored an enthusiastic response and there was plenty of energy from the band and audience alike, along with messages of non-conformance and anti-Government sentiment that are as relevant today as they were in the mid-'70s – and hopefully it didn't fall on deaf ears for the predominantly male 18-32 age group gathered.

Pittsburgh's Anti-Flag last performed in Australia at Soundwave in 2010 and showed they are still kicking arse after a very commanding performance that has seen them maintain their position at the forefront of the leftist punk scene for the better part of two decades. Frontmen Justin Sane (guitar) and Chris Barker (bass) were relentless in maintaining the vitriol, spitting out a bunch of classics along with the new tracks This Is The New Sound and Broken Bones off new album The General Strike, drawing a positive response from the mostly black t-shirt, tattoo-toting crowd. Wearing their hearts on their sleeves, their political messages still ring loud and clear and they even showed their social brand of justice at a local level going by negotiating the release of a fan mid-set from the grizzly arms of a security guard, who had got the hapless gent for crowd surfing.

Certainly, punk music is the genre that's grounded in songs of protest and it's bands like the ones that played this night who show that you can stay angry at everything unjust in the world, but it's still okay to have a good time.