Anti-Flag @ BB King Blues Club, NYC

Live Reviews | Jan 28th, 2004

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Opening Bands: Rise Against, Against Me, None More Black, New Mexica
Date: January 28th, 2004
Venue: BB King Blues Club, NYC

I wasn’t sure if I was going to this show or not because we had a big snowstorm the day before. Thankfully the snowstorm didn’t continue into the next day. My friends and I traveled down to New York City early afternoon and got to the club before 5:30pm, when the doors were supposedly opening. I haven’t been down to NYC since last March. I went shopping, and on that day was the biggest protest in NYC history so that was a smart move haha.

But anyway, I waited on line with my friends and got hounded by people with petitions. They were asking us to sign up to vote if you weren’t already registered, or sign the morning after pill to be sold over the counter, sign up at PETA, blah blah blah go away! I guess that’s what you expect when going to an Anti-Flag show now. I’m still proud of being a non-registered voter thank you very much! I don’t think petitions work very well so I won’t sign any unless the cause is really important. The only reason I would vote is to get Bush out of office but it doesn’t matter who goes in, we’ll always have someone to complain about and I just don’t think my vote matters. Let the hate e-mails commence!

After waiting in line for a half hour or so, I got into BB King’s and man, it’s the nicest club I’ve been to. It was clean, big and cool set up. There’s beer taps of Saxophones and Guitars, how cool is that! The bathrooms were even nice too! I was like, “dude I might have to take a dump. B.B. King might have sat on that bowl!” My friends Paul and Lauren had to do an interview with Against Me, which I think went well, but who knows when they will transcribe that. The club entertained the crowd with dirt bike stunts and blooper videos and they had me laughing. The first band was New Mexican Disaster Squad and they were pretty decent. The crowd for some reason wasn’t into them though. The singer was rambling on about stuff and people in the crowd were telling him to shut up and play. My embarrassing friend Dumbass started heckling the band, and told him to keep talking. Then later on he was yelling at them to play Wham and Ween and the singer of the band said to the crowd that they didn’t like us anymore. I was embarrassed. It was kind of funny though. The sound guy seemed to think so.

Anyway, after New Mexican Disaster Squad got off, None More Black came on and got the crowd moving. First 2 songs I was in the photo pit taking some pics with Lauren’s dinky camera. I didn’t bring my camera so I had to work with what I got. NMB was good, I knew a few songs from them. I said to myself, I can’t imagine the singer talking after he plays because of the way he sings. I really like their first song, “Everyday Balloons.” Their set seemed shorter than the other bands but they still put on a lively show. Check ’em out if you haven’t already.

From what seemed to be the crowd favorite of the night, Against Me was up next. There was problems with the equipment so 5-10 minutes went by with them doing nothing but talking to the crowd and telling jokes. I’ actually haven’t heard their music til that day but I like what I heard. They have a Billy Bragg sound, but only heavier but they’re not from the UK so I don’t know why I said that ha. They played like headliners that night and the crowd went ape shit for them. My only complaint is some of their songs went on too long and they went overboard on the experimental guitar tricks and stuff like that. After awhile I was like, okay finish the damn song already. During their set, some fat girl was trying to move her way into my spot. I eventually moved back a little because I didn’t want this bitch hanging over me. I hate when people do that shit, that’s one of the reasons why I don’t go to shows anymore. Plus my old man feet were hurting me. So Paul gave me the VIP pass (that should have been mine to begin with!) and I went and found a seat in the Fat Wreck VIP section. I had a table area all to myself and was practically laying down watching the next 2 bands. That rock, I need to get a VIP pass for every show now.

Rise Against was next and they put on a killer set. The crowd was really into them. I think their song “Heaven Knows” is their best song and really catchy. They played a lot from “Revolutions Per Minute” and played a few new ones as well. My friends Paul and Dumbass went into the pit for Rise Against. I don’t remember the last time I went into a pit. I’m an old man now, I can’t be doing that stuff. I’d rather take pics and just hang out in the back. After Rise Against, Paul came into the VIP section with me and we chilled like rock stars haha. Yeah right. Anti Flag finally came on and played a variety of songs from their albums. I believe they started off with “Police Brutality.” I’m glad they played “Captain Anarchy” because I really like that song. They kept going into a lot of songs and then took a breather and ranted about politics and Bush. Shocker right? haha. I saw most of their set and they were very energetic.

My friends had to work the next day so we had to leave a little bit early, plus we lived an hour away. The NYC sidewalks were like a sheet of ice that night so Dumbass and I were running and sliding all over the place. It was a lot of fun and I don’t care what people thought of us haha. Though there wasn’t that many people on the streets to begin with but a few people stared at us. Skating on sidewalks is fun, you should try it!


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