NEPA Scene Staff

Pittsburgh punk rockers Anti-Flag play at Stage West in Scranton on Jan. 17

Pittsburgh punk rockers Anti-Flag play at Stage West in Scranton on Jan. 17
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From a press release:

It was announced today that Pittsburgh punk rock band Anti-Flag, known for their political songs and regular appearances on the Vans Warped Tour, will perform at Stage West in Scranton on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Fellow Pittsburgh punks Swiss Army will open the show, along with Exeter heavy metal band Royal Hell and Scranton indie rockers Esta Coda.

Doors at Stage West (301 N. Main Ave., Scranton) open at 7 p.m., and the all-ages show starts at 7:45 p.m.

Tickets, which are $20 in advance or $23 the day of the show, are on sale now and can be purchased online via Eventbrite or at the door.

Anti-Flag is well-known for politically charged lyrics and activism, focusing on anti-war efforts, anti-imperialism, class struggle, human rights, and various sociopolitical sentiments. They also advocate for progressive political action groups like Greenpeace and Amnesty International.

The lineup includes singer/guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic, who founded the band in 1988; guitarist Chris Head and singer/bassist Chris Barker (Chris No. 2) joined later, replacing previous members. Over the years, the group has released albums through New Red Archives, Go Kart, Fat Wreck Chords, A-F Records, RCA, SideOneDummy, and Spinefarm Records.

Recently touring with Rise Against, AFI, Silverstein, Cancer Bats, and Worriers, the group’s latest album, “American Reckoning,” was released on Sept. 28 and features acoustic versions of songs from their past two albums, “American Spring” (2015) and “American Fall” (2017), as well as covers of songs that inspired them.

“American Reckoning” strips down some of the band’s latest hits to get to the heart of the message. By arranging these songs and a few covers together, “American Reckoning” functions as an account of one of the country’s most tumultuous political times told by some of music’s sharpest political minds.

The “American” series, all released on Spinefarm Records, showcases why Anti-Flag is recognized as a staple in punk rock. Known for their left-wing politics, Anti-Flag has proven that they are both dedicated activists and accomplished musicians since their formation. Decades of strong political ideals and rousing punk rock songs have allowed the band to assemble a devoted fan base of like-minded individuals all across the world.

“When you’re a band that has been together as long as Anti-Flag has, you take nothing for granted. We have far exceeded any personal expectations we have had for the band, our art, and the reach that it has had. This chapter of our band started with the hope of ‘American Spring,’ the anger of ‘American Fall,’ and comes to cessation with ‘American Reckoning,'” the band said.

“This piece focuses on songs from both records that we felt maintain their relevance, even in the distraction politic Donald Trump America, where issues and truth are distorted in a second’s time. We also wanted to provide insight into our influences that lead us to write the records; that’s where the covers come in. They are songs that people may not expect to be influential to Anti-Flag records, but either in their messaging or sonics, they were tremendously impactful to us as individuals and hence the songwriting process,” they continued.

“We can not be knee-jerk reactionary to a president that uses corporate media to endlessly lie; we created statements and art that we feel directly combat these tactics. ‘American Reckoning’ has allowed us to revisit some of those previous statements and shine new light on them.”

In addition to consistent touring, the band founded their own festival, ANTIfest, that has been held in various locations in Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. since 2012.

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Anti-Flag playing at the 2017 Vans Warped Tour in Scranton here and listen to an exclusive 2017 interview with drummer Pat Thetic, where he talks about George W. Bush vs. Donald Trump, working on music that reflects the current political climate, evolving in sound and message, the music scene in Pittsburgh and across Pennsylvania (with a shout-out Scranton punk band The Menzingers), and more, below: