NEPA Scene Staff

Meet and eat with Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag at Eden – A Vegan Cafe before Scranton concert on Jan. 17

Meet and eat with Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag at Eden – A Vegan Cafe before Scranton concert on Jan. 17
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From a press release:

For years, Pittsburgh punk rock band Anti-Flag has advocated for animal rights and promoted vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, so when it was announced last month that the group would be coming to Scranton in January, Eden – A Vegan Cafe in downtown Scranton got in touch with them to organize a special “Eat, Meet, and Greet” event before the nearby concert at Stage West on Thursday, Jan. 17.

“We wanted to be sure to get the guys to Eden – A Vegan Cafe for some pre-show eats because we know they are way into vegan food, and once we started talking to them about it, we all decided to put together something that their fans could be involved in, as well as raising funds for a local charity,” Eden owner Christian Pilosi said.

For a $20 minimum donation, fans can hang out with the band at Eden (344 Adams Ave., Scranton) and enjoy a buffet featuring several different kinds of specialty pizzas, buffalo and barbecue drumsticks, stromboli slices, turkey club triangles, tuna sub bites, and chocolate chip cannolis from Vegan Treats in Bethlehem.

Tickets are limited to only 15 fans and can be purchased at the restaurant during normal business hours. Eight of the 15 spots have already been filled since tickets went on sale yesterday. All of the proceeds with be donated to the NEPA Youth Shelter, a nonprofit with a mission to provide quality emergency shelter and related services to unaccompanied youth ages 14 through high school graduation from all counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on social justice and advocacy, the shelter provides essentials such as food, clothing, and bathrooms, as well as services such as educational support, counseling, family reunification, and/or preparation for independent living, welcoming youth from all backgrounds and especially LGBTQ+ youth, as this population constitutes a high percentage of homeless youth in the area.

On the evening of Jan. 17, fans can arrive at Eden at 5:30 p.m.; the band will be there around 6 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages concert at Stage West (301 N. Main Ave., Scranton), which are $20 in advance or $23 the day of the show, are sold separately through the venue and can be purchased online via Eventbrite.

“We are so appreciative of the graciousness of the guys in the band to come to our restaurant, to eat and chill with a small group of fans, and to help raise money for such a worthy charity – punk rock, vegan food, and a worthy cause! Be part of this added content for what is sure to be a rockin’ night in Scranton,” Pilosi enthused.

Doors at Stage West open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 7:45 p.m. Fellow Pittsburgh punks Swiss Army will open the show, along with Exeter heavy metal band Royal Hell and Scranton indie rockers Esta Coda.

Making regular appearances on the Vans Warped Tour, 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, 2018 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:

Photo by Keith Perks/1120 Studios/NEPA Scene