Anti-Flags Brings Punk Back To Phoenix

The night was cold, you could see your breath in the cold Arizona night. the parking on the street was full. There was a small line forming outside the Crescent Ballroom. The people waiting in line were dawning ripped skinny jeans and battle vests, the crest of punk culture. People were excitedly talking in line, their voices getting higher and louder the more excited they get. Everyone was excited for the nights lineup. Two of the bands playing that night were Arizona locals!The crowd started the night slightly light, there were gaps in the crowd. The first band to hit the stage was The Limit Club. The Limit club is a psychobilly/punk rock band from Phoenix, Arizona. The band is made up by Nick Feratu-vocals/guitar, Niko J-drums/backing vocals, NickDave-Upright bass/vocals/ and Miranda Duffy-guitar/backing vocals.

The Limit Club instantly hit the ground running. They kicked their night off string with fast paced songs and high energy. They were what some of the sleepy crowd needed to wake up and get energized. NickDave was singing many of the songs alongside Feratu or alone. His voice complimented his upright bass. Another fun and noticeable thing was their drummer, Niko J, plays the drums standing up. Another likeable trait that would make anyone a fan of theirs is that they truly interact with the crowd. Any chance they had they had they were talking to the crowd. Their performance was instantly a hit with the crowd.

As the stage crew and The Limit Club cleared and reset up the stage for the next band, the crowd had grown significantly. The lights began to dim and the crowd slowly pushed their way closer to the front. The next band to perform was We Are the Union. This  ska/punk band from Ann Arbor, Michigan is made up by Reade Wolcott-vocals/guitar, Brandon Benson-bass/backing vocals, Ricky Weber-guitar, Jer Hunter-trombone and Brent Friedman-drums.

As the band began to play the crowd screamed and sang along. Their energy was truly on a high, as the night continued this was a theme. There was never a drop in energy and each band would top the previous band. Reade truly was amazing at interacting with the crowd. At one point she mentioned the love she had for the LGBTQIA+ community and their supporters. Reade came out as trans in 2021 with the release of their album called Ordinary Life. She has created a safe space where everyone can feel safe and loved. What truly made this show special for the band was that this was Brent Friedman’s last show with We Are the Union. Member’s from Anti-Flag came onto the stage and sang alongside Reade. Reade also mentioned that Friedman asked to dig up some older songs for the show that night as his farewell gift.

The stage was being cleared for the next band. This band had a smaller line up and they were another Arizona local band. They were none other than the all female punk rock band The Venomous Pinks! This punk rock trio formed in 2013 and hit the ground running since their arrival to the scene. The bands line up is Drea Doll-guitar/vocals, Gabby Kaos-bass/vocals and Cassie Jalilie-drums. They are instantly a hit with the crowd, giving off girl power without pronouncing it. They are the band you want girls to experience as they grow up, to show them that women can do anything.

Their set is truly powerful, fun and energetic. They capture their own version of punk into a nutshell. Doll interacted and engaged with the crowd quite a bit. She could draw you in if you were not originally paying attention. All their songs flowed together while complimenting the song before. They moved from side to side on the stage, and Kaos would jump off the drum platform here and there. Their set came to a close with a band and the audience was feeling the energy!

It was finally that time of the night. The moment everyone had been waiting for all night. At last it was time for Anti-Flag to officially hit the stage and get the crowd to truly come out of their shells. By this point the small venue had filled up. Every one was crammed together like sardines in a can. There was no where to move, where ever you had ended up you were stuck for the show.

The punk band hails all the way from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and was formed in 1988 originally and then reformed in 1992. The band consists of Justin Sane-vocals/guitar, Chris No. 2-bass/backing vocals, Chris Head-guitar/backing vocals, and Pat Thetic-drums. They opened up their set with “Fight of Our Lives”. The second the first note was played the crowd went absolutely mental!

They began to interact with the audience. the main member who interacted with the audience was Chris No.2. He would address the crowd, tell them to go nuts, sing and dance along. As they began to play “Die For The Government”, from their album Die for the Government (1996), everyone began to sing along. People were moshing in the crowd causing those in the front to pushed into the stage and other spectators.

When Anti-Flag started to play “Turncoat” off their 2003 album The Terror State, the crowd grew rowdier. People began to jump onto the stage and crowd surf. Many made it to the back but there were a few who jumped into the crowd and the audience let them fall. At one point the photographers were seen shifting their bodies and holding their cameras above them or in the opposite direction of the crowd surfers.

This show began to get rowdy and crazy. It was every metalhead, punk, or rockers dream. Anti-flag played a few more great hits throughout their remaining set. The crowd ate up “Broken Bones”.  When it came to their song “This Is the End”, they had a special treat. Thetic left his drum set, and a surprise guest came onto the stage and took Thetic’s place at the drums. It was none other than Meghan Herring of Dollskin. She played that song with such force and spunk. The crowd went bananas for it. It was finally time for the night to end and Anti-Flag ended it with two great songs: “American Attraction” and “Brandenburge Gate”. The audience went all out for the last two songs, giving it all they got alongside the band.

Anti-Flag finally left the stage and the audience wanting more, but rest assured that when Anti-Flag makes their way back through Arizona, the people will flock to their shows.

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The Venomous Pinks
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We Are the Union
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The Limit Club
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Crescent Ballroom
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