***This photo gallery/review is a little delayed due to some hood rat piece of shit that decided to pepper spray me while waiting to go home after the show, so my vision was impaired for a day or two.***
A couple weeks ago, one of my favorite venues DNA played host to an incredible night of punk and politics with co-headliners Anti-Flag and Leftover Crack, with support from War on Women, Blackbird Raum, and Homeless Gospel Choir.
With the exception of Homeless Gospel Choir, I was familiar with all the bands on the bill, and was super excited to see how the night played out.
One man, one guitar – Homeless Gospel Choir is exactly what you need to kick off a night like this. Powerful, reflective, political, gritty, melodic, and a little light-hearted – Derek Zanetti did well to win over the crowd and get the juices flowing for the rest of the night.
Next up was Blackbird Raum. The band fits very well with Leftover Crack, and the sextet is so full of energy it makes your head spin. Washboards, banjos, stand-up bass and more set this band apart from the average. And with dual male/female vocals, the band’s sound is quite unique. The folk-punk sound and community is alive and well here on the West Coast, especially here in Northern California, and the band drew quite the crowd of smelly punks dancing and singing along.
War On Women made it on the cover of the last issue of New Noise Magazine, and it’s no wonder why. The members are no stranger to the punk scene, coming from some heavy hitters in the East Coast punk game. The self-described ‘co-ed, feminist hardcore band’ does well to get the crowd moving, but not too much to where they miss the political undertones of some of the tracks. Frontwoman Shawna Porter is in your face with an aggression only akin to other hardcore bands. The crowd ate it up and was lubed and ready for Leftover Crack to take to the stage.
There’s no such thing as Leftover Crack so they say. This is a band I never tire of seeing. The guys have their ups and downs, and everyone has their opinion of them, but I absolutely love the music and the message. When guitarist Chris Mann came to stage donning a angry baby mask, I knew it was going to be an incredible set. The diversity of a Leftover Crack show is a sight to see – young and old, punks and squares, drunks and straight-edge kids alike dance along to the catchy yet sometimes dark tunes of the C-Squat rockers. The band always samples a little bit from their Choking Victim catalog, including one of my favorites, “500 Channels”. In true LOC fashion, the band always touches on politics, and being that it was Super Tuesday, the guys had a lot to say about the current state of affairs in our country. Politics aside, the band rocked the house, inviting members of Blackbird Raum and other friends to share the stage to close the set.
Finally to the stage was the Philadelphia veterans Anti-Flag. Get your pens and paper ready, as there will be a lecture, and you are expected to take notes – there will be a test at the end of the set. Despite the numerous breaks for political rambling, Anti-Flag has always been a favorite of mine to see live. Chris #2 is like a bouncy ball, just bouncing around stage, jumpkicking and throwing hands in the air – it’s a great stage presence. Justin Sane still hits all the marks and does well to get the crowd to sing along with him. Big thanks to Barry Synoground who invited me to the soundbooth to shoot from there – the pit was pretty rowdy and lacked protection for little ol photographer me. Although, I was back sidestage as the set rounded out, and Chris #2 joined fans in the middle of the pit with his guitar. Super intimate and great moment to be a part of. There’s no wonder why Anti-Flag has been at it for 20 years and selling out venues left and right.
Have a look at all the photos from the night below.
Huge thanks to Barry and Alan, as well as Noah and crew for a great night at a great SF concert institution.