Anti-Flag get intimate and in-your-face at Sneaky Dee's
The Pittsburgh punk prodigy known as Anti-Flag teamed up with some local friends to rock Sneaky Dee's on Sunday night. This was one of the smaller venues on Anti-Flag's current tour, which covers North America this September and Europe throughout October.
As thirsty regulars drank beer and ate nachos below, dozens of young punks stood shoulder to shoulder in the tiny upstairs venue. The College street bar was instantly packed when Toronto locals the Delinquents hit the stage with their aggressive musical style, setting the mood for the rest of the show. In full leather regalia, the Delinquents shredded out driving drum rhythms and assailing guitar melodies. They presented a truly unique performance including a cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" complete with upside down guitar solo.
Next up on the list was Canadian melodic punk band, The Artist Life. Donned with blonde hair and radio pick-ups, the Toronto quartet churned out gritty guitar riffs and catchy lyrical melodies. The energy grew in the sweaty venue as The Artist Life played songs like "Let's Start a Riot" and "City Blocks." The crowd, now joyfully dripping sweat, moshed around the thick-air, dingy bar making the ground shake uncontrollably. As they finished their set, The Artist Life packed up their equipment and retired to back of the bar to sell CDs and merchandise.
As Bad Brains blared from the speakers in between sets, Lemuria began to set up on the tiny stage in preparation for the Buffalo, NY trio's live debut in Toronto. The voice of Lamuria's lead singer, Sheena Ozzella, wonderfully juxtaposed the destructive bass tones and succinct drum lines of the drummer and bassist. The trio from across the pond made an explosive impact on the young Torontonian audience as they bashed and slammed their bodies into one another on the dance floor.
Chants of "Gotta die for your government" erupted from the crowd as roadies and sound technicians set up drum kits and set lists on stage. House Lights dim just slightly as introductory notes blurt out from the buzzing amps, and Anti-Flag jog out on stage.
The Pittsburgh group immediately detonated into a frenzy of running bass lines and a barrage of power chords, submerging Sneaky Dee's in a puddle of punk. Their fast tempo energy and hyperactive demeanor were paralleled by the fanatical crowd members lining the front of the stage. During every song, the crowd would surge forward, like a wave, pushing the monitors dangerously close to Justin Sane and Chris #2.
The two tom drums pillared on either side of the band members were only used in couple of songs, and were ultimately destroyed to the audience's delight. They ripped through a dozen of their hits in an hour long set, and the crowd screamed along with every word. After leaving the stage for a moment, Anti-Flag returned for an encore playing personal favourite "Spaz's House Destruction Party."
Drummer Pat Thetic jumped into the tornado of sweaty punks and cleared a space to put his kick and snare, settling down in the eye of the storm to play Anti-Flag's final song.
Words and Photos by Alex Kamino.
Join the conversation Load comments