Since 1993, ANTI-FLAG have been reinforcing what it means to be “punk rock activists” but their first of two “#ANTIFLAG20” shows at Toronto’s Hard Luck Bar focused on the importance of camaraderie. The Pittsburgh heroes slammed their fist down on a stack of records – Die For The Government, A New Kind Of Army, Mobilize, The Terror State, and The General Strike – and did so with a dynamic supporting cast. CODE ORANGE KIDS got buck with head-chopping hardcore, HOSTAGE CALM won the audience over with a setlist that left blisters on the heart, and though we missed most of their set (sorry guys), we were told JUNIOR BATTLES were a DIY shot to the face.
From the start of the night to its sweaty end, looking out for your mosh partner wasn’t a choice, it was a priority. The venue’s intimacy called for unity and it propelled Anti-Flag’s set to a rare height as they ripped through classics, Ramone Covers, and “Die For Your Government”, which closed the night and set Toronto’s punk community on fire.