Don’t fret, Anti-Flag comes to the rescue in Reno

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Justin Sane and the Pittsburgh band Anti-Flag return Reno on Thursday, Sept. 27.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

It’s the mother of all after-parties. On what could be the most contentious day of Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency, Anti-Flag will perform in Reno.

The show at Cargo Concert Hall will no doubt be cathartic and inspirational to those agonized by the daily chaos and crises caused by the less than two-year-old White House administration. It will be like MSNBC with swear words.

The Trump presidency was in its first days when Anti-Flag last played in Reno on Valentine’s Day 2017.

“What I found very quickly on the tour that there were people coming out to the shows who were just horrified by the outcome of the election and they really were looking for a community of people where they would feel they weren’t alone,” singer-guitarist Justin Sane told Tahoe Onstage after the show.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

“They could go to a place and realize, ‘Wow, there are other people who feel the way I feel, which is Donald Trump is a disaster.’ ”

While most bands want a hit song on the radio, the punk rock band from Pittsburgh that formed 21 years ago always has advocated an egalitarian democracy and the First Amendment tenets of free speech and the right to protest the government. On Thursday, with the U.S. Senate weighing the future of a Supreme Court nominee — and Trump perhaps deciding to ax the Justice Department official supervising the investigation of Russian interference in this country’s 2016 election — the nation might appear at the brink of kleptocracy.

When it began its “Silence=Violence” tour at the start of the year, Anti-Flag sent a message on its website: “The mission of the Trump regime has been clear from day one, the normalization of bigotry.” There were no shows in Charleston, Standing Rock, El Paso or Parkland, but those places still had a presence.

Anti-Flag’s new album, “American Fall,” includes visceral tracks “Liars,” “Racists,” “When The Wall Falls” and “The Criminals,” which has the lyrics, “Every day it is a crash and burn, our nation hijacked by the criminals.” The tour was accompanied representatives of the organizations A Voice For The Innocent, Love Hope Strength and peta2, which, respectively, supports victims of rape and sex abuse, raises money to fight cancer and advocates ethical treatment of animals.

“I think punk rock shows are places where we can come together and find our allies,” Sane said. “It’s important in life to know that you’re not alone.”

After a run of shows on the West Coast, Anti-Flag will have a month-long tour in Europe and the United Kingdom.

— Tim Parsons

  • Anti-Flag
    Openers: Mourning Eyes, Cruel, Heterophobia
    When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27
    Where: Cargo Concert Hall
    Tickets: $15
    For: All ages
    Tahoe Onstage

About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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