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The question asked was, "Which did you like better, Black Flag or Flag in 2013?"
If I had to pick one, I'd pick Flag. But, that said, making that decision is like picking your favorite individual dessert of all time, or like asking John Holmes which was the best time he had sex, or like asking an addict which was his favorite high?
Both shows were amazing. I thank everyone in each band for making this a reality in 2013. I am ecstatic that I seized the opportunity to witness both shows.
They rank among the best shows that I can remember seeing in my life.
Slayer (every time)
Poison Idea (in that Philly squat)
DOA (in that Philly abandoned building)
7 Seconds (abes)
YDI and Faction shows at G's Beef n Brew in Allentown
COC / DRI @ West Catty
Dead Kennedys @ West Catty
Spazz in Philly
Man is the Bastard in Philly
COC & Malefice in Philly
Superchunk and Velocity Girl many times
Laughing Hyenas @ Khyber Pass
Bimskalabim @ City Gardens
Sepultura @ Troc
Napalm Death (every time)
GG Allin at Wallys Bethlehem PA
Bad Manners @ City Gardens when they had like 10 brass and reed instruments on stage...
Government Issue, Dr. Know etc.. philly 1980 something
Suicidal Tendencies, Fang, 76% Uncertain etc... at New York South
AC/DC in Philly
Agnostic Front @ City Gardens
Nirvana at Maxwells
...you get the picture.
Bob FOD (photo by Colin Markham)
Opening the show was the legendary Flag of Democracy. Philadelphia hardcore legends who have been pummeling eardrums since the beginning of hardcore. It seems they are in the middle of reissuing all of their records in expanded format.
Chuck (Flag) and Dave (FOD) (photo by Colin Markham)
I have been lucky enough to consider these gentlemen my friends for a very very long time. Thank you F.O.D. for always being there! Much appreciated!
Cerebral Ballzy was up second and I had never heard their music before this gig. Highlights were when they introduced a song about "skateboarding too fast" and another about "copious amounts of drugs".
Jack Grisham was amazing leading TSOL through so many classics. He said the last time TSOL shared a bill with Black Flag was in 1981, in a Long Beach backyard on 21st and Lime, down from Snoop's house.
I may or may not have seen T.S.O.L. in my lifetime (brain cells have failed me), but this was definitely a classic. The week before I played one of my favorite T.S.O.L. songs "Terrible People" on Up To No Good Radio thinking they wouldn't play it live, but they sure did (very happy), and followed it up right into "Superficial Love". Of course that got me thinking about Jeff Hanneman, the Slayer guitarist who passed away on May 2, 2013. Slayer covered "Abolish Government/Superficial Love" and many people have always wondered why I love punk, hardcore AND metal... Jeff understood the connection!
Jeff Hanneman of Slayer
Flag killed. So many great songs. It looked like one of those rock awards shows where all the legends get on stage and jam. But this was a hardcore legends show.
FLAG (photo by Colin Markham)
Keith on vocals was spectacular. Every syllable was projected from his compact body like a demonic expulsion. Every muscle in his body contracts as he convincingly belts out those classic lyrics. I think everyone wants to be Chuck's friend. He looks like the coolest grandpa playing bass. Ripping it up with the energy of a teenager and the smile of someone who just found out the girl he likes, likes him back. Dez is a monster on guitar and vocals. Such a treat to get to see him put down the guitar and sing a few of the songs. Punishing to say the least. Bill on drums and Stephen on guitar are ALWAYS magic. And they played just about everything except "TV Party" (which is fine with me).
Keith Morris celebrated his birthday at the Trocadero Philadelphia show.
Jack from TSOL bringing his cake.
Thanks for sharing this moment with us.
Keith hanging in Philly PA
Milo was in the crowd at the Philly show. He didn't hit the stage like he did in Baltimore. But I did awkwardly approach him, give him the thumbs up during Cerebral Ballzy's set and he shook my hand. Thanks Milo.
Milo fronting "Damaged I" in Baltimore
Milo singing "Damaged I" with Flag in Baltimore
I have had the privilege of seeing Black Flag (with Rollins), Descendents, All, Circle Jerks, that Misfits/Black Flag thing... etc.. many, many, many times in my life, but tonight... this was extra special.