Alexisonfire, Anti-Flag, Four Year Strong, The Ghost of a Thousand - The Eastpak Antidote Tour 2009
Just like Never Say Die, which took place less than a week before this event, another big tour embarked on Dutch territory. Eastpak Antidote Tour is a more punk rock oriented tour and included big acts such as Flogging Molly on the bill last year. This year we had the chance to see The Ghost of a Thousand, Four Years Strong, Anti-Flag and Alexisonfire on stage. Sadly The Fall of Troy had to cancel their appearance but this shouldn’t spoil the fun anyhow. Party time!
First up was the UK-based upcoming act The Ghost of A Thousand. Their music can be compared to country mates such as Gallows and Dead Swans and also more or less Cancer Bats from Canada. The typical English metalcore/hardcore I’d say. The band played a half an hour slot in front of a growing crowd and right from the start there was some movement in the venue (circlepit!). Even though the crowd seemed to enjoy this, I think their music is not original enough to really stand out and after a few songs it got boring for me already. Not my cup of tea, but definitely not a disastrous performance.
Talking about disaster, I won’t even start about Four Year Strong. I opened the doors to the venue and saw some bearded men playing pop-punk including a keyboard. This very sad reporter left the venue during this performance a.s.a.p!
Anti-Flag is where it got way better compared to the first two acts. This band exists for over 20 years now and even though they’re getting a little older now (especially the drummer), their enthusiasm is no less. Anti-Flag’s latest release The People or the Gun is the best proof for this. Kicking in with an older track, ‘The Press Corpse’ (from 2005’s For Blood and Empire) they immediately managed to set a perfect vibe. The rest of the set continued to contain strong catchy punk rock tracks such as ‘Fuck Police Brutality’, ‘Die For Your Gouverment’ and ‘War Sucks, Let’s Party!’ besides some new tracks such as ‘Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C’ and ‘The Economy Is Suffering’ and ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’, originally by the one and only The Clash. A very decent and catchy set, but the anti-government attitude they’ve kept over the years seems a bit inappropriate for a successful commercial punk rock band playing at big shows like this.
I already had my tickets in the pocket for Alexisonfire’s show in the Melkweg in 2007, but somehow the show got cancelled. Instead of rescheduling the gig, they managed to make me wait 2 fucking years for their performance. However, it turned out to be worth it! Opening with ‘Drunks, Saints, Sinners and Saints’ from their critically acclaimed 2006 album Crisis, Melkweg almost got rid of its roof and the rest what was left of it. The set continued with some future classics from their brand new album Old Crows, Young Cardinals such as ‘Born and Raised’, ‘Old Crows’, ‘Accept Crime’ and ‘ Young Cardinals’ besides their golden hits from the past few years such as ‘Boiled Frogs’, ‘This Could Be Anywhere in the World’, ‘We Are The Sound’ and ‘Accidents’. Frontman George Pettit turned out to be the most excellent entertainer for a show like this, throwing the young stagedivers aggressively off the stage if they stood on the stage for too long or wanted to take pictures of the band during their set. Even though the band is probably more known for their guitarist and singer Dallas Green, he kept pretty quiet during the whole set but treated the audience with his golden voice. Damn, I love this band!