Black Flag Live In Philadelphia (6/17/2013)

blackflag

This past Monday I celebrated my birthday, and while I was skeptical, I figured there was no way I could in good punk rock conscience possibly miss Greg Ginn and Ron Reyes version of Black Flag play Philly’s Union Transfer.

The show was completely sold out, but since there were a lot of old heads who mostly wanted to stand in the back, there was actually a decent amount of room on the floor.

Good For You:

First up was Greg Ginn’s and skateboarder Mike V’s band Good For You, and they took the stage while the younger kids sang along and eventually broke out into a pit.  They played a style that critics would probably define as “punk mixed with hard rock”, but what I would describe as just boring.  Don’t get me wrong, Greg Ginn’s guitar work was solid and the drummer who looked incredibly like Rickety Cricket from Always Sunny In Philadelphia was equally intense, but I couldn’t get behind the vocals, and the music just reminded me of the later/more experimental Black Flag that I just never could get into.

The fact they played for nearly an hour certainly did not help their cause.

Black Flag:

Black Flag eventually took the stage, and the band actually consisted of all the members of Good For You except the singer was replaced by Ron Reyes (The short term Black Flag singer who was on the Jealous Again EP, who was credited on the album as “Chavo Pederast”, spanish for pedophile).  The punks immediately broke out into a pit, and while I joined, I honestly could say something just seemed to be missing from the set.

Maybe it was the slowed down versions of Black Flag songs, maybe it was the low energy of the performers, or maybe it was that fucking strobe light that went off the entire set that was making anything impossible to see (to which my friend said “I guess they really don’t want anyone looking at the band”) but I definitely was not feeling the show.  It seemed to be more like a Black Flag karaoke show.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely went in the pit during some of my old favorites such as Police Story, and Nervous Breakdown… but I actually found myself yawning throughout their set which for me who gets stoked on almost every show, was weird.

Am I disappointed?  Yes, very. But I also wasn’t expecting too much (and besides, I’m much more excited to see FLAG, Keith Morris’s rendition of Black Flag).  If this show comes around your area, do yourself a favor and don’t go, because as nice as a guy Ron Reyes seems, I can’t help but feel like it’s nothing but a cash grab for Ginn who’s trying to cash in on his name.

Highlights:
Rise Above
Six Pack
TV Party
Police Story
Jealous Again
Revenge (I think they did this one)
Nervous Breakdown
Louie Louie

 

MP3:
Black Flag – Revenge

More:
Minor Threat
The Adolescents

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I had noted the competing (maybe not so much?) versions of the band touring this summer and was leaning toward trying to see FLAG. I was curious about the Ginn/Reyes Black Flag but felt that it probably would not be good. I won’t waste my time or money.

    1. Yeah, I hate the fact I wasn’t a fan of the show (and I’m a big Black Flag fan) but since both were coming around my parts too, I figure I try to see them both (although I got my ticket before FLAG announced their show).

      I’ve heard better things about the FLAG set, and I’m sure some people had fun at Ginn’s version, but if you’re expecting a mind-blowing reunion… definitely not there.

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