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Punk rockers Black Flag bring the 2014 Victomology tour to Reno

Black Flag
Black Flag
Photo by John Tuckness

Black Flag "LIVE" in Concert


On Saturday May 24, 2014 legendary hardcore punk rockers Black Flag rolled into Reno with the 2014 Victomology tour at Jub Jub's Thirst Parlor Showroom. Attendance for this show was pretty good, with well over 300 punk rockers of all ages attending.

Black Flag Victomology North American Tour 2014
Promo Photo

The mosh pit was in full swing the entire show with hardly any injuries to mention. It was a pretty rough one though, which made it very difficult to shoot by any means. It was one of the roughest mosh pits this examiner has seen and I've seen many. The moshers don't care who they hit, not even a guy holding two cameras in his hands just trying to stay out of the way. I was pushed, hit and kicked more times than I care to be. Everyone was having a blast circle dancing and hitting each other it seemed, good times.

Also on the bill, Cinema Cinema and added at the last minute, Reno locals The Butchers.

Black Flag is an American hardcore punk band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. The band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag briefly reunited in 2003 and again in 2013.

Black Flag's sound mixed the raw simplicity of the Ramones with atonal guitar solos and frequent tempo shifts. The lyrics were written mostly by Ginn, and like other punk rock bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Black Flag voiced an anti-authoritarian and non-conformist message, in songs punctuated with descriptions of social isolation, neurosis, poverty, and paranoia. These themes were explored further when Henry Rollins joined the band as lead singer in 1981. Most of the band's material was released on Ginn's independent label, SST Records.

Today's current line-up includes, Greg Ginn (guitar, theremin), Mike Vallely (vocals), Tyler Smith (bass) and Brandon Pertzborn (drums).

The set lasted over 90 minutes and went just like this, (from the set list on stage)

"Rise Above", "Six Pack", "I've Had It", "Fix Me", "No Values", "Annihilate This Week", "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie", "Depression", "Damaged ll", "Black Coffee", "I'd Rather Die", "Jealous Again", "Nervous Breakdown", "Police Story", "Can't Decide", "Beat My Head Against The Wall", "Slip It In", "TV Party", "F*cked Up", "Revenge" and "Louie Louie" ( *** Cover).

Each and every member of the band put all they had into their performance as you could see when they came out to meet the fans after the show, they looked beat down and exhausted, after all it was a very hardcore show.

Adding Vallely to the line-up was a very good idea, his vocals were very impressive. Vallely is the fifth vocalist in the band’s 38 years of existence and according to Ginn, "Vallely is the perfect frontman to capture what Black Flag was, is and will be.” The whole band killed it.

Main support for Black Flag was Cinema Cinema.

Cinema Cinema was established 2008, it consist of two cousins, Ev Gold (vocals, guitar) and Paul Claro (drums) from Brooklyn, New York. They have 350+ shows across the USA (30+ states), Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. Five tours with Greg Ginn (SST Records). A European tour alongside Martin Bisi. Two LP's, "MANIC CHILDREN & the SLOW AGGRESSION", recorded by Don Zientara (Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Bikini Kill, etc). Two EP's and one seven inch (cover of PJ Harvey).

Their set lasted over 45 minutes and went like this, (also from the set list on stage)

"Broad Daylight", "Lady Abortion", "Day-Leash", "2010" and "School (Nirvana Cover).

These guys were very aggressive, they had the crowd going with every song they played. The drummer (Claro) put on a very good show. Vocalist and lead guitarist (Gold) tore it up as well.

Before the show, this examiner had a little chat with guitarist Gold outside the venue, he told me, "We are very exited that Greg asked us to join them again on their Summer tour, we are having a great time and have a long road ahead of us playing across many states. And just wait till you see the Black Flag's set, they are unbelievable." And they were.

Starting the night off was Reno locals, The Butchers.

The Butchers are a rock band from Reno, NV and consist of Quentin "Vinny" Young, Mike "Fuzz" Belanger, Wayne "New Guy" Carter and Jesse "Giant" Moran. The Butchers formed from the ashes of previous bands in the Reno area, Skinny Vinny and Coolhands.

The Butchers have shared the stage with many acts, including Heartsounds, Until Your Heartstops, Machine Gun Vendetta, Lucas Young and the Wilderness, Melvin Makes Machine Guns, Calling Cadence and Reno We Have A Problem and now Black Flag. They have also rocked many venues in the Reno/Sparks/Carson area such as The Alley, Club Underground, Club Envy, Studio on 4th, Jub Jubs, and Knuckleheads.

Their set was around 40 minutes and went like this, (again from the set list on stage)

"LOL", "Must Be Nice", "Top Secret", "Take Me Home", "Some Odd Years", "Vulgarity (The Fuzzy Jam)", "Stretchy Pants", "X-Rays", "White Grass Line" and "Sabotage" (Beastie Boys Cover).

Having never seen this band before, this examiner was very impressed with their performance. These guys were very good to say the least. Keep an eye out for this band, I'm sure they will be playing at many more shows in the future. They were awesome.

Jub Jub's is another great venue in our little city with two stages (the big showroom and a smaller stage inside the bar). To see what's up next (click here)

This was a night of great music, it's shows like this that make the Reno Music Scene what it is.

A great time was had by all.

This was a Heather Meyer Presents adventure.

As with all this examiners reviews and feature stories, "The Photos Are What It's All About", so check out the photo slideshow and enjoy the show.

All photos by, JOHN TUCKNESS

To see more photos of Black Flag at this show (click here)

Support your local bands and venues ... Go To A Show.

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