Most punk bands seem to fall into one of two camps: jokester nihilists gulping down beer as if more will never be brewed, or politically inclined firebrands screaming about class war from a soapbox fashioned from power chords and studded leather. Going by the band's name alone, you can probably guess which faction suits Anti-Flag. While bits of black humor popped up on their debut album in '96, every subsequent release has done away with more of the laughs in favor of screeds about taking action against our crooked government and the corporate pigs that pull the strings. Considering their politics, it's odd that the band signed to RCA for two albums, a polarizing move that left early fans either scratching their heads or going hoarse from cries of "sellout." But with or without a major label, Anti-Flag's live show has always been brimming with spastic energy, and this time they'll need to conjure up every bit of it to win back jilted fans while earning new ones. With Aiden, Cancer Bats, and the Menzingers. All ages.
Thu., Jan. 14, 5 p.m., 2010