Review by Mark Mc Grogan
Tonight has been in the diary for quite a while, two legendary US Punk bands gracing the stage of a venue In Belfast, something tells me tonight is going to be total carnage.
What a night, what a line-up, the old guard is out in honour of our esteemed guests and the smell of decaying punks fills the air like old spice.
Up first, TOTAL CHAOS. A punk rock band from Pomona, California that has been active since the 1980s. The band is well known for its high-energy live performances that often blend punk, hardcore and Oi! music.
One of the defining aspects of TOTAL CHAOS’ live energy is the band’s intensity and aggression. The band’s punk rock sound is layered with fast-paced drums, distorted guitars, and vocals that are delivered with a raw, in-your-face attitude.
The band’s frantic presence further amplified by their lyrics dealing with themes of rebellion, social injustice, and working-class struggle. The energy is contagious and often results in the audience becoming equally as wild and frenzied. Their live shows are often a blur of flying bodies, stage diving, and crowd surfing everything any good punk-rock show can deliver.
TOTAL CHAOS’ live energy is reflected in the band’s interaction with the audience encouraging them to get involved in the show, inviting them to wail the lyrics and join in the mosh pit. The band’s live shows are not just about the music but have always been about creating a sense of community and shared experience.
The band’s political stance also contributes to their live angst, known for their lyrics that are anti-establishment, anti-fascist, and pro-working class. Their live performances often serve as a platform to express their views and raise awareness about social and political issues. This adds another layer of energy and urgency to their live shows.
The band’s intensity, aggression, and stage presence creates a powerful and unforgettable live experience. The band’s energy is contagious and has the Belfast crowd equally wild and frenzied. TOTAL CHAOS’ live shows are not just about the music, but about that sense of community an ethereal experience that will live with you far beyond tonight’s performance.
Now time to catch our breath. After a quick turn around the time has come for the one, the only Black Flag.
Black Flag the legendary American punk rock band that formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. A band known for their legendary, aggressive and intense live performances, which often included acts of vandalism and confrontations with authorities are here in front of me.
One of the defining characteristics of Black Flag’s live shows is the raw energy that they bring to the stage. From the opening song to the final encore, the band is in constant motion, with band members thrashing around whilst delivering lyrics with a ferocious intensity. The band’s guitar work is also noteworthy, with Greg Ginn’s frantic and distorted playing driving the songs forward.
What I love about Black Flag’s live performances is the sense of chaos and anarchy that they create.
The band’s political and social commentary also stands out in their live performances. The band’s lyrics deal with themes of alienation, rebellion, and social injustice, and are delivered with a powerful urgency, the band’s anti-establishment stance further emphasized by their confrontations with authorities, both on and off stage over the years. Not tonight though, it feels a little more reserved these days. But all that angst is still there, dripping like the sweat from their brows as they toss out those legendary songs one after another.
Overall, Black Flag’s live performances were a must-see for any punk rock fan, The band’s energy, aggression, and anarchic spirit is made for an unforgettable live experience. Their influence on punk rock and underground music can still be felt today through the overflowing appreciation from crowds far and wide, so far from home they are among friends here at The Limelight tonight. A band that influenced so many,
Black Flag’s live performances were a quintessential part of the punk rock scene of the 80s and beyond, Their raw energy, political and social commentary, made for a truly unforgettable live experience. Black Flag’s influence on punk rock and underground music can still be felt today, making them a band that will always be remembered in the annals of music history, tonight Belfast bear witness to their greatness, all hail Black Flag.
Photography by MPM