- by Nate Hennon
Most of the time a live album can get a little confusing for the casual fan. Is the band trying to fill a gap between albums? Did they re-work arrangements to better fit their live act and want those versions out there as well? Or, are they just in need of money? Similar thoughts may arise when you hear about a band releasing an acoustic album. So why would Anti-Flag release an acoustic live album? Well, in this case it's all about the money with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Amnesty International.
Sticking to their Punk band ethos, Anti-Flag took a different approach on their latest release. Where a typical live album is the best of several different performances, Anti-Flag's "Live and Acoustic in Vienna (Live)" is a single take performance originally recorded directly to vinyl.
Diverging from their regular live set-up, Anti-Flag stripped down their well-crafted song to just two guitars and vocals. Which is impressive considering the set list. During this little performance, Anti-Flag played a few oldies, a few newbie and, just like any good live album, they throw in a Ramones cover just to be safe. Specifically, Anti-Flag highlight a few songs from their 2015 release, "American Spring", and "Turncoat" from their highest-charting album, 2003's "The Terror State". Bookending the performance are two songs, "The Press Corpse" and "This Is the End", from their best-selling album, according to iTunes, 2006's "For Blood and Empire".
Because Anti-Flag is a great live band, and it is hard to be fully invested in an acoustic set. However, Justin Sane and Chris #2 play their hearts out and display why their sons and friendship have stood the test of time. These two are not traditional singers but are the only ones who can do these songs justice in this setting. This may not be an album for Anti-Flag newbies, but it is an album for those Punk rock kids who have grown up with this band. Not everything needs to be loud and fast. Sometimes anger and a guitar are all you need to get your message heard.