by Robert Bell
8 p.m. The Phoenix (formerly Rogue). $25 adv., $30 door.
To be honest, the more I think about this, the more I feel really conflicted about it. There might not be another band that was as important as Black Flag was in my own personal development as a very angry young man. "The First Four Years" and "Damaged" were just earth-shatteringly important records for me and no doubt for many thousands of other very angry young men as well. I still get ultra-pumped up hearing "Revenge" and "Thirsty and Miserable" and "Depression" even now, nearly two decades after I first heard them.
I missed Black Flag in the band's heyday. Being anywhere from 1-8 years old at the time, I was not exactly ready to tear it up in ye olde moshe pitte. As such, I always had to endure these stories from the older punkers in Fayetteville about how they'd seen the band "back in '86 maaan." (In retrospect, at least a couple of these people were way too young to have gone to the show and were just lying).
So the idea of Black Flag touring in 2013 and playing in Fayetteville is beyond weird. And when you consider the fact that another iteration of the band — called simply Flag — is also touring, well, it gets ... I don't know, it's just weird.
Henry Rollins, in what I believe to be a wise and classy move, is staying out of all of this reunion business. In a 2011 interview, he told Nardwuar that "since Gregg Ginn has never paid any member of Black Flag a royalty, or given any member of Black Flag even a royalty statement, I think there's probably quite a bit of animosity between himself and some of the band members. There are some of these people who are owed money. If anything, they're at least owed an accounting. I mean that's just good principle."
He's right. And maybe that's one reason why I'm unable to get excited about Black Flag in 2013. Ginn gets to cash in and call Flag "the 'fake' Flag band currently covering the songs of Black Flag in an embarrassingly weak 'mailing it in' fashion," all the while those guys and Husker Du and Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth and other bands that released albums on his SST Records are still owed money. Or at least an accounting.
Ginn's other band, Good For You, opens.