Review by Joe Wiehl,  Photos by Karen Mandall

Black Flag’s Victimology Tour  | Hard Rock Live on the Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada.   May 18,2014

The latest version of the legendary band Black Flag, featuring Greg Ginn on guitar, Tyler Smith on bass, Brandon Pertzborn on drums, and professional skateboarder Mike Vallely on vocals, hit the stage of Hard Rock Live on the Strip on Sunday, May 18, 2014.  They started off the set in classic Black Flag style, an instrumental jam with a guitar tone and playing style that only Gregg Ginn can deliver.   Add to that the amazing drumming of Brandon Pertzborn and pounding bass from Tyler Smith, they quickly grabbed the attention of the audience anticipating what was coming next.  Through the sound of  guitar feedback at the end of the instrumental came a sound that instantly gets your adrenaline pumping and whips the audience of punks, young and old, right into a frenzy.  That sound is the instantly recognizable opening drum beat to the song Rise Above and at this moment you know you are at a Black Flag show!

Mike’s powerful vocals brought these songs to life and he sang with the passion of someone who lived this music his whole life.  Black Flag played songs spanning the history of the band from songs like Nervous Breakdown and I’ve Had It from the first Black Flag EP all the way up to Annihilate This Week from the Loose Nut album. They played all the classics from the Jealous Again and Damaged albums with songs like Jealous Again, No Values, Revenge, Six Pack, Police Story, Depression and TV Party. They also played songs from the heavier Black Flag era like Slip It In and Black Coffee from the Slip It In Album and two of my personal favorites Can’t Decide and Beat My Head Against The Wall from the My War Album. As they ripped through these songs you could see the camaraderie in the band and they were having a great time. I even noticed at one point during the chorus of Annihilate This Week where Greg cut out the guitar for a second so they could get a quick chuckle from Tyler’s backing vocals.  Black Flag is a band that people are very emotionally attached to and everyone has their favorite album from a band that has constantly evolved. If you are a true Black Flag fan you definitely don’t want to miss the Victimology Tour.

Tour dates available on Black Flag’s official website:

Check out Karen Mandall’s photos of the show:

About The Author

Joe Wiehl
Music and Gear Reviews

Joe Wiehl, guitarist for hard rock band, BlackBox13, and punk band, 3 Step Charlie, reviews music and gear for

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