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Anti-Flag Pay Tribute to a Fallen Fan

The photo you’re looking at right now shows a handful of New Jersey high schoolers hanging out with the members of Anti-Flag backstage at Philadelphia’s Trocadero on Feb. 3. The band answered the plea of Rebecka Kelly (the brunette on the right with her arm around drummer Chris Head) to dedicate a few songs during the show to one of their biggest fans, Rob Tallon, who had recently passed away at the age of 17 in a tragic car accident.

The politicized punk rockers in Anti-Flag are known for their scathing condemnations of government policy, anti-war rhetoric and spiky street punk roots, but don’t let that fool you. Even the most hard-edged class warriors soften up sometimes, as this long-running band of bruisers proved during their Philadelphia show.

Kelly asked her older sister to contact the band with a simple request: that they dedicate a song to her boyfriend, Rob Tallon, who was a massive fan and who had very recently passed away in a tragic car accident. Through the combined efforts of her sister, her sister’s friends at the Syndicate radio promotion department and the band’s management, her plea reached Anti-Flag bassist and vocalist Chris Barker. Far from falling upon deaf ears, the bassist was touched, promising to make sure her wish was granted.

“This is one kid’s righteous jam,” Barker announced from beneath the Trocadero’s blinding stage lights. “So we wanted to play it for him. This one goes out to Robert. Hands up high in the sky!” As Rebecka and her buddies cheered, Anti-Flag tore into one of Rob’s favorite songs, shaking the rafters and playing their hearts out for a fallen friend.

Not only did the band follow through on their promise and dedicate a song to Rob’s memory, they also invited Rebecka and several of her friends backstage to meet up and talk, and even invited one of her friends, a drummer, to join them on stage for a song. After the show, Rebecka’s face was wreathed in smiles, and Anti-Flag had once again made it crystal clear just how much their fans mean to them. Cheers to you, Anti-Flag — and to Rob.

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