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Against Me!

Against Me!: Live in Fort LauderdaleLive in Fort Lauderdale (2014)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: misterspikemisterspike
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In the 1992 comedy, Wayne's World, Wayne and Garth are asked by a smarmy TV executive (played by Rob Lowe), how they felt about making some changes to their namesake program. "Change?" said Garth, "We fear Change." The same could be said for punk fans. Change isn't always embraced and it is someti.


In the 1992 comedy, Wayne's World, Wayne and Garth are asked by a smarmy TV executive (played by Rob Lowe), how they felt about making some changes to their namesake program. "Change?" said Garth, "We fear Change." The same could be said for punk fans. Change isn't always embraced and it is sometimes flat-out rejected. Against Me! has gone through a laundry list of changes since the band last played in South Florida (February 2010, just prior to the release of White Crosses): a new label (Total Treble); a new drummer and bassist (Atom Willard and Inge Johansson, respectively); and a new identity and lease on life (frontwoman and founder Laura Jane Grace).

However, any fears about change that the sold-out crowd of 700 may have had were erased the moment Against Me! took the stage at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale on January 26, 2014. From the moment the band kicked into the set opener "FUCKMYLIFE666", the fans were screaming along with every word, just as they had in that same room four years previously, albeit with some different faces. When the second song, "Pints of Guinness Make You Stronger" started, the crowd went wild, shouting along so loudly so as to drown out Grace and guitarist James Bowman's vocals.

It was then that it was clear. For all the changes that the band may have gone through in the past few years, the music and the visceral feelings that come with it have remained largely the same. Whether it was songs from their excellent new release Transgender Dysphoria Blues ("True Trans Soul Rebel", " Unconditional Love", "Dead Friend", "Black Me Out"), or songs reaching back to 2002's Reinventing Axl Rose ("Walking is Still Honest", "I Still Love You Julie"), Against Me! played with the same fire that they have been known for. Perhaps more.

New members Willard and Johansson form a powerful rhythm section that drives the band as hard as ever, with a stage presence to match. They both clearly love playing with the band, and their smiles were evident for the entire set. All four members were clearly enjoying themselves, and the fans were as well. Watching the crowd surfers and the fists in the air, Grace would step away from the microphone to interact with fans, a bit more than in past years.

After "Sink, Florida, Sink", the band left the stage while the crowd made the ubiquitous "One More Song" chant. A few minutes later, opening band The Sidekicks came out, picking up Against Me!'s instruments and belting out Rage Against The Machine's "Sleep Now in the Fire". The members of Against Me! and opening band The Shondes danced, jumped, and hugged to the side of the stage, with Johansson getting particularly excited.

As the band reclaimed their instruments and played "We Laugh at Danger (And Break All The Rules)", the room became one shouting the refrain that "… there is no hope for us". Johansson put his bass down and dove into the crowd, with Grace switching her guitar and finishing the song out on his bass. As the final notes were played and the lights came up on the sweaty exhausted faces of band and fans alike, it became clear that perhaps change wasn't so bad after all.


Setlist:

FUCKMYLIFE666
Pints of Guinness Make You Stronger
New Wave
Walking Is Still Honest
True Trans Soul Rebel
Cliché Guevara
I Still Love You Julie
Unconditional Love
White People for Peace
I Was a Teenage Anarchist
Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists
Pretty Girls (The Mover)
Don't Lose Touch
Dead Friend
Miami
Thrash Unreal
Black Me Out
Ocean (Grace dedicated this to her mother, who was in attendance, calling her "The strongest woman I know.")
Sink, Florida, Sink

We Laugh at Danger (And Break All the Rules)

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
elliot (January 29, 2014)

That's a real good setlist. Smartly playing just one song from White Crosses.

misterspike (January 28, 2014)

My only disappointment was that they didn't play "Paralytic States".

BrainTrust (January 28, 2014)

This is one fine setlist

GlockWPBFLA (January 28, 2014)

I was at this show and it was my 6th time seeing Against Me!, I was thoroughly impressed with the energy and set list. One of the best AM shows I have been too,. Eff the haters of Laura Jane Grace,

ramajama14 (January 28, 2014)

I went to the show in St. Pete and was fairly stoked for The Sidekicks as well... was personally a little disappointed in their performance. It wasn't terrible, but they were a bit to jam bandish at times and came dangerously close to boring. Against Me! was epic

BarleyPat (January 28, 2014)

Great review and sounded like a great show!

hobbzoid (January 27, 2014)

this is a great review!

eazyd2 (January 27, 2014)

ooft cant believe they playing unconditional love instead of TDB or paralytic states I WOULD fuck shit up if that happen when they pplaying SYDNEY

77jordan (January 27, 2014)

solid set list!!

danperrone (January 27, 2014)

am! was surprisingly good when i saw them at the stone pony. really on point. good set list too...a fair amount from each record.

asxyouxwish (January 27, 2014)

no mention of the sidekicks performance? kinda weak.

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