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Against Me! / The Blood Brothers / True North

Against Me!/The Blood Brothers/True North: live in San Franciscolive in San Francisco (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


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

There are few bands that I am completely in love with anymore. Most of my favorites have had their downs as well as their mighty ups, and many have disappeared into the abyss of hiatuses or reunion shows. Against Me! has yet to let me down, be it on record or in person, and I'm thankful for that. Su.


There are few bands that I am completely in love with anymore. Most of my favorites have had their downs as well as their mighty ups, and many have disappeared into the abyss of hiatuses or reunion shows. Against Me! has yet to let me down, be it on record or in person, and I'm thankful for that. Sunday night's bizarre amalgamation of sasscore heroes The Blood Brothers and roots punk folk stallions Against Me! along with a valiant attempt at angular-ish hardcore by True North and a synth revival by DOD served up a healthy heaping of diversity and talent that is a hard package to beat for 10 bucks.

As we walked up, we found out that the show was already sold out, as the mass of bodies outside the Great American Music Hall should have told us. Getting in was fairly painless, and we meandered around, bumping into Warren from Against Me!. DOD took the stage pretty quickly after the scheduled start time (something I'm not quite used to) and began their onslaught of dancy Le Tigre-esque synth punk pop. Fronted by two young women (I'm not going to call a band who sounds like Le Tigre girls...) backed by two young men on guitar and drums, they entertained us through their 20 minute set. The highlight of their set was watching the aforementioned bearded drummer of AM! "raise the roof" to their set. The other highlight was the amazing amount of energy that these folks had. It was pretty incredible, considering their obvious youth and "small band" status. Girl #1 Gaelan referred us all to their myspace page, which apparently serves as their homepage as well. They are worth checking out if you are into either some of the dancier indie rock that's been coming out, or the post-riot grrrl rumblings of The Striped Cat.

True North took the stage with a presence to rival that of....a chihuahua. Not that their songs are filled with noise and intensity (which they are), they just had very little confidence in the songs while they were up there. The music itself sounded confused. I definitely think that these Gainesville natives are big fans of Hot Water Music, and have similar intentions for their music. It just doesn't come across live. The songs sounded incredibly sloppy, and when the lyrics were decipherable, I wished that they had stayed unintelligible. I can honestly say that we will eventually see a quality performance and body of music from these folks, but they need to figure out what it is that they want to play and figure out how to play it. WIthout a rhythm section driving that kind of hardcore, it gets repetitive and bland, inspiring hecklers like the tough guy/girls behind me to start yelling. Maybe next time.

Seattle, Washington's spastic, hip, and flagrantly effeminate rockers came up next. I'm not a huge fan of the Blood Brothers, but I appreciate the odd talent that goes into their music. It's something to craft start stop hardcore songs with piano and synth with lyrics about teenage pregnancy and abortion while appealing to 15 year old girls. It's not my thing, but I can (kind of) see why people enjoy it. The most impressive part of their set was how obviously tight the band is musically. This type of spastic-core is something that if played sloppily, could come out sounding like a synth falling in a blender. Luckily, the entire band seems to be incredibly talented and carried through their sound into the live setting quite well. Several songs from their new disc Crimes were played, which are all noticeably more relaxed and less spastic than previous songs and albums. Fans were even given a chance to pick up the album directly from the band at the show, before it came out in stores.

a Sitting on the front of the stage, sweat soaked and waiting for Against Me! I couldn't help but worry if the crowd was there for the Bloods or AM!. After all, the scene swoop-hairs were in amazing affect all over the floor and I couldn't spot many folks who appeared to be there just for our boys from Florida. Boy was I wrong. From the start of "Cliche Guevara," it was obvious that everyone who was left in the club loved them like fat kids love cake. The band ripped through an ad-libbed set list including the aforementioned track, "Sink.Florida.Sink," "Those Anarcho-Punks...," "Baby, I'm An Anarchist," "You Look Like I Need A Drink," "The Disco Before the Breakdown," "Reinventing Axl Rose," and pretty much everything in between. They closed with "We Laugh At Danger," and did a two song encore of "TSR" and "Walking is Still Honest." Everything in between was just amazing. I last saw this band in Bernie's In Columbus, where the crowd was overrunning them, and I couldn't believe the amount of energy and tightness then. That was nothing compared to Sunday.

This was a band on fire. A band with something to say, and a short time to do so. They played hard, fast and perfect. Taking time to graciously thank us, toast each other with a shot, and for Tom to give a nice speech about how you should approach the whole voting issue. The gist was that regardless of what you're doing, you should know why you are voting or aren't voting. Another refreshing speech from a performer, especially considering Fat Mike was waiting in the wings watching. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better performance.

The concert was a great deal. 10 bucks for Against Me! alone would have been worth it, but adding in the hilarity of DOD and the peculiarity of The Blood Brothers was some nice icing. You know, the sugary kind on the Dairy Queen cakes of your childhood. The only problem was that True North just isn't quite the band that they want to be yet. I say go see this tour, and cheer all the bands on though. They all pour their hearts into it, and are great folks.

 

 
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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.
Anonymous (June 24, 2005)

the drummers the beautifulest one!
ok
the end : ]

boldredletters (December 18, 2004)

i can't tell if you are serious or not. if you are, you must not have ears. taking back sunday? give me a break.

beast (November 26, 2004)

Oh, another thing, True North is NOT A HARDCORE BAND! Why the hell are you guys even commenting when you don't know anything! They are a wimpy band from Florida that sounds like The Used and some shit band on Victory Records.

beast (November 26, 2004)

For all of you who liked that stupid-taking-back-sunday-dumbass -band, True North, you are all fucking dumbasses and you have HORRIBLE taste in music. I suggest that you kill yourselves. The Blood Brothers were fucking awesome- the rest of you do not understand the intricate, dance-art music that they play beautifully. DOD kicked ass too, they need support, I'm pretty sure they're here: myspace.com/dod

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

Did anyone get pics from this show? (in SF) It was for sure awesome. Actually, my friend Ashley and I talked to warren before the show and he said he'd talk to the guys and they'd sqeeze in "walking is still honest" somewhere....so glad they encored it! BUT...one of the lead blood brothers guys jumped off the stage and his whole body landed on me and destroyed my shoulder so i had to have a guy pull me onto stage so i could get out and get ice and right then they began "walking.." i was bummed that i left my front row spot but whatever. AM! is wonderful! I have dreams about Andrew (bass)..i think i'm in love with him...wow that's sad

but yah if anyone got pics email/IM me- SK8ERGAL1@aol.com

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

i saw against me at the triple rock and it was the greatest show of my life everyone in the pit was on stage at the end and i got to shake their hands and let them know that i think they are the greatest band ever. perfect

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

Against Me! equals best live band ever maybe??? I am seeing them again friday, tee hee. Shut up.

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

Went to the Chicago show last night.
True North was alright.
Blood Brothers were fucking awful, and it's amazing that people actually like them.
Against Me! was fanstastic.
Scenesters should die.

Anonymous (October 20, 2004)

I went to this show in lawrence,KS and Against Me played second. I was a little dissapointed but they still rocked. At least I didn't have to sit through the blood brothers.

prankish (October 20, 2004)

D4 and Against Me! is quite probably the greatest combination of bands I could fathom for one show.

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

I think AM! is headlining the majority of the shows.

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

so AM! is headlining?

Anonymous (October 18, 2004)

D4 and Against ME!!! That tour would rule!

Anonymous (October 18, 2004)

i second that!!

Anonymous (October 18, 2004)

I propose an Against Me! and Dillinger Four tour.

kenjamin (October 18, 2004)

True North sound special to me but i've never seen them so whateva.
Blood Brothers are not special though.

Anonymous (October 18, 2004)

I saw this show tonight. I thought True North was pretty good, but no one really seemed to get into them.

The Blood Brothers and Against Me! were excellent.

Anonymous (October 17, 2004)

also saw this show, also thought true north truly blew. end of story. against me fucking ruled.

Crookedsuperhero (October 17, 2004)

Dammit, don't make this show sound so awesome! I'm blowing it off to go see a sneak preview of "Saw" instead next week.

-Scott

Just rent out Scarface instead, cause you know it's not gonna top that.

Anonymous (October 17, 2004)

I like true north but i think it would of been neater if Twelve Hour Turn played instead.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

When I saw this tour (pomona) True North sucked as well.
Against me and Blood Bros were very impressive though.

Fuzzy (October 16, 2004)

Minor Threat, The Rise, Youth of Today, Every Time I Die, Sick of it All, The Curse, Frodus, Refused, Stretch Armstong, Slapshot, Yaphet Kotto, Hot Water Music. That's most of my hardcore CDs. True North's CD's may be good. Their live shows may normally be great. I'll give you all that. This review was of their performance in San Francisco at The Great American Music Hall on Sunday, October 10th. At that show, they were not good. It sucks to hear that a band can sometimes put on a bad show, but get over it, it happens. I have a pretty vast appreciation for music, and can see the talent in a band and say that they put on a good live show even if I don't necessarily like their music. I saw evidence of neither of these on Sunday. Send me some samples and I'll give their recorded stuff a chance, or send me a free CD and I'll give it a review here. My email is in my profile, or at my website (also in my profile).

kirbypuckett (October 16, 2004)

Scott go to the show and I'll send you a DVD of "Saw."

It was out and UK earlier and I have super human powers that brought it to the states.

- Kirby

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

Saw?!?!?!?!? I saw the preview last night when I saw Shaun of the Dead. Go see Shaun of the Dead instead. Although Cary Elewis is sexy.

slippy (October 16, 2004)

I cant wait to go to this show on wednesday!

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

Fuzzy, im gonna go ahead and speculate that you listen to little/no hardcore music. Anyone that owns more than five hardcore albums could tell you that True North is something special.

maverick (October 16, 2004)

The thing is, the show's gonna be sold out and packed to the gills with scenesters (just like the last BB show here at the Grog over the summer).

In all honesty, I'll probably speed down to the Agora after the movie ends [since it starts before the show] and hope that I'll catch at least one of the two band's sets. But I just wanna see "Saw" so badly, and it's hard to pass up a free ticket.

-Scott

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

Dammit, don't make this show sound so awesome! I'm blowing it off to go see a sneak preview of "Saw" instead next week.

-Scott

dude...youll be able to go see SAW in like a week anyways. who knows how many more chances youll have to see against me in a nice small intimate club, especially playing with a band like the blood brothers.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

scott, you can see saw later. for now i need your fat ass on the monkey bars.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

I don't get it. I did see SAW last week, and it's been out for ages here, and this is the UK. It's not that great, don't blow an AM! gig out for it!!! Typical boring twist ending, if I told you that the dead guy on the floor is not really dead, that'd be a TOTAL spoiler, hahahaha... I thought God's holy America got ALL the films like months before us... anyone seen the new Excorcist yet? Is it any good? Worth blwoing out AM! for?

Fuzzy (October 16, 2004)

Well, it was hyperbole about his lack of "note usage", but the point was that at the particular show I saw, the dynamism that you seem to attribute to them (and particular their rhythm section) was simply not there. Maybe it was an off night, but their performance in San Francisco was not good. The only one who seemed with it was the drummer, everyone else seemed a million miles away and the music was terribly sloppy and the lyrics were terribly trite (from what I could here). I don't know how to else to explain it. I'm not saying that they are, definitively, a shitty band. I'm just saying that based on the performance I saw, I wouldn't pick up their CD, or even get any mp3s to check them out. The rest of the crowd seemed to agree with me, as there was less than no reaction to them.

fattony (October 16, 2004)

Saw this on Tuesday here in Seattle. Record release day for Blood Brothers, so they got to headline. Both them and Against Me! fucking destroyed the place, though Blood Brothers weren't very receptive to people's song requests. I thought True North's set started out okay, but got weaker as it went on. But overall, this is one of the best shows I've been to this year.

Scott, you can see SAW later on, but you'll only have one chance to catch this tour.

boldredletters (October 16, 2004)

I hate to continue this, but I really don't know where you get that the bassist plays "two" notes, or even all on the first four frets of one string...

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

This tour seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity, you can see "Saw" anytime.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

saw this at the glass house last week.. wish AM! would have headlined there. but i must say they put on the best show i've seen in years. they opened with walking is the honest and from there to we laugh at danger the whole set was a sweaty sing-a-long blur. only the avail shows of old could rival the feeling i had all night. they also played the first track off their split with lucero which if you haven't heard it is fucking classic against me!. awesome. 1st time i had ever seen them but it definately won't be the last.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

Score's for people saying untrue things about True North.

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

Score if for Lost In Translation.

fritobandito (October 16, 2004)

seein' this next tuesday, the 26th. gonna be hot. haven't seen AM! since this summer, and even longer for True North.

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

True North and Against Me are two of my favorite punk bands these days. Too bad I hate buying advanced tickets through the Triple Rock and now it's sold out on Sunday night. Seriously, fuck a bunch of service charges and forcing folks to use credit cards. That shit ain't punk at all. I could still go to the show on Monday but I work. Shoot! How the hell does this tour sell out even one show when they're playing the same venue two nights in a row? That's bizarre. If I find out that lameos were buying tickets to both shows, I'm gonna be so pissed.

------------------------------------------------------ -----------------------------
Exactly why i'm not going. Minnesota represent, wut.

Fuzzy (October 15, 2004)

SAW looks like a GREAT fucking movie. MUCH better than THE GRUDGE (I just watched the japanese version of it, not that hot), but this concert is better than any movie I've seen since Lost in Translation.

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

I'm going on Sunday.

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

True North and Against Me are two of my favorite punk bands these days. Too bad I hate buying advanced tickets through the Triple Rock and now it's sold out on Sunday night. Seriously, fuck a bunch of service charges and forcing folks to use credit cards. That shit ain't punk at all. I could still go to the show on Monday but I work. Shoot! How the hell does this tour sell out even one show when they're playing the same venue two nights in a row? That's bizarre. If I find out that lameos were buying tickets to both shows, I'm gonna be so pissed.

maverick (October 15, 2004)

Dude, have you seen the trailer for this movie? Have you read the previews of it online? It's going to be so fucking awesome.

-Scott

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

"Dammit, don't make this show sound so awesome! I'm blowing it off to go see a sneak preview of "Saw" instead next week.

-Scott"

you're blowing off AM! and the blood brothers for Danny Glover? absurd!

Fuzzy (October 15, 2004)

And if you notice, I didn't write them off completely, I said they had promise, just aren't there yet.

Fuzzy (October 15, 2004)

They were definitely not very driving. In fact, the drummer was the only one who seemed to know what the hell he was doing with his instrument. The bassist seemed to stick only with about 2 notes through the whole set, all with the top four frets of the top string of his bass. They seem as if their albums may be better, but their live show last sunday was just not good. Scott, it's much better than any movie could be. You will be missing out sorely if you skip it. This was one of the best performances I've ever seen.

boldredletters (October 15, 2004)

i never said it was because he "didn't like what he heard." he said they were sloppy and insulted their rhythm section in particular, which is, in fact, very driving.

recordings (October 15, 2004)

i love when people accuse someone of *not getting it* just cause they didnt care for what they heard. get off your high horse, buddy.

blood brothers still blow.

boldredletters (October 15, 2004)

Against Me! doesn't decide where to sell the tickets. And there have been examples of them playing different venues (recently) when kids told them about shitty promoters, ticket prices, etc.

Also, True North fucking destroy. I'm sorry if you "didn't get it." Maybe they were having a bad night (not likely), but the two times I"ve seen them they have played amazingly well despite a lukewarm reaction form kids too close-minded to realize what they were witnessing. And, to say that the rhythm section isn't driving enough... ::shakes head:: I realize this is your opinion, but perhaps you should check out their albums if you think they lack direction and then recognize what you missed live. I'm not even going to get into the merits of what good people they are - they have simply undeniably been one of the most innovating acts in hardcore the past several years.

innocentbystander (October 15, 2004)

now i'm even more excited about seeing this show next week!!

maverick (October 15, 2004)

Dammit, don't make this show sound so awesome! I'm blowing it off to go see a sneak preview of "Saw" instead next week.

-Scott

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

I'd at this point like to point out the hypocricy of having to purchase AM! tickets through TICKET MASTER!

Anarchy in the monopolies, man!

-BSD

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

Against Me! is the only band worth a fuck today.

Fuck everyone else.

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