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Against Me! / Smoke Or Fire - live in Richmond (Cover Artwork)

Against Me! / Smoke Or Fire

Against Me! / Smoke Or Fire: live in Richmondlive in Richmond (2005)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


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

Ever gone to a show alone? It's weird. Kinda like seeing a movie alone. When it's going on, you don't mind, but in retrospect, you think "gee, what a loser I am." Eh, nothing new there. Three friends bail on me last minute; one working, one sick, one caring for sick person (his fiancé). Oh well, .


Ever gone to a show alone? It's weird. Kinda like seeing a movie alone. When it's going on, you don't mind, but in retrospect, you think "gee, what a loser I am." Eh, nothing new there.

Three friends bail on me last minute; one working, one sick, one caring for sick person (his fiancé). Oh well, if you wanna miss Against Me!, that's your loss. Due to a pre-show interview, I missed the Pink Razors, but came in just as Smoke Or Fire was setting up.

Now comes a time when I have to remove a foot from the inside of my mouth. I had only heard a little of Jericho or JerichoRVA or whatever the hell they were calling themselves, and thought simply "meh," "M-E-H." Then they change their name to Smoke Or Fire, and whoopidy-doo. I listen to the new album; wowsa, impressed, but still unwilling to take everything back. They hit the stage with the opening track from the new Fat debut Above the City, "California Is Burning." Holy shit. Through a brief set, they rocked, and I mean fucking rocked. I wish I could tell you more of that they played, but I didn't catch the set list, and wasn't too familiar with their material. But let me say this: if you are at all on the fence about these guys, catch their live show, as it truly captures a sense of rock, spirit and fun that I haven't witnessed in a long time.

Here's a subtlety about Against Me! you may or may not have noticed. I consider them to be a pretty popular band; they draw decent crowds and have a fairly strong following. But every time I have seen them play (I believe this was my 5th or 6th), they NEVER come out to dramatic or hip opening music. Never. They just come out, say "hi," grab their instruments, check their levels, and rock the fuck out. Nothing against the bands that do this (I love Avail playing David Allen Coe), but this is just as down to earth as you can get.

Anyways, I wanted a certain opener, and after a brief sound check, I got it. "Cliché' Guevara" sent everyone into a fist-pumping surge of chaos. This would be the first of an almost entire set of singing-alongs. Their playlist was rather well-rounded, consisting of a good mix from Reinventing Axl Rose and As the Eternal Cowboy. Your humble narrator's favorites included "You Look Like I Need A Drink," "Potatoes, Rice and Bread," "Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong," "Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious," and a new one, titled on the set list as "Energizer." Very fast, very rockin'. And if they play it in your town, watch Warren on the drums for this one; the man is a maniac.

Against Me! hold a quality that we see so very little of in bands today: they love to play. And I mean that in a sense that the listener/viewer can easily tell that they love what they do, and aren't afraid to show it. No bullshit frowns, or cocky attitudes, just smiles the entire show, for every minute of every song.

 

 
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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.
joeynukes (May 18, 2008)

"Tom's deaf in one ear? Sounds odd. Then again, people were saying he was gay too, so maybe it's not that far fetched."

Hahaha, sick theories.

Anonymous (May 2, 2005)

i think tom stands to the side because in many bands the lead singer is in the front and center and the focus is on them. by him standing to the side you see the band as a band not tom

Anonymous (April 28, 2005)

not much interaction? holy shit...last time they played the troubadour the entire crowd ended up on stage singing, dancing, drinking, and the entire show was a party. some other venues have more restrictions, but i still always get a sense of connecting with the band. they put so much into their playing that i can't resist getting into it myself.

CantSitStill (April 28, 2005)

i heard this band a couple times on XM, it sounds like they're afraid to crank up the gain on their amps. or am i missing some kind of "throwback" sound?

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

"NOTHING TOUCHES AGAINST ME! LIVE. Best live band period, thats it. They blow everyone else away"

Really? They're pretty boring live every time I see them (four times). Kind of just do the songs... I guess the guy gets into it... There's not much interaction besides between song banter and sing along choruses... Which isn't bad, just doesn't make for the most thrilling live experience.

-BSD

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

Tom's deaf in one ear? Sounds odd. Then again, people were saying he was gay too, so maybe it's not that far fetched.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

he's deaf in one ear so he has to stand sideways to hear the sound monitors.

nimby (April 27, 2005)

I would say the reason he stands to the side is because him and James do a fair share of the singing together, and maybe to even out the sound? That's one of the things that was so appealing, besides the great music, about AM! the first time I saw them a couple years back.

fritobandito (April 27, 2005)

oh shit son. I was at the Bmore show, couldn't make the drive to Richmond.

I'm exactly the same as you in relation to Smoke Or Fire. I was kinda like "eh" about em, didn't really find the album earth-shattering or anything. reminded me a bit of a slightly harder 7 Seconds cover band, really. But their performance @ the Ottobar fucking KILLED.

and the fact that AM! opened with Impact was enough to make me be able to die a happy man.

Energizer you say? remember any words? They played some new ones like Don't Lose Touch, Violence, and some other one the name keeps changing on (maybe that's "Energizer").

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

Anybody know why Tom plays facing to the side? You know what I mean?

nimby (April 27, 2005)

Against Me!=best fucking live show ever.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Score is for the size of my cock

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Against Me puts of a fucking show.
scores for musicians that love what they do.

-walking a lonely chode

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

The singer of last crash is married to beau beau from avail. Which is why they were on that show most liekly, i mean, they really didnt fit and they sucked.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

yea i'd love it if you'd hit me up with pictures and maybe some live footage

soc102683@comcast.net

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Sickboi: As a Richmond kid with overprotecive parents who won't let him see a show on a Thursday, please hit me up with the live set if you get the chance: burstandbloom@gmail.com if it's possible.

jamespastepunk (April 26, 2005)

FINCH over the Explosion and the Souls?

Dump her.

exploitedyouth (April 26, 2005)

it's weird that the going to a show alone thing came up today, because last nite was the first show i went to by myself my girlfriend could only afford one show this week and she chose finch over the souls and the explosion geez.

~exploitedyouth~

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

i went to a de la soul show alone a couple months back and had a great time. and by alone i mean i didn't even run into anyone i knew all night.

and against me's good, too.

sickboi (April 26, 2005)

Yeah, i have a few, and I filmed the whole set,

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

sickboi, do you have any other pictures from the show?

that show was absolutely incredible.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Missing Pink Razors is a bad idea. This sounds like a great bill except for Smoke Or Poopie.

Benjasaurus (April 26, 2005)

This is my all-time favorite band, even if they are fucking Plan-It-X Records over by making them stop repressing the Crime EP.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

sickboi, yea its the same /w me, i'm 24 now, i really only have 2 friends left that'll go to shows w/ me...one lives 150 miles away so that rules him out for most, the other is a bitch about money and only likes maybe 1/5 of the bands i do.

shows i've gone to alone and am damn glad i did...
mad caddies/pulley at laga, 2 weeks before it closed, partied w/ mad caddies afterwards
new found glory/good charlotte/fenix tx (smoked up w/ nfg and they are my guilty pleasure)
taking back sunday in march 03, right before John and the other dude left the band
i swear i've been to at least one alk3 show alone, mabye more

i could go on and on. i really do like it sometimes, cuz I went to Thursday w/ my one friend Chris once and he kept saying shit to me in the middle of songs and FUCK its Thursday, i want to just fucking listen and focus on that shit, not bullshit about something. seriously, like every song he had something to say to me, stfu and watch the show dammit.

paul

jamespastepunk (April 26, 2005)

Nothing touches Against Me! live? Aside from the obvious sexual pun, you're wrong.

Less Than Jake tears these guys up live. However, that is not to say Against Me! isn't an amazing group (live as well as in the studio) but saying that they're untouchable live is in my opinion, false advertising.

That said Against Me! is absolutely amazing live.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

yes, SMOKE OR FIRE shredded Tallahassee. They played here last year as Jericho, and I only liked them a bit. But last month, they were fucking GOLDEN.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

On CD I have found Against Me! entertaining, but not really one of my favorite bands. However live they are absolutely amazing and blow every other band outa the water. Last time I saw them, they played with my favorite band for the last year or so, the Blood Brothers, and while the Blood Brothers destroy Against Me! on CD, and put on a great live show, simply put

NOTHING TOUCHES AGAINST ME! LIVE. Best live band period, thats it. They blow everyone else away

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

I saw these guys at SXSW, and now I really like Smoke or Fire. I read somewhere that people called them post hardcore which is ridiculous. Well, if they are, I guess I like post hardcore now...

I prefer to go to shows alone, you don't have to deal with your douche bag friends who want to leave early or don't like to get in the pit. Its easier alone.

sickboi (April 26, 2005)

Wow. This is pretty cool. A lot of people go to shows alone too, eh?

My comments about going alone were really because I always see so many large groups going to shows. Since I'm a little older, and most of my friends are, its hard to get someone to come with me. I used to drag my ex to shows, but, well, she's my ex now and I have no desire to be around her.

irishred (April 26, 2005)

I saw these band in Tallahassee about a month ago (yes, the capital of the state known for fucking up elections). Both bands were incredible despite a smaller crowd. Against Me! even stuck around after the show and had a few beers with a group of fans. Good guys and two great bands.

innocentbystander (April 26, 2005)

i go to shows alone all the time too. if i only went to the shows where someone wanted to go with me i would miss out on a ton of shows.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Did they play "Impact" at this show? It seems like they've been playing it at every show this past tour.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

if you happen to find that smoke or fire record, pick it up. you could mail order it, or go to a bigger store (virgin mega), they'll have it. it's pretty fucking good.
-TOBB

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

i go to a lot of shows alone. my friends don't like a lot of the music i like, or they are pussies and dont' want to spend money (yet have no prob. buying 7 dollar jager bombs for no reason at the bar on a wednesday night, but an 11 dollar concert? nooooo). fuck it. its fun. ya may not have that dude to high five when lagwagon plays 'bombs away' or that girl to kiss when new found glory plays 'sucker' (hehehehe) but you can focus solely on the music, still mosh, if thats your thing, or use it as an excuse to tell a cute girl 'hey i'm here alone cuz myf riends all backed out'

wtf am i saying all this for?

paul

ps. i need to find this effing smoke or fire cd, sounds promising.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

I'd love to see this show.

Is it comming to New Orleans?

sickboi (April 26, 2005)

Weren't Pink Razors supposed to play?

threechordsandthetruth (April 26, 2005)

I really need to catch these guys, play the UK you fucks!

MarkieStabone (April 26, 2005)

yeah the first band was called last crash. pink razors did not play the show, unfortunately.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

i'd like to say they're not going to make that jump to the majors, but after you watch "we're never going home" you realize the level of temptation the band gets from big labels. there's this one scene with this douche A&R guy sitting outside getting all deep about against me's love for music or some shit...hilarious. but it does rule to watch a young punk band run up big label bar tabs though...against me, major or not = great band.

sickboi (April 26, 2005)

This review is chock full of fuck-ups, so meh.

I don't know who the opener was, I was going by what was on the flyer, who knows.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

i go to plenty of shows alone because my friends aren't into punk. it's no big deal. its stupid not to go to a show alone just because you think people will look at you like a loser. who cares.

potshotrocker (April 26, 2005)

was the first band called last crash or pink razors? im pretty sure they were last crash cause thats the merch they had, that part of the review kinda confused me. oh well,they sucked either way

LMChc (April 26, 2005)

going to shows alone shouldn't be a problem

god forbid you meet new people

only thing that sucks is paying for gas by yourself

thenightprowler (April 26, 2005)

After you go to like 2 shows by yourself you get very used to it.

It allows you to notice more things about crowds & fun things like that.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

score is for richmond.

TheOneTrueBill (April 26, 2005)

I go to a lot of shows alone. sure, it gets boring between bands sometimes, but you're there to see the music not to socialize. I'll never get the attitude of people who'll refuse to go to a show if no one comes with them.

potshotrocker (April 26, 2005)

that condolleeza song they played was pretty niice

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Here’s a subtlety about Against Me! you may or may not have noticed. I consider them to be a pretty popular band; they draw decent crowds and have a fairly strong following. But every time I have seen them play (I believe this was my 5th or 6th), they NEVER come out to dramatic or hip opening music. Never. They just come out, say “hi,” grab their instruments, check their levels, and rock the fuck out. Nothing against the bands that do this (I love Avail playing David Allen Coe), but this is just as down to earth as you can get.

my god...they're so down to earth that they don't have a pretentious, dramatic, theatrical, overblown intro with Also Sprach Zarathustra playing as they enter!!

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

I've been to a show alone, it's like going outside naked, kinda awkward, but whatever. But, I actually prefer seeing movies alone, my friends always talk during movies, so it's easier to concentrate when they're not there.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

This lineup sounds kickass.

I went to my first "I went alone" show this year, wasn't too bad. Had some drinks, flirted with the coat-check girl, talked to random people, rocked the fuck out. There's nothing wrong with it, haha.

SoF is really good.

ifitwasaday (April 26, 2005)

I agree with LevitateMe.

Rice and Bread.

Score is for Against Me! putting on one of the best shows around.

jamespastepunk (April 26, 2005)

Unsuprisingly, I go to the vast majority of shows alone.

Skanknsmile (April 26, 2005)

each time i see them, they never fail to impress me. i will love these guys forever and more

stevejonestherealbones (April 26, 2005)

when is this band goin to the majors...should be soon

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

LevitateMe (April 26, 2005)

Rice and Bread

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

i saw this tour come through cincinnati and although i always love an against me! show, it was a pretty short set.

and i don't know what they're trying to pull with the "we don't do encores" thing, because i've seen them do one and not seen them do one. make up your mind!!!

but am! shows will always rule, no matter what.

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