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Against Me! / Epoxies / Smoke or Fire

Against Me!/ Epoxies / Smoke or Fire: live in Oronolive in Orono (2005)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 5


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

Less than a week into their cross-country trek, the Fat Tour pulled into Orono, Maine, just outside of Bangor. Despite the venue's location directly across from the University of Maine, attendance was pretty sparse. Against Me! played in Portland in April and the crowd there probably doubled those i.


Less than a week into their cross-country trek, the Fat Tour pulled into Orono, Maine, just outside of Bangor. Despite the venue's location directly across from the University of Maine, attendance was pretty sparse. Against Me! played in Portland in April and the crowd there probably doubled those in attendance this time around.

With four bands on the tour, there was no local opener. Instead, the Soviettes got things started. A number of people in the crowd had mentioned going mainly to see the Minneapolis four-piece, and they got a pretty positive reaction despite their early time-slot (8:00). Having not ever been into the band, I've got no idea what songs they played.

Next up was another recent Fat signing, Smoke or Fire. While I was really anticipating their set, the Soviettes probably had more people on the floor than this Richmond group. They've got short songs and managed to play almost all of Above the City. These guys come off amazingly strong live and their being influenced by bands like Hot Water Music, Avail, and Strike Anywhere certainly shows. They played one new song, which isn't any sort of departure from their older material. It would have been nice to have seen some more songs from the Jericho days, but after being requested to play "Beauty Fades" time and time again, they confessed to simply not remembering how it goes.

The Epoxies instructed the bar to turn the Red Sox game off the television, dropped their banner, and put on one of the more entertaining sets I've seen in a while. I'm not a fan of these guys (and girl) on CD, but their live show is pretty fun. They had sweet costumes consisting mostly of mesh, tight jeans, and brightly colored duct-tape. While I still have no intention of picking up an album, I'd happily go see them live again.

And then there's Against Me! It was funny seeing these guys in a small club just weeks after they has played in Giants Stadium. Against Me! shows have always had lots of sing-along choruses, hand-clapping, and fists in the air. This time was no different. My only complaint with past Against Me! shows has been that they played for too short a time. I guess with Searching for a Former Clarity out they have some more songs to play and didn't want to leave out a lot of the older staples. This was the longest I've seen them play, which was about 45 minutes. They covered a good chunk of their back catalogue and some of the more energetic tracks off Searching. On their last tour they played a few of the new songs such as "Miami" and "Joy," neither of which were played in Maine.

Against Me! has a reputation for putting everything they have into a live show. Coming on the stage in their trademark black jeans and shirts they didn't say anything for the first few songs. Even then, comments were sparse. Andrew kept abandoning his bass to get his hands clapping, and Warren left his drums to do some crowd surfing during the encore performance of "Walking is Still Honest."

As always, Against Me! stole the show, and it was clear that the bulk of the crowd, although thin, had come to see them. They didn't spend much time talking from the stage, but were hanging out before and after their set. Tom was at a bar stool playing on his Blackberry before the show got started.

If you live in the States, the tour is going to be coming your way, so check it out.

Set list (not in order):

  • Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
  • Rice and Bread
  • Those Anarcho Punks are Mysterious
  • We Laugh at Danger and Break All the Rules
  • Walking is Still Honest
  • Impact
  • T.S.R.
  • From Her Lips to God's Ears (The Energizer)
  • How Low
  • Holy Shit
  • Problems
  • Violence
  • Sink, Florida, Sink
  • You Look Like I Need a Drink
  • Reinventing Axl Rose

 

 
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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 (November 10, 2005)

saw them in burlington on that tour and they did play impact as an encore... when i saw them in baltimore in april they started off the set with impact... that show was one of the best i've ever seen... i was almost on the stage and i barely could hear the instruments coz all of the crowd would sing along...

when i saw them in burlington they their best set in my opinion for the 6 times i've seen them in the last 8month... lots lots of reinventing and old stuff... amazing band. cant wait, they'll be in montreal in december im wishing real hard for an acoustic in-store.... *cross my fingers*

Anonymous (October 4, 2005)

"As always, Against Me! stole the show, and it was clear that the bulk of the crowd, although thin, had come to see them."

How did they *steal* the show if everyone was there to see them? "Stealing the show" would only occur if an opening act blew away the headliner.

I hate how lame cliches are thrown around with no real understanding of what the fuck they mean.

Anyway, just my pet peeve. Good review.

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

thanks brah.

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

against me on conan

http://www.myspace.com/punkrockvids

boldredletters (October 3, 2005)

i've seen against me! 8 times over the years, and they've never played impact. if they don't play it one of the 3 times i see them on this tour, i will cry.

allison_le_gnome (October 3, 2005)

Yeah, whatever. I guess this is making it onto the site.

First date of the Fat Tour- Toadā??s Place, New Haven, CT on 9/18.

(WARNING: This is mostly my horribly biased personal experiences, injected with some of the obnoxious tone of a show review. Sorry.)

The Soviettes played first. They're amazing, though you could barely hear anyone's vocals (except Danny's) over the instruments. He and Sturgeon (guitar) kept looking at each other and cracking up during their last song. Later, I talked to Annie (guitar) and Danny (drums) a little bit, and they signed my copy of LP I (Exact quote: "My name is Danny and I just signed this compact disc sleeve"). I can't remember many songs, but in no order: Paranoia Cha-Cha-Cha, Multiply and Divide, (Do) The Stagger, How Do You Like That, and Middle of the Night.

Next, Smoke or Fire. To put it plainly, they sucked ass. They opened with their only song I had previously heard, Californiaā??s Burning. However, we did have fun making fun of the ridiculous faces the band and their fans were making, as well as their crappy tattoos. They actually managed to give me a headache.

Thennn... THE MOTHERFUCKING EPOXIES. Their set was probably the best thing Iā??ve seen in my life.
They first came out to set up their gear, then turned on the fog machines and left. Some people were getting pretty impatient, but when they returned, it turned out they had been preparing their trademark bizarre clothing. FM Static (synths), for example, was wearing a black shirt and pants covered in tape, a blazer made entirely of duct tape, and a caution tape tie. And, of course, those weird skinny sunglasses (which they were selling at the merch table). The 4 male members of the band came out first and started with Stop The Future, while Roxy Epoxy (vocals) came onstage partway through the song. Even the visual effect of seing them play was outstanding- besides the usual fog and bubble machines, strobe lights, tight pants, keytar, and duct tape clothing, the bass and guitar were actually outfitted with green lasers! Viz (guitar) soon discovered the disco ball on the ceiling, and aimed his guitar/laser so that it reflected all over the crowd.
Roxy was all over the place- her strange mix of dancing and a seizure is infectious [That phrase sounds familiar. I may have accidentally stolen that from some other review]. Partway through a song, she started kind of looking through the crowd. After a moment, she pointed at me and mouthed (though she could have been yelling, actually, I wouldnā??t have been able to hear her over the music) ā??Are you Allison?ā?, then pointed at the friends I had mentioned I was bringing along, and asked if they were with me. I said yes, and after the next song, she pointed at me and said, ā??This is my friend Allison, and some friends, who Iā??m glad I finally got to meet.ā? or something along those lines. Iā??d never talked to her anyone from the band except through email/Myspace/their message board, etc. before, so that was pretty astounding. I had a chance to meet FM and Shock Diode (bass) later (any to have them sign their s/t album on vinyl, which I had just bought) later, and the first thing both of them said was, ā??Are you Allison?ā? as well- it was starting to sound like the catchphrase of the night.
Except for a few minor glitches, their set went quite well. At one point FM complained that the volume on the synth was fluctuating (Roxy: ā??How about you just shut up and play the song?ā?), and for one song the guitar was overpowering the other instruments, to the extent that I couldnā??t even recognize which song it was for quite a while. During Please Please, something happened to Vizā??s guitar. He put it down on the stage and started frantically trying to fix it (someone ran over with a flashlight to help), and jumped back up just in time for the guitar solo. Songs (those I remember, in no particular order, except for the first and last two): Stop The Future, Donā??t Talk To Me [GG Allin], Radiation, Need More Time, Everything Looks Beautiful On Video, Wind Me Up, You Kill Me, It's You, Stop Looking At Me, Synthesized, Please Please, and You.

Against Me! played last. It was announced that all of their profits from the show would go to the parents of someone (I canā??t remember who) who had had a heart attack onstage and died. We left the immediate stage area at that point because, to be honest, Iā??m not really that huge an Against Me! fan. While they played was when we were able to meet some of the Soviettes and Epoxies at their respective merch tables, though it was obviously pretty hard to talk to anyone over the noise. I didnā??t recognize any songs, except for Sink Florida Sink. During their last song, there were probably at least 20 kids onstage, which the security (all two of them) tried their utmost to prevent, though they gave up pretty quickly, when they realized they couldnā??t do anything.

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

that has to be a joke

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

Listening to Against Me is worse than Ashlee Simpson live.
The new Story of the Year is the JAM!

-sidewalk- (October 1, 2005)

i'm a little pissed i missed them on Conan. but by a little pissed i mean not pissed at all since i was busy seeing the fucking Bouncing Souls!
and did they rock you ask??
oh, yes my friend. they did indeed bring the fucking rock. it was totally sold out too and i managed to shouldertap a ticket after about an hour or so, and that made my night. street dogs were really good and 7 seconds sounded great and played all kinds of old shit. the souls were on point as always and even threw in the guest, lay em down and smack em yack em, quick check girl, punks in vegas, headlights...ditch!, and brought timmy chunks out to play guitar for true believers. great show except for the 45 year old big implants lady with the beat face on stage dancing while 7 seconds played. she was helping them with their shit so i assume she was dating or married to one of them, but the dancing she was doing belonged at like a greaser rock show, it totally clashed with 7 seconds' music. that is all.

Anonymous (October 1, 2005)

orono? bangor?

fucking gay

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (October 1, 2005)

anyone tape conan performance?

SenorRefresco (October 1, 2005)

If they said "fucking" it would have just gotten edited out, so knowing that they just said "equals" to get the same point across. Equals is what it says in the lyric book, not fucking, sooo..

lushj (October 1, 2005)

"The Conan peformance really pissed me off. They sounded great but changed the final verse to get rid of "fucking".

Lame."

Blame the FCC, not the band. Write 'em a letter fcc.gov telling them people use these words all the time, we can handle hearing them on tv amongst all of the dead bodies disturbing plotlines about incest and abuse on "L.A. Law," especially in "safe harbor" (10pm-6am).

Anonymous (October 1, 2005)

The Conan peformance really pissed me off. They sounded great but changed the final verse to get rid of "fucking".

Lame.

-sickboi

gregs (October 1, 2005)

They show the previous night's episode of Conan on CNBC the following day. So you can catch it Monday if they're still doing that

Anonymous (October 1, 2005)

Is there anywhere I can download their performance on Conan?

SenorRefresco (October 1, 2005)

Against Me! owned on Conan.

Anonymous (October 1, 2005)

Itā??s weird to see a show that I attended, in Maine nonetheless, reviewed on here. I really enjoyed the show. I saw them in Portland back in April and enjoyed the smaller show in Orono immensely compared to being in a sea of 16 year old kids.
-xshanex

Anonymous (October 1, 2005)

Hey, you think it's easy being an anarchist? You gotta stay on top of things!

We'll just use those capitalist bastards' spiffy techno gadget to subvert the system.....we'll use it Against Them!

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

"Tom was at a bar stool playing on his Blackberry before the show got started."

Anarchy.

sallyjesse (September 30, 2005)

I could care less about their music, but they're playing in ALL 50 STATES includinging alaska and hawaii!!! that rules

yayforapathy (September 30, 2005)

"- I still love you julie
- The politics of starving
- Cliche Guevara
- Unsubstantiated Rumors..."

If they added those four songs that would be one of the greatest shows I have ever seen.

localh (September 30, 2005)

Aquabats are not a good show anymore...
Too much off of the charge cd! They should just stick to playing fury in its entirety.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

"such as?"

Aquabats

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

Against Me! can't steal the show there reviewer guy. The are the headliners and therefore owned it to begin with.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

"I wish everyone would get off Against Me!'s nuts. They are good, but there are TONS of better bands, who are better live."

such as?

TheOneTrueBill (September 30, 2005)

I only got an 82%. Still a B and better than the class average but I expected to do way better. :(

OKSoda (September 30, 2005)

Alright, I let you off this time. You better get a goddamn A on that test though.

TheOneTrueBill (September 30, 2005)

Yeah, most of the time even if I know I don't like a band I'll usually stay for a little bit, but this was just a bad night for that. I was sick and had a test I really had to study for the next day, so I had to set my priorities straight.

OKSoda (September 30, 2005)

Hey Bill, I was there for the Soviettes. Though I got there late, so i was standing in the back. I agree they are better in smaller areas, but they kicked ass.

Smoke or Fire was pretty amazing. That was the first time I had the chance to see them, and they did very well.

The Epoxies have lasers on their guitars.

You shouldn't have left before Against Me! Honestly, you may think you don't like the band, but watching them play some of those songs live is just an awe-inspiring event.

SteveJonesTheRealBones (September 30, 2005)

ok..the superdude comment in this review are his funnier ones, not so much the letters to bands.

also, how was against me's performance on conan?
did dogs walk backwards and shit fall up?
or is that tonight?

- jones the bones

- stevejonees8770@yahoo.com

8dollarclarinetsolo (September 30, 2005)

im looking forward to seeing this tour a couple times! and if the band order stays the same, i can just leave after smoke or fire

Benjasauruss (September 30, 2005)

As much as I talk shit on this band...

the two times I have seen them have been the two best shows I've ever been to, closely followed by Defiance, Ohio.

I think I will go see them in Richmond after all. I wanna see Impact live.

TheOneTrueBill (September 30, 2005)

I went in Chicago. I'd say maybe ten people were really there for the Soviettes, including myself, but they played pretty well. It's more fun to see them in a smaller place but I'm glad they're getting recognitions.

Smoke or Fire were there. That's about it. The kids liked them though.

The Epoxies are almost too fun to contain. Everything about them makes a huge smile come across my face. I'll definitly try to see them whenever the opportunity comes up.

I left before Against Me! came on. I don't like them and had a test to study for. The Epoxies and The Soviettes were well worth the money though.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

I'm seeing them on Nov. 12 at an all ages venue with no bar. I hope it doesn't suck.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

I wish everyone would get off Against Me!'s nuts. They are good, but there are TONS of better bands, who are better live.

McGarnicle (September 30, 2005)

"When in Rome..."

--------

go on....

rkl (September 30, 2005)

what a shit review.
i have no idea if the soviettes, or any of the other bands were tight, what kind of energy they exuded...

might as well have called this AM! live in orono and left off the rest.

OKSoda (September 30, 2005)

What the hell was I doing when I typed that comment? Not one word is constructed correctly. Good god.

OKSoda (September 30, 2005)

I c`an't even believe they played impact at the cnore in Chicago. It was amazing. I've seen these guys for the past 3 years, and they have never played that. Awesome.

sickboi (September 30, 2005)

I'm not a very good reviewer, and hardly a good critic. Compared to that asstacular MCR review, I enjoyed reading this, but I gotta ask, how did the headliner "steal the show"?

When in Rome...

Sirens (September 30, 2005)

seeing them play Baby im an anarchist back in the day, that was good times.

superdude (September 30, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. Were there a lot of anarchists there?

2. Selloutz

3. Smoke or Fire? Like you could choose.

5. I decided to skip 4.

6. Is Against Me! going to play this same set on Conan?

7. Also, is Arnold playing Conan?

sickboi (September 30, 2005)

"Miami" is awesome live. Can't wait for this tour.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

To the person a little ways below me, they started playing "Impact" back on their april and may tours. I'm not sure who the april tour was with but the may tour was an east coast tour with murder by death.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

That is a pretty good set list. Very well-rounded. I wonder how many times this tour will be reviewed before they year is over.

WIth their new album, it seems like I'll be dancing more at their shows than singing along.

gregs (September 30, 2005)

By the way, they DO play encores now. Here's the Cleveland set list (by album):

T.S.R.
Cliche Guevara
Sink, Florida, Sink
Rice and Bread
You Look Like I Need a Drink
Turn Those Clapping Hands into Angry Balled Fists

Justin
From Her Lips to God's Ears
Pretty Girls
Joy
Problems
Don't Lose Touch

Impact

Pints of Guinness Make you Strong
Reinventing Axl Rose
Walking is Still Honest
We Laugh at Danger and Break All the Rules
Those Anarcho Punks are Mysterious

gregs (September 30, 2005)

hey cdogg...they played don't lose touch, pretty girls, and cliche guevara in cleveland the other night, so there's hope for you

SomeoneAnonymous (September 30, 2005)

Would it be a good idea to buy tickets in advance for this?

lushj (September 30, 2005)

"i'd go to this show if the epoxies weren't playing, the soviettes weren't playing, and against me weren't playing anything off of cowboy or clarity."

In other words, you want to sit in your room and listen to your favorite Against Me record(s). Just admit it, no big deal...

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

I wish this tour would come to Ohio. And not Cleveland on a weekday. Any other part of Ohio on the weekend. Shit, I really, really wish it would come here.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

Nice setlist.
looking forward to their show at the Glasshouse

-PsychoOS231

inagreendase (September 30, 2005)

friday december 2nd webster hall nyc

Thank you sir.

wehavecomeforyourchildren (September 30, 2005)

they wouldn't play impact four fucking years ago back when they were playing small rooms and the kids were begging for it, but now they play it on the fat tour?

lame. i'd go to this show if the epoxies weren't playing, the soviettes weren't playing, and against me weren't playing anything off of cowboy or clarity.

RondoMondo (September 30, 2005)

Dear Against Me!,

Stop playing the same setlist.

Thank you.

Love,
Me

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

Yes. I'll be at the Utah date for Smoke or Fire and Against Me.

dougkatz (September 30, 2005)

friday december 2nd webster hall nyc

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

impact?

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

that is a great Against Me! set list. i hope they play that stuff at the show i'm going to.

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

"Isn't "Don't Lose Touch" supposed to be their single? They have a video and they're supposed to play it on Conan, but they don't play it live?"

I don't really expect the band who wrote about 'reinventing axl rose' to be that strict about rock rules.

wyzo

inagreendase (September 30, 2005)

A moment of silence for the SEVERE FUCKING LACK OF A NEW YORK DATE ON THIS TOUR (anything upstate of the city doesn't count for Long Islanders).

I saw the band something like three times in 2004, but it looks like I'm closing out this year without a single show (at a "real" venue, anyway).

moneenerd (September 30, 2005)

who were those drunk New Brunswick Canadian fuckers drinking all the Budweisers?!

cdogg (September 30, 2005)

I just ordered my tickets for the Philly Troc show. I'm gonna need them to add the following to their set list (in case they ask me):

- I still love you julie
- The politics of starving
- Cliche Guevara
- Unsubstantiated Rumors...
- Mediocrity Gets you the pears
- Pretty Girls

Isn't "Don't Lose Touch" supposed to be their single? They have a video and they're supposed to play it on Conan, but they don't play it live?

etwiels88 (September 30, 2005)

My four favorite songs are on that setlist. Can't wait for December

maverick (September 30, 2005)

I finally got to see this band on Wednesday night for the first time in Cleveland, and I was floored. A spectacular set with material from their entire career. I deduct a half-star for not playing "Miami," however; but even at Against Me!'s worst, they're better than most.

-Scott

Anonymous (September 30, 2005)

Caught this show in Chicago... and damn was I floored. Against Me! plays their fucking asses off - no gimmicks, no frills, just fucking rocking. All the "haters" are really doing a disservice to punk music - we should be pointing to Against Me! as a model of the intensity and sincerity that punk music should embrace.

Truly worthy of a 10/10.

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