Against Me!

Against Me!: live in Birminghamlive in Birmingham (2007)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

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

First of all, I apologise for those interested in a review of Steriogram and Future of the Left. I did not get into the venue until after Steriogram had finished and I paid little attention to Future of the Left. I could certainly appreciate how people could like them, but as a band they did not int.

First of all, I apologise for those interested in a review of Steriogram and Future of the Left. I did not get into the venue until after Steriogram had finished and I paid little attention to Future of the Left. I could certainly appreciate how people could like them, but as a band they did not interest me.

There were two things of interest during FOTL's performance however. Firstly, I met Warren (AM! drummer) as he was standing on a chair behind the merchandise table watching the performance. Surprisingly, he wasn't recognised by many people but he definitely seemed to be enjoying the band. Secondly, FOTL spent a lot of time moaning about how bad the audience were. To be fair, their musical style is notably different of Against Me!'s, so to expect the audience to be interested might be asking too much. They left the stage with "You've been a great audience. C+... and that's being generous" and not many new fans.

Against Me! Are a band who through label upgrades and musical style changes have managed to divide their fans. One thing fans can unanimously agree on, however, is the intensity of their live show.

They opened up with "New Wave" (which actually sounded better live) and never let go. I was disappointed that "Pints..." wasn't the opener and I worried that we weren't going to hear it. Thankfully, it was the second song and the crowd went suitably crazy.

Those who were disappointed with New Wave would have been similarly disappointed here. At least seven songs from it were played ("Borne on the FM Waves" wasn't and I can't remember "Up the Cuts" or "Piss and Vinegar") and they took up a large part of the set. Luckily, I happen to really like the album and I'm glad that more songs were played from New Wave than Searching for a Former Clarity.

However, it must be said that it's a shame that they no longer play as many of their 'classics.' As the Eternal Cowboy was quite well-represented and "Sink, Florida, Sink" stole the show as it usually does. Sadly, Reinventing Axl Rose was limited to just one main set song: "Pints."

AM! fans know that they are not famed for their crowd banter and here was no different; they whistled through their incredibly well-rehearsed set with no delay. It's apparent that considerable effort has been put into making the live show as good as possible and the only mistake was Tom messing up the lines on "The Ocean."

After leaving the stage the band returned for the obligatory encore, I was incredibly annoyed that "Miami" was the first song they chose to play. Sure, it's a good song but there are at least 15 songs I would have rather that they'd played, with "Impact" being my personal choice. The final encore song was "We Laugh at Danger and Break All the Rules" -- a perfect song for an encore, its rousing sing-along vocals cannot help but put a smile on your face and leave you with the impression that you have just witnessed a special band.

Sure, they don't play all the songs we wish they would, but Against Me! Are still the band that captured imaginations when they first started. They have grown and matured but can still make you jump up and down with your fist in the air and believe that nothing else but that moment matters.


People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyOperation Ivy - Operation IvyAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityAgainst All Authority - All Fall DownThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RLeftover Crack - Mediocre GenericaNOFX - The DeclineNOFX - Punk In Drublic

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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.
video_cognito (November 22, 2007)


Yeah man, I was at that show. I wasn't really feeling Cobra Skulls once I realized practically every song sounded the same with the occasional ska strokes thrown in. Sage was... man, I don't know. He was trying too hard, I think. I don't know how I'd feel if I saw him at a slam poetry comp. 'cause I think that would suit him better. That kid with the weed was an idiot. I hated the teenage girls. WI/FS was okay. They reminded me like an over-the-top Blue Meanies. "Baby, I'm an Anarchist" threw me off, given the circumstances. I would have much preferred "We Laugh at Danger".


That sounds like a very New Wave-centric set. I wish we had an opener that complained about the crowd.

telegraphrocks (November 22, 2007)

First Chicago show:
All four acts were INCREDIBLE! I've already been a huge fan of AM! and Cobra Skulls, and a partial fan of Sage, a not-really fan of W/IFS, but all four were awesome.
Sage was hilarious, Skulls sounded even better with a second guitarist, AM! was spot-on (though the set was kind of predictable), and W/IFS puts on a pretty damn good show.

AM! set, mostly in order:
Up The Cuts, Cliche Guevara, Pints Of Guiness Make You Strong, New Wave, From Her Lips To God's Ears, Rice And Bread, Americans Abroad, Thrash Unreal, Don't Lose Touch, Stop!, White People For Peace, Problems, Sink Florida Sink, The Ocean.
Encore: T.S.R., Walking Is Still Honest, Baby I'm An Anarchist (all electric).

Only complaint would be the semi-different type of crowd that came out. Some of those teenage girls... man, I'd love to just stick a screw-driver through their foreheads. I bitched out one girl that kept giving me the stinkeye, and she fled. Yup, I'm a tough guy... pickin' on 14-year-olds!

Torgo (November 21, 2007)

Score is for rusty trombones

damo (November 21, 2007)

i bet if Colin and Scott met each other they'd give each other a rusty trombone

HumanUnkind (November 21, 2007)

I was at the Glasgow date of this tour and it was amazing. Future of the Left were totally awesome, gonna go see them in 2 weeks, and while Steriogram tried hard enough their songs suck...

I was annoyed with Miami too, as good as it is, because they only played Cliché and Sink from ATEC and they didn't play T.S.R or Rice and Bread two of my favourite AM! songs.

Great show.

BarleyPat (November 21, 2007)

In Pontiac last night, encore was Baby, What we worked for (I was in heaven), and Walking is Still Honest. They did "Borne on the FM Airwaves" which was interesting and pretty good. I don't really like "New Wave" (the song, not the album), but it's pretty good live. Ocean is incredible live (although it was better in Charlotte early in the tour). I really wish they didn't play the same damn songs off SFAFC every time. I could really go for How Low, Joy, Holy Shit, or the title song over hearing Don't Lose Touch for the millionth time.

ForgetThisPlace (November 21, 2007)

fallingupwards84 - I completely forgot. I just never listen to that song and the discography is always on shuffle on my ipod. That album is one of my least favorite though.

maverick (November 21, 2007)

Colin! Seriously! You have the chance of a lifetime to blow the door wide open on this lyrics thing with the Who! Stop wasting your time on small potatoes like these dudes, you have far bigger, more important bands to start criticizing!

Kinkoz punxxxxx unite!


Rocktopus (November 21, 2007)

Do we really need another AM! live review?

Jesus_H_Christ (November 21, 2007)

In Richmond the set list was a tad poor with the encore consisting of "Baby..." (electric) and "Impact!" (electric). Those acoustic encores sound like they kicked ass.

colin (November 21, 2007)

scott i just find it funny you are offended to find out that a pop band like jimmy eat world writes 'fictional' lyrics about heart on sleeve teenage romance, while you totally let slide the entirety of against me's discography. it's holding bands who have no standards to a bar set higher than bands who set teh bar so high on themselves they could never reach it from the vat of cocaine.

then again you work in rock journalism so i suppose i should expect that.

J4M35 (November 21, 2007)

New York got "What We Worked For"

telegraphrocks (November 21, 2007)

Scott, I should meet you at the show and buy you a beer (the Wednesday Chicago show) for being a dick in the past.

Or not, whatever... I think I know what you look like, so if I see ya, I'll at least apologize in person.

Anyway, wah wah wah, Against Me! blah blah blah! Anarchy and shit! Crime! Axl!

And Sage has been getting a lot of shit recently from being on this tour... sucks for him, he's got some good tunes.

Score's for Against Me! and Cobra Skulls, and the jizz-fest I'm gonna have seeing them tomorrow and Thursday.

fallingupwards84 (November 21, 2007)

ForgetThisPlace - Cliche is on Eternal Cowboy, not Axl Rose

reading this review inspired me to listen to New Wave again tonight. its solid, although the incredibly cheesy "Stop" nearly ruins the entire album. its just way too obvious that it was written for the radio. replace it with "Full Sesh" or another b-side and you have a much better album in my opinion

maverick (November 21, 2007)

Colin, you should go drop some knowledge on the Who. I mean, Roger Daltrey still sings, "I hope I die before I get old!" Quick, dude, you better put a stop to it!

I saw AM! in Cleveland last night but unfortunately only caught the latter portion of their set. I remember them playing "White People For Peace," "Problems," "Sink Florida Sink" and "The Ocean" (plus a few more) then encoring with "Baby I'm An Anarchist" (acoustic) and "Reinventing Axl Rose" (full band w/Tom on acoustic), and maybe one more. My mind is hazy. I will be seeing them tomorrow in Chicago, though, and am stoked.


ForgetThisPlace (November 21, 2007)

At least they played "We Laugh at Danger...". In Philly I think there were only 3 songs from Axl Rose, one of which was "Cliche Guevara" which is bleh. The encore was great though with Tom acoustic on "Baby, I'm and Anarchist", "What We Worked For" and "Walking is still Honest".

nick_heitman (November 20, 2007)

tom played an acoustic guitar for the encore in DC. we got baby, i'm an anarchist and IMPACT. it was amazing.

fallingupwards84 (November 20, 2007)

calm down Colin, its only the internet

colin (November 20, 2007)

yeah cause singing along to baby i'm an anarchist in a venue like the ones they play at now makes a whole lotta sense.

i'm sure scott would do it though.


SloaneDaley (November 20, 2007)

this sounds like an awful AM! setlist.

ChesterfieldKing (November 20, 2007)

I saw them on this tour in Leeds. Sounds about the same - great performance of some lacklustre songs and some amazing ones. Better setlist in Leeds though - Pints of Guinness and Walking Is Stll Honest in the main set, with an encore of Baby, I'm An Anarchist! and We Laugh At Danger.

I thought Future Of The Left were great. Ex-mclusky, and sound a lot lke mclusky. Therefore, great.

andburntherest (November 20, 2007)

So I just started seeing this girl, and she lives across the street from my favorite bar, which is pretty awesome but i've now been there like 6 days in a row and I'm worried I might start to get a little flabby..anyone have any tips on how to bulk up the muscle and maybe lose 10-15 lbs? I guess I've been pretty depressed about the whole thing because getting fat and starting to date a girl is kind of like a negative feedback loop that will leave me single and alone listening to Songs Not to Get Married To again.

defianceohioequalslove (November 20, 2007)

Two songs from Reinventing Axl Rose.



You've got to be fucking kidding me. At least play 'Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious' for fucks sake...

Holy_Balls (November 20, 2007)

I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride my motorsickle

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