Against Me! / Planes Mistaken For Stars - live in Providence (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Against Me! / Planes Mistaken For Stars

live in Providence (2004)

live show

Dear Marathon,

Being that I've never heard of No Choice, and I was sick as fuck, I was kind of looking forward to getting through the openers quickly and get right into PMFS and Against Me! I would normally be pissed off about having to sit through some no-name band who got on the bill unlisted, but shit…you guys were good. You play some great, melodic punk rock, and, live, gave off a Pipedown / Thought Riot vibe. I would say send something in to A-F Records, but the EP you gave me (thanks, a review should be up soon), definitely sounds like early Propagandhi. Not a bad thing at all. All of you had crazy energy, but especially the singer, with your frantic, spastic twitches and constant moving. "Our Dictator Can Beat Up Your Dictator" was definitely a standout.

Dear No Choice,

I'm not really sure of your normal touring habits, but I thought it was very cool that a band from Russia came to traverse the U.S. with such great bands. The first few songs you played didn't strike me as anything special, but the set of fairly basic punk rock grew on me as time went by, and the short chant of "Fuck George Bush!" closing out the last song was a lot less overdone than many other bands would have fallen victim to.

Dear Planes Mistaken For Stars,

You rocked. However, The Call's sound problems are way too consistent to fully enjoy any band, so the lead vocals were way too low. Hell, your backup growling guy was louder than the lead vocals. But the music was good times, even if the songs were hardly recognizable. The new song off what I'm sure is the upcoming Up In Them Guts full-length, though, which is being released June 15th if I'm not mistaken (no pun intended), sounds great. It seems like it's a lot closer to the self-titled style that you abandoned so hastily a few years ago. Actually, it would've been nice to hear some of that stuff considering it's your best work in one's humble opinion, but I digress. I did grab the set list when you finished up. This is it, right?

BASTARDS [which was crossed out and not played]

Dear Against Me!,

Although after a few minutes, things got crazy, I'm not sure what the fuck you'd like to call those first two songs you played. Warm-ups perhaps? I'll call them shit. Even two people standing next to me were more than willing to inform you "sounds like shit!" Granted they were drunk, but those intoxicated words were the truth. I liked the Easter blessing you gave to those "who it means something to" as well. But after that and the terrible problems with the lead guitar were through, we got the anthemic, fist-pumping chants we all know and enjoy…for the most part. Sure, hearing (in no particular order) "Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious," "Reinventing Axel Rose," "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong," "Sink, Florida, Sink," "Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists," "The Politics of Starving," and "Walking is Still Honest" brought out the fan boy in all of us, including myself, there is the issue of the encore. It might be unfair to get my panties knotted up over such a small issue following a spectacularly raw set of singalongs with the entire crowd, especially in considering it may have been out of your hands, but you didn't even play "We Laugh At Danger" or "Cliché Guavara," which undeniably would've made for a great one-two finish. Yes, it was nice of you to blatantly tell us there'll be no encore, despite numerous requests, and the mellow, light finish of "Cavalier Eternal" was a nice little conclusion, but the night felt incomplete. Nonetheless, we heard most of the staples, and at least for that I, as well as the rest of those in attendance Sunday night, can be grateful for such.