Against Me! / Dan Sartain / Fake Problems - live in Columbia (Cover Artwork)

Against Me! / Dan Sartain / Fake Problems

live in Columbia (2007)

live show

I'll begin this by pointing out a few small things. First, I'm from Pittsburgh, PA and the show was in Columbia, SC. I don't know how that would affect the review but maybe there's some unconscious bias of mine. The second: The Riverboat Gamblers were unfortunately replaced on the bill by Dan Sartain, who I will get into later.

The show took place at Headliners in Columbia, SC and began around 8:30 with the band Fake Problems. The band sounds a bit like their tourmates, Against Me!, but also had what I'm choosing to describe as a slight rockabilly influence. The vocals were pretty Gabel-like, minus the political subject matter, the bass player held it down pretty steadily, the drummer was very talented using some fairly unconventional uses of cowbells and his kit, and the lead guitarist was very good with his instrument, as well as a little maraca. They were obviously having fun during their whole set, and it only made their music sound better. They're on Sabot Records and I highly recommend checking them out if you haven't already.

The second act was Dan Sartain. It was a guitarist, who I assume was Dan himself, and a drummer. The songs themselves were monotonous solo-rock -- standard subject matter, standard guitar playing, nothing that stood out. However, what did stand out was what Dan did roughly 20 minutes into his set. A kid a row ahead of me and subsequently right in front of the mic was, as a lot of us were, not enjoying the set. So he decided to sit down during a song and face his friends. Apparently Dan was angered by this because after the song he leaned down to the kid and proclaimed "Sorry you're wasting your allowance here, kid." About 10 of us heard this and laughed to ourselves a little thinking it was pretty funny. Dan came back about 5 seconds later and said, "Look at this kid, he's sooooo punk rock," walked away then proceeded to pick up his can of Budweiser and toss it onto the kid. Luckily he missed and it bounced off the kid's knee and just spilled on the floor, but come on. As an artist you HAVE to realize that not everyone's going to be into your music and you have to be professional about it. Maybe the kid shouldn't have sat down, but Dan definitely should not have thrown a fucking beer.

Finally around 10 Against Me came on. They blew through their set with ferocity and noticeable intensity. The crowd was obviously there for AM!, and AM! only, and I think the band really felt that and played off the energy to their fullest ability. That night was the sixth time I've seen AM! and it was honestly the best one. I can't remember an exact set list, but standout songs included "Americans Abroad," "Problems," "Walking Is Still Honest," "Sink, Florida, Sink," "Those Anarcho Punks...," and the surprise closer, a cover of the Replacements' "Bastards of Young." AM! also unveiled four new songs that I can only assume will be appearing on their new record. One song was "White People for Peace," which they recently released on YouTube. The other three were good songs, but "White People" was the standout of that group. Two of the three songs were a bit slower, the third being more like "White People," but all were very catchy. I think it's safe to say that signing to Sire hasn't done anything to their approach to songwriting.

Despite the antics of a Mr. Dan Sartain, and the noticeable absence of "We Laugh at Danger and Break All the Rules," it was a really enjoyable show. The venue was pretty cool, and the kids of Columbia were really nice and friendly. If you have the chance to catch this tour at all during the coming weeks, I highly recommend doing so.