Against Me! – [Live]

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

What a volatile time it is in Against Me!’s career to see them live. They’ve just been released from their major label, formed their own label for God knows what reason, and acquired their third drummer in two years. Some would call it 'busy,' others would call it 'chaotic,' but everyone can agree that it's certainly exciting. That said, given that I’ve only been in Boston for a week now, what better way to start my tenure as a Bostonite show-goer than by checking in on Against Me! on a rainy Thursday night?
It’s nice to see the boys play smaller venues again because, honestly, the last couple of times I’ve seen them in Philly have left a little to be desired, and nothing quite compares to the energy you can get at a small show.

The show started strangely enough with "Cliché Guevara" (more on that later) and, even though it took the band a little while to catch some steam, it was hard not to tap toes, wave fists in the air and scream at the top of your lungs about an hour into their set – especially when they encored with "Baby I’m an Anarchist" and "We Laugh at Danger (and break all the rules)."
Now, to be honest, no one really reads show reviews, so I want to condense this article by mentioning three things which stood out in the show:

  1. Against Me! seems to have complete disregard for setlist etiquette, as they’ve been playing total oddball selections (like closing with "Searching for a Former Clarity") and throwing some of their stronger stuff at the very beginning of their set (like "Cliché Guevara," "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong," and "New Wave") instead of gaining momentum before blowing their loads. It’s not frowned upon, just an interesting thing to note at their shows.
  2. At some point over the past year, Against Me!’s rhythm section took a leave of absence and was replaced by Thor and Manny Pacquiao. These new additions play with the skill level that is expected of their names.
  3. I never thought I’d see the day where Against Me! would still play "Tonight We’re Going to Give it 35%" live. Since this is not only my favorite Against Me! song but one of my favorite songs of all time, it came as a complete shock and made the entire show worthwhile, just to hear this song alone.

Well played, Against Me! You win this round…


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