Courtesy of Ryan Russell/ Nervous Energies
After a long day of walking, writing, and interviews, some would say that you need to relax. My quest for relaxation brought me to the Red 7 on March 13th for the Brooklyn Vegan showcase featuring Against Me!, and that is exactly what I needed. Against Me! is a punk rock band from Gainesville, Florida that brings high energy and punk rock anthems to the stage. Laura Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel) took the stage wearing heavy eye shadow and pink nail polish and showed all of SXSW that she could still rock. Wearing a smile start to finish, the whole crowd shared the fun the band was having. Starting off their set with a song off their new album, “True Trans Soul Rebel” and then transitioning into their punk rock classic “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong” provided the chance for fans of new and old to come together and get rowdy. During various points throughout the set, Laura would place a hand on her hip and make gestures to go along with the current songs to show the crowd just how comfortable she felt. As the set progressed, the band showed no signs of slowing down. Everybody, including myself, had their fist in the air while they sang along to “Walking Is Still Honest” and “I Was a Teenage Anarchist.” The whole crowd screamed once they heard the bass line from a fan favorite single “Don’t Lose Touch.” Against Me! closed their set with the song “Sink, Florida, Sink” off their album The Eternal Cowboy that had the entire crowd swaying back and forth and singing every word and “whoa” back at a smiling Laura. Even after Against Me! had left the stage, the crowd did not depart. Instead they chanted “one more song” for ten more minutes but their effort was in vain. Even without an encore, Against Me! put on a fantastic show that got everybody in the venue involved. Sometimes punk rock is all you need.
Catch Against Me! on their current tour. Official dates here: (http://www.againstme.net/tour/)