I know, I know, it’s been a while. Against Me! played the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn more than a week ago now and I’m just getting around to this. I was on vacation and out of the country, okay? Okay. Anyway, by now I’ve already seen a dozen or so reviews of the show and I don’t think I can add much myself, so I’ll just keep this short.
Seeing Against Me! is now unlike watching any other band I’ve ever seen before. No one else in the room matters or is even there at all for as far as I’m concerned. It’s just Laura and me. She’s playing these songs for me and I’m dancing and rocking out. To be honest, the band could have been completely out of tune and sloppy as hell and I don’t think I would have even noticed.
Against Me!’s lineup has shuffled a bit over the last few years, but the biggest change on stage is Laura. The change isn’t simply in how she’s presenting herself, but her entire aura is different. It was obvious on their first tour after she came out and it’s even more apparent now. She’s nothing but smiles and she’s enjoying every moment on stage just as much as the rest of us are enjoying watching. She looks so much more natural and free now. It’s not just something you can see, but it’s something you can feel. It’s almost night and day from Against Me! just a few years ago.
Along with her new level of awesome, Laura also now lines up in the center of the stage as opposed to the left side as many of us have come to expect over the last decade plus. It’s possible with the departure of Andrew from the band they felt she should be the one in front rather than a new member of the band, but it feels more like a statement. She’s not going to be hiding off on the side of the stage anymore, she’s front, center, and in our fucking faces. It’s nothing less than awesome.
To try to go into any deeper of a review of the show would require a deep understanding of my own personal feelings for Against Me!, Laura, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, and a few of the older songs with hints of Laura’s gender dysphoria (e.g. “Ocean”). I’m not going to do that, instead I’d prefer to keep some of that personal. Let’s just say my entirely biased opinion is this was the best I’ve ever seen them play. For reference, I’d estimate I’ve seen them around fifteen times now, going back a dozen years to 2002.
And now, the photos…