Against Me!

support Future Of The Left + Steriogram
author TL date 08/10/07 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

It's monday night, October 8th, my brother is turning 18, but he's in London, so I have no second thought about being at Lille Vega, once again, this time to talk to Against Me! and check out their show. Remember to read the result of the interview and otherwise, this is all I'm gonna cook up for an introduction. Let's get down to business!

Steriogram

I'll go right out and confess it; I'm not on my home court tonight. I've heard of Steriogram and Future Of The Left, and I only know of Against Me! from their two most recent records (I guess that makes me very not punk, huh?). Nevertheless, Steriogram comes on and blows me and the few people who're present this early completely out of the water. Tyson Kennedy has the crowd wondering about what's up with his very long gray hair, but only for a second, because as soon as they get started they're pretty much all over the place. Their music is loud and clear in both the ears and minds of the audience, and while guitars hint at Queens Of The Stone Age as well as The Ramones, Tyson's rap-ish vocals salute Zebrahead, Beastie Boys and on a single song even Rage Against The Machine. The manner of the whole band is damn happy and damn contagious, and when it comes to warming up the crowd, they more than live up to the task. Hell if I'd known them, I might have come just to see them!

Future Of The Left

When Future Of The Left comes on things are a bit different.. Maybe it's on purpose but the volume is LOUD, especially the bass and guitar that totally drown out the vocals. At first it seems the band is hellbent om sticking to a very strict formula of heavily distorted staccato riffage, progressingly louder and stronger throughout the songs, only to end as briefly as they begin, seemingly in the middle of something. While they do it well and tight, it's not that original a concept, and after four songs or so, it starts getting a little trivial. That's why it's a welcome change when guitarist/vocalist Andrew Falkous put's down his guitar in favour of a keyboard, and for the next half a handfull of songs, the theme is "bass-driven while covered in extremely danceable keyboard melodies". General conscesus in the crowd seems to be that this is somewhat preferable, and while before most people seemed a little reserved in their appreciation of the show, for the electronic part there's suddenly a lot of people dancing. After a couple of songs Andrew returns to his guitar though, and while people are more attentive now, the style-demonstration in the guitar driven songs still doesn't quite seem to be as rewarding as the small electronic session. Maybe when this band finds their feet and figures out how to arrange both their styles they'll be better.

Against Me

The first thing Against Me! treats the now considerably increased crowd to is about 40 minutes of waiting. Of course, this is all forgotten when they actually come on stage and launch into their set, which I again must apologize for not being able to cover as detailed as usually, as I simply don't know half the songs they play. One thing I do know though, is that this crowd loves this band. From second one the party is on, and the majority of the people present are jumping up and down, grinning and singing along. Tom Gabel & co don't waste any time between songs, and there's no need to. Every song starts immediately after the last one ended and maybe it's this efficiency that enables the band to play a looooong set of what I'd guess was at least 20 songs. The setlist is nicely mixed with all the goodies from the new cd's as well as lots of stuff people receive with words like "YEAH! The old songs ROCK!", all being responded to with massive singalongs and persistent bouncing. Now the deciding thing about it all is that while I only knew half the songs, and my mate I'd brought along didn't know any of the songs, it was plain to see and feel that this was one hell of a good time for all involved. The band was smiling and eagerly rocking out on stage and crowdmembers were, if possible, smiling even wider, as clearly this was something they'd been looking forward to, and that's really the one telling sign about this gig. When a room full of people leaves a place sweaty, short of breath and smiling ear to ear after at least 1½ hours of music, it simply had to have been an awesome time.

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