I can still remember the first time I saw Against Me!. It was 2006, and they were the only opener for an Alkaline Trio show I was going to. I’d been listening to them to get myself ready for the show, and I was liking what I was hearing (rare for me to listen to anything that wasn’t ska or like, 2001 Vagrant Records). But it was seeing them live that really hit home for me. Still to this day, it was one of my favorite shows, and immediately launched Against Me! to the status of one of my top 5 favorite bands. Over the past 11 years, I’ve managed to see them a lot (and now I make a point to see them at least once a year, for my mental health), and in three different states. Since I’ve started actively taking photos, they made it to my “Bands I need to Take Pictures of Before I Die or Something” list. Sunday, February 26, 2017, was my chance to make a dream come true, when Against Me! came rolling through Fort Collins, Colorado to play at the Aggie Theater.
The opening acts consisted of Typesetter from Chicago, who I am familiar with and like a lot, and Mobina Galore from Canada, a band I had never heard of and knew nothing about. This is something that I really appreciate about the opening bands that Against Me! chooses to take out on tour, or play one-offs with. Although many of the times I’ve seen Against Me! have been at festivals or as an opening band, when they have played as headliner, I’ve always been pretty into the bands. In fact, once about two and a half years ago, I saw Against Me! play a “secret” show the day after playing with The Gaslight Anthem at a very, very small venue, and they had a comedian open the show. A year before that, my favorite local band in Los Angeles, French Exit, opened for them.
Anyway, back to the show. Typesetter opened and were totally awesome. They definitely had a group of fans in the audience, and it was neat to see a lot of people singing along. As far as the photos go, I apologize to the band for poor representation; the lighting was very low during their set, and that’s not a camera’s friend.
Mobina Galore was awesome. I’d say they weren’t what I expected, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The two piece, a guitarist and drummer, had an awesome, full sound. I enjoyed the passion and drive between the two. I’m looking forward to checking them out and seeing them again in the future, because they were definitely an impressive band!
Once Against Me! came on, the party really started. The crowd rushed forward and broke out in a chorus of song along with the band to “True Trans Soul Rebel.” Another thing I appreciate about Against Me! is that they always play a mix of songs from their catalog. Although this tour was specifically to support their latest album, “Shape Shift with Me,” their focus wasn’t on playing the new songs (although they definitely played quite a few!!!), but rather giving the range of fans they have a range of their music. In fact, I’m pretty sure they played at least one song off of every full-length album they’ve recorded, which I love because it goes against the trend of bands that disregard their early records as time goes on. Their set was, of course, everything anyone could have asked for: energetic, tight, hard and loud, and was as amazing as Against Me! always is. They played for about an hour, and then came out for their encore, which consisted of Laura Jane Grace talking about the death of Bill Paxton (RIP), and a couple of songs (“Dead Friend;” “Train in Vain” cover; “Pints of Guinness…”; and “Sink, Florida, Sink”), and my dear friend Brittany jumped on stage and sang along. It was pretty rad.
Against Me! shows are nearly impossible for me to rank, but rest assured, this show will go down somewhere in that ranking of most memorable Against Me! shows ever. Definitely worth driving over an hour away on a school night!
* all photos by Jackie Wilding
Against Me! is heading out on tour with Green Day. See dates below!
MAR 4 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center http://bit.ly/2dMn2aF
MAR 5 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
MAR 7 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center http://bit.ly/2dECCpa
MAR 8 – North Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena http://bit.ly/2e2f0Kh
MAR 10 – Duluth, GA @ Infinite Energy Center
MAR 12 – Norfolk, VA @ Constant Convocation Center
MAR 13 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center http://bit.ly/2dlcVIu
MAR 15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center http://bit.ly/2dSF3YE
MAR 17 – Worcester, MA @ DCU Center http://bit.ly/2e5Qf3P
MAR 19 – London, ON @ Budweiser Gardens http://bit.ly/2d1ne8r
MAR 20 – Hamilton, ON @ FirstOntario Centre http://bit.ly/2ddsX9u
MAR 22 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre http://bit.ly/2dYzl3p
MAR 23 – Quebec, QC @ Vidéotron Centre http://bit.ly/2dQ0kQQ
MAR 25 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Events Center
MAR 27 – Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena http://bit.ly/2e2opBB
MAR 28 – Champaign, IL @ State Farm Center
MAR 30 – Green Bay, WI @ Resch Center
APR 1 – Saint Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center http://bit.ly/2dY5xmg
APR 3 – Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Arena
APR 5 – Broomfield, CO @ 1stBank Center
APR 7 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
APR 8 – San Diego, CA @ Valley View Casino Center http://bit.ly/2ebdskd