Live In Vancouver (07/17/15)The Vogue - Vancouver, BC
By Bobby Gorman
There are times when it can be difficult to properly review a show, to put into words what made it memorable – or in some cases, forgettable. You go to so many that the shows start to merge into one another and there’s not always that special spark. There are many factors that can make it stand out – a certain rant from a band, the complete insanity of the crowd, hearing that one song that meant so much to you. However, some shows don’t have that one moment to cling on to, sometimes they’re just boring because they are and others are just good because, well, they’re just fucking good.
Against Me!‘s final Canadian stop in Vancouver on Friday was like that.
There wasn’t anything mind blowing, nothing that made me stop and go “wow” and they never pulled out some ultra rare song or anything. But my lord, as their set ended and we wandered onto Granville Street, I was sweaty, I was excited and I just had an hour and a half of non-stop fun.
For Against Me! know how to put on a show, they’re a punk band to the truest form. Clad in all black and with only at most two moments of banter, the band just kept it to the songs and played non-stop. Less talk, more rock personified.
Front woman Laura Jane Grace is still riding an unbridled sense of confidence and it shows. The band is at the top of their game and everyone is enjoying themselves on stage. That sense of excitement seeps into the crowd – which has definitely evolved in a very positive way over the years. As one of the first all ages show I’ve been to in a long time, there was a wide range of ages and personas in the crowd but everyone sang and dance in harmony.
Sticking mostly to Transgender Dysphoria Blues tracks, they peppered the odd classic in there as well and kept it flowing evenly all night. Starting with True Trans Soul Rebel and Unconditional Love before segueing into Walking Is Still Honest and Cliché Guevera, it was an even back and forth. Midway through, Laura and Atom were alone on stage for acoustic numbers Two Coffins and Bamboo Bones before picking it up with the full band for This Shit Rules. They played the intro to Because of The Shame as a lead into Thrash Unreal which was a nice transition and you’ll never go wrong with Pints Of Guinness Makes You Strong.
But after seeing them at least a dozen times in the past twelve years, Against Me! shows no longer really surprise me. Nevertheless, they never disappoint either, they’re one of the scenes strongest punk bands and their live show – like their set at The Vogue – is just fucking good.
Sometimes that’s all there is to say.