Went to see Against Me! last night at First Ave. I was pondering whether or not I would do so, until a co-worker walked into my office and dropped a ticket on my desk, sealing the deal. Hard to justify not going since the venue is only a few blocks from where I work and the show started about the time I was getting off. Plus, you know, I'm interested in what the kids are up to these days.
The first band was from somewhere that is not the United States; European something or other. I can't remember their name, but I do remember that one of the gentlemen wore flair leg jeans and that it annoyed me greatly. There was at least one song, and maybe only one, that I figured might be alright if I closed my eyes and didn't have to look at them. I chose to keep my eyes open and thus, disliked it.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was on next. Up until recently, I never knew much about these guys other than one time, years ago, I overheard some ridiculous hipster say "Every time I see Ted Leo it's like a religious experience." So needles to say, I didn't have much interest in finding out more. Even though Radio K plays them a lot, I never really pay attention either. However, I downloaded some old Citizens Arrest stuff not too long ago, and as it turns out, Ted Leo was in that band. I guess his roots are pretty deep in punk so I've become a little more intrigued. I must say, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Pharmacists performance. It probably didn't hurt that Ted was wearing a Econochrist tee shirt and that they covered Cock Sparrer's song I Got Your Number. I'm pretty sure I heard him reference Flux of Pink Indians in a song too. He also talked about about the sad state of affairs surrounding the RNC and his efforts to help out the cause. I was impressed.
Against Me! came on and as expected the kids went nuts. I marked out a bit, but mostly contained myself. I've talked before about the fact that in the grand scheme of things, I'm relatively a new-comer to this band. Even though, I've done my research and familiarized myself with their back catalog, I'm not one of those crying "sell-out." If it weren't for them selling out, I may not have ever paid them much attention. Generally speaking, I am in to a much different style of punk these days. Even though this is my third time, I've only seen 'em on stages this size. First Ave isn't that huge of a place, but I do wish I would have seen them play smaller venues. Damn though, what a high-energy performance. Looks like they have lots of fun up there. I must say I admire Tom Gabel's feistiness. I've heard of the most famous incident and seen the Youtube clips. It's obvious that he is still pretty sensitive and defensive about the whole punk rock sell-out thing. Last night he went after some kid that had apparently been flying him the bird through an entire song. In the same rant he even cracked a joke on Profane Existence, which in this town, could potentially be detrimental. But alas, it was all in jest. The piss and vinegar is still there and I like it. That's one of the things I love about the genre; the range of emotion. The kids had a good time and I smiled and when it comes down to it, that's all that really matters. To me, anyway. So yeah, good show.