Against Me! - Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale - January 26
Against Me! has certainly come a long way from the rough-edged punk band that cut its teeth in the dives of Gainesville. The band's many metamorphoses, sonic and physical, have all provided a perpetual undercurrent of change while Against Me! has enjoyed success far beyond any plotted trajectory Laura Jane Grace may have considered in her days bashing away on an acoustic guitar at house shows in a former life.
Last night, Against Me! ended its tour at Fort Lauderdale's Culture Room, and while most people were tuned into the Grammy Awards and eagerly watching popular music's continued descent into the depths of mediocrity, Against Me! shared a night of high energy rock 'n' roll punk with a capacity crowd of sweaty fans that felt as much a celebration of the band and its music as an affirmation of the reality that real music lives in human interaction, not award shows.
The show was opened by the Shondes, a punk band from Brooklyn with an activist twist, and the Sidekicks, a group hitting hard on the better parts of the current '90s emo-punk revival. Both openers were seen on stage later in the evening for some end-of-tour shenanigans, however, the Sidekicks had a great response from the crowd, many of whom were probably too young to remember when Weezer still sounded like Weezer.