Against Me! - Nile Theater - 5/21/2014

Categories: Last Night

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Melissa Fossum
Pictured: Not the Justin Beiber kid.

During "Thrash Unreal," one of the band's most popular songs, the mics cut out (whether that was from some idiot crowdsurfer tripping over a cable, we'll never know). Grace stopped singing with a bewildered look on her face, but it didn't matter. The crowd sang along to every single word. A huge smile slowly crept across Grace's face as she heard her lyrics and melodies sang back to her, and she stepped back towards the drummer and strummed her guitar while the crowd filled in for her.

The crowd also spontaneously broke out into "Sink, Florida, Sink" during the break between encore and set. The encore ended with "We Laugh at Danger (And Break All the Rules)," and as many as five people climbed on stage at once and crowded the microphones, forcing Grace to slide over to the bassist's mic to sing the song's final bars.

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Melissa Fossum

Fans loved Against Me!'s show at the Nile Theater. Gender identity and politics took a backseat to music, and Grace looked happier than ever. It was a promising and a bit surreal to watch fans go so crazy about a band fronted by a transgender woman. The future looks bright.

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Melissa Fossum

Critic's Notebook

Last night: Against Me! at Nile Theater in Mesa

The crowd: Very diverse, all ages and genders represented equally.

Personal bias: I will cop to being one of those bandwagon fans who started paying close attention once Transgender Dysphoria Blues came out.

Random Notebook Dump: Were people really that surprised when Against Me! started making poppier songs? The songs on Reinventing Axl Rose mostly hang out on the same four chords as most pop tunes.

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