The Austin Chronicle

FFFF Live Review: Against Me!

Auditorium Shores, Nov. 2

Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, November 2, 2012, Music

Against Me!

Auditorium Shores, Nov. 2

"Hello, Fun Fun Fun Fest! This song is called 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues,'" announced Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace, kicking off the Florida punk band's first Austin performance since the artist formerly known as Tom Gabel began rocking as a woman. With frank lyricism outlining the group's folk-punk roots, Grace addressed the elephant in the room in the new song's lyrics: "You want them to see you like they see every other girl – they just see a faggot." With that out of the way, the quartet launched into a seamless march that drew evenhandedly from their five albums plus another new tune probably called "True Trans Soul Rebel." From humble, old standards "Walking Is Still Honest" and "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong" to refined new-era hits "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" and "White Crosses," the amount of festivalgoers who shouted every word as they bounced around in the dusty night was staggering. Grace showed increased effusiveness with a gesturing performance of "Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists," a highlight of sheer energy. In good punk rock practice, Against Me!'s FFFF set stood as a rapid barrage of passionate three-minute, four-chord declarations with little talk in between. Closer "Sink, Florida, Sink" invited even the novice listener to join the communion by singing along to the "Whoa, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh" refrain.

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