Florida has almost flown under the radar as a hub for all genres of music because usually you will hear about New York or Seattle or even California as the places where music thrives and hometown bands make it big. Most of this comes from where the bands move to and create music from there, but Florida has been a state full of creativity and bands that have made it to the mainstream. One of those bands in particular is Against Me! from Gainesville, Florida.
For starting a band in 1997 as a solo acoustic act, singer Tom Gabel has pretty much transformed a lot of what the punk scene is all about. After releasing a few demos and EPs, Against Me! released their first full length album Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose in 2002. This album was a new direction as electric guitars and a full band were used. With a few line up changes and a move to Fat Wreck Chords, Against Me! released Against Me! As the Eternal Cowboy in 2003. Fans of the band were split on their move to a major label as they had started out as an underground anarchist band.
Following the release of their DVD, Against Me! released their third album Searching For a Former Clarity in 2005. Soon thereafter, Against Me! signed with Sire Records, released their live album Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!! in 2006 and New Wave in 2007. The band performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman and supported huge acts such as the Foo Fighters in the years after New Wave came out. After going back into the studio, Against Me! released their album White Crosses in the summer of 2010.
On tour to promote not only White Crosses but also Total Clarity, an album of demos that were not used for Searching For a Former Clarity, Against Me! came to the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver on March 1, 2011. Opening the show with as much energy as they have on their albums, Against Me! got the audience moving. They played a myriad of songs from their many albums, including “Don’t Lose Touch,” “White Crosses” and “I Was A Teenage Anarchist,” and you could hear the audience shouting the lyrics back. Tom Gabel was right when he said it doesn’t matter who a person is “when someone is screaming my lyrics back into my face” (read the full interview here) because we are there for the same reason; music. Both Against Me! and Denver showed each other why that message is true with the pure excitement and fervor that ran throughout the entire venue, from band to fan.
If they ever come back, you have to go see them live and start listening to them if you haven’t already.
Visit Against Me! and the Fillmore Auditorium for more information.