I end up in a lot of odd places. Like, last night, I found myself in the neo-punkrock-crowd at the Against Me! gig in the smaller room at Postbahnhof. Having been pissed off at "that song" for years, I was curious what would await me.
Our curiosity was heightened by the recent attention the band had gotten for the singer's outcoming as a transsexual and the subsequent change of gender. How was this going to be taken by the punk fan base? Was Laura going to move people the way Tom had done?
The quick answer, I am pleased to say, is yes. Not only was the show sold out but you rarely see such dedicated fans who will celebrate their group in such a way. It was very touching actually. I saw a few middle fingers rising during "Teenage Anarchist" (the song I get very passionately angry about) but, apart from that, there was a lot of dancing, singing along and smiles all around from the mixed-age audience. Wonderful to watch.
Against Me! were of course solid and played those songs to perfection, sufficiently rocking out on stage and giving the audience what they wanted and deserved for their undying support. A good gig, albeit not my kinda thing of course. I like neither the pop punk genre nor am I partial to neo-punkrockers in the 2000s dressing up like it was 1977. But everybody does their thing and they do it well, taking with them the unpretentious audience, while the band goes through several transformations, be it politically or personal. May they go on for a long while because, while I will never become a follower, the world needs these kinds of bands among the "fabric conditioner pop" the radio usually plays. I just hope that the next generation of teenagers will "get it", too.