Photos by Katrina Wong Shue
“Be in the moment”.
Laura Jane Grace mentioned this in the middle of the pumped up Against Me! set at the Phoenix. A fan crowd surfed their way onto the set and started flipping through their cell phone while at the lip of the stage. It made Grace laugh and wonder why this happened. Against Me!, of whom have always written politically, know what this moment means. The world is in a very screwed up place right now; the only look at a positive future is this very second being utilized properly. You get onto the stage during an Against Me! set, and you dive off that cliff with the burdens of every societal problem being shed as you fall.
That’s what many did during the crazy set. Against Me! have made appearances at Toronto’s Pride events and at Riot Fest, but this was a good opportunity to let loose without any outsiders eavesdropping. The entire club was jumping and shouting as the band rocked out their catchy punk rock tunes
They even played some new material, including the razor sharp Boyfriend. As well as some classic songs, a bulk of the material was from their stepping stone Transgender Dysphoria Blues. To see Grace mention the derogatory F-word in the title song with a smile on her face is an accomplishment; She has overcome the hatred.
Many fans came in support of the LGBT rights the band promotes, and it’s the kind of unity we need more of nowadays. As angry as Against Me! are on album, they are barrels of fun live. There is no ill will here. There’s just the moment. Against Me! are always welcome to Toronto, and you’re more than welcome to let loose when they do.