Review and photos – Against Me! at the Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, March 2 2010
– review by Shawn Conner/photos by Jessica Bardosh
The Rickshaw Theatre is fast becoming one of my fave places to see a show in the city. The area in front of the stage is perfect for rabid fans who don’t mind getting elbowed and sweated on, thus leaving the seated area free and clear. And the incline is such from the seats that, whether sitting or standing in the aisles, you can see over everyone’s heads to the action onstage.
But enough about my back problems.
Against Me!, whom I’d been wanting to see ever since hearing “Thrash Unreal” for the first time a couple of years back, were on the second show of a tour that, except for the first couple of dates, sees the quartet (augmented by a fifth member on keyboards and guitar) opening for Billy Talent across this great land of ours.
It’s been nearly three years since the release of the group’s breakout New Wave album (which gave us “Thrash Unreal”, the best four minutes of rock anthem of he last decade), and Tom Gabel and the guys were premiering a bunch of new songs from the forthcoming (June release) album, White Crosses.
One of these, the super-catchy “I Was a Teenage Anarchist”, opened the show; an hour later the band ended with “Thrash Unreal”, then came out for an encore featuring mostly songs I didn’t know, so I assume they’re older tunes. Also notable, besides New Wave‘s title track, is another new rocker called “Because of the Shame”. According to Gabel in a pre-show interview, the tune is a sequel of sorts to “Thrash Unreal” in that it’s about the same person.
Anyway, mostly it was a great show; the audience sang along, stage-dived and fist-pumped in the way that Gabel’s super-charged anthems call out for. There was a lull or two but that’s probably owing to the fact I’m not as familiar with the band’s earlier releases as the newer stuff.
Jaguar Love and Cancer Bats opened; I saw the last part of the latter, and I can see why they call themselves “the mother-fuckin’ Cancer Bats”. These guys rock, hugely and immensely, although I can’t say I’d ever come away humming a tune. The frat dudes in the crowd went wild when the Bats broke into the Beastie Boys‘ “Sabotage”, and that’s when I decided I would be better off leaving the space in front of the stage to the more fanatical in the crowd.
More Against Me! photos: