By Ellie Schoeffel
Punk rock rebels Against Me!, known for intensely personal albums and an explosive, genre-bending sound, hits The Paramount in Huntington Thursday, March 16 for an unforgettable night of its trademark supersonic hybrid of impassioned and introspective pop, folk, rock and country.
Before its formation into a full-fledged punk band, Against Me! was a solo acoustic project by frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, whose decision to come out as transgender in 2012 abandoning her birth name Tom Gabel to live as a woman inspired a whole new strand of music, including 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues.
Although her roster of bandmates has rotated throughout the years, she and guitarist James Bowman, bassist Inge Johansson and drummer Atom Willard demonstrate the immense, transformative power of loose concept albums, with 2016’s Shape Shift with Me chronicling world travel and love, narrated by Grace.
The group is also known for hit songs “Thrash Unreal,” “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” and “True Trans Soul Rebel.”
Grace states of her life journey expressed in her music, sharing in a past interview: “I had gone from being married with a kid, two cars, garage, nice house in a nice neighborhood to all of it gone. But from an artistic standpoint, it broke down this fucking wall where there’s no filter. I’m feeling stuff emotionally and just processing it.”
Grace channels the feeling of loss in her former life and combines it with embrace of a new world of possibilities, unleashing all of its associated emotions and feelings into the band’s music, which embodies the “break down walls” spirit.
Five years after her groundbreaking confession, Grace and her band continue to create social commentaries and obliterate walls, figuratively and literally, especially in this new political age of controversy in America.
Grace’s take on transgender legislation has been recently widely publicized, and with a tour in collaboration with Green Day set for Spring 2017, Against Me! shows that they aren’t planning on stopping anytime soon, and will continue to voice their opinions on politics and identity issues through their music, and that’s something everyone can celebrate!
Against Me! rocks The Paramount, at 370 New York Ave. in Huntington, on March 16! Visit paramountny.com for tickets and more information!