Against Me! @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham 06/12/16
Line ups like this come up once in a blue moon, a collection of bands that feels so organic and natural it could have been formed by nature itself. The truth obviously, is that it was just really well booked, and time actually went into the booking unlike some promoters who will throw any bands together just because, or shove bands together on the bill because the record label said so.
Those people who either decide not to turn up or couldn’t get to the venue for first band Mobina Galore should properly be kicking themselves- and hard- because they missed a band who can rival any of these (current of the moment) punk duos. Making more noise than Royal Blood, bringing more attitude than Slaves and more heart than This Wild Life, Mobina Galore are something different and refreshing. If Brody Dalle had decide to make a two-piece band after The Distillers, you would expect it to sound a little something like this. These two musicians brought power, energy and raw undiluted talent, and this astounding set seemed to draw people off the streets, into the frenzy that became the 02 2.
2016 has been one hell of a year for Milk Teeth, starting the year with the release of their debut album ‘Vile Child’, ending the year playing these shows with Against Me! and then there is everything else they’ve been up to in between. They certainly deserve everything they get, they are such a genuine and honest band, many bands are noted as “wearing their heart on their sleeve” and the same can be said for Milk Teeth. They are writing songs for this generation, songs which talk about real issues and don’t pander to their fans. The band don’t have “a look” but we think this should be heralded, they don’t fit into any previous conventions or ideas of what a band is or should be. They’re just four individuals smashing out some heartfelt grunge-punk.
What makes a good band? That’s something that is difficult to put your finger on. A certain je ne sais quoi which is completely intangible, a sparkle, something that makes someone a star. Against Me! Stand and play their music just like every other band. But as they stand there, they sparkle, and you, you are memorised.
Laura Jane Grace is an absolute icon, and Against Me! are fucking legends, they deserve to be playing to bigger crowds than the Academy 2, although after the spectacular reception they received tonight I’m unsure they’d want to. The very walls were sweating! The room was packed front to back, and the special thing about Against Me! is that they made everyone in that room feel. There is something special about a band opening a set, and having every single fucking person in the room singing back at the top of their lungs, it is goosebump inducing. An Against Me! audience is something truly special, you can see all shapes and sizes, genders and sexual orientations, piercings, tattoos and colours of hair, yet it is more inclusive and welcoming than any other audience you will ever be a part of.