BECAUSE YOU MISSED IT: Joann Jene tells you about the Against Me! show at Mercury Ballroom 9/24/16

Is there anything more infectious than being surrounded by a
crowd of people buzzing in a state of absolute bliss? NO, my friends, there is not! And
there is NOTHING that puts people in this particular state more than when they
are seeing one of their all-time favorite bands right before their very eyes! I am not saying that this was the story for everyone at the Against Me! show at Mercury Ballroom, but I all I know is walked into a room of love and seriously kickass energy and I was pulled down from satellite fandom to the core of the experience like a magnet!
One of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST Against Me! fans ever,
Dylan Feese, was our Sherpa to the show. We had seen Against Me! together one other time at
Forecastle a few years ago. During that performance, Dylan and I had made our way up to the front and it was
during that show that I realized the depth of his love for the band and for
Laura Jane Grace and I was instantly right there with him. Cut back to the night of the Mercury Ballroom show -– we had a killer crew of so many best friends, the air was warm and we were all buzzed up and
feeling fine as we rolled up to the venue. We missed the first band but got
there just in time to see the band Potty Mouth….and holy coyotes, we loved them! They are all seriously such talented musicians and they look cooler than hell doing it! I loved the interaction between the lead singer and bass player and it
was apparent that they have all been playing together and have been friends for quite a while and they
just straight killed it!
Next up was the main attraction – Against Me! The venue was crowded but less
packed then I thought it would be — surprising but nice because there was some space back by the bar and it was easy to get drinks and I was able to find all my friends during the show (except Dylan because you know that dude was upfront losing his ever-loving mind)! We were able to move
around and check it out from different spots (as soon as Dylan saw I was wearing
sandals and gave me a look, I knew I couldn’t go up front and center or my
tootsies would get trampled). Meg and I cruised around and bit and watched the show from stage left, upstairs, back
by the bar and about dead center. We head-banged our way around the whole dang place!
The most prevalent vibe from the whole night and throughout the entire show was the feeling of LOVE. I found myself full-on grinning from beginning to end. Being around so much positive energy and seeing the band and
all the fans so happy to be together, it felt otherworldly to be surrounded by everyone singing along to to every single word of every single song. Laura Jane and the rest of the band were absolutely phenomenal! I am so inspired
by Laura Jane Grace and the bravery it has taken for her to be true to herself in
such a public setting — SO INSPIRED! There have been and will be countless people for years to that will feel the exact same way, who will admire and be inspired by this bright and shining example of self-acceptance and inner-strength, and through that find the determination to
stand up and be true to themselves as well.
After the band left the stage, following an oh-so-stellar performance, all you could see were smiling faces
and sweaty shirts spilling out into the street – Fourth Street was flying high!

Against Me! is the type of band that will always be around as long as they want to keep playing music. They are masters of continual change and growth – which keeps older
fans on their toes and constantly draws in new fans who get to experience their
entire body of work for the first time. There really is something infectious
about seeing someone being true to themselves and I think it is embodied in
Laura Jane’s attitude, presence and in her smile – there is nothing that draws you in from the base level human spirit more than a genuinely joyful smile from a person who feels free and is
doing what they were put on this planet to do.
Thank you for reading – I love you Louisville!