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Against Me! @ The Troc with Big Eyes and Tony Molina.

May 12, 2014

Text by Gabi Chepurny.

Last Tuesday was a night for punks at The Trocadero.

Openers Big Eyes from Seattle flew through their set, with strong female lead vocals and grooves that sounded like what could have come out of the garage space Nirvana practiced in during the early 90’s.

Bay Area staple, Tony Molina, took the stage with minimal between-song banter but got the crowd dancing. This was good news for the one kid in orange, who simply couldn’t contain himself. As Molina and his band powered through their set, the room filled with denim vests covered in DIY-patches and an overwhelming feeling of acceptance.

Headliners Against Me! arrived to crushing applause. They made sure to deliver songs spanning multiple albums, while lead singer Laura Jane Grace flashed a wide, genuine grin at the craziness that is Philadelphia fans.

“This is fucking fun, I love Philly!” she said in surprise.

Grace’s endearing performance screamed honesty and a sense of personal comfort. In a departure from previous performances, the trans frontwoman was open about her identity, like when she introduced the song “Pretty Girls” by telling us, “I wrote this song when I wasn’t very comfortable with myself.”

More importantly, it was obvious she wanted everyone else in the room to feel comfortable with themselves, too. After explaining how society, our friends, parents, and most everyone else expects us as people to fit into predetermined boxes, she said, “Beyond boxes, beyond what’s between your legs, we’re all human beings.”

Before the end of their set, Grace explained that they were recording every performance from the tour and first asked that everyone make as much noise as possible. Afterward, she asked that everyone yell the name of the first person they slept with, so that it could be “recorded and cemented in time.” We’re going to go ahead and say that this was the best, band-crowd interaction ever.

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