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Against Me live . . . on TV, sorta.

| July 7, 2010

JBTV Studios, Chicago
Saturday, July 3, 2010

Prior to taking the stage that evening at the Aragon Ballroom, Gainesville, Florida’s Against Me stopped by the JBTV studios for a brief afternoon set. Performing plugged-in and stripped-down in front of a crowd of roughly 50, the five-man live act played a handful of cuts across 25 minutes, primarily culled from this summer’s White Crosses — just as well, as its tracks stood to gain the most from an acoustic re-imagining.

On record, lead Crosses single “I Was A Teenage Anarchist” comes across toothless and safe, especially given its faux-rebellious title. Saturday’s version, meanwhile, benefitted from some much-needed energy, courtesy of the combined vocals of frontman Tom Gabel, guitarist James Bowman, and touring keyboardist (and secret weapon) Franz Nicolay, formerly of The Hold Steady. In fact, it was the triple-vocal approach and organ-esque accompaniment that most enlivened the short performance, especially during fan-favorite “Sink, Florida, Sink,” itself no stranger to the acoustic treatment. Though succinct in delivery, Saturday’s early-afternoon set served as confirmation that for an act like Against Me, a little unhinging can go a long way.

— Jaime de’Medici

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