Against Me! @ The Triffid

Punk rock is good for the soul

It's always exciting when an international band come to town in Brisbane, and even more so when it's a band that are as powerful as Floridian punk rockers Against Me! 2017 marks 20 years since their debut, and their journey as a musical outfit has been one of uniquity. Despite having to go to a Wednesday night gig still dressed in my cafe job uniform, I was excited to see Laura Jane Grace take the stage and enthrall minds.

Local punk group The Cutaways opened up the night, with their sharp, angry punk tracks gaining the attention of the already packed Triffid. Frontwoman Emmy commanded the audience with finesse; skilled fingers strummed out blaring guitar riffs, and strong vocals screamed and spat out lyrics. The four piece were quite slick, transitioning from song to song with ease. Their noisy rock sound was quite similar to Against Me!, making them a good choice for a support act.

Melbourne band Camp Cope were the second support - they were the softest band of the night, but that didn't take away from what they had to offer. Camp Cope have made a strenous effort in the past to make sure punters at gigs are safe (something that I, especially being a female really appreciate), and this time was no different. They had set up a hotline that you could call if you felt unsafe, and that was a nice touch to their overall aesthetic. The three-piece band, fronted by Georgia Maq, jammed out their realist indie-rock tunes to a receptive crowd. It was obvious there were plenty of fans there - Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams incited a energetic sing-a-long and closing track Lost:Season 1 blew the audience up.

Upbeat drums pounded as the anticipation grew for Against me! to enter the stage. The crowd were getting rowdy and the giant lips logo was displayed across the back of the stage. Opening with True Trans Soul Rebel, Graces hair covered her face as the fast paced, heavy rock pumped the crowd into an intense mosh straight away, strobes illuminating the stage. The drums drilled into my heart and the bass reverberated in my veins as they launched into Unconditional Love, another track from their record Transgender Dysphoria Blues

I lost half my beer when the opening chords to Delicate, Petite & Other Things I'll Never Be kicked in. The mosh pit escalated from intense to psychotic, yet it still felt like a safe space to be. I saw someone fall down and immediately be helped up, and seeing an environment like that restores my faith in society a little bit. How they maintained such a high energy level for the 1.5 hour set I don't know, but it was contagious, spreading even to the far back corners of the Triffid. Finally, the show came to a close, and despite the sore feet, damp beer drenched shirt and being covered in other peoples sweat, the show lit a fire inside of me, like all good punk shows should. Punk rock is truly good for the soul.

Olivia Shoesmith


Zed Facts

On 14 December 1988, 4ZZZ was taken off air and forcibly evicted from its UQ premises by the then student union executive, headed by one Victoria Brazil. The move prompted many previously apolitical students to take a firm stand against the move and to rally support for the station. While Zed was not to return to the premises its' volunteers had helped hand-build, unprecedented community support saw the station live to fight another day.