The new-wave punk rock band Against Me! ushered in a new year with a nearly sold-out show at Denver’s Summit Music Hall on December 31. The end of a decade, the start of a new one, the final show of the year, and the first show of the year all collided in the swirling of mosh-pitting, crowd-surfing, leather-clad punk lovers.
The band took the stage an hour before midnight ready to ring in the new year, donning fierce face masks and ready to match the energy of the head-banging, jumping, shoving crowd. Reaching a new decibel of sonic disturbance, Against Me! held nothing back as they played fan favorite after fan favorite.
Laura Jane Grace, lead singer and guitarist for the band, told the crowd that the last time Against Me! was in town in 2018, they played through specific albums as a way to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the release of New Wave. This tour, Grace said, is just about playing the songs that get the crowd to go crazy, and that’s exactly what they did.
The band delivered exactly what we want from Against Me!, and they sounded great while doing it. With an unmatched energy, political anarchy, and queer activism, these veterans are proof that when the message is pure and the intention is community, the fans will continue to show up and support.
Grace is just as well-known for her musical chops, fronting both Against Me! and Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers, as she is for her work in LGBTQ and specifically trans activism. She came out as trans in 2012 and has shared her life story with an unapologetic abandon in the memoir Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Through loss of love, fans, and a will to live, Grace has overcome and is serving as a beacon of hope for many ever since, as she lives life authentically every day.
*Photos by Veronica L. Holyfield