Against Me! Electrifies The Town Ballroom

Outside The Town Ballroom before the show. Katie Fortunato, Fortune Photography

On Thursday night, three punk rock acts called Buffalo’s Town Ballroom home. For all involved, it was everything one could have imagined and then some.

The punk rock definition might throw people off but the evening was filled with energized vocals, rumbling bass lines, piercing guitars and thunderous drums. Truly all that a music fan could ask for.

Before Against Me would grace the stage, Southern Ontario’s The Dirty Nil and Los Angeles’ Bleached would introduce themselves to the locals.

Two fantastic sets were greeted by a very positive reaction from the concertgoers – a positive sign for bands looking to plant their musical seed in the brains of potential new fans.

For those who aren’t aware, the best way to learn new bands is to go to shows – simple as that. You go see your favorite band on tour coming through your local town and you’ll almost always find some good music that is new to you.

That would prove to be the case on Thursday.

Laura Jane Grace of Against Me. Katie Fortunato, Fortune Photography

Despite a later start time for the main act, the crowd was as energized as ever. From the opening riff of “True Trans Soul Rebel” to the final cheers after “Sink, Florida, Sink”, Buffalo represented themselves well.

Lead singer Laura Jane Grace, dealing with a chest infection, ran through a catalogue of her band’s greatest hits with great precision and tact.

Throughout the evening, Grace was commenting on the Town Ballroom’s noted haunted history, mentioned how her band’s music would hopefully be drumming up some old musical spirits.

In case you didn’t know, The Town Ballroom opened back in the 1940s, originally named “The Town Casino”. The venue hosted legends like Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Miles Davis, John Coltran and Les Paul.

As their official website states, “Anyone who was anyone played the Town Casino”.

Re-opened in 2005, The Town Ballroom has continued the tradition of bringing in a who’s who of musical talent across all genres.

The venue’s setup is perfect for concerts and there truly is no bad view in the house.

A raucous crowd for a Thursday in Buffalo. Katie Fortunato, Fortune Photography

For us at Better Live Than Dead, it was the first time seeing Against Me since 2012, when former members Andrew Seward and Jay Weinberg were still part of the punk rock quartet.

It feels as if the more this version of Against Me tours together, the tighter they get as a group. A novel concept, we know.

Thanks to the technological advances of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, it is not hard to confirm that seemingly out-of-mind proposition.

This for sure is the best version of Against Me, one that we all look forward to seeing again the next time they roll through Buffalo.

BLTD’s staff photographer Katie Fortunato was at The Town Ballroom on Thursday and captured some photographs.

Written by Ryan Wolfe

Ryan Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of BLTD Sports. He can be heard on the BLTD Podcast. Ryan's writing is also featured over at

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