Tuesday night Against Me! played the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, and it was such an awesomely powerful performance that I regret never paying attention to them before Laura Jane Grace’s transition made them a critical cause célèbre. It takes a special band to send that kind of unifying electric charge through a room full of people. At least one buddy planned to leave early but couldn’t bring himself to do it, so magnetic was the fist-pumping force on display. Tony Molina’s opening set was rad too once he and his band loosened up and settled into a groove; whichever Stereogum commenter said his Dissed And Dismissed material is “like freebasing Pinkerton” is absolutely correct.
Before the show, Against Me! members Grace and Atom Willard sat down with Olivia, one of the seventh-grade girls behind Kids Interview Bands. (Maybe you recall when they talked to Sleigh Bells or Speedy Ortiz.) The interview doesn’t get into any of the personal turmoil and cataclysmic identity politics behind Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Instead, it touches on subjects such as paying Screech $10 for an autograph and knocking someone out with a yo-yo, which is also quite fascinating. Watch the full exchange below.
Transgender Dysphoria Blues is out now on Total Treble.