Gainsville, Fla. punk band Against Me! filled the Railyard to capacity on Super Bowl Sunday, and by the time Green Bay was snuggling up with their trophy, Tom Gabel and company were throwing sweat across a house of ecstatic supporters.
The band opened with the anathematic “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong,” a song that conjures up early Against Me!, Gabel’s dripping angst and cowboy punk soundtracking teenage rebellion.
The group played a solid set sprinkled with songs from the new album, “White Crosses.” Gabel didn’t shove the latest release upon the crowd, instead concentrating his efforts on the entire Against Me! discography, bringing songs from “Reinventing Axl Rose” (2002), “As the Eternal Cowboy,” (2003) and “Searching for a Former Clarity” (2005), and “New Wave” (2007).
Instead of proclaiming his anti-establishment ways, Gable spent the evening reminiscing. “Do you remember when you were young / and you wanted to set the world on fire?” The reflective line from “I Was a Teenage Anarchist,” off the newest album spilled across the largely under-age crowd, their elbows swinging against one another.
Against Me! carries a familiar comfort, an air of mystery that surrounds first love with the anticipation of rekindling with a former self. They bring to the stage an assurance that punk can indeed progress forward as the teenage anarchists grow beards and gain wedding bands and make children.
The group returned for an encore, Gable addressing the crowd: “It’s too fucking cold to stay away,” he proclaimed before diving into three songs and closing with “We Laugh At Danger (And Break All the Rules).”