Against Me! @ Vans Warped Tour
First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, IL
Against Me! has truly grown on me, no doubt about it.Â I first saw them perform an acoustic show here in Chicago at the Metro on Thanksgiving Day last year. The concert was taped for a future DVD release, so I felt so special to be there and witness that performance. The next time I saw Against Me! was when they opened for the Foo Fighters back in February at the Allstate Arena out in the burbs. I was so proud that the guys landed an opening slot on the Foo Fighters tour! Then came the Vans Warped Tour 2008 and I got to see Against Me! headline on the main stage – Highway 1. It is so cool to see a band progress within less than a year and get bigger and better. Also, at both of the previous two shows, the Against Me! fans have been a more mature crowd; mostly college kids or older. But at Warped Tour, the audience that formed in front of the stage for the band’s 30-minute set were pretty much all middle school to high school kids. Seeing as how the Warped Tour crowd is usually always middle school and high school kids, I expected this. But to see the age range of fans young and old rocking out and screaming their lungs out to Against Me! was amazing!!! PLEASE check them out when they come through a city near you. Even if you don’t like their music, you will fall in love with their live show and infectious energy. Trust me – you will. I guarantee it.
This summer, Guitar Center hit the road with the Vans Warped Tour, activating two programs designed to provide the artists on the tour with support-based tools that improve their chances for success as pro musicians: the GC Web Lab and the GC Axe Smith. The Guitar Center Web Lab, a custom 32? climate controlled internet trailer, provides bands and their crew exclusive access to a backstage wireless web center. Complete with top-of-the-line Apple computers, satellite-based broadband internet connections, design based software and a knowledgeable rep, Guitar Center’s mission is to provide Warped Tour artists/bands with the tools they need to maintain their online worlds when they are on the road : a service that is especially needed since web access is severely restricted in many of the rural areas where the Warped Tour touches down.
Guitar Center is also proud to provide all bands on the Vans Warped Tour with an onsite professional guitar tech, a.k.a. the “GC Axe Smith”. The GC Axe Smith is where Vans Warped Tour guitarists and bassists come to get their instruments tuned, repaired, and get ready to rock. From complete set-ups and minor repairs to intonation and truss-rod adjustments, this service is 100% FREE to the artists, underscoring Guitar Center’s commitment to helping Warped bands make the best music possible. In addition, Guitar Center will serve as the exclusive, presenting sponsor of the Vans Warped Tour video blog. Utilizing the Web Lab as the blogging home base, a GC video reporter will use and include the Web Lab in video content as well as conduct artist interviews within the lab’s “testimonial” set-up. Our onsite Warped rep will also produce weekly video content with artists, conducting musician-centric interviews, how-to videos and more.
Check out the GC Axe Smith and Web Lab @ Warped Tour: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nkx7oI_DQ7A
Check out the GC Axe Smith on Austin TV: http://www.news8austin.com/content/sxsw/stories/?SecID=292&ArID=202608
Another cool thing I love about Against Me!, which just makes me respect this band more, is that Tom Gabel (frontman/lead singer) stood stage right (house left). And Andrew Seward (bassist/vocals) stood in the center. This is confusing at first if you aren’t familiar with the individual band members and know who plays what and who is who. I was even caught off guard in the beginning of their set when the guys took their positions. The last two times I saw the band in concert, Tom was in the center. I think it’s great that the “leader” of the band switched the line up and stood off to the side. It shows that he is comfortable with his place in the band and doesn’t need to be the center of attention. The fact that he obviously likes to give his bandmates the attention that they deserve. Even is treated equal in Against Me!