Against Me! at ACL Fest
The closest the MySpace generation will get to its own Bruce Springsteen is Tom Gabel, lead singer/guitarist of Gainesville’s Against Me! And if by any chance you aren’t swayed by the comparisons to the Boss, then he and his band could also be the Clash, circa Give Em Enough Rope. It’s working class rock and roll for the kids who make your morning coffee and build your fences.
In a weekend that saw plenty of folky strumming and electronic clamor, Against Me! brought a political fire. Not the kind of tossed off masked Obama ad that Pharrell from N.E.R.D. threw out like a tired catchphrase. Playing behind the year-old major label debut New Wave, Gabel and company have honed down each and every track to a decisive and biting screed, from songs like the stomping “Stop” and the histrionic “White People for Peace.” The only thing plaguing the band was the bass-heavy board mix that sometimes drowned out James Bowman’s guitar slashes. Tegan Quin came out to reprise her role on “Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart," which plays out the heartbreak of love and distance. -- Craig Hlavaty