Review by Mike Kohli
Photos by Chris Besaw
Punk icon Laura Jane Grace made her first visit to the beautiful Center for the Arts of Homer early this week. The former front person for Against Me! brought a setlist but didn’t quite stick to it once she realized the room’s acoustics. Upon taking the stage, one of the first things out of her mouth was, “I need to come back and record a live album here!” The audience urged, “Let’s do it now!”
Throughout the intimate and personal set, Grace would look at the prepared setlist and decide she wanted to try a different song to hear out it would sound in this room.
The ultimate setlist included many Against Me! favorites and songs from her solo career and were well-received by the adoring audience.
To say Grace has lived a life is a severe understatement. Much of her lyrics take their subject matter from real-life events Grace has experienced. Her between-song banter also revealed much more of her life experiences, a fact that she seemed to rue here and there throughout the set.
Grace, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, amp, and microphone, made the Center for the Arts into an intimate punk venue for the night. Her interaction with the audience throughout the night added to the intimacy. The crowd was also treated to a handful of new songs from her upcoming album that had yet to be performed on this tour.
Portland, ME trio Weakened Friends made their second appearance in CNY in a year, having opened for Slothrust at Syracuse’s Lost Horizon back in October.
The trio performed a bombastic set of loud-quiet-loud tunes that earned them quite a few new fans. Lead singer/guitarist Sonia Sturino sported a bandage on her fret hand, the result of an unfortunate incident with a cereal bowl. Despite the injury, she soldiered through the set like a true guitar hero. Bassist Annie Hoffman was often a blur onstage, keeping the low end while dancing along to the beat throughout the set. Drummer Adam Hand was stellar keeping the time on the kit.
Laura Jane Grace setlist:
It’s Cuffing Season
True Trans Soul Rebel (Against Me! song)
Unconditional Love (Against Me! song)
The Swimming Pool Song
Tacos and Toast
The Calendar Song
Cavalier Eternal (Against Me! song)
Fuck You (Just Because)
FuckMyLife666 (Against Me! song)
I Hate Chicago (Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers song)
Anna Is A Stool Pigeon
Pints of Guinness Make You Strong (Against Me! song)
Androgynous (The Replacements cover)
Two Coffins (Against Me! song)
Walking Is Still Honest (Against Me! song)
Black Me Out (Against Me! song)
Manic Depression (Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers song)
Give Up The Ghost
Joy (Against Me! song)
Sink, Florida, Sink (Against Me! song)