People change as they age. From a rebelling teen, to a stressed out and tired twenty-something
finally finding some peace of mind fifteen or so years later. Who would have thought that this would
compare to Laura Jane Grace and Frank Iero‘s show at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, though? In the same musical vein as Anti-Flag, Mobina Galore open the night with some no-nonsense punk
rock. They’ve earned their stripes opening for Against Me! before, but tonight Mobina Galore aren’t
playing their best show. Especially drummer Marcia seems to be troubled by some fatigue, leaving
some hiccups in their usually great punk songs. After they warmed up, the Canadian duo took the
opportunity to introduce the crowd to some of their new tracks off upcoming album Don’t
Worry. A tad more melodic than their previous work and, by the looks of it, well received by the
Although Frank Iero and the Future Violents’ set doesn’t go down too smoothly either, the new songs work out quite well. Barriers is easily the most interesting studio effort Iero has ever released, thanks to the resemblance to Sunny Day Real Estate. It’s unfortunate that these great tracks lose some of that typical nineties emo sound in order to blend in with the rest of the setlist. Given the chaos in the
room, though, we’ll forgive the band of some of their musical slip-ups. We do need to address a crowd sized elephant in the room. It’s embarrassing, really. Isn’t it common knowledge that it’s not okay to just casually walk onstage to try and take a selfie? Yeah, someone tried that tonight. Then there’s the one person who shoved Frank aside to shout something into the mic, with her tripping over the cables in the process. Thirdly, the laughably poor clap-along. Speaking of counting to four, that also is the number of stage divers, out of five, that weren’t caught. Iero is trying his best to laugh it off, but he’s visibly annoyed. With that out of the way, I’m done complaining (I promise).
As a calming parental embrace, Grace’s The Friendship Song soothes the chaos from an hour earlier, which is pretty much forgotten. Instead there’s a more relaxed, welcoming vibe throughout the room. It’s clear that a lot of visitors left after Frank’s set, leaving Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers with half a crowd and thus the possibility to make their show significantly more intimate. With song titles such as Amsterdam Hotel Room, Grace is already two steps ahead of the crowd. Add to this some charming banter and there’s little left that could go wrong. Then there’s the sheer musicality of it all. Atom Willard is by far the best drummer here tonight, while Grace enchants and intrigues with her iconic vocal style and typically simplistic, catchy songwriting. “We only have one album as a collective so we’re just gonna play the whole thing,” the Against Me! frontwoman explains. To fluff the set up a bit, two very well-chosen covers were also added: Dilaudid, a Mountain Goats original, and Vancouver, written by none other than opening act Mobina Galore. The teens are mostly interested in stressing out the stage manager during Frank Iero’s set, whereas Mobina Galore are stressed enough themselves, trying to get by. But in the end, everyone who has stayed for her show will know that Laura Jane Grace will welcome anyone with a motherly aura and open arms. Listen to your mother kids! Hannah van Rhee.