First Fleet Concerts presents
Off With Their Heads, Hop Along
211 Iowa Avenue
Iowa City, IA, 52242
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is all ages
The story of Against Me! began in Naples, FL back in 1997. Tom Gabel, who was playing in a local grind-core band at the time, started playing under the name as a solo project with no intentions of doing anything beyond making a demo tape, and overcoming stage fright by playing a show by himself. Shortly after these goals were realized, he started collaborating with his friend Kevin Mahon (now of the band forgetters), who accompanied him on a make-shift drum set built out of scavenged (dumpster) pickle buckets and whatever real drum parts they could round up. The two then recorded another 10 song demo tape entitled Vivida Vis on a four track tape recorder in Tom's bedroom at his mother's house. They self-released the album by dubbing copies on boom boxes and stealing photo copies for the covers and lyric booklet. Tom and Kevin moved to Gainesville in 1999 and released their first self-recorded, self-titled 5 song 12" EP on the Baltimore label Crasshole Records in 2000. This was followed by their first 7" EP, recorded by Rob Mcgregor at Goldentone studios, entitled Crime As Forgiven By… and released by Sabot Productions in 2001. Shortly after, they were joined by James Bowman on guitar, followed by Dustin Fridkin on bass. After the last show of their first full fledged tour as a 4-piece band, while driving south on I-75 from Bloomington, IN back to Gainesville, FL their van was struck by a semi truck. They rolled multiple times and landed upside down in a ditch, and while all of their equipment and van were destroyed, everyone walked away from the accident relatively unscathed. It was at this point Kevin Mahon left the band to pursue an interest in train hopping. After briefly considering quitting altogether, Tom and Dustin continued under the name as a 2-piece releasing another 7" EP on Sabot Productions, fan-titled The Acoustic EP. Unsatisfied with playing music as an acoustic duo, Tom and Dustin began playing music with Warren Oakes on drums and were rejoined by James Bowman on guitar.
Since 1997 Against Me! has played over 2,000 shows worldwide, not only having played in every state in the U.S., but traveling world-wide to Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. They have toured with a wide range of bands including The Foo Fighters, Green Day, The Pogues, Jimmy Eat World, NOFX, Lucero, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Mastodon, Matt & Kim, Cursive, Rise Against, The Bouncing Souls, Hot Water Music, Billy Talent, Silversun Pickups, Alkaline Trio, The Blood Brothers, Social Distortion, Japanther, The Grabass Charlestons, and Sage Francis. In addition, they have made multiple appearances at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, The Warped Tour, Reading & Leeds, Pukkelpop and many more.
Off With Their Heads
Rising punk rock band Off With Their Heads have announced plans to release Home, their sophomore Epitaph Records' release on March 12th. The band has released the first song "Nightlife" today, which can be streamed via YouTube. Fans are invited to pre-order the album starting today by going to www.owthstore.com.
Produced by Bill Stevenson of Decendents fame at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO, Home retains all the boisterous spirit of the band's earlier efforts while sonically taking a monumental step forward. The new album embraces authentic punk rock at its core and combines melodic fast paced aggression with mid-tempo pop, while singer Ryan Young's rough and edgy vocals and genuine lyrics create a sincerity that can only come from a hard working band that lives and breathes it every day.
"Home is about the struggles of constantly being on the move, trying to maintain relationships while being away, and not feeling like there is really anywhere to go home to anymore," says Young. It's about the reasons why people leave their hometowns and never go back."
From the first track, "Star Walking", an explosive opener about things getting worse while waiting for things to get better, to the album's first single "Nightlife" about worry-filled, sleepless nights that keep you awake, Young describes the new album as "being about how hard it is to accept change for some of us." This is evident in the sobering track "Stolen Away" that takes a hard look at fleeting relationships while "Seek Advice Elsewhere" touches upon the importance of reflection. Young continues to say, "It's about getting older, and not being ok with it. It is about how religion can destroy a family. Finally, it is a dedication to anyone who can relate."
Off With Their Heads have begun to carve out their own foundation in punk rock history with their very own take on rowdy, self-deprecating, beer-drinking, working class punk rock. When it comes to touring virtually year round, it isn't a choice as much as it's a lifestyle for Off With Their Heads. In March, the band will once again head out on another tour in anticipation of one of the year's most engaging punk rock records.
After nearly two years working at Head Room Studios in North Philly arts space Big Mama's House, local art-pop trio Hop Along wrapped up work on its next full length album, Get Disowned, just last week. On Sunday, singer-guitarist Frances Quinlan announced on the band's Tumblr "OUR NEW ALBUM IS DONE (and I am delirious)"; she appeared after-hours on WKDU to chat and premier the album version of "Tibetian Pop Stars", and last night, the band posted the track as a free download on its Bandcamp page. It's a kind of epic collision of the band's preferred styles: overdriven punk, singalong folk and hooky pop.
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