Laura Jane Grace delivers an electric Dallas performance


Meleah York

Front woman Laura Jane Grace performs at the Kessler Theater

Meleah York, Editor-in-Chief

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers performed at the Kessler Theater in Dallas on March 17.

Grace, a long-time punk musician who founded the band Against Me!, is currently on a North American tour with her side project, the Devouring Mothers. Their album Bought To Rot was released in November 2018, showcasing tracks with obvious punk energy with a stripped-down element.

The show opened with Control Top, a three-person band from Philadelphia, with songs from their newest album Covert Contracts, set to release in April. Mercy Union, the second opener from New Jersey, performed tracks from their new album The Quarry. Both bands brought a different, unique sound and were fantastic to watch perform.

Grace and the Devouring Mothers began the show with “The Hotel Song”, beginning with a softer, calmer melody that swelled into a louder drum-driven beat. Without a pause, they transitioned into “China Beach”, drawing in the audience with a shocking punk energy. “Apocalypse Now (& Later)” brought a big smile to Grace’s face, and the upbeat melody reeled in the crowd. From feel-good tunes like “The Friendship Song” and “The Airplane Song,” to more punk driven “Screamy Dreamy,” “Born in Black,” and “The Acid Test Song,” Grace’s performance was electric. She sprinkled in a few Against Me! classics, including “Conceptual Paths” from her 2008 solo album and covers of “Androgynous” by The Replacements and “Take the Skinheads Bowling” by Camper Van Beethoven, finishing off with “Manic Depression” from her own album.

After calls for an encore, Grace ended the show with an acoustic version of “True Trans Soul Rebel,” a song from her 2014 Against Me! album Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which was released shortly after she came out as transgender. Fans smiled and sang along to the empowering anthem in the Kessler Theater’s intimate setting. It was truly a special and defining moment of the show; it was reaching directly to the fans.

Grace has proven to not only be an exceptional musician and performer, but a cultivator of positive, interactive energy with the audience. It has yet to be determined whether Grace will be releasing a second album with the Devouring Mothers or working again with Against Me!, but one thing is certain: whatever Grace does next, you can bet it will continue to bring pure and authentic energy.