Although live records become a permanent part of an artist’s legacy the moment they’re released, they’re only a snapshot in time. Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!! from 2006 was pummelling but brief (and lacking stage banter), representing an angry time for the band. Against Me! are still evolving, and newest live album 23 Live Sex Acts finds them with two different members and revered by fans. It may have taken their entire career to get there, but the one-time anarcho-punks, particularly lead singer Laura Jane Grace, sound genuinely happy onstage.
Sure, Grace gets into it with a security guard during the tenacious New Wave, imploring him not to “kick that fucking kid out.” But a buoyant vibe continues in sizzling The Ocean and Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which has heightened vocal touches. The album makes every effort to showcase the band’s deep back catalogue, and represents their second coming – it speaks to the new generation of fans they’ve gained. There are worse ways to be remembered.
Top track: High Pressure Low
Against Me! play Riot Fest at Downsview Park on September 19.