Five Thoughts About Against Me! and Dropkick Murphys at Roseland Ballroom

-In light of recent events, getting to hear Against Me!‘s “White Crosses,” one of the greatest pro-choice anthems ever and a salve for anyone who finds the Religious Right infuriating, is a fine way to spend an evening.

-For this tour Against Me! has left behind its touring keyboard player and some of the more elaborate songs from its recent album. The band is also breaking in its new drummer, Jay Weinberg, son of Max. He’s almost a decade younger than the rest of the band and clearly psyched to be there. He could often be spotted mouthing lyrics during Against Me!’s performance in between his vigorous head-bopping. The result of all this mixing around was a band thrashing with renewed vigor, able to hit its pop sweet-spots and burn with righteous fury in equal measure.

-For parts of its set, Boston band of rabble-rousers the Dropkick Murphys was joined by a four-string section. Though it’s nice to see these knuckleheads getting ambitious, such embellishments really weren’t necessary. Their shout-a-long soccer anthems don’t need any extra fuss, and the strings tended to get lost in the Roseland din anyway.

-The Murphys capped off its set by inviting all of the women in the crowd onstage to dance during “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced.” I have to say, I wouldn’t have expected such a dude-centric band to have so many female fans. Good for the Murphys!

-Opening the night was Minneapolis’ Off With Their Heads, which is apparently one of those bands that’s been famous in its hometown forever but is just now starting to make noise beyond city limits. The group played a likable, if a bit indistinct, blend of anthem-ready choruses and high-speed hooks. Here’s hoping it gets the chance to develop more of an identity by capably opening big-ticket punk shows for the rest of the year.