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Laura Jane Grace & The Mississippi Medicals give brilliant pure punk rock performance in Columbus







MARCH 3, 2024

By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications


Laura Jane Grace is an epitome of punk rock—giving the middle finger since 1997 with angsty Florida band Against Me! and flipping off societal norms and expectations by proudly fully being herself: Coming out as a trans woman in 2012. An iconic trailblazer. 


With Against Me! on hiatus since 2020, Grace is touring solo and has since released two solo studio albums: Stay Alive in 2020 and Hole In My Head, released last month.  


Last night a packed A&R Music Bar was not only treated to some solo songs (“Give Up The Ghost,” “Punk Rock In Basements,” “Cuffing Season,” “Dysphoria Hoodie”)—some with a Lou Reed vibe and garage rock, rockabilly feel—but also quite a few Against Me! favorites, including: “Baby I’m An Anarchist!,” “Thrash Unreal,” “Black Me Out,” “True Trans Soul Rebel,” “Walking Is Still Honest.” 


With a wide smile, Grace dominated the guitar and lead vocals as the tall, all-black wearing frontwoman performed alongside bassist Matt Patton and drummer Mikey Erg; however, less than halfway through the set, a fourth band member joined as co-vocalist. Grace introduced the additional vocalist as her wife, Paris Campbell Grace, saying within a year’s time they were married and formed the band that was presented on stage: Laura Jane Grace & The Mississippi Medicals. 


Grace never sounded better and Campbell Grace's backing blended flawlessly. The band plowed through a remarkable lengthy set which also included a couple unreleased songs: “Razorblade Blues” and “Hoka Hoka.” Fans were treated to an unforgettable pure punk rock performance--how have all these shows not sold out?


All-female band Thelma And The Sleaze opened with an onslaught of rock-and-roll 70’s style complete with phenomenal guitar solo duos and an edgy appeal—vocalist/guitarist LG paused after each song to bring raunchy and vulgar, hilarious sleazy sexual intros to the following song performed. The music rocked like Sabbath and Skynyrd and the vocals were soulful and bluesy with spoken word breakdowns and a bit of country twang. 


Earlier in the evening, Floridian four-piece Dikembe took over with a post-punk like sound and experimental proggy tunings. Comparable to Taking Back Sunday, Thrice and for past Columbus locals, bands like Six Gallery or Tales Of Iscariot. 

See Tour Dates Here


LAURA JANE GRACE (click photos to enlarge) 


THELMA AND THE SLEAZE (click photos to enlarge)

DIKEMBE (click photos to enlarge)


  1. Nice to see all women bands do exist ! Sweet write up!


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