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Against Me! Grills Out in Concrete Jungle

Last night (July 12) may have seen most of the city considerably cool off, but things only heated up over at NYC’s Milk Gallery, where droves of hipsters, skaters and the occasional toddler converged in the loading dock for music, art and BBQ courtesy of Milk Studios and Spin. The 9th annual Summer Block Party & Staff Photographer Show featured more than stellar snapshots lining the gallery’s walls — a half-pipe, arcade games, photo booth, foosball, and oh yeah, a mechanical bull. It was like a house party exploded to ridiculous proportions with long keg lines of flushed partygoers clutching plastic cups. A DJ spinning nostalgia from the Doobie Brothers, AC/DC, 2pac and Dr. Dre, and more gave way to a spirited mariachi band, readying the teeming and sweaty crowd for the night’s main event, Against Me!

Hot off the Tuesday release of their Sire debut and fourth album to date, New Wave, Against Me!’s hour-long set was an exhilarating mix of fist-in-the-air, punk rock sing-alongs old (“Walking Is Still Honest,” “Cliché Guevara”) and new (“Up the Cuts,” “Thrash Unreal”), fans taking advantage of the lax security to stage-dive throughout. Like usual, the guys skipped the small talk, blazing through Irish-flavored anthem “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong” and new single “White People For Peace” with vigor and intensity to spare. Before long, Against Me! and its by-then half-naked frontman Tom Gabel were spent, leaving the hoarse crowd no choice but to navigate past empty cups and spilled beer back to reality.

We asked: Here we are at the 9th annual Summer Block Party & Staff Photographer Show and Against Me! is the musical guest. If you were throwing your own summer shindig, what band would you want to play?