Concert Review: Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers, David Dondero

Date: Saturday, February 20th 2016

Venue: The Waiting Room, Buffalo, NY

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Against Me! Front woman Laura Jane Grace made a stop at the intimate Waiting Room in Buffalo, NY on Feb 20th as part of a brief 8 show acoustic tour with her group the Devouring Mothers. Also on the bill for these handful of shows was veteran singer song writer Dave Dondero. The night was part storytelling and part music as both set of performers aimed to provide the audience with a nights worth of entertainment.

As fans were still making their way up the twisted steps of the dual stage venue opening act Dave Dondero took the stage for a less than energetic set. At several points through the 30/40 minute set Dondero asked the crowd if they were actually interested in hearing him play and if not he was ok with leaving. At first what seemed like a joke carried on throughout the remainder of Dondero’s unprofessional and lack luster set.

As the room began steadily filling in Laura Jane and the Devouring Mothers (a group made up of Against Me! drummer Atom Willard and producer/ bassist Marc Hudson) would take the stage and blast through over 20 acoustic renditions of some of Against Me’s material both new and old. In between such songs as “Tonight We’re Gonna Give It 35%” and “Androgynous” Grace read entries from her upcoming book which will be made of countless journal entries and experiences. The set by Laura Jane and company was like a cooler version of “VH1’s Storytellers”. The set was a nice mixture of both new and old tracks which provided something for the various levels of fans the packed the intimate club setting. Missing from the set however was the song “500 Years” which was released in 2014 as a Record Store Day limited edition 7”. Despite this being the perfect setting for the somber number other tracks like “Because of the Shame” and “Two Coffins” filled the void nicely and, despite the of the night being a bit rocky Laura Jane, Atom and Marc did a great job as they more than made it up to the Buffalo fans.

Set List:
1.) Ache With Me
2.) Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
3.) Tonight We’re Gonna Give It 35%
4.) You Look Like You Need a Drink
5.) Sink, Florida, Sink
6.) I Keep Forgettin’
7.) Pretty Girls (The Mover)
8.) How Low
9.) Searching for a Former Clarity
10.) Joy
11.) Androgynous (Replacements Cover)
12.) The Ocean
13.) Harsh Realms
14.) Conceptual Paths
15.) Because of the Shame
16.) Two
17.) True Trans Soul Rebel
18.) Bamboo Bones
19.) Transgender Dysphoria Blues
20.) Black Me Out
(Plus 2 song Encore)

Laura Wilde talks about music and touring with Ted Nugent

Laura Wilde is an Australian singer/songwriter who is currently out on tour with her band supporting classic rock icon Ted Nugent. Laura just released a new single titled “Sold my Soul” and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Laura recently about the single and the current tour.

Adam Lawton: What was it that made you want to get in to playing/performing music?
Laura Wilde: I have been obsessed with guitars ever since I was a kid. It was something that was always on my mind. My parents wouldn’t buy one for me so it just started to become a deeper and deeper obsession. Around the time I turned 12 I finally received a guitar for Christmas. I was so happy to have one that I played it all the time. When I was about 16 I decided that I wanted music to be my career. I started recording songs as soon as I finished high school and all while I was attending university. After a year of university I asked my parents if I could try music and see how things go. I have been working at it ever since.

AL: How do you personally describe your sound?
LW: I think it is pretty much just straight up rock and roll. There are screeching guitars, heavy drum beats and some melodic tracks thrown in the mix.

AL: Can you give us some background on your first single “Sold my Soul”?
LW: The song was written and demoed pretty much over night. It was a very fast process and the song sort of wrote it’s self. It’s a celebration song about coming to America and all of the places I want to visit while touring. We had the toe tapping drum beat and then we threw the guitar riffs over the top of that and everything just fell in to place.

AL: What has been the biggest difference for you performing in the States as compared to performing in your home of Australia?
LW: In Australia there wasn’t a real rock scene. There it is more of an indie rock type thing going on. I am more in to the leather and big hair. (Laughs) I decided to come to America after an A&R guy told me that I would be more suited in the States. There are more opportunities here in the States because there is a larger group of people. America is the heart land of rock and roll.

AL: Can you tell us about your current tour supporting Ted Nugent?
LW: It has been such an honor to be invited to tour with Ted. He is a legend and does over 300 shows per year. Ted runs a very tight ship and everything is very professional. It’s been a huge learning experience.

AL: How did you initially become involved with the tour?
LW: My publicist at the time used to be Ted’s publicist as well. She was the one who put it together thinking it would be a good fit. Unfortunately she passed away before she could see everything happen. She has been with us in spirit every step of the way.

AL: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
LW: We are out with Ted until late August. Once we get back home we will be going in to the studio to start on the record. We will definitely be doing a full-length release next and you will probably see some of my older influences shine through. I have about 30 tracks written that we can choose from but I know there will be more stuff being written while we are out on tour. We are looking forward to being busy in the coming months.

Interview with Syfy “Alphas” Laura Mennell

Laura Mennell is known best for her role of Nina in Syfy’s “Alphas”. The show is finishing up its first season and is already green-lit for season two. Media Mikes was able to chat with Laura about working on “Alphas” and also about her character.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you like most about playing Nina on “Alphas”?
Laura Mennell: I think I probably love playing Nina’s ability. Although her power might not be a physical strength her pushiness gives her this enormous power even in intense situations. I like that she can get right in there and help save the day. She sort of uses her ability as a weapon. Nina is a great asset to the team. It’s fun to vicariously live through her. I also love having a female character that gets into the action mix which I think is great.

MG: When will we find out more about her back story?
LM: I think the mystery of Nina’s back story is very interesting. I think we have seen little hints of background here and there but she doesn’t like to go there and be vulnerable. I think in the second season you will see a little more as the series goes on. The mystery of the characters I think adds to the appeal of the show.

MG: Can you give us some info on the Nina and Cameron relationship story line?
LM: I think part of the connection between Hicks and Nina stems from the fact they are both fairly damaged people with difficult pasts. I really enjoy playing out their relationship. It’s never been an easy one. With Nina she has a lot of walls put with Hicks and when those walls start to come down as Nina gets comfortable something happens and they go back up. It’s nice to see Nina be a little more vulnerable with Cameron as most of the time she doesn’t want to be or appear to be vulnerable.

MG: What can we expect from the season finale?
LM: I can’t really say too much but it’s going to be a wonderful episode for Dr. Rosen and you get to learn a little bit more about his past. He will have to make some very interesting choices to make as a character. David Strathairn is such a wonderful actor any episode that centers around him will always be good. I really enjoy watching him work. The episode is going to be great and have quite a bit of action.

MG: Do you have a favorite episode thus far?
LM: I love a lot of the episodes. I had a lot of fun with the “Catch and Release” episode. Working with Summer Glau was great and she is really sweet. That episode was an interesting one for Nina as you got to see who Nina used to be and who she could have become. I think Nina’s encounter with Skylar really impacted her.

MG: How do you feel this show stands out from other sci-fi shows?
LM: I think the show is really cool and one thing interesting about our show fan wise is we have a lot of traditional sci-fi fans. The show is a little different in the procedural aspect and it’s a more realistic setting as our characters are sort of average people. I think because of those things people who might not normally be attracted to the show have been drawn into it.

MG: What are you looking forward to coming back to with season 2?
LM: I think it will be nice to get back and work with everyone. Everybody has been great! It will also be fun to see what’s in store for our characters each time we get the script for a new episode. I like the surprises.