After a two-year wait, Seattle finally got another taste of the alternative group Rise Against. Tim Mcilrath and the rest of the band rocked the WaMu theatre last Monday with a 20 song set in front of a legion of loud fans.
Billy Talent and Rancid supported the group, and attracted their own fan clubs. The concert was the first of a 33-stop tour spanning four months.
Billy Talent was the first to take the stage on the night, and they set the tone with renditions of “Red Flag” and “Fallen Leaves.” Billy Talent is currently working on a new album and took some time to play a few of the tracks they have already completed.
Rancid was the second of the three bands to take the stage, and was the weakest of the bunch. Their presentation, including a bunch of old movie and war footage on the screens behind them, was uninspired, and while their performance was lively, it didn’t have the same energy that Billy Talent brought to the stage.
It was only after these bands did their part that Rise Against emerged. They started with “Collapse (Post-Amerika),” which sent the crowd into frenzy as soon as the intro started. Other early highlights included “Re-Education (Through Labor),” for many the best that their newest album, Appeal to Reason, and “Drones”, a similarly high-octane piece from their previous album.
They didn’t sacrifice their early work however, and paid homage to the early years with hits like “Paper Wings” and “Dancing for Rain,” along with a gritty remix of “Torches.”
The second half of the band’s set was littered with their more politically charged songs. Rise Against is known as a very liberal band, and their opposition to the fast food industry as well as their environmental awareness has been well documented in their music videos.
Rise Against ended the night with a five-song encore, including acoustic performances of “Everchanging” and “Hero of War,” pausing at times to let the audience sing verses. However, the band’s final song, “Ready To Fall,” was the best received and was also the final song they played on their last tour.
In all, the band kept a quick pace throughout the show. There was only one notable omission from their now sizable discography, “Swing Life Away”, a popular, albeit slow song that wouldn’t have fit the intense mood of their set.
As with most concerts, there were a number of rowdy fans, most notably in the mosh pits and riding the shoulders of the people at the front.
However, there was a particularly annoying brand of fan in front at this event. A couple of punks were running through the crowd with their forearms up in front of them, simply running into anyone who got in their way. That sort of behavior is the norm in a mosh pit, but many people watching did not seem to enjoy having elbows jammed into their ribs.
Over energized fans and an only okay performance by Rancid aside, the concert was a fantastic experience.