Rise Against Show Review
They’re undoubtedly one of the premier Alternative rock artists of this century, and somehow, until Saturday night, I had never caught them live. No clue why I waited so long, but this powerful quartet out of Chicago was definitely worth the wait. And, based on something we heard that night, the next time we see them might just be right around the corner.
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Led by charismatic frontman, Tim McIlrath, they delivered 90 minutes of non-stop, searing rock ‘n roll to their passionate fans crammed into the sold out House of Blues in Orlando. The full band has been together for nearly a decade, with McIlrath and bassist Joe Principe there since inception, and it shows on stage, as the band is incredibly tight, especially considering they’re constantly bouncing around the stage.
Rise Against has shifted a bit from their days of punk rock stalwarts, and their music might now be a bit less political, but their fans are still fully bought in. On this night, there were very few moments where the entire venue wasn’t singing along loudly with McIlrath. The singer encouraged the interaction, seemed to revel in it, and was humbly appreciative.
The album cover from their latest release The Black Market served as a haunting backdrop as they took the stage to an explosive version of “Ready To Fall.” Huge “RI” and “SE” letters flanked the stage and constantly shifted colors in cadence with the music. The early highlight of the set was an interactive version of”Give It All” that featured McIlrath held aloft by the crowd as two thousand fans sang harmony for him. (See the full setlist at the bottom of the post)
Guitarist Zach Blair bounced around the stage doling out sharp hooks all night. He was joined by Drummer Brandon Barnes and Principe who pounded out a constant, aggressive musical bed all night. Other highlights included a raucous version of “The Good Left Undone” and a smoking version of “I Don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore,” one of only two tracks off of The Black Market.
McIlrath interacted with the crowd throughout the set, at one time reminiscing about one of the band’s first Orlando visits, an opening slot for Strung Out at The Social. As noted earlier, he also hinted at an upcoming return to The City Beautiful. He was coy about it, as the official announcement is still forthcoming. Perhaps they get added to The Big Orlando lineup? See our festival preview here: The Big Orlando.
The other offering from the new album was a stripped down, haunting rendition of “People Live Here,” which featured McIlrath on acoustic guitar with a bit of help from Blair, which was followed up with a tender “Swing Life Away,” with McIlrath alone on stage with a little help from the sold out crowd.
They closed the night with a riveting ten minute long version of “Savior,” a great way to close a fantastic show.
Check out our Black Market album review here.
Radkey, a trio of brothers from Missouri opened the night with a killer punk-infused set, and earned high praise from McIlrath who noted how the band reminded him of Rise Against as they came up through the ranks, offering “I hope they remember us when we’re opening for them.” (Check back soon for our review of their set) Touche Amore took the stage next, and were a bit of a disappointment despite their energetic set. Thankfully, those memories were quickly washed away by the talented headliners.
Ready to Fall
Give It All
Re-Education (Through Labor)
Behind Closed Doors
Long Forgotten Sons
The Good Left Undone
Like the Angel
I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore
Help Is on the Way
Chamber the Cartridge
Last Chance Blueprint
Prayer of the Refugee
Alive and Well
Audience of One
People Live Here
Swing Life Away
Make It Stop (September’s Children)