Since forming in 1999, Rise Against are one band holding firm in the belief that it’s important for punk to stand for something real, taking on world issues and rockin out for democratic progression. Carrying the torch for thoughtful, socially conscious punk rock for more than a decade, the Chicago based arena fillers Rise Against have hit Australian shores.
Already having established a reputation as a ‘can’t miss’ live act, After seeing them perform at The Riverstage in Brisbane I can definitely say the reputation is well and truly deserved.
First to hit the stage was hardcore city slickers, Outright, hailing from Melbourne and fronted by powerhouse Jelena who is also the owner and operator of Bake Down The Walls – a cruelty free treats n eats not-for-profit vegan food stall she sets up at hardcore/punk shows to help raise money to give back to the community, bands and causes she thinks are important and passionately cares about.
Next up was Clowns who are delightfully chaotic and refreshingly unique. The 4 piece hardcore punk band from Melbourne got the crowd absolutely roaring for Rise Against taking things to a whole new lunacy as vocalist Steve jumped straight in the crowd. Smashing tracks off their latest album Bad Blood the intensity in their performance was outrageous.
Finally it was time for Rise Against to hit the stage. The lights cut off and house music ceased. Large letters spelling out the word, “RISE” were erected centre stage and flickered in the darkness. As it all went dark the crowd starting chanting ‘Rise Against, Rise Against’ pushing further and further into the barrier. The deafening silence was disrupted by an eerie noise. Purple spotlights streamed down on the crowd. The word “RISE” illuminated orange and the crowd began to roar.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Tim Mcllrath began to strum rapidly, leading the four-piece band into The Great Die Off. Zach Blair, lead guitarist and backing vocals for the band jumped into the crowd as soon as the second song The Good Left Undone began, which is an indication of just how pumped this crowd was.
Fortunately enough, the band played a multitude of tracks spread across the 7 albums. “Survive”, “Prayer of the Refugee”, and “Ready to Fall” were all included.
Before moving into the two-track encore, Tim McIlrath took the stage for acoustic performances of “Hero of War” and “Swing Life Away”, the crowd got out their phones and waved them in the air, not missing a lyric as lead singer Tim delivered the heartfelt performance.
The pit began to mosh and every soul in the building sang along as Rise Against finished off the set with Dancing for Rain and Saviour, leaving fans exhausted as people slowly peeled away.
Words by Jariah Travan
Photo by Chris Ward