New and old converged Tuesday at Pop’s Nightclub as emerging Punk stars Rise Against played an outdoor show with aging punksters Bad Religion in support. The stage was set up in the parking lot of the well known St. Louis landmark East of the Mississippi in Sauget, IL.
A packed throng filled the fenced in lot and promptly ignored the signage forbidding moshing and crowd surfing. In fact a mosh pit formed and shoes were flying off during the 2ndsong of opening act Four Year Strong’s set. FYS presented a blustery and enlivened 30 minute set that set the tone for the rest of the night.
Bad Religion followed next in the supporting role, and performed a fast paced 15 song set. While acknowledging their advancing age (in some cases celebrating it) Bad Religion opted to squeeze in as many songs as they could in their 45 minute set. The bet worked for some as they were able to play a multitude of songs from their 32 year career, but were unable to fit in certain songs, like 1994’s “21stCentury (Digital Boy)” and 1995’s “A Walk” but were treated to treats like “We’re Only Gonna Die” from their 1981 debut LP “How Could Hell be Any Worse?” and “American Jesus”. During their set a train slowly made its way past the lot stage left. Could be an interesting metaphor or just something to remember. Seriously, how often do you play a concert with a train going past next to you?
When Rise Against came out to “Chamber the Cartridge” the crowd was pumped. Though it seemed many in the crowd were there primarily to see Bad Religion a majority were won over the intensity and craftsmanship that is Rise Against.
While not a household name yet outside the Punk world, Rise Against certainly is trying to be one. The Chicago-based band has improved with each subsequent CD. Their latest, “Endgame” climbed to as high as the #2 slot on the Billboard Top 200 and has drawn rave reviews from critics. The band played five songs from the new CD (With a highlight being “Help is on the Way”). The band kept to material from their last four albums and kept the tempo high. Along the way they acknowledged the impact Bad Religion had on reinvigorating the Punk scene and setting the stage for bands like Rise Against to make their impact on the world.
The crowd was highly energetic and was into nearly every note the bands played. The only time the crowd was allowed to breath was when lead singer Tim Mcllrath performed “Swing Life Away” alone and acoustic before Zach Blair joined him for “Hero of War” acoustically. The break was all that the crowd needed to make it through the rest of the show in full speed. Crowd surfers made their way atop the crowd until the very last chord was strung. For those that wanted a way to release the pent up tension they may have had this was the place to release, it seemed.
Mcllrath, a huge animal rights activist(as well as political), to say the least,(in fact every member of the band is an active member of PETA) likes to use his music to enlighten the world about animal abuse. If Rise Against keeps going like they did Tuesday, they should be able to get the message out to millions before too long.
Rise Against set list:
- Chamber the Cartridge
- The Good Left Undone
- Heaven Knows
- Re-Education (Through Labor)
- Make It Stop (September’s Children)
- The Dirt Whispered
- Help Is on the Way
- From Heads Unworthy
- Prayer of the Refugee
- Swing Life Away
- Hero of War
- Audience of One
- Ready to Fall
- Give It All