Going Up

Tonight is the third time I've seen Rise Against but the first time playing to their own crowd and what a difference it makes. Full crowd participation is the order of the day and there are plenty of opportunities with a good mix of songs from their back catalogue. Rise Against's hallmarks are great sing along choruses coupled with buckets of energy and both are more than evident tonight, it's an excellent performance and the more the crowd clamour for more the more the band seem to rise to the challenge.

The highlight of the set (for me at least) is an excellent rendition of 'Alive & Well' from the first album. Fairly early on it becomes apparent that tonight's show is a bit special, it's near the end of a long tour, which has given the band plenty of practice at honing their stage show. They always put on a good show but tonight they just seem to be buzzing off the enthusiasm of the crowd and when they break into a big chorus it's quite a moment as the whole room joins in.

Front man Tim McIlrath performs two acoustic numbers for the first part of the encore & I really should have paid more attention to the cd sleeves as I couldn't tell you what either were called! McIlrath can do no wrong tonight and despite some (hopefully) tongue in cheek lighter waving, when the crowd sing along en masse then it's quite a moving sight. Despite criticism from some quarters that their recorded work has lost some edge their live show is something to behold, a sold out crowd, mass sing alongs and mass jumping, really what's not to like? There is some predictable preaching but they've always done that so it comes as no surprise. Gigs like this remind you just why live music is so good, when band and crowd pull in the same direction it's a powerful force. Great stuff from a band at the top of their game.