Rise Against rumbles chandeliers at The Fillmore
CROWD SETS OFF BARREL FULL OF BELLIGERENCE
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 02:10
After being serenaded by opening acts Hot Water Music and Gaslight Anthem, there was no calming down the buzzing Monday night crowd at the Fillmore Auditorium.
It was clear from the liveliness of the whole lot that the collective appetite for hard-hitting guitar riffs and crowd surfing was not yet satisfied. The entire building rumbled with excitement for the Chicago troupe. The energy level could not have gotten any higher at the venue as hundreds of smiling fans eagerly awaited one of the few big time bands that still represents the punk rock genre.
A smoky stage stood empty except for four intimidating black towers as the extensive crowd stood idly by, adding its homegrown haze to the room. Lights dimmed on stage and the towers of light began showing seemingly random images as lead singer/rhythm guitarist Tim McIlrath and his companions took the stage with storm. Rise Against started off the set with an easily recognizable single from their fourth album, “The Good Left Undone.”
As soon as the guitarist let out the first distorted strum from his Gibson Les Paul, fans took flight and began riding on the hands of their fellow concertgoers toward the stage and, luckily, into the capable hands of security near the stage.
The rowdy crowd of the Fillmore threw its fists up in the air to the beat of “Drones” and a mosh-pit developed within minutes. To no surprise, moments after the brutal blender of sweaty moshers began to form, so did the steady stream of unruly customers and bloody noses being escorted to back rooms by large men in brightly colored shirts.
Before playing the next song, from the album Endgame, “Disparity Of Design,” McIlrath, sporting his signature stubble, put a stop to the madness to dedicate the song to the recent global Occupy movement and said that he was “keeping the bastards accountable for fucking up.”
The group continued with surface-level criticism of the American way and the powers that be by appropriating an audio version of Jeff Daniels’ speech from the new HBO series The Newsroom, in which he explains why the United States of America is no longer the greatest country in the world. A patronizingly patriotic light show began as Rise Against graced the audience with an older and beloved jam, “Prayer Of The Refugee,” which set off the swarm like a powder keg.
The worn-out and slightly deaf drove lit up its last joints and chugged its last beers in order to begin swaying to the acoustic encore of “Swing Life Away.”
In the midst of extensive merchandise, high ticket prices, extravagant lighting, and a two night show, it becomes unclear whether Rise Against is indeed against commercialism and the government anymore, or if the band is, to a certain degree, playing into the system it claims to detest.