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Rise Against / Bad Religion

Rise Against / Bad Religion: live in New Yorklive in New York (2011)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Four Year Strong were playing the final notes of their last song upon my group's arrival to New York City's Terminal 5 on this bipolar, cool/warm night. I assure you this was not that deliberate-the popcore giants, small potatoes on such a bill-played 10 minutes earlier than advertised. I hadn't .


Four Year Strong were playing the final notes of their last song upon my group's arrival to New York City's Terminal 5 on this bipolar, cool/warm night. I assure you this was not that deliberate-the popcore giants, small potatoes on such a bill-played 10 minutes earlier than advertised.

I hadn't seen Bad Religion since Warped Tour 2003 or so, and never once in a club setting, even (a hectic schedule restricted me from witnessing the band's tempting album shows from last fall). So even just a support slot in a gigantic, multi-level venue was something to look forward to. The band, naturally, delivered. There were plenty of folk both older and younger singing along with the band's cherry-picked tracks from various points in their discography, and others celebrating in the predictable punk-push-mosh pit as Greg Graffin stood staid, furrowing his eyebrows and gesticulating pointedly with his literate, sociopolitical commentary. They were good-natured, poking fun at themselves and sending a shot at Green Day for never returning the favor of taking them out on tour when they blew up (as Rise Against had). There was a Social Distortion reference in there, too, which I'd estimate 7% of the crowd picked up on. They played several of the catchier, more rigid cuts off their last two albums, though an older gem like "Do What You Want" was a pleasant surprise. "Sorrow", the lone wolf off The Process of Belief (the very album that got me into Bad Religion *way back* in 2002) was driven out with a double-time beat, and then a thrashy one. It was a nice rare slice of pure aggression for the show.

Set list (8:39-9:25):

  1. The Day That the Earth Stalled
  2. Wrong Way Kids
    -----
  3. American Jesus
  4. Before You Die
  5. Let Them Eat War
    -----
  6. The Resist Stance
  7. Cyanide
  8. Meeting of the Minds
    -----
  9. Do What You Want
  10. Social Suicide
  11. Dearly Beloved
  12. Infected
    -----
  13. We're Only Gonna Die
  14. Los Angeles Is Burning
    -----
  15. Sorrow

Rage Against the Machine soundtracked the changeover, with the crowd singing in unison to hits like "Guerilla Radio" and "Killing in the Name". It felt appropro.

Rise Against have put out solid albums as they've blown up to near-rock star proportions their once-nascent fanbase probably never anticipated. I feel comfortable saying that much. But much of the material lacks a certain bite and thrill that interested me in the first place, and I thus felt expectedly out of place as the audience hollered along to hits like "Prayer of the Refugee" and "Re-Education (Through Labor)". It really seemed to speak to the band's current fanbase that when they played "The Dirt Whispered" (a relatively poppy endeavor for RA, even as they've geared towards marginally punk/hardcore-infused radio rock over the last few albums), a spectator could be overheard exclaiming, "This is like a punk song!"

"Heaven Knows" was the sole ambassador for the Fat Wreck Chords era, and it was received warmly (at least...by me). No matter what LP (or era) they touched upon, Tim McIlrath and co. had the crowd at practically every turn ("Ready to Fall" had a sloppy pre-chorus, but everything else was consistently huge and clearly well-rehearsed). It's clear he's taken notes from monumental punk frontmen in order to capture an audience interested most by mammoth, stadium rock aesthetics, non-stop flashing lights, and incessant invitations (to sing along; to cheer; to...participate in activism? Okay, maybe that's a new one). Even if dedicating "From Heads Unworthy" to PETA means receiving their approval in comparatively tepid measures.

Lighters and cell phones lit up for "Swing Life Away" when McIlrath had the stage to himself, but then came something I was looking forward to unfolding. With how outspoken McIlrath (and the rest of his band by association, really) is, I was curious to see how he'd approach the certain news item dominating the headlines that week: Osama bin Laden's death. Would he caution the mass "jockocracy" against blind patriotism? Or perhaps wonder aloud about the curious morbidity inherent in celebrating death?

Of course not. This is New York. McIlrath probably knew better than to incite full-scale hell by even remotely suggesting that something seemed off about the nation's interstate keg party, instead resigning, before the solo "Hero of War": "I think we've all earned the right this week as a nation to breathe a collective sigh of relief," with an addendum about bringing the troops home. The response was predictably raucous, "U-S-A!" cheers quickly following. I can't say I blame him for sticking to a safer script, really. Any more complex, thoughtful opining and he probably would have been next. Maybe the band would return to the tour bus to find their tires slashed in a mind-bogglingly ironic twist.

Set list (9:56-11:05):
  1. Chamber the Cartridge
  2. Satellite
  3. The Good Left Undone
  4. Heaven Knows
    -----
  5. Make It Stop (September's Children)
  6. Re-Education (Through Labor)
    -----
  7. Survive
  8. The Dirt Whispered
  9. Help Is on the Way
    -----
  10. From Heads Unworthy
  11. Prayer of the Refugee
    -----
  12. Swing Life Away
    -----
  13. Hero of War
  14. Audience of One
  15. Architects
  16. Ready to Fall
    Encore (11:07-11:22):
  17. Entertainment
  18. Savior
  19. Give It All

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Saves the Day - Through Being CoolAlkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryLess Than Jake - Borders and BoundariesJawbreaker - Dear YouAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandPinhead Gunpowder - Shoot The MoonThe Clash - London CallingRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeSaves the Day - Can't Slow DownRx Bandits - Progress

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Baxter (May 12, 2011)

I was at the Cleveland Show along with Scott. And BR had a way better appearance. I liked them more than RA and I am a DIe-hard Rise fan.

jakegreen (May 11, 2011)

this reinforces how badly i thought this tour would turn out.

casual_orger (May 11, 2011)

"More fun fact: It was originally on Punk Goes Acoustic, which was released in 2003, during the band's Fat era."

Touché. But if we're getting technical, Punk Goes Acoustic was released on Fearless Records, so it's not from a Fat release. However, I overlooked the fact that the original version of "Give It All" was released on Rock Against Bush, so I'll admit I was wrong there.

Of course, if we're just talking about which albums these songs appear on, then it remains that both songs were released (in their most well-known forms) on the band's major label debut.

maverick (May 10, 2011)

Identical sets from BR and RA in Cleveland over the weekend. Too much Appeal To Reason.

-Scott

jamespastepunk (May 10, 2011)

"Swing Life Away and Give It All are also from the Fat albums."

Fun fact: Siren Song of the Counter Culture was released on Geffen.

More fun fact: It was originally on Punk Goes Acoustic, which was released in 2003, during the band's Fat era.

MikeMoak (May 10, 2011)

BR was awesome, so happy I left before RA... this setlist is doo doo, not one song from unraveling....sheesh

casual_orger (May 10, 2011)

"Swing Life Away and Give It All are also from the Fat albums."

Fun fact: Siren Song of the Counter Culture was released on Geffen.

The show sounded decent enough. I wish I had gone now.

bouncingcoles (May 10, 2011)

The fact that people were chanting USA during hero of war shows how much RA fans actually listen to their lyrics and how small their brains are. i saw RA open for bad religion back in 2004. good times.

Anarchypants (May 10, 2011)

Yeah the 2004 tour with Bad Religion headlining was much better. Both bands were in their prime. (Bad Religion might have been in their second or third prime but Process and Empire were excellent records to be touring)

discofucker (May 10, 2011)

Swing Life Away and Give It All are also from the Fat albums.

Mehhh review.

td99 (May 10, 2011)

This lineup worked much better with Rise Against as on opener.

bastard_squad (May 10, 2011)

That sounds like a terrible time.

oldpunkerforever (May 10, 2011)

"lighters and cell phones lit up "...ugh. They really have turned into radio rock rubbish-oldpunker-

jimmynorville (May 10, 2011)

Goldfinger made a surprise appearance during Bad Religion's set.

mielder (May 10, 2011)

ummm...that song's called do what you want, not superman... :-D

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