Methadones [NIGHT ONE]:
The Methadones during night one brought an energy and a feel-good vibe, though that might not be the right words to describe them. Simply a punk rock band isn't the right phrase either. I don't know quite how to say it, but they're, well, they're a punk rock band, mixed with a dash of Bad Religion-esque harmonies. Dan Schafer fronts these guys, and he used to be in Screeching Weasel, and you can hear the influence. I don't know if that helps, but give them a listen. Anyway, I have not been listening to them, but their performance made me think otherwise. Here's their mp3 page.
Break The Silence [NIGHT TWO]:
Scott called them generic in his review, and I have to agree, as their performance rested on the guitar showmanship of Mr. Precision and the technically good, but overused scream of Dan. It's generic melodic hardcore mixed with generic metalcore. A cynic would argue that Break The Silence was Mr. Precision's attempt to cash in on the fad and sell out, but no one was buying. I'd say that it's just generic. You can listen to them for yourself. The audience was kind of into it, but just waiting for Alexisonfire, which coincidentally rocked like fuck.
Alexisonfire [NIGHT ONE]:
They started out with "Accidents," and from there they tried to rock the younger crowd, who seemed terminally uninterested besides their core fans. Though, it sounded like their songs were spot on, sound-wise, and gave it a commendable go. Highlights included the closer ".44 Caliber Loveletter," "Accidents," the singer George telling the guitarist Dallas jokingly that he must not have gotten the memo that he was wearing the Hot Water Music shirt that night, and someone throwing a barbershop T-shirt onstage, which George wore for part of the performance.
Alexisonfire [NIGHT TWO]:
They started out with "Accidents," and from there they rocked the fuck out of the crowd, older and more appreiciative, though I didn't think they sounded as good. Still, that new Alexisonfire CD looked mighty appealing after that show, and that'll be at the top of my list when I'm not broke. After a lengthy introduction about the scene, "this isn't about the fucking hair," and "thank you"s to Rise Against for taking them out, they blitzed into "White Devil," killing it, and one song later, they were over.
Tsunami Bomb [NIGHT ONE]:
Matt (the bassist) was puking on stage and coughing up blood between songs, so he just stood there, while the band tried to do their thing without his movement or vocal chops. M announced onstage that they nearly had to cancel the show because of Matt's sickness, and would therefore be doing a short set. It was probably the worst Tsunami Bomb set I've seen, but this time it was totally understandable. Agent M, Gabe and Jay tried desperately to make up for it, but they couldn't do it. I was hoping they'd play more songs from their new CD, but unfortunately the only new cuts we got were "Dawn On A Funeral Day" and "Jigsaw." Shame.
Tsunami Bomb [NIGHT TWO]:
Matt was much better, moving around, jumping and rocking out, though his vocals were noticeably absent from his songs, leaving Jay to try them, but he just can't do backup screams. Many of the songs chosen seemed to be ones without backup vocals, for obvious reasons, but that meant that in terms of new material we were left with just "Jigsaw" and "5150." Don't be fooled; Tsunami Bomb is still a force to be seen live, it's just that these performances weren't their best and are not representative of them.
Rise Against [NIGHT ONE]:
A hometown show and their first headlining show this year; I was expecting one of the craziest shows of my life. Sadly, I didn't get it. The setlists below don't show it, but this set was a lot more poppy than I was used to. Their energy and bite was still there, but it seemed like it had been put through a mild pop filter. It certainly didn't help that for the second time I've ever seen them, they didn't play "Alive and Well," or many of their old favorites, instead drawing heavily from their Siren Song material equally distributed between songs that slay ("State Of The Union," "Dancing For Rain," "Anywhere But Here") and noticeably weaker material ("Blood To Bleed" and "Paper Wings"). At least "Voices off Camera" and "Broken English" were played. It was still a good set, and Rise Against remains one of the nation's top live acts, but this was not up to Rise Against's high live standard.
Rise Against [NIGHT TWO]:
Here was the Rise Against that was AWOL last night. Here was "Alive And Well," "Six Ways 'Til Sunday," and a truckload of asskicking. This show reminded me why I was a Rise Against fan and why I bought both tickets the night they went on sale, and though some of the same songs off of Siren Song were played, it didn't sound filtered. This was Rise Against, back to their full glory more or less. Tim's neck looked like it was about to burst from strain, and everyone on the floor was left drenched in sweat. Tim admitted onstage, "If it looks like we're a little disorganized, it's because we are," but it didn't matter. It was truly a good punk rock show.
Night one left me a little bit cheated, but Night two reminded me why I've only missed one Rise Against show since 2003.
Songs played [BOTH NIGHTS]:
- Life Less Frightening
- Paper Wings
- Blood To Bleed
- To Them These Streets Belong (opener)
- Give It All (closer night 2)
- State of the Union
- Swing Life Away (encore, first song)
- Anywhere But Here
- Dancing For Rain
- Blood Red White And Blue
- The First Drop
- Broken English
- Voices Off Camera
- 1000 Good Intentions (I believe)
- Black Masks and Gasoline (closer)
- One last one I can't place
- Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
- Six Ways 'Til Sunday (fake closer)
- Alive And Well
- Heaven Knows
- Like The Angel
- Dead Ringer
- Generation Lost
Oddities/funny things you might want to hear about:
- After the show, Victory Records magazine is still being distributed, wherein Brandon from Atreyu namedrops Shai Hulud and the Beatles. On the other hand, the last interview with Snapcase is printed in the mag. On the side of the Victory Records van, the words We Run the Streets are printed.