Rise Against / Thursday / Circa Survive

Rise Against / Thursday / Circa Survive: live in Niagara Fallslive in Niagara Falls (2006)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4

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

Somebody really should have punched me in the face. I'm turning into the old guy at the back of the venue that I hated when I was four or five years younger. The music elitist in me would say that this was a perfect example of like the music, hate the fans, and I really can't disagree. But, I can't .

Somebody really should have punched me in the face. I'm turning into the old guy at the back of the venue that I hated when I was four or five years younger. The music elitist in me would say that this was a perfect example of like the music, hate the fans, and I really can't disagree. But, I can't help thinking about what Social Distortion said, wasn't it something about the next generation doing things differently? Every group playing would make a statement about how great it was to be touring with talented and honest groups, and about how music changes lives. Can't argue with that.

The first strike came with Billy Talent. Apparently, their hometown is rather close, and their fans were out in full force. Maybe a quarter of the venue came down from The Great White North for the show, and in and of itself was amazing. Every song Billy Talent played was met with an enthusiastic response, with girls at least three years my junior singing shrilly along to every word. This pissed me off. Goddamnit, I wanted the response to be tepid. I wanted Rise Against to rule all, but damn it if I wasn't singing along to the chorus by the end of the song. Great set. The singer rocked the microphone stand like it was the `60s. Rad.

It's real hard for me to fault the band for their fans, but the chorus of squeals at all time was nearly more than I could take.

Circa Survive, sure, I could watch, but the music they played was such that I spent most of the set with my eyes closed, just existing and being pushed around like an empty vessel. This part I enjoyed. Anthony Green moved around onstage like he had just taken a good dose of ecstasy prior to the show, flailing his limbs like a Dr. Seuss character. ??Twas fun, and if it wasn't for the delusional psudeo-frat boy stereotypes there, I would have dug it even more.

It was either during Thursday or between Circa and Thursday that I bumped into a couple org'ers whose names escape me, sad to say. But! They did mention that Billy Talent was kind enough to go before Circa, so props to them, I guess. Point is, we talked about how awesome Rise Against shows used to be and about how the band is doing fans a disservice by not playing "Alive and Well" more often. I really should have bought them drinks. I will probably never see them again, but if I do see you two again, I'll buy you both a beer!

Thursday, on the other hand, was like watching a group play to its audience perfectly. They played all kinds of their songs, including "Autumn Leaves Revisited" and a personal favorite, "Jet Black New Year," and Geoff was the visage of a frontman, running around onstage and punctuating all the right screams while managing to maintain a head on his shoulders, dedicating "For the Workforce, Drowning" to the people with "real jobs." Their light set was bright and fucking annoying, though. If there was a reason to fire lights into the audience, it's clear to me Dillinger Escape Plan hasn't shared it with Thursday.

With Rise Against's great set, I'm sure of one thing: I'm trying to fit a specific time and a specific place to the rest of their career, and that was brought with frightening clarity to me by a bunch of guys and girls who you all probably would have punched in the face. I had to face facts. This isn't Chicago, this isn't 2003, and this is a large scale, national tour.

So, of course I'd be pissed when they open with "Survive," and I can't get within four rows of people to scream the chorus right back in Tim's face. Of course, I'd be lying if I wasn't also pissed by the 500 or so dudes in polo shirts and elegantly distressed jeans talking about how much they loved Rise Against. I felt like such a scenester for thinking that "goddamnit, I'm far more entitled to enjoy Rise Against than you are," but as long as I was in the pit, that was all I could think of. But, as soon as I got out of the pit, I found a nice place to watch "State of the Union" and all was right again. Kids were circle pitting just like the old days and there was a mile-wide grin on the band's face watching the chaos, PETA was still in the back of the venue with a TV pissing people off, and aside from the size of the venue, and the assholes, everything felt like a Rise Against show, even if it was a good day's drive removed from Chicago.

For the encores, Tim brought out an acoustic guitar to perform an CSN&Y cover I didn't recognize, and then did "Swing Life Away." As a parting gift to Niagara Falls, Rise Against brought out one of the guys from Snapcase to play "Ready to Fall" with them, and he attacked the guitar as if he wanted to break the strings, and there I was, finger-pointing away, from the balcony. And, as I made my way out into the cold, Niagara night, I noticed that like the shows at home, I'd left the venue grinning from ear to ear.

Set list (from what I can remember):

  • Black Masks and Gasoline
  • Blood Red, White and Blue
  • Like the Angel
  • Broken English
  • State of the Union
  • Paper Wings
  • Life Less Frightening
  • Swing Life Away (encore, second song)
  • Anywhere But Here
  • Dancing for Rain
  • Prayer of the Refugee
  • Give It All
  • Ready to Fall (encore, last song)
  • Bricks
  • The Good Left Undone
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Survive (opener)
  • Injection (encore, third song)
  • CSN&Y song about the National Guard in Ohio (encore, first song)


People who liked this also liked:
Defeater - Lost GroundEnvy - Transfovista DVDThis Is Hell - MisfortunesCrime in Stereo - Is DeadRadiohead - Hail To The ThiefThe Receiving End of Sirens - The Earth Sings Mi Fa MiThe Offspring - Rise And Fall, Rage And GraceUnderoath - Define the Great LineThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimMike Cavallaro - Parade (with Fireworks) [book]

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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.
thomas7155 (November 28, 2007)

Great review!

axx (November 27, 2006)

I liked this review.. maybe its cause I can relate. :)

kman1224 (November 27, 2006)

I saw Rise Against play in a basement earlier this April with a crowd of 50 people. I saw them once again at Warped Tour, and the whole experience was ruined for me. Seeing them in that basement made me realized that it would probably be the last time I ever hear: "Alive and Well" and "Ever-Changing" in a live setting.

Anonymous (November 27, 2006)

hey maybe they want this type of crowd with the jocks that just want to go punch someone in the pit to feel cool,and all the 13-16 year old girls gettin all dressed up for a punk show.These people probably heard their song on the radio(swing life away,ready to fall)and think their fans now. I will probably never go see Rise Against ever again. The music they are making now is not the same as "the unraveling" or "RPM". that is really to bad for them and their real fans. maybe it is old man syndrome but a punk show should be a punk show, not a fashion show!

Since94 (November 27, 2006)

Anti-Flag / Alexisonfire / The Explosion / Set Your Goals
March 11, 2007 Buffalo, NY The Town Ballroom

Anonymous (November 27, 2006)

Seattle was definitely as the person below me describes. Rise Against played so hard nobody could handle any more i dont think, i saw people collapse after RA's set finished. Circa Survive wasn't met with a very warm reception either ... at all

Cheesetits (November 26, 2006)

I went to the Seattle show, and it was pretty much the opposite, not an exaggeration, but after Rise Against played, half the venue, probably more, cleared out before Thursday played. It was so empty I just casually walked to the front. I felt a little bad. But at least I stuck around to see Geoff mic cord whip some kids for no reason.

Anonymous (November 26, 2006)

Why do reviewers focus on themselves so much? I got more about this dude's scenester seniority than the actual show which he was reviewing. I understand that he feels old or whatever, but honestly, the whole 'people in polo shirts can't like punk rock' argument is pretty tired. People like what they like. Yes, for different reasons, but they like what they like.

Anonymous (November 26, 2006)

2003? the first album was good, lets give em that everything after that was shit

misterspike (November 25, 2006)

That was me below. Wasn't logged in for whatever reason.

Anonymous (November 25, 2006)

We got "Six Ways ..." in Ft. Lauderdale on the 2nd night of the tour, as well. I also thought it was rather distressing at the Ft. Laud show how probably 20% of the crowd streamed out as soon as Thursday got off stage. I couldn't believe it.

Gotta agree with missing being able to be able to "scream back into Tim's face." Sometimes, you just have to Share.

Anonymous (November 25, 2006)

at the vegas show rise against played 'six ways til sunday', which was awesome, but to about 90% blank stares. this was true of the RPM songs they played too.

Anonymous (November 25, 2006)

Some bands deserve to be hated for their shitty fans...Radiohead anyone?

Anonymous (November 25, 2006)

The lead singer of Billy talent sounds like every Canadian from South Park.

ForgetThisPlace (November 25, 2006)

someone post thursday's setlist fromo this tour so i know how jealosu to be

I went to the last date and these are the ones I remember. I think there's one or two I forgot:

At This Velocity
Division St.
The Other Side of the Crash
Understanding in a Car Crash
Cross out the eyes
The Lovesong Writer
Signals Over the Air
Jet Black New Year
Into the Blinding Light
For the Workforce, Drowning
Autumn Leaves Revisited

rkl (November 25, 2006)

primeevil7: old man disease doesnt go away... it just festers. one of the big reasons i havent been to a show in a while,

Anonymous (November 25, 2006)

terrible review, the tard doesnt even know the song ohio, by CSN & Y, get out of your punk rock bubble

colin (November 25, 2006)

someone post thursday's setlist fromo this tour so i know how jealosu to be

JerryCola (November 24, 2006)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Damo (November 24, 2006)

"that csn&y song you don't know is called "ohio." if you don't know that, then get the fuck out of music. seriously."

who the fuck are csn&y?

jamespastepunk (November 24, 2006)

Great Review Prime. Nice to meet a fellow .org'er from the good ole US of A. Beer is on us next time. The show in Buffalo on March 11th perhaps?

I don't drink, but I will gladly let you buy me a cherry coke. Who is playing in Buffalo March 11th?.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

Rise Against is still impressive with with their current lineup, but their I think their live performance was best in 2002/early 2003 when they still had Todd Mohney playing guitar. Chris is real solid, but there was something about their shows back then that the current ones just don't capture. And they still played a ton of stuff from the unraveling then too...

Cheesetits (November 24, 2006)

At first I thought lostandclowned typed a set list that he just saw and I almost creamed myself........regardless, I think we have come to the point in RA's career to not be surprised if they play nothing off The Unraveling. So don't bother whining. And the Sufferer and Witness has really grown me, a lot. I think it's one of the best this year. Out of, you know, like maybe 5 records.

Since94 (November 24, 2006)

Great Review Prime. Nice to meet a fellow .org'er from the good ole US of A. Beer is on us next time. The show in Buffalo on March 11th perhaps?

Shley: Detained border crossings were key, as were 9 am bloody marys. After show bowls with the 2 lovely american lasses were not to be missed. Sorry you did.

Will they ever play Join the Ranks?

lostandclowned (November 24, 2006)

i saw the roseland show. rise against opened but kicked the shit out of everyone else. i think this would be my dream RA setlist at this point:

blood to bleed
give it all
black masks
life less
6 ways
paper wings
state union
like the angel
closed doors
heaven knows
good left undone

voices off
ready to fall

baseball (November 24, 2006)

ahhh "old-man-syndrome"...don't you love it?

most recently felt by me at Cracktoberfest on Wednesday

sumblinkkid (November 24, 2006)

dam i was supposed to go to this show in boston

JerryCola (November 24, 2006)

I'm over seeing Rise Against live; when I saw them a just about a year ago to this day at the Vic Theatre and there was a bunch of 14 year old girls with their Mommy in front of me I knew I shouldn't go to anymore Rise Against shows.

jamespastepunk (November 24, 2006)

Sickboi, how can I shake old man syndrome? Is it possible to get a vaccination? Is a Dan Yemin project touring?

Tim said that the reason why RISE AGAINST doesn't play Unraveling stuff that much is because when they do, it's played to blank stares. He said some kids don't even know they have CDs on Fat, and they'd play Unraveling stuff every night if the crowd wanted it..

sickboi (November 24, 2006)


Sounds like the early stages of "old-man-syndrome"...

I've referenced it before in reviews, it only gets worse...

Shley (November 24, 2006)

This show was quite the voyage to test the tightest friends from Toronto to totally push our livers and bodies to their limits (despite only a day and a half of crazy).

Billy Talent - 8/10
Circa Survive - 6/10
Thursday - 7/10
Rise Against - 9/10

Detained border crossings, denny's meal plan, reoccuring cab driver craziness, bypassing wraparound lines, friend knee blowout during encore, breakfast caesars, and gamblore.

This was show #11 of Rise Against for me, watching Prayer to the Refugee the day of the show just showed me how much this band was once a unknown gem and is no longer.

Regarless Tim and Joe still put on a great show.

Glad I saw them headline in a venue as opposed to open up at a Hockey Area. Way to go, corporate Toronto.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

I this concert at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Rise Against, The Casualties, TSOL, and Agnostic Front. When Vinny Stigma thanked all the bands he called Rise Against Rise Above.

PhantomBoner (November 24, 2006)

I saw this show a couple weeks ago and Tim's voice seemed a little off the whole time. It was nasally and it just seemed to lack the energy that he has on record. Oh well. Good review.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

that csn&y song you don't know is called "ohio." if you don't know that, then get the fuck out of music. seriously.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

wow... no everchanging.

rkl (November 24, 2006)

the last rise against album was crap.
there, i said it(for the first time on the web, about 3093809434x irl). i feel better now.

eastsidemagsthbs (November 24, 2006)

I am cry for Rise Against's future.

clamum (November 24, 2006)

Borderline unreadable... why? I thought it was decent.

I fucking need to see Rise Against sometime. And they didn't play anything off "The Unraveling"? Fuckin a. "Alive and Well" is one of my favorite songs. So much energy.

Score is for the link and it's description.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

This review was borderline unreadable.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

This review was borderline unreadable.

Cheesetits (November 24, 2006)

If they replaced "Like the angel" with any other song in their entire catalog, I would be much happier. I haven't seen them play "Heaven Knows" in a long time, and that continuously frustrates me.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

not ONE song from the unraveling...ughhghghghghghg

coldwaffles (November 24, 2006)

i saw this show in philly

7/10 for billy talent. their sound was a bit off i think though

3/10 for circa survive. not a fan of the music at all, and anthony green is a total moron on stage. dropped the mic like 5 times. worst part was when geoff (thursdays singer) came up and did the same stupid dance with him. looked like they had a crush on each other, and no, i don't mean that in a homophobic sense, seriously looked like they had a crush on each other. kinda awkward.

9/10 for thursday. much better than i expected. they played almost everything i would have wanted them to play, give or take a few songs, including autobiography of a nation, which is a sick track.

8.5/10 for rise against. energy was amazing, but the setlist was iffy. still, really good. liked that tim played a cover rather than roadside.

_911 (November 24, 2006)

i was at this show and have also been seeing rise against since the early days.. they have grown so much but they put so much energy into their set. i saw them a couple months back when they headlined and still played "six ways til sunday".. they played a nice long set and never slowed down.

sure it isn't like the old days being able to get up front and scream the lyrics back at tim, but they haven't changed being on a major label. i'm 22 and doing that still makes me feel like i'm 16.. i wonder what the future holds for a band like this..

i've seen thursday many times over the years and was excited to hear some new songs but they played horrible this time...they sounded so bad.. it's crazy to think back in 2001 thursday and rise against were opening for boy sets fire and the movielife.

Big_Guy (November 24, 2006)

Anthony Green moved around onstage like he had just taken a good dose of ecstasy prior to the show


MikeStupid (November 24, 2006)

Great review. No matter how many trend-hopping fans they get, Rise Against always puts on a killer show.

Score is for "Bricks."

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)


The link is beautiful.

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