Rise Against / Alkaline Trio / Thrice

Rise Against / Alkaline Trio / Thrice: live in New York [first night]live in New York [first night] (2008)
Sony Music

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

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

After Rise Against released Revolutions Per Minute in 2003, they found themselves at a crossroads. They were to bound to go one of two ways: become a cult favorite in melodic hardcore over the years, putting out mostly consistent albums on independent labels all the way; or sign to a major label whi.

After Rise Against released Revolutions Per Minute in 2003, they found themselves at a crossroads. They were to bound to go one of two ways: become a cult favorite in melodic hardcore over the years, putting out mostly consistent albums on independent labels all the way; or sign to a major label while retaining some punk roots and achieve moderate commercial success with fluctuating results in musical achievement. Obviously, Rise Against chose the latter.

Nonetheless, bringing out Alkaline Trio, Thrice and the Gaslight Anthem made for a show that was hard to miss -- regardless of a venue's 3500-person capacity, ample barricade space and high merch prices thanks to the venue taking a cut in those sales.

The Gaslight Anthem was perfect. Well, "Miles Davis & the Cool" would've made for an absolutely splendid midpoint in the set list, but you couldn't complain. The band played their great songs in casual form, never missing a beat and hitting up most of the standouts from both full-lengths. They definitely had less talk and more rock in mind for their half-hour slot. This essentially being the hometown stop for Jersey's finest, they had plenty in the crowd singing along heartily. It's rare you see the first openers get any reception at all of bigger shows like this, so it was pleasing to see them embraced so warmly (even though it was by members of their own fanbase).

Set list:

  1. Great Expectations
  2. Wooderson
  3. The '59 Sound
  4. Old White Lincoln
  5. We Came to Dance
  6. Meet Me by the River's Edge
  7. I Coulda Been a Contender
  8. The Backseat
Thrice gets the runner-up award. I've probably seen them in better circumstances, but they played extremely well, basically providing a condensed version of the set list they had on the tour with Circa Survive and Pelican. They took some selections from all four Alchemy Index EPs, as well as a couple from Vheissu and The Artist in the Ambulance and even "Betrayal Is a Symptom" off The Illusion of Safety. The pits had suddenly started in full force, but they were somewhat reasonable; most people tended to respect the invisible, outlying border of the circle, even as the band unleashed the devastating riffs of bottom-heavy roars like "Firebreather" and mammoth closer "The Earth Will Shake." Pit participants paused to replicate the foot stomping from the latter song with their own stomps, which was amusing and fitting. Oh, and they threw in a very aptly performed "Helter Skelter," originally by the Beatles, well-received at that.

Set list:
  1. Firebreather
  2. The Melting Point of Wax
  3. Blood Clots and Black Holes
  4. Music Box
  5. The Sky Is Falling
  6. The Messenger
  7. Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover) [may be out of order]
  8. Broken Lungs
  9. Betrayal Is a Symptom
  10. The Earth Will Shake
Alkaline Trio...eh. They were decent enough, but several factors didn't help: the sound kept cutting out of the guitars, or making it sound muffled and irritating; during the first few and last few songs of the set, a small portion of the crowd was incredibly inconsiderate and annoying enough to ruin it for many; I haven't quite warmed up to their new album yet, so numbers like "Calling All Skeletons," "In Vein" and "Help Me" still sound a bit cheesy (maybe because they are?); and the band was a little sloppy at points and missing the occasional note, though they certainly didn't look inebriated. Having them open with "Private Eye" and throw in "I Lied My Face Off" and "Crawl" was cool, though. However, for the Tuesday show the next day, they apparently played "Warbrain" and "Radio," according to this guy with a creepily similar name to mine. I'd probably have preferred the latter two for ANYTHING from this set. I mean, not at all a terrible set by the Trio, but fairly disappointing considering I haven't seen them in over five years.

Set list:
  1. Private Eye
  2. Calling All Skeletons
  3. I Lied My Face Off
  4. I Found Away
  5. In Vein
  6. Goodbye Forever
  7. Over and Out
  8. Crawl
  9. Help Me
  10. This Could Be Love
I could essentially say the same about Rise Against, but it's hard to deny they put a lot of effort into putting on a great performance. Without a guitar to keep him stationed in one place, Tim McIlrath was all over the place for the first few songs, storming across both the stage and barricade space for raucous sing-alongs for "Give It All" and the thankfully played "State of the Union." And when he was in place, there was enough energy from everyone else to make up for it. Granted, they had to put on their rock star personas every now and then -- "PUT YOUR FISTS IN THE AIR, NEW YORK CITY!" Etc.

Lou Koller came out for some guest vocals on one song. "Who's Sick of It All?" asked a girl in her mid-20s to her boyfriend. Later I overheard them making fun of Rise Against during "Stained Glass and Marble": "Rarrrr! Metal songssss!"

What could've been acknowledged as an encore occurred when the entire band walked off stage, with Tim and Zach Blair returning to play "Hero of War" from the latest deal, Appeal to Reason. Say what you will about the song musically, but at least it crawls further from sounding like a Staind song (as the band was getting dangerously close to that territory with every passing ballad) and the lyrics are pretty vicious. Seeing people hold up lighters and cell phones to illuminate the area became uncomfortably weird when McIlrath sang, "They took off his clothes / They pissed in his hands / I told them to stop / But then I joined in."

He followed it right up with the megahit, "Swing Life Away," which I distinctly remember him saying he wrote about something (Chicago?). My point here is that he claimed he wrote it, failing to mention Neil Hennessy's contributions to it. C'mon dude, take that opportunity for a shoutout at least. Anyway, it was quite obviously the most well-received song, and the lighters made a little more sense this time around.

The set closed with "Prayer of the Refugee," a song I've heard far too many times thanks to Guitar Hero-loving friends.

According to the aforementioned Ryan Schultz, the band was joined by Fat Mike at one point and covered "Minor Threat" the second night. Another bummer. Chuck Ragan (the Blender Theatre, Monday, with Tim Barry and Ben Nichols), Alkaline Trio (here and the next night) and Dillinger Four (Brooklyn, Tuesday) need to sort something out where they quit playing New York City the same day or the next.

I have fond memories of seeing Rise Against on the Fat Tour in early 2003 at Long Island's now-defunct The Downtown (no barricade, three foot high stage, 450-cap). But hey, if this is the stuff that inspires widespread political activism (as well as magnanimous circle pits and near-constant pogo-ing), so be it.

Set list [somewhat in order]:
  • Drones
  • Chamber the Cartridge
  • Give It All
  • State of the Union
  • Ready to Fall
  • Injection
  • Re-Education Through Labor
  • Stained Glass and Marble
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Life Less Frightening
  • Like the Angel
  • Collapse
  • Bricks
  • Broken English
  • The Good Left Undone
  • Hero of War (Tim and Zach Blair)
  • Swing Life Away (Tim solo)
  • Survive
  • Under the Knife
  • Prayer of the Refugee
[All set lists credited to this guy because I brought an inkless pen to the show.]


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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.
apunkybrewster (October 21, 2008)

According to the aforementioned Ryan Schultz, the band was joined by Fat Mike at one point and covered "Minor Threat" the second night.

Fat Mike joined them to cover "Minor Threat", but pretty much ran stumbling onto the stage, took out a couple mic stands, rolled around on the floor not actually singing the song just cursing/talking some kinda shit into the mic, and tackled people. It sort of precludes being able to say that they "covered" the song as there may have only been a single lyric actually sung and a lot of Fat Mike mumbling and cursing over the rest of it. But it was absolutely hilarious.

Great show. Couple different songs thrown in on the second night: Last Chance Blueprint, Reception Fades, & Dancing for Rain

inagreendase (October 20, 2008)

I use the notepad on my cell phone, I text the initials/a word in the title of every song 3 or so a time. I think it's easier than bringing a pen and paper.

That's probably a more sensible idea, but I have no such feature on my Motorola Sliver.

solix (October 19, 2008)

My life would be made if I heard Six Ways 'Til Sunday and To Awake And Avenge The Dead at the Chicago show (first night).

Not counting on it. At all.

jonlz (October 19, 2008)

Who's Sick Of It All you jock rock bitches?

killingthedream3 (October 18, 2008)

i was at this show as well and agree, the set list performed by ak3 was disapointing but sort of expected since they just released their new album...gaslight was incredible...very disapointed to hear that they covered minor threat the second night i look forward to hearing those covers when i see them...its funny to read about the downtown in this day and age, i miss that place so much

elliot (October 18, 2008)

You don't need to mention that Helter Skelter is a Beatles song. People know that.

mikexdude (October 18, 2008)

Also... BRO FEST, it was awesome.

mikexdude (October 18, 2008)

Alkaline Trio played generally the same set; it may honestly be the worst Alkaline Trio. None of my favorites songs were played, or any song I wanted to hear for that matter.

pineview (October 18, 2008)

i went to this show but in toronto. it was fantastic, tho i couldnt stay for alk3 or rise against. the whole reason i was there was to see gaslight. they played awesome, but wayyyyy too short. also, i hadn't heard much of thrice beforehand, but they were incredibly good live. i wish more people knew gaslight stuff, there was like 5 people tops singing along. and it was at the sound academy (big venue). i hope they do a headline tour, or else i probably won't see them again.

maverick (October 18, 2008)

"I use the notepad on my cell phone, I text the initials/a word in the title of every song 3 or so a time. I think it's easier than bringing a pen and paper."

I do the same thing, too. Very helpful for remembering later on.

Here were the setlists from the tour's first night in Cleveland. Doesn't look like much has changed three weeks into it:

Great Expectations
The '59 Sound
Old White Lincoln
Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
High Lonesome
Say I Won't (Recognize)
The Backseat

The Messenger
The Melting Point Of Wax
Blood Clots And Black Holes
Broken Lungs
Helter Skelter (Beatles cover)
Betrayal Is A Symptom
Of Dust And Nations
The Sky Is Falling (first time played live, according to Dustin)
All That's Left
The Earth Will Shake

Private Eye
Calling All Skeletons
I Lied My Face Off
I Found Away
In Vein
Goodbye Forever
Love Love Kiss Kiss
Help Me
This Could Be Love

Give It All
State Of The Union
Ready To Fall
Re-Education (Through Labor)
Chamber The Cartridge


xote (October 18, 2008)

I saw ak3 in about 2002 also and was a huge fan but also thought they were kinda boring live... i'm glad i'm not the only one.

cheesetits (October 17, 2008)

Shiiiit, Rise Against didn't play Black Masks or Heaven Knows? Those are my favorite songs and they always seem to play them. They better play those just for me in Portland, because I'll suck a dick for it. Not. Regardless, I just want to see Gaslight Anthem anyway.

huddo75 (October 17, 2008)

Dude, Neil said himself he wrote like half a line in Swing Life Away, he doesn't now why he even got a writing credit....

american_666_jesus (October 17, 2008)

I hope they have second show syndrome when they play in Chicago, like NY. Although, I do have to agree that the Congress Theater is the worst.

consider_the_ravens (October 17, 2008)

i was expecting much more from this tour. I saw it in worcester and although im a fan of alkaline trio, they were horribly boring, just as boring as when i saw them in 2002. and rise against were almost entertaining even though im a fan of them. I felt like iv seen them play the same set for the past 2 years.

Trauma16 (October 17, 2008)

Those sound like some pretty weak setlists for all of those bands. So many good songs to choose from and the end result is that...

holy_balls (October 17, 2008)

Thrice's set doesn't look that bad at all. Alkaline Trio could use some work though. 10 more days until my date of this tour.

xote (October 17, 2008)

I hate seeing punk bands in huge venues. I haven't been to a venue of that size for a punk band in a very long time... but for Nick Cave it was perfect.

telegraphrocks (October 17, 2008)

Tim and Neil CO-WROTE the song.... not all Tim, and not all Neil.

Thus_Spoke_Sean (October 17, 2008)

what was neil's contribution. I know nothing of this.

Torgo (October 17, 2008)

To Brian: Regarding using a pen,

I use the notepad on my cell phone, I text the initials/a word in the title of every song 3 or so a time. I think it's easier than bringing a pen and paper.

misterspike (October 17, 2008)

Great review ... even though you stole my thunder (I had planned to review the show in Pompano Beach, FL next Wednesday).

My only complaint is the short set time by Gaslight. I know they're the opener and all, but there are so many more songs I'd like to hear (in addition to the aforementioned setlist).

Will be strange seeing all four bands in a venue far larger than where I'm accustomed to seeing them. The spoils of success, I reckon ...

telegraphrocks (October 17, 2008)

Seeing these set lists, plus having the Chicago shows be in the worst venue ever (Congress Theatre), I'm so glad I didn't get tickets.
I'll sit home and masturbate, thank you very much.

Bowen (October 17, 2008)

The first time I saw Rise Against it was opening up for Strung Out in a tiny-ass place, like 6 or 7 years ago. Guess they've come a long way.

Can anybody tell me about how long Alk3 and Thrice play? I'm pretty accustomed to Alk3's headlining 20-songs or so set, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to be disappointed in their set length, ah well.

punkengineer (October 17, 2008)

Rise Against never plays generation lost. Even at their 5 day stint at the Troubadour in LA they never played it. Very sad indeed.

heybarmold (October 17, 2008)

If I went to this show and did not hear:

Silhouette, Deadbolt, Kill Me Quickly, Take Lots With Alcohol, Radio, Every Thugg Needs A Lady, Black Masks and Gasoline, and Generation Lost, I'd be pissed.

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