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Rise Against / Alkaline Trio / Thrice: live in New York [first night]live in New York [first night] (2008)
Reviewer Rating: 3.5
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.
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]:
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