Rise Against - Live in Montclair (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Rise Against

Live in Montclair (2014)

live show

It's still amazing in 2014 to see a hardcore band hit mainstream success the way Rise Against has. Every song in their set is treated with the exuberance of an honest—to—god global radio hit by their audience. But in reality, it's a mix of songs that pay respect to their pre—mainstream releases while celebrating the ones that gave them the large number of fans they have today. At their September 30, Montclair show, it was surprising that the band didn't play more off of their fairly strong new album, The Black Market, but it was also welcome to hear the largest chunk from what many consider to be their strongest effort to date, The Sufferer and the Witness.

Though not a terribly chatty, singer Tim McIlrath does have his moments. During "The Good Left Undone" he reminded the audience that Rise Against came to play for them for many reasons, but mainly "all because of you." During the first acoustic song of the band's first encore, just about every string on Tim's guitar broke, eliciting laughter from the audience who waited patiently for the situation to be resolved. Tim didn't seem to know quite what to do (had that really never happened in all the years they've been touring?), but guitarist Zach Blair quickly furnished him with another guitar and the "People Live Here" continued without further incident.

Rise Against plays their songs very close to how they sound on the albums, hitting the right peaks and valleys. But they also take the time to jam out on extended intros, bridges and outros, radiating pure waves of punk rock magic in the process. Seeing Rise Against live isn't just an aural treat, it's visual too; every standing member of RA makes the stage into their own personal playground. Their energy only matches the crowd of teen and 20—somethings watching them and it's not hard to see why the band has no problem drawing sold—out crowds at almost every performance, even if many hadn't heard of them before Guitar Hero 3.

Set List:
Ready to Fall
Give It All
Re—Education (Through Labor)
Behind Closed Doors
Long Forgotten Sons
The Good Left Undone
Like the Angel
I Don't Want to Be Here Anymore
Help Is on the Way
Chamber the Cartridge
Last Chance Blueprint
Prayer of the Refugee
Alive and Well
Audience of One
Encore 1:
People Live Here
Swing Life Away
Encore 2:
Make It Stop (September's Children)