Saw Rise Against last night at the Air Canada Centre. My 3rd time seeing them and each time I get the chance to see them live they seem to be playing bigger and bigger venues (the first time was in an air plane hanger, then headlining a music festival, and now a sports stadium).
Their set was great - as expected - playing a pleasantly surprising mix of songs ranging from 2003’s Revolutions Per Minute (Rise Against’s best work imo) to 2011’s Endgame. Rise Against has a simplicity in their live performance, they let their music shine through, very few gimmicks. One of my favourite things to do while watching Rise Against is to get lost in Brandon Barnes’s drumming - if you focus in on it enough time seems to slow down, watching every beat hit, yet you know he’s playing a mile a minute.
There were two opening bands before Rise Against took to the stage. First off was Title Fight, a band that I had never heard of before, but they played raw and real and impressed me considerably. I’m a new fan. The other act, A Day To Remember, was a little ill-fitting in my opinion (for a punk rock concert) and their cliched post-hardcore sound has been done before, and better at that. Although if I was 16 years old I would have probably loved this band (and indeed they seemed to have a massive fanbase present at last night’s show). The one thing I will say about A Day To Remember is that they know how to entertain, with t-shirt guns, balloons, the lead singer jumping in a ball and walking on the crowd, etc (essentially all the gimmicky stuff Rise Against doesn’t do).
Overall the concert was a fun time. I don’t think I’ll get the chance to go to many more this summer (due to lack of money) so if I can only go to a couple shows, I’m happy Rise Against was one of them.
The above track, “Savior”, was the last Rise Against played at last night’s show.