Riot Fest Review: Rise Against @ Downsview Park, September 710 September 2014 / by Luke Williams (author)
Rise Against wins the award for one of the best decorated stages I have seen. They added a rather simplistic pop-up that spelt “Rise” with drummer Brandon Barnes in the middle of the four letters. The band ripped through a great one-hour set list that started off with fan favourite, “Ready to Fall,” off 2006’s The Sufferer and the Witness.
The full set list is a great stroll down memory lane, and less of an advertisement for the band’s latest album, The Black Market, released earlier this summer. In fact, it took the band about 35 minutes (give or take a few) to play a song from their latest offering. The single, “I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore” was would be the only song off the new album they played. Some might not enjoy this, but if you have read my Riot Fest review of British metalcore moshers Bring Me The Horizon, then you know I am not a fan of when bands play too much of their latest album.
Rise Against’s live performance has a different quality than their studio records. Tim McIlrath’s vocals, are even more rough than they come across on their records. It is something that fans of the band have come to accept. This is perhaps because Rise Against’s music is about the message in the music and not the music itself.
For a band whose members are pushing 40, Rise Against exhibited an impressive amount of onstage energy. They were are all over the stage, rocking harder than bands half their age. Tim even took an opportunity to climb on top of the audience and sing with them during the band’s classic, “Give it All.” Musically, the band possesses just as much showmanship. Guitarist Zach Blair added some amazing solos to “Help is on the way” and set closer, “Savior.”
I guess that a Rise Against show can be summed up best by Tim himself, as he explained to the audience during one break between songs: “It is the kind of show where you put your fist in the air.”