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Friday, September 17, 2021

Rise Against – Chicago’s Saviors. Live Review Huntington Bank Pavilion 28 August 2021

Rise

The Nowhere Generation Tour finished up in Chicago last weekend with the city’s favourite punk band bringing much needed musical relief to a desperate fanbase.

Punk legends Rise Against wrapped up their US-based Nowhere Generation Tour Saturday night back where it all started – their hometown, Chicago.  “I can’t tell you how much it means to finish our tour back on the shores where we spent so many hot days just trying to cool off”, declared lead singer Tim McIlrath.

Fans came from all over to Huntington Bank Pavilion, ready to immerse themselves in the energy that Rise Against are renowned for in their live shows. The passion these punks have for their music, politics and social issues of the world has earned them solid respect from their legion of fans.

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Rise Against stand for, and represent, the changes they want to see in the world in every way. They give the fans something to think about, the music they relate to, songs they can let off steam to. They walk the walk, and their live show is more than just getting up on stage playing music. Saturday night fans were given a taste of normality that had seemed far away just a few months ago. Again they have provided a glimmer of hope to everyone gathered at the Northerly Island venue.

The first opening act for the home crowd was The Menzingers. The popular Pennsylvanian punks opened the night up, getting the crowd jumping with America (You’re Freaking Me Out).

The Menzingers
The Menzingers Photo Matt Franklin

They warmed up the crowd playing through an eight-track set, including Good Things and their smash hit I Don’t Want To Be An Asshole Anymore, making it hard for anyone in the crowd to stand still.

The crowd were fully wired as Descendents took to the stage. This legendary punk outfit could easily have headlined the show. Their melodic hardcore made them one of the pioneers of punk, paving the way for bands like Rise Against and thousands more. Rise Against and Descendents are more than touring buddies with drummer Bill Stevenson dubbed the ‘fifth member’ of Rise Against, co-producing a few of the band’s albums, including their 9th and latest album, Nowhere Generation.

The decendents
The Descendents Photo: Jay Cridlin

The LA punk icons took to the stage with their fast-paced and energetic song setlist. Opening with Sailors Choice, Hope and ‘Merican, they worked through decades of hits. A gradual increase of intensity resulting in a mosh pit breaking out in the middle of the set. They finished off with Suburban Home and Smile, leaving the crowd ready for the main act.

Rise Against arrived on stage with an electrifying response from the crowd kicking off the show with the opening track from the new album, The Numbers. That energy continued with Re-Education (Through Labor) and Satellite as the devoted crowd belted out the lyrics alongside the band.

Tim voiced the fans thoughts saying, “he feared this would never happen again”, that he would never get the chance to be in front of his fans again. The crowd roared in agreeance, singing along as the band broke to The Violence, Broken Dreams, Inc, and Audience of One.

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They covered tracks across the evolution of Rise Against. The fans danced, sang, headbanged, and moshed all their fears of the last year away. You could feel the burden of the pandemic being let go as the crowd sang every word of Nowhere Generation. A sign of how much the fans connect with the bands’ new music.

As the crowd swayed- lighters in the air, they slowed it down for everyone’s favourite Swing Life Away. The song was dedicated to the extreme weather Chicago was facing and that it’s still home no matter what. Finishing the show with two encores, Prayer For The Refugee took it to the next level. They finished the night singing about what we all struggled to do last year, Survive, before dedicating Worth Dying For to all the fans. Closing off with the smash, Savior.

The Nowhere Generation Tour was a perfect way to bring punk back to Chicago.

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