Rise Against – Camden Electric Ballroom, London

By Andy

At one point during tonight?s proceedings, RISE AGAINST frontman, Tim Mcllrath questions whether the band are playing the smallest show that they have played for quite some time, or whether it is the biggest. This is due to the Chicago four piece choosing Camden?s Electric Ballroom to be the stage to stream the whole of this evening?s set live to their fans via their website; a great idea allowing fans the world over to enjoy the blistering set. This is as close as tonight gets to a gimmick, as Rise Against deliver a straight up hit-laden punk rock show.

Bounding onto the stage to a fist pumping chant of ?Rise, Rise, Rise?, Mcllrath has the crowd in the palm of his hand from the off. The band are relentless for the best part of an hour and a half, churning out cuts from all five studio albums, with the majority of the set relying upon ?The Sufferer And The Witness? and ?Appeal to Reason?; ?The Good Left Undone? and ?Prayer Of The Refugee? being particular highlights. However, fans of the band?s earlier output are treated to such classics as ?Heaven Knows?, ?Alive And Well? and ?State Of The Union?, keeping all in attendance catered for.

The only slight lull comes in the form of songs taken from newly released album, ?Endgame?. Maybe it?s that not all of the crowd know every single word to the songs in the way that they do for the rest of the set, or that the band haven?t quite polished them in a live setting just yet, but there is a certain spark lacking. Surely this will have been ignited the next time Rise Against grace our shores. This is minor gripe, and as the band leave the stage after an extended version of ?Savior?, the adoring faithful are left baying for more.

For a band whose songs have such rhetoric, Rise Against seem to find it sufficient enough to let their songs to do the talking, rather than preaching on certain issues between the tracks. We are told that if we wish to educate ourselves further on some of the issues that are close to the band?s hearts, then there is literature for sale from the merch table that covers such matters. Our intelligence is respected and their ideals and beliefs are not shoved down our throats, leaving many intrigued to investigate more into Rise Against?s world.

Mcllrath returns to stage alone with an acoustic guitar in hand and a life-affirming singalong of ?Swing Life Away? ensues. There is not a static body in the room as ?Ready To Fall?, comes to a rapturous end and everybody in the room can leave assured that they have just witnessed a very tight, no bullshit rock band at the top of their game.

Rob L

All photographs by Maryam Hassan. Click here for the full gallery.