Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Rise Against gives it all in Vancouver

The RunnerOnline Edition: October 14, 2011

Rise Against left many Vancouverite punks soaking wet with sweat after a 90-minute moshpit-provoking performance that surely melted and trampled the ice beneath the floorboards of Pacific Coliseum.

Did you come here to get loud? Then you came to the right place.

Tim McIlrath

The hardcore punk four-piece from Chicago ended their two-week Canadian co-headlining tour with Flogging Molly in Vancouver on Wednesday night.

The Black Pacific, a punk side project fronted by former Pennywise vocalist Jim Lindberg, opened the double bill. They covered the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and, with assistance from Black Flag’s Ron Reyes, performed the hardcore punk pioneers’ “Jealous Again”.

Flogging Molly started with “Drunken Lullabies” and “Requiem for a Dying Song”, played some new material off 2011’s Speed of Darkness, and closed with “Seven Deadly Sins”. There was a lot of Irish jigging and bad Riverdancing, but the crowd no doubt was into the Celtic punk septet.

That left the boys of Rise Against, who kicked off with 2008’s “Re-Education (Through Labor)” and their newest single, “Satellite”, from this year’s Endgame.

According to singer Tim McIlrath, Wednesday night’s show was the biggest Rise Against show in Vancouver, despite having two-thirds full lower bowl and empty nosebleeds.

“Did you come here to get loud?” he asked. “Then you came to the right place.”

The band frantically performed “The Good Left Undone”, “Chamber the Cartridge” and “Survive”—all from 2006’s The Sufferer & the Witness—before slowing it down with their most recent single, “Make It Stop (September’s Children)”.

The energy of songs like “The Dirt Whispered” and “Prayer of the Refugee” made for a shirtless and tattooed injury-spawning moshpit of teenagers and twenty-somethings. One fan left with what looked like a dislocated shoulder.

But aside from a few casualties, everyone raised their fists in unison to “From Heads Unworthy” and sang along to “Help Is on the Way”.

McIlrath toned down the pit with an acoustic solo performance of “Swing Life Away” off Rise Against’s Vancouver-recorded third album, Siren Song of the Counter Culture. He was joined by lead guitarist Zach Blair for a chilling, lighter-raising rendition of their anti-war track “Hero of War”, sung from the perspective of a soldier.

The rest of the band returned for selections from their last three albums and played “Audience of One”, “Architects” and “Ready to Fall”. The lights went out and the band left briefly, but came back to chants for the encore.

They wrapped up the show with some palm-muted, pick-scraping, uptempo guitar-driven songs: “Entertainment”, “Give It All” and “Savior”.

They left out classics like “Paper Wings” and everything off of 2003’s Revolutions Per Minute, and they still haven’t covered Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” in front of a Vancouver crowd. But they have to rework the setlist, considering they’ve played our city four out of the last five years.

It’s a wonder Rise Against doesn’t have a live album, though it could never match up to actually being at their live show. You just can’t mosh like that in your living room.

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