Rise Against Inspire Crowd, Re-Connect With Hometown Fans

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Local favorites Alkaline Trio and Rise Against packed the Congress Theatre Saturday Night with fellow rockers Thrice and The Gaslight Anthem.  

To warm up the incoming crowd The Gaslight Anthem started things off with a decent set complete with an oldschool cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”.  By 8 p.m. more than 250 people filled the floor level of the theatre.  Front man Brian Fallon delivered a solid performance, but the energy required to inspire the crowd just wasn’t there.  

Thrice was up next, finally bringing life to the audience.  Also a decent set…the contents of which escapes me.  

Alkaline Trio finally graced the stage, and the crowd went absolutely wild.  Fists in the air, screaming their lungs out in anticipation of what the Chicago-bred rockers were about to offer them.  In true form Trio did not disappoint.  They played a short, but grade-A set complete with old favorites like Private Eye and a Misfits cover everyone seemed to love.  Of course the band focused on new material, playing “Calling All Skeletons,” “In Vein,” and “I Found A Way.”  Frontman Matt Skiba was nothing short of amazing, and completely on point vocally.  Dan rocked it out, and Derek was as talented as ever behind those drums.  When the set was over, the crowd screamed for an encore, but none was given…I hear that’s standard practice for Trio.

After about a half an hour of waiting, the house lights were dimmed and Rise Against in all their glory stepped onto the stage.  Their first song of the night came in the form of the Appeal To Reason’s first track “Collapse-Post Amerika” which brought down the house, and set the tone for the remainder of the show.  I was absolutely blown away by Tim McIlrath’s performance.  Not once did he falter, and with a voice that would be expectedly sub-par live, he completely overcame that expectation.  For an hour and a half Rise Against punched the audience in the face with their energetic, passionate set full of anti-government/anti-war songs that inspire so many young people across the world.  

As an avid listener and fan I was so happy to see both bands (Trio/Rise) perform so solidly live, especially in an era where live performances have taken a backseat to commerciality.  Thanks Trio/Rise for re-inspiring me and allowing me to reconnect with music I love so much.  

If you didn’t get a chance to catch Rise Against with Alkaline Trio, The Gaslight Anthem, and Thrice, you missed the best rock show of 2008!  Unfortunately the bands are off to the UK for now.  Hopefully more U.S. dates will be added in the spring.  One can only hope.

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