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Live Review and Photo Gallery: Rise Against at House Of Vans

| April 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

Tim McIlrath, Rise Against

It’s been way too long, right?”

Thirty minutes into Rise Against’s Friday night set at House of Vans new location in the West Loop, frontman Tim McIlrath voiced what so many in the crowd were thinking. Rise Against’s last full length, The Black Market, dropped in 2014, and the band has kept a relatively low profile since that album’s promo and performance cycle. That all changed with the sudden release of the group’s single “The Violence” last week, signaling the coming of the Rise Against’s impending eighth studio effort, Wolves, on June 9th.

Over the course of an hour, Rise Against tore through a tightly packed set of familiar hits and fan favorites, in a skate park venue holding a few hundred fans. “It’s been a long fucking time,” McIlrath stated at one point, “since we’ve played a show like this in a room like this.” Indeed, the band’s days of performing at suburban VFWs are long behind them, which made Friday night’s show all the more exciting and personal.

Kicking off the evening with the adrenaline-fueled “Give It All,” off 2004’s Siren Song of the Counter Culture, Friday’s set was both intimate and immediate. The Sufferer & the Witness’ “Prayer of the Refugee” proved a self starter, instantly igniting the room, while “Savior” closed the show with as much firepower as it began with. A left field cover of Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” meanwhile, worked surprisingly well as a sped up thrash attack. And selections like “Black Masks & Gasoline” and “Blood-Red, White, & Blue,” both off 2003’s Revolutions per Minute, served as welcome throwbacks for longtime devotees from the band’s early days.

The evening’s tone also felt like a return to form for Rise Against on a thematic level, as well. The band’s activist messaging was especially prevalent during acoustic offering “Hero of War” and “State of the Union,” the latter of which showcased the power of McIlrath’s screaming vocals and drummer Brandon Barnes’ pummeling percussion.

With Wolves and a summer co-headlining run with Deftones around the corner, and a political climate that unfortunately mirror’s the band’s messaging to an uncanny degree, the return of Rise Against feels more timely than ever. Friday’s electrifying homecoming arrived as a preview of a welcome rebirth.

-Review by Jaime Black ; Photos By Curt Baran

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