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Photo Gallery: Rise Against at Chicago Theatre

| April 30, 2019

At the end of their third song, “Audience Of One,” Rise Against lead singer Tim McIlrath joked, “I don’t think we’ve ever stayed this still for this long.” So what occasion caused the Chicago punk rock quartet to strike such statuesque poses? A special evening dubbed “Ghost Note Symphony’s,” which shares its name with the band’s latest album was the culprit.

In the elegant confines of the acoustically stunning Chicago Theater is not where one would expect to find this particular hard rock band. But Symphony’s is not a traditional album, considering this band’s previous musical output. It re-imagines some previous Rise Against compositions into acoustic arrangements and even complements them with symphonic flourishes. And that’s precisely what the band did on this unique evening. “This is our string section,” declared McIlrath at one point during the evening, fully aware that it was a surreal proclamation coming from a man who fronts a politically charged punk rock band. But damn if it didn’t work brilliantly.

Where the band normally beats an audience into submission, the new arrangements revealed their penchant for melody that can sometimes get lost in the music’s brutality. “Not bad for a bunch of kids who started out playing bowling alleys,” McIlrath joked. It was just one of the evening’s many poignantly understated moments.

Words and photos by Curt Baran

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  1. Ryan Mattarelli says:

    Such a great show and rare treat for us fans.