Chicago punk rockers Rise Against are out on the road with tour-mates letlive. and Killswitch Engage. Not normally bands that would get mentioned in the same sentence, what’s most surprising about this odd mash-up is how well it all it worked. Digital Diversion caught up with the tour at San Francisco’s Masonic on a Wednesday night for what would prove to be an amazing night of chaos on-stage and off.
letlive. took the stage at the obscenely early hour of 7 pm but house was already packed. Clearly a new band to the Rise Against crowd, letlive. no doubt left a last impression. Frontman Jason Butler is a force on stage … dousing the floor with water so he could slip, slide, moonwalk and flail with ease before eventually taking a dive into the rapt crowd. Short, spazztic and memorable … that’s the type of performance that sets the proper tone for a show and leaves a lasting impression.
Next up … metal from Killswitch Engage. Setting a totally different tone with strobes firing, KSE definitely kicked the evening into high gear. Where there were only a handful of admitted letlive. fans, there was no-doubt a throng of people had packed the floor to catch the on-stage antics that these guys have consistently unleashed for years. Between guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz’s shenanigans (no one in music better at instigating an audience) and frontman Jesse Leach’s commandment of the stage, there’s not much room left, but Mike, Justin and Joel managed to make sure their presence was known. Possibly as an homage to the bay area punk community, Jesse sported a Rancid patch on the back of his shirt and an Op Ivy patch on the front. Heavy, pummeling and crazed … Killswitch did what they do best during their 40 minute set … f*** shit up!
Between KSE and the headliners Rise Against, there was a notable surge from the crowd which may have previously been deemed as spent … while the stage crew scurried around, there was a not-so-subtle smoosh as the floor seemed to compress and surpass capacity. Sure there were seats open in the balcony, but who the hell wants to watch a show like this from a seat!?!
9:15 rolled around and things went sideways as soon as Rise Against took the stage with The Great Die Off from 2015’s The Black Market. If the band had been worried that the fans wouldn’t be familiar with the new material, any doubts would have been quickly erased. There was no doubt that the majority of the crowd had been patiently waiting for Rise Against and, while the first five-or-so rows of fans sang along at the top of their lungs to every word, a huge pit opened up right behind them.
Blasting through a career-spanning set, things hit on the softer side of the band with a few solo acoustic tunes that gave the crowd a thankful respite from the chaos but that was sharply punctuated by a ferocious one-two punch of Dancing For Rain and Savior which, after 90 minutes, left the crowd spent but sated.
- The Great Die Off
- The Good Left Undone
- The Dirt Whispered
- Give It All
- Re-Education (Through Labor)
- I Don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore
- Collapse (Post-Amerika)
- Make It Stop (September’s Children)
- Prayer of the Refugee
- Help Is On The Way
- Black Masks & Gasoline
- Ready To Fall
- Hero Of War (acoustic)
- Swing Life Away (acoustic)
- Dancing For Rain
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