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Review: Rise Against at the Powerstation 31/03/09 by underground

Previously of the Chicago hardcore underground scene, Rise Against is no longer under the radar. Their latest album, Appeal to Reason, made it all the way to number three on the Billboard 200 in the States, and their latest single Audience of one is played on even the most commercial pop radio station. Punk elite may slate the band as sell outs, but when seen live it is evident that the passion and grit evident in their first album, The Unravelling, remains.

Having seen RA a couple of times before, I knew what to expect before their Powerstation show in Auckland. However, the crowd at the latest show was very different to their previous shows, with many dressed as though they were going clubbing as opposed to a punk show, indictive of how much this band had connected to a different audience of recent years, or even just months. Accordingly, their new songs were greated with cheers from the fashionably attired, whereas the earlier tracks were met with some bewilderment. From their first album, Stainglass and Marble bought the diehard old fans charging forward to scream the song in unison, whereas Re-education, Audience of One and others from Appeal to Reason got the younger fans singing along.

While some bands fail to take their songs from the studio to the stage, RA has no such problem. Vocalist Tim McIlrath’s voice never fails, replicating even the persistant, yet audio, scream of State of the Union as capably as on the original recording. After a lengthy set, the band left the stage, before returning with acoustic guitars to perform the awesome Hero of War, and the crowd favourite Swing Life Away. The volume picks up for three more encore songs, ending on the passionate Prayer of the Refugee, before the band depart and the house lights herald the end of an entertaining Tuesday night.

Sales of the band’s first four albums must have increased after that show, after the punkrock virgins got their first taste of what real live music sounds and looks like.

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Found: The greatest song ever written! by underground
October 19, 2008, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Music, Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I believe music is a means of communication. A song should have a message, it should tell a story. The listener should feel something; anger, happiness, sorrow, humour, anything. A great song should make you think, either about the artist who wrote it, or what they were rtying to convey. The best songs should really get to you emotionally and/or intellectually, it should change your opinions, challenge your beliefs, or bring a tear to your eye.

Earlier this week I purchased the new album from Rise Against Appeal to Reason. I reviewed it for this blog and TWN. Track 10 is the greatest song ever written. Not only is ‘Hero of War’ beautifully sung and performed, it has the most powerful lyrics ever. Tim McIlrath’s voice is so genuine, you really believe he is the soldier in the song. If Rise Against wanted to top the charts, this track should be the next single released on this already successful album (open #3 on billboard 200) so the whole world can hear it. It really is that good in my mind. This is what music is really about, not faux-lesbians, gansta-rivalries or obnoxious mindless bass thumps. Amberleigh Jack, this is the song I will play my children.

Oh, and buy the album, it’s awesome! Continue reading