Rise Against review: Ferocious and fantastic | Music | Entertainment

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Rise Against have been yearning for this show years – – and it showed. Their explosive arrival on O2 Academy Brixton’s stage with their hit Architects was but a taste of what they were about to deliver, barely showing off what they were capable of. But their fans were ready for it.

After being on the scene for more than 20 years, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Rise Against had said everything they were capable of saying. Thankfully, they had no end of hits to lay down. Tim’s iconic and seemingly infinite voice held true throughout the night and created a powerful, inspiring atmosphere that his fans feasted on for hours. 

And it looked like it meant a lot to Rise Against, as well. As one of their final shows in a long line of European dates, this performance felt like a demonstration of love and jubilation to a packed building, fuelled by the band’s absence endured by fans in recent years.

This passion for the rock group was plain to see as Tim belted through Ready To Fall. He had 5,000 people eating out of his hand – and this was not a one-off, either. Tim sailed through a collection of the band’s hits with eagerness, like a kid on Christmas morning. And, regardless of whether Tim strapped himself into his guitar, or tossed it aside to stretch his frontman prowess, every moment of Rise Against’s glorious event was transcended by their audience’s utter love for the band.

That isn’t to say the band rushed through every track, though. Tim took a moment to pause during one powerful moment to grab his megaphone and begin preaching to the crowd. Like a hardcore reverend, Tim blessed the crowd with his water before demanding raised fists and a choral response. Some acts dream of cultivating this level of crowd response and interaction, and tonight Rise Against were the shining example of it.

Rise Against’s ferocity was only contrasted by their willingness and ability to take a second to step back and switch things up. Halfway through the set Tim grabbed his acoustic guitar and performed a string of laid-back tracks that left a lighter raised and a lump in the throat.

As if they were born for it, Rise Against went straight back to their power-chorded anthems in a whirlwind of penultimate tracks, consisting of Hero of War, Make It Stop (September’s Children) and Savior.

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By the time Savior had been laid to rest, guitars from Zach Blair had shredded through Brandon Barnes’ dominating drum beats and back again in a stunning display of light and sound.

Many would look towards The Foo Fighters as one of America’s greatest rock bands, but Rise Against without a doubt gave Grohl and his team a run for their money. I have never seen a band more ready for arena shows than Rise Against.

Their latest album, Nowhere Generation II is out now. 

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