When you go to a Rise Against show, three things are certain. You are going to be sweaty, you’re going to sing your lungs out, and the band is going to give you everything they have. I hear the “hard rock is dead” rhetoric all the time, but with tours such as this, there’s something to be said for good music. It’s three bands that are definitely going to may you thankful you didn’t stay in the house binge watching a series on Netflix, heat provided. Fans will chomp at the bit for tickets and climb over barricades just to show their appreciation. I remember last year while on Rise Against’s Black Market tour in Philadelphia that fans were as active as ever given the consistent and immaculate 16 year track record. There we were in Central Park at Summerstage, within the peak of a east coast heat wave that didn’t stop fans from packing the front of the venue.
The first band definitely sets the tone in every venue they play, letlive. Lead singer Jason Butler is one of the most erratic and entertaining frontmen I have ever seen taking to the Summerstage crowd after their first song, “Renegade 86”. They managed to fit a new song within their six song set. Yes, if you haven’t seen letlive live yet, what are you doing exactly? Killswitch Engage came to fans chanting “Killswitch, Killswitch”. Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz plays with the spirit of a 10 year-old kid running around the stage, interacting with the crowd. The band flew through old favorites like “My Curse”, “Rose Of Sharyn”, and “A Bid Farewell”. Every time I go to see this band, it’s always an instrumentally tight and entertaining show.
From the minute Rise Against’s “The Great Die Off” played, and guitarist Zach Blair hit his trademark “jump”, it was electric from the word “go”. Seas of fans crowd surfing throughout the hour plus set which included singer/guitarist Tim McIlrath incessantly giving high fives to the crowd during “Give It All”. The RA catalog is not short on heart and cause and these things will keep them in the limelight for years to come. The band played two encores highlighting “Swing Life Away” and “Savior”. Never mind the New York heat and humidity, with rock music in question, the one thing that isn’t in decline is the crux of the bands and fans on this tour.