Rise Against at the Filmore, 4/15/11
Bad Religion • Four Year Strong
04.15.11 | Fillmore Auditorium
View more photos from last night
The Rise Against show at the Fillmore began with a line that stretched from Colfax down Clarkson and east onto 16th Avenue -- at 6:30! The crowd was littered with people of all ages, from teenyboppers to thirty-somethings to punk foggies, who were most likely there to see punk icons Bad Religion more than Rise Against -- or to bring their kids out to a show.
It's amazing to see how Rise Against has grown over the years. The band's popularity has even eclipsed that of Bad Religion; when I last saw the two play on the same ticket, it was at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and Bad Religion was headlining.
Rise Against is a great band that's been able to mature with every album while also growing in popularity. But as the bandmembers proved last night, it's stayed true to its roots in terms of delivering politically themed anthemic punk songs with extremely crisp riffs, tight lyrics and a sound that, though heavily influenced by their icons, is still all their own. Moreover, the group proved that it deserves its success.
Aaron Thackeray Four Year Strong.
And it's touring with some impressive acts. Four Year Strong, a Worcester, Massachusetts, pop-punk outfit, opened the evening around 7:30. Originally I was unimpressed by the happycore-ish song the act started off with, as it sounded geared to too young an audience. The band was good, but largely predictable.
As the set progressed, fortunately, the group got heavier. The drummer, Jackson "Jake" Massucco, thumped on the double-bass pedal through songs like "Enemy of the World," all the while keeping a calm, easy look on his face and chomping on a toothpick. Four Year Strong's final song, "Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)," felt like it was targeted at angsty youth heading into their final spring of high school.
Hardcore legends Bad Religion opened with "The Day That the Earth Stalled," the rousing first song off their latest album, 2010's Dissent of Man. Greg Graffin's voice sounded a little off to start, but quickly rose to the occasion. Still, not bad for a band that first formed in 1979.
By the time Graffin and company hit their third song, the classic "American Jesus," if you weren't a fan or had never seen or heard Bad Religion, you would have been converted. The crunchy guitars and chorus weren't enough to drown out Graffin's voice, and this song felt as fresh as it did nearly ten years ago.
But Bad Religion really hit its stride when it launched into "Do What You Want" and then the god-eviscerating "Only Rain." The most enjoyable to hear was "We're Only Gonna Die," one of the band's earliest recorded songs. Bad Religion concluded its set with the upbeat "Sorrow," a great finisher.