Chicago’s punk gods Rise Against were in town at RBC Echo Beach, with friends AFI and Anti-Flag, this past Saturday night. Pittsburgh's punk rock Anti Flag started the evenings festivities in a big way. Even better.... Anti-Flag allowed photographers to shoot their entire set from the pit!
OK, allow me to explain how the whole concert photo pass thing works... normally media is allowed to shoot the first 3 songs without any flash. After three songs, we are escorted out and to our seats by our representative. That said, every now and again a band like Anti-Flag comes along and grants us photographers permission to shoot the entire show. For me, personally, that’s like unwrapping the best Christmas present ever!
Watch his Anti-Flag... After all, it’s an “American Attraction”.
Anti-Flag loves playing to crowds and it really shows in their performance. Frontman Justin Sane and bassist Chris#2, taking to the skies from the first song and only coming in for a landing after the last. The energy these guys exude after more than 20 years is nothing short of amazing. At one point Chris#2 went on a bit of a political rant, bringing cheers from the audience. “Brothers and Sisters, together we stand up and say ‘Fuck You’ to violence against women, racism, fascism, bigotry, homophobia, the Whitehouse, and that Mother Fucker r that lives there!”
At the end of their set, Anti-Flag sent drummer Pat Thetic and his drum kit over the barrier and into the audience. Chris#2 joined him in the crowd to play the final tune of the set. Just WOW!
If a “Girl’s Not Grey” then what colour is she? AFI explain...
Next up were California’s AFI (A Fire Inside). Singer Davey Havok and bassist Hunter Burgan kept the skies busy with more high-flying antics, which the crowd really got into. At this point, surfing is in full gear and it almost seemed that audience participation was mandatory from the amount of bodies being passed around. Guitarist Jade Puget fuelling the fire with some killer riffs, and drummer Adam Carson just barely in view at the back of the stage. AFI’s first 3 songs were “Girl’s Not Grey”, “Love Like Winter”, and “This Celluloid Dream”.
Following a quick break to reset the stage, Rise Against took the wood by storm. Rise Against is singer Tim Mcllrath, Zach Blair on guitar, Joe Principe on bass, and Brandon Barnes keeping the beat. With these guys close to their 20th anniversary too, it’s awesome to see the energy and pure joy of playing music that these musicians emanate. Not to mention the effect that it has on the crowd who just seem to feed off it. It was another fantastic night of great music and great company in Toronto.
Grab your “Megaphone” and help Rise Against to spread the word!
Rise Against’s Setlist:
01. The Violence
04. I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore
05. House On Fire
06. Ready To Fall
07. Help Is On The Way
09. Give It All
10. Blood-Red White & Blue
11. Re-Education (Through Labour)
13. Voices Off Camera
14. People Live Here
15. Hero Of War
16. Swing Life Away
17. Make It Stop (September's Children)
18. Like The Angel
19. Prayer Of The Refugee