Gig Review
Rise Against
Anti-Flag, Flobots
Bristol, Academy
22nd February 2009

Rise Against              Anti-Flag         
Photo Of Anti-Flag © Copyright TriggerTonight we headed down to the Academy in Bristol to check out Rise Against on play the second show of their sold out UK tour. We got down to Bristol really early due to an commitment of interviewing Rise Against early in the afternoon, after the interview we had a walk around Bristol for a few hours which was good as I have lived near Bristol all my life but have never really had a look around the city, we headed to a pub just over the road from The Academy called The Hatchet Inn about 30 minutes before the doors were due to open, the queue outside the venue was massive going right up the road past the ice rink and around the corner, it got to 7pm and the door were open, we stayed in the pub watching the queue of people fastly enter the building, after about 15minutes the queue had gone and everyone had entered the venue, it was certainly the fastest I have ever seen a venue fill up, we then decided to make our way into the venue.

When we got inside The Academy, it was the last song of the Flobots set, and from what I heard they seemed pretty good and looked very energetic, they were so different from the other bands on the bill tonight in the way that they were a hip-hop band, what the connection that all three bands on tonight’s bill had was the fact that they all shared the same political beliefs and all spoke about politics before, during and after their sets.

Photo Of Anti-Flag © Copyright TriggerAfter the Flobots finished there was a 20minute break whilst the stage was set up for Anti-Flag, we took a bit of time to look at the merchandise and grab a drink and before we knew it the lights went down and Anti-Flag to the stage top perform one of the most energetic sets I have seen a band perform in a long time. Front man Justin Sane looked like a cross between Pop Idol runner up Darius and Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional tonight, and seemed to love every minute of the show, talking to the crowd in between songs about politics, Bush and everything else they like to ram down our thoughts, but he preached in a fun way. Chris#2 spent the majority of the sent jumping and spinning around the stage whilst taking a bit of time out to flip the bird at the photographers and certain members of the crowd and in-between songs he spoke a lot with the best bit about how the government shouldn’t save the banks but should help the homeless, teachers etc rather than the corporate companies. Anti-Flag played a top set with songs such as ‘War Sucks, Lets Party’, ‘Turncoat’, ‘Good N Ready’ ‘1 Trillion Dollars’ and even a awesome cover of ‘I Fought The Law’, the crowd seemed to go mental from the start to the finish of Anti-flags set with the majority of the Academy singing along word for word.

Photo Of Rise Against © Copyright Trigger After Anti-flag finishes there was a 30minute break whilst the stage got set up for Rise Against, when waiting for a band to come on it starts feeling like forever and then suddenly the time quickly goes and the lights dim and the band take to the stage and this was exactly what happened here, before we knew it Rise Against were on stage.

Rise Against had their stage set out pretty well they had three big podium style platforms on the stage which front man Tim Mcllrath spent the majority of the set on jumping from one to the other performing in front of every area at the front of the stage, which was actually a bonus to the people at the back, as normally if you are at the back of the Academy you can’t see anything as the venue wasn’t made that well but luckily for people tonight they could see Tim’s head moving around the stage. Rise Against are a really energetic band live, as said above Tim Mcllrath spent the majority of the set on these podium type boxes rocking out, guitarist Zack Blair spent a lot of the set spinning around and moving around on stage whilst knocking out rocking punk guitar riffs, drummer Brandon Barnes was smacking the shit out of his drum set like it was drumming for his life, whilst Joe Principe seemed a bit mellow on the right hand side of the stage but he knocked out his baselines with perfection and his backing vocals couldn’t of sounded better.

Photo Of Rise Against © Copyright TriggerThe set Rise Against played was pretty spot on, considering they haven’t long released a new album they didn’t play to many new songs, in fact they only played four songs from the new album which in my mind was a right balance as they have so many classic songs that really needed to of been in the set and luckily they were. Songs like ‘Anywhere But Here, ‘ Give It All’ and ‘Paper Wings’ went down really well and so did the current single ‘Audience Of One’ which seemed like one of the biggest fan favourites tonight, but then again it should do as it’s so damn catchy and you can’t help but sing, jump and go completely mental to the song ‘Prayer Of The Refugee’ was also a big winner, the song was one of the bands previous singles.

Songs from the new album also went down really well with songs such as ‘Collapse’, Re-Education (Through Labour)’ being played, the set finished with a 5 song encore which featured two acoustic tracks with one being the awesome ‘Swing Life away’ which features some of the best lyrics Rise Against have ever played.

Overall tonight’s show was a treat to anyone who likes punk rock as punk rock really came home to Bristol tonight and in such a strong way, Anti-Flag and Rise Against are both as good as each other in my opinion, I slightly feel that Anti-Flag should of been the headline band and that’s mainly due to the raw energy and power they displayed tonight through there set, I am pretty sure that nobody went home disappointed tonight.

Rise Against 5/5
Anti-Flag 5/5

Review By Trigger
 Rise Against

Tim McIlrath
Joe Principe
Brandon Barnes
Zach Blair


Justin Sane (Guitar & Vocals)
Chris #2 (Bass & Vocals)
Chris Head (Guitar)
Pat Thetic (Drums)

 Band Related Links
Rise Against Myspace
Anti-Flag Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?