It has been five long years since Rise Against graced our stages and tonight at Sydney’s iconic Enmore theatre, the Chicago four-piece is back. Bringing their ferocious and energetic live show for one of only two headlining spots before the band embarks across the country to support Blink 182.

Sydney Punks Beerwolf opened things up and was well received by the sold-out crowd. Their high-octane, in-your-face rock and roll was just what we needed to warm us up.

The stage is set, the lights go out, and the crowd roars as the band takes to the stage and gives us the opening track, Prayer of The Refugee. From that opening track, the band Unrelenting blasts us with eleven songs from the band’s sonic arsenal of nine albums. Each time they bring out songs from early in their career, the audience responds in admiration and appreciation for delivering what we, the fans, were hoping to hear.

Rise Against is a band that gives it all when they perform, and tonight was no different. With each beat, we clapped in time and on every chorus and shouted out! The level of crowd interaction proved the connection between the band and the audience to be the strongest I have ever witnessed.

Live music has always been something special to me. It is when the band gets to see their fan’s faces and hear our voices. And if we are lucky, the performance delivers something unique. After Tim and Zac deliver a stirring rendition of Hero of War tonight in the Enmore, Tim is left alone on the stage. He tells the audience how it was in this venue many years ago he met one of rock music’s great icons, Chris Cornell, and how Chris wanted to write a song with him, something they would sadly never get to do before Chris would pass away, which is a reminder of how life is short, and if there are things you want to do with your life, do them. Then Tim dedicated Swing Life Away in memory of Chris. At this moment, I feel the Enmore just come together, sing, and celebrate life.

The band didn’t take long to regather on stage and then hit us with a second encore and four more absolute anthems before ending what had genuinely been an engaging show. They gave thanks and reminded us why live music is so vital not only to the band but also to us, the fans, and the venues who open their doors to us so we have a place to gather and celebrate the gift that is live music.

Review by Chad Heard

Photos by Christian Ross

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