Concert Review: Rise Against, The Wonder Years and Plague Vendor shine at Shrine (07/14/17)

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY:  ALLEEN HUGHES

Wrapping up a long six weeks on the road, Rise Against ended this most recent stretch with two nights back to back at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles, CA on July 13th and 14th.  Night one was rumored to have been wild, eventful and an all around good time with support from Of Mice and Men and Plague Vendor.  From seeing night one videos and posts, I was curious to see how night two was going to be given the variety in bands in support.  

Plague Vendor was warmly welcomed by the crowd on their second night with Rise Against.  Vocalist Brandon Blaine has this intense energy onstage and on top of the crowd, yes this man was physically everywhere, that can awaken any room.  With very little equipment on stage, the foursome create a sound that generates to the parking lot.  When honing in on their lyrics I could see why they were a perfect fit to open for Rise Against, they have a “no fucks given” punk attitude and message.

The Wonder Years were next up and this was their first US show of the year.  The band has been busy working on new music and it was a big treat to have the Philadelphia boys in California, well at least for me it was.  Although attendees were into their music and stage presence, most people were there for Rise Against and hadn’t even heard of TWY and didn’t care much for pop punk.  I however thought they were great as they’ve always been and enjoyed each song to the fullest.

Singing along to Green Day over the speakers, the crowd filled two thirds of the room and were ready to see the men of the night, including a preteen standing front and center against the guard rail and a bright neon green sign with the words “I am 11 years old and this is my 10th Rise show” written on it.  The bands large banner soon went dark only to be illuminated with bright white lights and shadows of the band casting on the word “RISE.”  The 4-piece came out with “Chamber The Cartridge” off their 2006 album “The Sufferer & The Witness.”  Tim McIlrath’s stamina through the first three songs was incredible to see, especially with the tempo their music is played at.  

Taking a break from playing and picking apart a fans wallet that got thrown onto the stage, Tim addressed the crowd about what 2017 has been like for them.  “If your a band like Rise Against, 2017 gave us plenty to work with,”  stated McIlrath.  The band is no stranger to sharing their opinions and views about the world and the people who are running it.  The guys have been together for 18 years and they made light to fans that as a band, they have been around for four different presidential elections.  And their opinions on each one can clearly be found in their lengthy discography throughout the years.

The night only continued to become more rowdy, memorable and full of people crowd surfing their way up to their favorite band.  But time came for a calm in the sound storm for the classic “Swing Life Away.”  Never have I heard such a loud crowd response during a reposing moment with fans screaming back every lyric at the top of their lungs.  These are moments that are the ones that stand out to me the most, when fans all connect together and the band feeds off the crowd and what their lyrics mean to them.  

Rise Against already hold the impression with me as a genuine and honest band and this night only confirmed the reasons why.  The guys make a point to reach out to their fans and show them appreciation for standing by them all these years.  Wether it be a small room for a private VIP show or an arena filled with tens of thousands of fans, this band gives 100% in their music and their message.  Clearly they have no end in sight.

Set List:

  1. Chamber The Cartridge
  2. Re-Education (Through Labor)
  3. Satellite
  4. The Violence
  5. The Good Left Undone
  6. Like The Angel
  7. Give It All
  8. Welcome To The Breakdown
  9. Ready To Fall
  10. Survive
  11. Swing Life Away
  12. People Live Here
  13. Hero Of War
  14. Wolves
  15. Blood-Red, White & Blue
  16. Prayer Of The Refugee
  17. Make It Stop (September’s Children)
  18. Savior

Rise Against (Virgin Records):

The Wonder Years (Hopeless Records):

Plague Vendor (Epitaph Records):