Opening Bands: Rise Against, & Against Me
Date: Friday, November 21st, 2003
Venue: The Metro in Chicago
Each of the three bands that played on Friday night seemed to have equally as many hardcore fans that had come to the show specifically just to see them as the next band did.
It was not just the “Anti-Flag” show, it was also the “Against Me” show, or the “Rise Against” show, because unlike the usual concert setup the earlier bands to play were no less popular. Yet there was the prevailing theme that went throughout the entire concert of standing up in hopes of settling government and political corruption and of getting the hell out of Iraq where it is believed that the U.S. does not belong in the first place. There wasn’t a Republican in the house, and in the air were plenty of negative feelings towards President Bush and his policies.
Against Me was called the best band of the night by many, and audience members took no effort in saving up any of their energy for later bands. The music of Against Me is a lot like what is heard from Anti-Flag and Rise Against, but with a touch of emo (of course there are probably many people that would object to that statement).
When Rise Against started their set, one of the strongest aspects of this band was immediately evident. Their bassist is amazing. He plays complicated lines, which some bassists avoid in order to achieve clean simplicity. Not only that, but he was all over the place. He was moving about the stage, jumping around, displaying the kind of stage presence that makes a live performance all the more worthwhile in attending.
Then there was Anti-Flag, the pro-peace band with important messages attached to their music. Included in their set were the songs, “911 for Peace” and “Fuck Police Brutality”. Anti-Flag requested that everybody at that show should take care of each other that night because they were all about promoting unity, and as a result the pit was surprisingly less violent than one might have expected. In the time between certain songs, powerful speakers were brought to the microphone to address the audience on issues concerning government wrong doings and the many lies that have been fed to the American public by President Bush, especially concerning the nation’s business in Iraq. They encouraged those who can vote to do so, and those who cannot to spread the word and make these issues known. At the conclusion of the show, the crowd pleaded for an encore, and Anti-Flag retreated to the stage with an obviously planned finale. There was even a change of the satirical screen that had been hanging over the back of the stage throughout the entire night’s set. Anti-Flag topped the show off with the notorious anthem, “Die for your Government”.