Date: July 28th 2015
Opening Bands: letlive, Killswitch Engage
Rise Against decided to play New York City on one of the hottest days of the year…outside! It was so hot, I thought I saw the devil shooting in the photo pit with me.
I totally forgot this show was happening until a week ago. Last year I caught Rise Against after not seeing them for a very long time. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the Fat Wreck days and the band just continues to grow their fanbase each day it seems. But before we get into their set, I have to talk about the rest of the show first.
As I mentioned before, it was so hot out when I arrived at Central Park Summerstage. It’s an hour subway ride/walking to 72nd street entrance from Jersey City. By the time I got there, I was just soaked and tired. Didn’t help when I asked for the press tent, a clueless security guard sends me down to the main entrance and makes me waste 10 minutes of more walking and hassle. Once I got in, the sun was beating down on the stage and it reminded me of my days shooting Vans Warped Tour. Thankfully it wasn’t like Randall’s Island and huge amount of dust getting kicked up when someone started a circle pit.
Letlive began at 6pm and I was enjoying this early show stuff. I would be pissed if I couldn’t get out of work but since that wasn’t an issue, I loved the early start. I never saw Letlive before but heard of them and seen them on the Warped Roadies series. Based on friend’s photos and on the TV series, I knew they were a crazy band to see and that certainly was true. I couldn’t tell you what songs they played but I really enjoyed their set. Frontman Jason Butler was bouncing all over the place, throwing water, throwing mics stands, jumping into the crowd, and other things. That is how you warm up a crowd! It seemed like each band that played, everybody was there to see that band. So you can tell this was a killer lineup when all 3 bands didn’t disappoint and had a huge following. I would definitely check out Letlive again and curious to hear how they sound on their albums.
After Letlive, was metal band Killswitch Engage featuring Price is Right winner & guitarist Adam D! I’ve seen Killswitch Engage before at one of the Warped Tours and liked their set. That was with their old vocalist and the band sounds even better now! Again, I don’t know what songs they played since I don’t really listen to them. I think I’m going to after seeing them last night though. Band had a lot of energy, Adam D was funny with his stage presence, telling everyone to smoke weed, drop out of school and eat lots of wimp. All that needed after that was the NBC “The More You Know” slogan. The band aren’t just a bunch of meatheads either since they stopped their set because vocalist Jesse saw someone hurt in the crowd. He made sure that security got to him and everything was okay before they started things up again. Of course that ate into their set time a little but they played for a decent chunk of time.
Rise Against were up around 8:15pm, after the road crew fixed some of the lighting. They started things off with “The Great Die-Off,” which is the first track off their latest album The Black Market. For whatever reason, the band was positioned too far on the stage so for awhile it didn’t feel right to me. Eventually Tim and others came up front to sing or wail on their guitars. I’m surprised the band didn’t have some time of catwalk to the crowd, since Tim likes to sing up front more. Later on in the set, he just went into the crowd and they held him up that way.
Other songs they played in the beginning included “Satellite,” “Give It All,” “Re-Education (Through Labor)” and “Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore.” I still love hearing “Give It All!” That one and “Heaven Knows” might be my two favorite songs by Rise Against. Unfortunately they didn’t play “Heaven Knows” this time, and opted for “Black Masks & Gasoline.” Another favorite of mine is “Make It Stop (September’s Children),” and they played that as well. At one point, the security guards broke out the hoses and were drenching people in the crowd. Considering it was a 100 degrees out, it was justified. I was actually thinking they were going to spray the equipment and something was going to short out. But that didn’t happen.
Towards the end of the show, they played songs like “Help Is on the Way,” “Black Masks & Gasolines,” and “Ready to Fall.” Tim came back with his acoustic guitar and played “Hero of War” and “Swing Life Away,” which the later is always a crowd favorite. After that, I took off to make my trek back to Jersey City.
All in all, loved getting home before 11 for once and it was nice having a show outside. What wasn’t so nice was the super hot sun. But I guess it’s better than rain or snow so always look on the bright side of life.
Here’s a bunch of photos from the show: