HBF Stadium, Perth WA
February 7th, 2018
Support: Bare Bones
Rise Against’s first show of their Wolves tour was my first ever ‘stadium’ show, and it really was a treat for the senses. I previously hadn’t known HBF sSadium even existed, and it was like visiting another planet—what with some of the interesting characters that were about. The young, the old, the in-between, tattoos, singo’s, top hats, tie-dye shirts and first-class mullets. Rise Against is a band that—I’m certain—resonates with everyone at some level. I mean shit, everyone was there. Even J.P. from Grandma’s Boy was there. Well, it looked like him anyway. Nice coat man.
Bare Bones scared the shit out of the woman a couple of seats down from me when they ripped into their set, shaking the adjacent seats. Admittedly, my heart raced a bit too. A good tactic I think: Shut-up and listen. It worked. Abruptly, the stage was bathed in red light and the bones boys were comfortably rocking their way into what turned out to be an exciting set. Maybe not from a lighting perspective though. I get it, they aren’t the headlining act, they don’t need all the flame-throwers and lasers, but at least throw some light on the drummer. Chris Blancato played some awesome drums on the night and he made those super-loud toms sing. I just couldn’t see him at all. Bare Bones dished out an animated set and I would highly recommend catching them live. Just be ready for them or you might spill your bevvy.
When Rise Against’s ‘Chamber the Cartridge’ rumbled through the P.A. the rabble erupted. And then, when the band took the stage, they erupted again. Now I will admit, I am not the biggest Rise Against fan. But I fucking love ‘State of the Union’, ‘Ready to Fall’ and ‘Blood to Bleed’, and so I should—they are fucking good songs. Because they are fucking good musicians. I enjoy watching and listening to good musicians. But these guys are good at being good musicians. There’s no wonder their fan-base is so diverse. Tim McIlrath was conversational with the crowd and it was quite easy to tell that the love between him and his fans was mutual. This is what truly made the show for me.
Honestly, I wasn’t happy with the sound (I didn’t try to move to find where the sound was better, it was a long day at work, and I guess I was just too much of a tight-arse to move from my cosy seat close to the stage front) and it was making the songs sound convoluted. Because of this, I found myself watching the crowd just as much as I was watching the band from my vantage point in block 104. I was particularly hoping to catch a glimpse of that sick mullet when the crowd started jumping in unison to ‘Give It All’. What I observed was a crowd that was truly mesmerized by this band, and giving them more than just their attention. Everyone was having the time of their fucking life. But seriously, it was awesome to see a crowd get so involved at a show; during ‘Prayer of the Refugee’ the rabble was singing the whole song back word for word. Unreal.
After a minute-long absence from the stage McIlrath returned to the stage donning the acoustic guitar. Even during the low-key ‘Hero of War’ and ‘Swing Life Away’ people were on shoulders and moving to the music, some people embraced one another as they sang, others jokingly held up a lighter and swayed it side to side. ‘Wolves’, (track one from the band’s new album of the same name) was well received before the band left the stage to await their encore, which was the tracks ‘Satellite’ and ‘Savior’.
The last time I saw Rise Against was a hot and sticky mosh in the summer heat after Grinspoon’s set at Big Day Out Festival back in 2010. I moved from the left, to the right, to the front and to the back repeatedly. Shit was intense. This show was less-so. I should have been down in the pit with mullet-guy, J.P. and the guy with the funky top hat, and for that, I’m sorry.
Review by Rory McDonald
Check out our new interview with Rise Against bassist Joe Principe talking ‘politics and playing rock shows’ right here
Photo Gallery by Josh Ludlow. Please credit Wall of Sound and Josh Ludlow if you use published photos.
RISE AGAINST – 2018 Australian Tour
with Special Guests Bare Bones
Fri 9 Feb @ Thebarton Theatre, rAdelaide
Sat 10 Feb @
Margaret Court Marriage Equality Arena, Melbourne
Tue 13 Feb @ Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Wed 14 Feb @ Riverstage, Brisbane