by Karl Bakla
The first thing I noticed about this show was that there was a shit load of people. Call me naive, but I didn't realize that so many people listened to Rise Against. I don't listen to the radio, I don't watch music videos, & I don't like teenagers or young people so I have no idea what they are listening to.
Before the show I was stopped by some dude from PETA2, he asked me to text something so I could receive something for free. I explained to him that I will not text anything & even though I am a vegetarian I hate PETA2. He asked me why, I told him that PETA2 makes vegetarians look stupid, & more importantly I don't care if Common (the Rapper) or any other celebrity is a vegetarian. He corrected me by saying, "Common is Vegan".
We made our way up front just in time for Hot Water Music. They were good, but it's very hard for me to get into a band playing on a huge stage. Sadly, Hot Water Music's set relied heavily on their later catalog. Sure, I enjoy all of their albums, but I personally favor Fuel For The Hate Game & No Division to their most recent output. The crowd didn't seem to dislike HWM, but besides a few pockets of people going ape shit, the crowd full of douche bags didn't seem to care. They were waiting for Rise Against to play so they could drop some GHB in their date's drink.
Gaslight Anthem was next, and even with a thousand guitar players on stage they were a total snore. For a moment I thought the Glenn Branca Symphony was playing. Luckily they weren't. GA didn't sound bad they just weren't very exciting; they did a cover of the Nirvana tune Sliver which was their most lively song of the night. A fight broke out during their set which made things a tad more interesting, which is pretty sad since I hate that shit.
Another observation I made about this show is that there were a lot of white people, the boring kind that buy surf gear from the mall & bitch about paying too much in taxes. If Rise Against wasn't playing I would have assumed this was a Young Republican convention. Brian Fallon even made a plea to the crowd to go out and vote, since the venue was jam packed with Rise Against fans and their political message is lost on them, I assume the crowd took this as a cue to vote for Mitt Romney, which they will do after they get done date raping their girlfriends.
Pumped up on $12 beers & Monster energy drinks the crowd went nuts when Rise Against hit the stage. The band was full of energy & seemed really into what they were doing, but I didn't feel a thing. I don't really blame the band, it's me! I generally skip seeing bands I like (Poison Idea) if they are playing huge venues. I am the kind of scum fuck loser that prefers D.I.Y. shows & I hate to admit to it, but I even prefer bar shows to this elaborate set up.
When Rise Against started their set I was still shocked at how big they have become, it wasn't too long ago that they were opening up for the Mad Caddies at Tremorz. I think that gig was 5 bucks, beers at this show was $12. On stage were lots of elaborate lights, which is cool if you are the kind of person that wanted to see Iron Maiden on the Powerslave tour. Also on stage were LCD monitors displaying a montage of Social / Political images. I'm sure this meant nothing to the Rise Against fan that I witnessed sitting his girlfriend down & giving her a lecture about talking to him with the level of respect a man deserves. You probably think I am making this up, but I am not. If you don’t believe me ask Bethany. She has very little respect for me & talks to me anyway she wants, when we saw this go down she said to me, "If you ever talk to me like that, I will kick your ass & fucking leave you!"
At one point in the night a Mormon woman standing next to me started to whip her t-shirt around & hit me in the head with it a few times. I started to understand those columnists in Maximum Rock ‘N' Roll that write about feeling like a victim at a Punk show. Did I say "Punk show?" That's right! This was not a Punk Rock show! So half way through Rise Against's set I exited the venue & went to Pepe's & spent the last of my money. Did I say "my money?" I don't have a job! I spent the rest of Bethany's money.