This is not a review. I repeat, this is not a review. OK, I am lying, the more I write about it the more it sounds like a review. Oh well…
Let’s face it, Bonnaroo drained me. The trip to and from along with the actual four days at the festival took everything I had out of me. When I returned home I napped for a mere hour and then hopped in the car to go see punk rock legends Rancid with Rise Against and Riverboat Gamblers down at the Tower City Amphitheater.
I was a zombie of sorts. Only having ingested some terrible Hardee’s in Bowling Green, KY, the arrow in my stomach was pointing to empty. Luckily my buddy Fatty who was driving owes me big for when we went to see the Bouncing Souls and make me turn my car around on Route 8 because he forgot his ticket.
I could not tell him that I forgot my ticket because I did not have one so I just asked him to stop at Taco Bell for a snack.
I did not have a ticket because someone wonderful got me on the list for Rancid complete with a VIP pass.
We arrived to the venue with the Riverboat Gamblers already playing. The Austin, TX punk rockers really enthralled me so I made sure to pick up their latest release on LP entitled Underneath The Owl. I have yet to listen to it but I do know they played a few songs off their new album and it sounded good. They are one of those bands I never really gave a chance before but will now thanks to their great performance.
Once it looked like the stage was set up for Rancid I headed backstage to get a better view of the band. I hung out behind the scenes and peered at the from the side. As pissed as I was that they were not headlining the show I was still pleased with their almost one hour set including classic songs such as “Ruby Soho” and “Olympia”. They also played some new tracks from their recent release Let The Dominoes Fall… such as “Last One To Die” and “New Orleans”.
They sounded really good live and jumped around youthfully as if they were playing 15 years ago. Many times I hear that people think Tim Armstrong might not be playing all of the songs but I was right there and it sure as hell looked like he was beating the crap out of his guitar playing to the huge crowd. Matt Freemon was hammering his bass and killed it during “Tenderloin” and of course Lars Frederickson was doing what he does best, entertain.
Great set by one of my favorite punk bands of all time.
Last One To Die
Journey to the End of the East Bay
Fall Back Down
The Way I Feel
East Bay Night
Rise Against took stage as the sun said goodbye to the day. I am a fan of the first three Rise Against albums but their last two releases have not done too much for me. I stayed afar from the stage and checked them out while I chatted with a couple of my friends who were only there to see Rancid.
Rise Against, I can say, has major stage charisma. Lead singer Tim McIlrath was running all over the stage singing his heart out to his diehard fans. Where the band did play a lot of newer songs I was happy to hear some older ones from their first three albums. I was shocked the band did not play “Swing Life Away” when Tim McIlrath came to stage with an acoustic guitar in hand but I guess they have played that song enough times and perhaps it was time for them to give it a rest.
It was great to see Rise Against headline a show and you knew the band was grateful for the oppertunity as they thanked Rancid as well as named off some of the venues in Cleveland they once played before such as the Agora as well as the Tower City parking lot by the stairs where years ago they were just an intro band to the Vans Warped Tour. Times have change indeed for Rise Against, I was just glad to hear them admit it.
It was a good night for punk rock in Cleveland thanks to the three bands that took over Tower City that night. As if the show itself was not good enough right as Rise Against was finishing up their set fireworks started going off over the Progressive Field as the Cleveland Indians game had just finished up.
I had yet to find a setlist for Rise Against or Riverboat Gamblers but when I do I will post it here.