Rise Against

support Alexisonfire + Red Lights Flash
author PP date 04/05/05 venue Islington Academy, London, UK

It was the second time seeing Alexisonfire and Rise Against in two days. It's not always you can watch as big bands as these two ones more than once during a tour. Two days ago they played in front of 8,000 people at Give It A Name festival, and today they played in front of 500 people. Now that's what I call quite an adjustment for the motivation for these bands. Now, who the hell decides to hide a venue about 300-400 meters away from the underground, inside of a mall, and camouflages it to look like a fancy sports bar from the outside. Once I finally found the venue, after searching for about 30 minutes, the Red Lights Flash's rowdies were already taking down their equipment from the stage. What a shame. Anyways, Carling Academy Islington is a small, fancy venue in the midst of Islington, London. It fits around 500 people at the maximum, and it was not even sold out tonight. It's strange to see two big bands like Alexisonfire and Rise Against to play in such a venue.

Alexisonfire

Luckily, the sound at the venue was excellent. Alexisonfire jumped on the stage and played the same exact set as two days ago at Give It A Name. The first song was 'Accidents' and the small mosh pit turned into a mini circle pit within the first screams of the song. It was easy to hear all the screamo vocals and the guitars from the near-perfect sound of the venue. 'That Girl Posessed' expanded the circle pit quite a bit, making it seem like a suicide mission for any serious life form should they decide to enter it.

Their performance tonight was furiously intense, and although the stage was small, they took the most out of it that they could. It was clear, though, that they had given their everything two days ago at Give It A Name and had slight problems in adjusting to the smaller stage and into playing in front of just 500 people. I still missed songs like 'A Dagger Through The Heart Of St Angeles', 'Sharks And Danger' or 'Adelleda' from their set. Also, since it was apparently a co-headline gig they could've played longer than just the 35 minutes they used to play 9 songs. During 'No Transistory''s instrumental part, the vocalist climbed to the top floor of the venue by using the speakers and pillars on the stage and screamed the rest of the song from up there in the middle of the chanting fans. A longer set, a bigger venue, and some of my favorite songs would've increased the grade.

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Alexisonfire Setlist

  • 1. Accidents
  • 2. That Girl Posessed
  • 3. Waterwings (And Other Pool Side Fashion Faux Pas)
  • 4. 44 Caliber Love Letter
  • 5. Get Fighted
  • 6. Control
  • 7. Pulmonary Archery
  • 8. White Devil
  • 9. No Transitory

Rise Against

Rise Against hit the stage straight after Alexisonfire, just like on Monday at Give It A Name 2005. For some reason, they seemed to be the headlining act and Alexisonfire the support band, at least if you measure that in terms of the length of the set. Rise Against played for the full hour, and included all of their most popular songs including 'Give It All', 'State Of The Union', 'Heaven Knows', 'Broken English' and a ton of other songs, including an acoustic song from the new album. Just like Alexisonfire, Rise Against suffered greatly from the size of the venue. Their sound was better by leaps at the huge Give It A Name venue, where they also had space to move around the stage a lot more.

As a standard from a political hardcore punk band like Rise Against, the vocalist stopped every now and then to preach about politics, and apologized for the George W Bush government in America and said a bunch of stuff about the British elections happening the day after. Personally, I love Rise Against but I was disappointed on their stage show. They pretty much just played their set, and that's it. There was nothing special about it, no real movement and not as much energy as we saw on Monday. You can blame it on tiredness, or the size of the stage, but I think it's not an excuse to take a gig less seriously than another. That's not to say they did that, but I was getting bored towards their 60 minute set, even though they played most of their best songs. They even played a rare song all the way from their debut album. Part of the reason it wasn't as good as on Monday was due to the location of the bars. For some odd reason, Carling has decided to place two bars on the each side of the already small-venue, reducing the space for people to mosh and jump around. Overall, Rise Against played their songs well, but there was that something special missing from their stage show that would distinguish their show from all the other bands out there.

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