As a cerebral punk band that's not easily camped with typical brooding emo/punk bands, Chicago's Rise Against has lived up to their name sake. They've risen against the odds by signing with a major label in Geffen Records and still maintain a solid sense of connection with their audience - both lyrically and musically. Connecting with their audience was evident by choosing to play five sold out shows at L.A.'s intimate Troubadour venue, instead of two or three say at the House of Blues, or even one show at a bigger venue for that matter.
By the fifth night, the band was visibly worked, but they cranked out a set that energized the all-ages crowd, some of whom had been to all five shows. Singer, Tim Mcllrath artfully worked the crowd with his frantic vocals and thousand-yard stare. While they rolled through a fist-pumping, sing-along set of Rise Against anthems, including "Six Ways 'til Sunday", the band treated the crowd to hushed renditions of some of their strongest material. Mcllrath pulled out an acoustic and played an unforgettable, unplugged version of "Everchanging", where the crowd did most of the singing for him.
Rise Against will be releasing their new album, "The Sufferer & The Witness" on July 4. They'll be touring all summer on the Van's Warped Tour and will probably continue to tour until they fall over from exhaustion.