Rise Against, the Gaslight Anthem at the Fillmore Auditorium, 9/24/12 (photos and review)By Kristopher Coe | September 25th, 2012 | No Comments »
A punk show used to cost just $10 bucks (or less). These days, that’s what it costs for a draft beer at the venue. If times have changed, has the message really remained the same?
At the Fillmore Auditorium on Monday, Rise Against worked hard to suggest so. Flanked by a glowing wall of LED screens, the band took the stage mired in images of quasi-political minutiae. Whatever the intent, “Ready To Fall” was a fitting theme with its urgent plea for action. “Help Is On The Way” and “Re-Education” were powerful and anthemic rebel songs; leading the crowd to thrust like a steam engine. Lead-Singer Tim Mcllrath even roused the audience by invoking the battle cry of the Occupy Movement.
Earlier, on songs like “Paid In Full” and “The Traps” from the Blasting Room-produced album “Exister,” openers Hot Water Music played fast and loud like live heavyweights in a late-round bout. The new music sounded raw and unrestrained in a way that seemed to forecast the band’s ascendence toward a finer pinnacle. Off 2001’s “A Flight And A Crash,” “Paper Thin” gave the audience a steady jolt of vintage bliss that was equally potent. The Gaslight Anthem had the unfortunate task of matching that intensity; which proved somewhat listless. The New Jersey band eventually hit its stride on “45” and “Here Comes My Man.” Lead singer Brian Fallon then scorched through growling renditions of “Handwritten” and the finale gem “The Backseat.”
Despite their appeals, Rise Against and their fellow tourmates played disappointingly short, yet rollicking sets that proved less about their punk ethos and more about their prowess as industry breadwinners. With Hot Water Music delivering a torrid batch of new material and the Gaslight Anthem disbanding into a subdued blend of anti-climatic inertia; the evening was a disproportionate contest between meter and sway. The deeper message was inevitably lost in between.
Kris K. Coe is a freelance writer, Denver-native, and regular contributor to Reverb.
Seth McConnell is a member of YourHub at The Denver Post and a new contributor to Reverb.