Rise Against + The Bronx
@ Leeds Metropolitan University

Eco-friendly rockers Rise Against certainly have their right-on house in order and this is particularly evident as I walk around the foyer. One girl, probably a street-teamer, is toting a petition against Kentucky Fried Chicken (some’at to do with unfair deals towards chickens, I think). So it probably wouldn’t be a good idea snacking on a Zinger Twister within sniffing distance of the band. Anyhoo, on to the show…

The Met is packed out, but not necessarily for Rise Against. The Bronx, an increasingly popular quintet from California (?!), are tonight’s main support and their uncompromising set of Motorhead-tinged hardcore goes down wonderfully. Their half an hour slot is just about right because any more of their racket would be difficult to stomach. As it stands, the Bronx deliver the goods.

Rise Against prove to be an anti-climax of sorts. Their recorded output has not impressed me much, but I figured they would be a much more interesting proposition live. There’s certainly an improvement and bearded vocalist (yes, a punk frontman with face fungus!) Tim McIlrath admirably leads the front rows into rapturous singalongs, positively giddy are they with punk abandon. Perhaps if I had pushed myself up front, it would have taken my mind of what is essentially recycled hardcore. As it is, Rise Against’s lack of distinction makes the mind wander after a while. Somehow, the fans love ‘em – I mean, they really chuffin’ love ‘em – and Rise Against sure do put in the effort. But like fellow ‘message’ rockers, Anti-Flag, Rise Against have a lot to say, but this writer remains unmoved, quite frankly.

Ross Halewood