If you have ever listened to Rise Against intently before, then you will realise that there is a lot more to their music than just the high-energy, punk/rock sounds. Their music holds a political, activist stance that questions authority and motivates its fans to stand up against the system – hence the appropriately named band.

This was the first UK tour Rise Against have done since the release of their sixth album, ‘End Game’.

The band was supported by the Polar Bear Club, who opened the show with their chaotic hardcore punk tunes. Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, and his alto-ego, The Nightwatchman, then took to the stage, stipulating an electric vibe throughout the audience. His epic guitar solo was only the start of an astounding  evening of an awe-inspiring performance. Towards the end of their set, Tom Morello was joined on stage by Polar Bear Club and Rise Against themselves, to perform a politically charged anthem called World Wide Rebel Songs. The crowd repeated the memorable lyrics, creating a sheer sense of solidarity and unison. With fists raised high, the crowd’s energy generated a buzz that demonstrated a firm stance against the existing economical situation.

Rise Against’s introductory song, ‘Re-education (of Labour)’, saw the crowds enthusiastically leaping forward, showing wholehearted appreciation of the band’s long-awaited performance.

They spoke of how Rage Against the Machine has inspired their song-writing. Lead singer, Tim McIllrath, stated, “Tom Morello has paved the way for bands like ourselves”. He then dedicated ‘Hero of War’ to Morello to show their appreciation for his lyrical brilliance.

Rise Against also showed support towards to the current occupation movements during their performance, proclaiming how they’d invited activists along from the Occupy Bristol demonstration. Tim McIllrath spoke of how ‘Occupy Bristol is making tomorrow exist for us all’, which generated a resounding cheer throughout the crowd. Their thought-provoking words, alongside their influential lyrics proved extremely relevant in the current economical crisis.

After disappearing off stage after the long-awaited track, ‘Ready to Fall’, the crowd chanted ‘Rise Against’ before the band rejoined the audience to perform their amazing encore. Their final two ground-breaking songs ‘Give it All’ and ‘Saviour’ resulted in a frenzied finale, which was aptly introduced by the lead singer speaking of how we, the audience, are the ‘future, hope and saviours of tomorrow’.

Becky Day