Chicago hardcore punk foursome Rise Against played at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre in the Music Factory on Wednesday, Aug. 4, with openers The Descendents and The Menzingers, and photographer/music writer came away with five questions, as he’s wont to do.
1. Are people scared to go to concerts?
Attendance numbers are down at most venues around town. The Rise Against show on Wednesday looked to be around half full. It makes me wonder how many people are worried to go to concerts because of the lingering pandemic or how many people just got out of the habit of going out or going to concerts completely. Music venues struggled to survive for the last 18 months and now that they’ve reopened, they’re struggling to get people back out. Hopefully, numbers don’t continue to climb because I’m not sure how many venues can survive another closure.
2. Do The Menzingers always have so much fun?
From the opening notes through to the final drum beat, The Menzingers were all smiles throughout their performance — especially singer/guitarist Tom May. He rarely stopped pogoing around the stage and just appeared to be having an absolute blast. It’s not surprising, given the last 18 months we’ve all been through, but this was another level.
3. Were The Descendents at the right venue?
It was great seeing pop-punk legends The Descendents rifle through more than 20 songs in 45 minutes, but I couldn’t help but think the band would look more at home surrounded by the graffiti-covered walls of The Milestone instead of the sparse stage of the Uptown amphitheater. Regardless, for a band that’s been at it for more than 40 years, they can still shred through their catalog.
4. Who says you need hits?
With one recognizable hit in their repertoire, “Savior,” it’s impressive that Rise Against have the draw they have. Their pop-punk style, dynamic live shows and amiable singer, Tim McIlrath, have led the band to packing venues around the country. Sure, Charlotte’s outdoor amphitheater appeared to be around half full, but the people who were there sang along to every word all night long.
5. Why would you waste your beer?
After just the second song by Rise Against, a one-third full beer can flew onto the stage from someone in the middle of the general admission pit. While my first question was, “Why would someone want to waste a $10-$15 beer?” My next thought was, “What’s the goal here?” Is the person trying to share a beer with the band? Ruin the equipment on stage? Simply be a jackass to everyone around them? Seriously — what’s the endgame here?
Rise Against Setlist
Re-Education (Through Labor)
Broken Dreams, Inc.
Audience of One
Ready to Fall
I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore
Under the Knife
Give It All
Swing Life Away
Make It Stop (September’s Children)
Prayer of the Refugee
Worth Dying For