Seeing Rise Against Live: My Own Great Awakening
There have been two Great Awakenings in history. Both were resurgences in religious faith, mainly driven by traveling preachers and religious revisionists. These landmarks in our sacred history resulted in increased church attendance, greater piety among the masses, and an altogether devout fervor among the people.
Many of you are probably sitting behind a screen, reading this, and wondering what this has to do with seeing Rise Against live. It does, in fact, have everything to do with experiencing one of their live shows.
I started this website approximately a year and a half ago, at the beginning of my ever growing interest in rock music. At that time, my obsessions included Rise Against, Affiance, and Linkin Park. I can promise you that at that time I know (and I still do) every word to every song by Rise Against (including, coincidentally, the song “Great Awakening” from The Unraveling, their very first album).
For about a year, I remained in a constant state of revering Rise Against, cycling through all six of their masterful albums (there are seven now). Unfortunately, after someone pointed out to me that Nickelback had no musical skill, I realized that every Rise Against song followed a predictable formula, and that their one true unique quality was their thought-provoking lyrics.
For some reason, this completely turned me off to Rise Against, and even when their newest album The Black Market came out, I showed little interest. This is truly inopportune, considering that now, as I look back on it, The Black Market is truly remarkable.
As many of you know, I attended Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival in Sacramento a few weeks ago, and baked in the miserable heat while interviewing bands and relishing the music of Seether, Rob Zombie, Dig the Kid, VIZA, Lacuna Coil, and so many other bands.
Among the mind-blowing lineup stood Rise Against, and despite my indifference towards them, I was nonetheless eager to attend their show without the burden of my camera so I could mosh unhindered.
From the very first chord, I realized my mistake in losing faith in Rise Against, and so began my Great Awakening. As song after song was played, I became more and more devout towards the venerable Rise Against.
Genius lyrics accompanied expert musicianship and wove this way and that into their remarkable stage presence and boundless charisma. I was completely and utterly converted back to their music. For days afterwards, I ranted endlessly to my father about the true awakening I experienced during their set. It honestly felt like a religious occurrence.
Not long afterwards, I attended another show of theirs at the Wiltern, a small venue that hosted an arena band. I felt blessed!
I know now, after this Great Awakening, I will not stray from the path. Rise Against will never again lose my faith.
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Zoe Adler is a music journalist from Long Beach, California. Besides her website, which is her pride and joy, she works with the GRAMMY Foundation and the Long Beach Independent. Additionally, Ms. Adler is a musician, spending half of her time playing the flute, piccolo, trombone, and marching baritone. She has been with TeenView Music since the very start and hopes to make something of it in the future.