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Rise Against

Tonight @ Miller Lite Oasis, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

Jul. 3, 2011
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Since 1999, Chicago-based Rise Against has been cranking out polished punk anthems of consistent quality. The band's most recent release, 2011's Endgame, finds the band moving in a more rock-oriented direction, a development that has disappointed some longtime fans while introducing the group to new listeners. Despite such a development, the band is still more Bad Religion than Green Day, and the band's live performances remain as incendiary as ever.

Yet the most apparent constant throughout the band's six studio albums remains the lyrical prowess of Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath. Now over 30, McIlrath still is able to conjure up the youthful essence of punk rock in a direct and deeply personal way. “Don't you remember when you were young,” McIlrath sings on “Architects,” the leadoff track of Endgame, “and you wanted to set the world on fire? Somewhere deep down, I know you do.” McIlrath delivers these lines with so much sincerity that it becomes nearly impossible to doubt his commitment to the life-altering potential of punk rock. The sound may change, but the spirit remains the same. (Michael Carriere)


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