Release: March 15, 2011, DGC/Interscope
2. Help Is On The Way
3. Make It Stop (September's Children)
4. Disparity By Design
6. Midnight Hands
7. Survivor Guilt
8. Broken Mirrors
9. Wait For Me
10. A Gentleman's Coup
11. This Is Letting Go
Ok, so I'm doing two entries in one here. I'll start off with the album and then go on to the gig.
Rise Against's sixth album is everything you expect from them with their current sound. It's got punch, it's got heart, it's got a message, and it's great to listen to. Endgame sees some very specific messages delivered by the political rockers, including Help Is On The Way, a song about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the latest single from the album, Make It Stop (September's Children), portrays in no uncertain terms Rise Against's stance on homosexuality. Singer Tim McIlrath said in an interview that fan had asked what the band thought about fans being gay, and that he was upset they even had to ask. The song refers to the September suicides brought about from homosexual teens being abused and bullied about their sexuality, including Tim listing names and ages of some of the victims toward the end of the song. It's an inspiring message of equality, tolerance and acceptance, and creates a strong emotional connection to those who listen.
As I tend to do with Rise Against albums, i find instant favourites on my first listen, and play them repeatedly, neglecting the others as i continually get drawn to the same songs. Then later down the line, the rest of the songs grow on me, and I wonder how i ever ignored them in the first place. The songs that leap straight at you include the two mentioned above, along with the album's opening track, Architects, and Survivor Guilt, the follow-up track to Hero Of War, which featured on the previous album "Appeal To Reason". These two tracks are energetic, powerful songs, which is part of why they're first to be noticed.
This album cracked 3 different US charts, including #1 and #2 on the US Rock Charts and Us Billboard Charts respectively, and well as reaching #2 in Australia.
SumRandom's Track Pick: Despite Survivor Guilt being my current obsession song, I have to go with Make It Stop (September's Children). Just.
Album Rating 7.5/10
Ok, so now for the gig. They recently came down to Australia, supported by Sick Of It All and Perth band Break Even. I had never heard either of the supports before, but let's be honest, I don't care about the supports when Rise Against are in town :) Though special mention to the fan who somehow managed to get from the middle of the moshpit, onto the stage to share the mic with the singer, and back to the moshpit in the space of about three songs. No idea how he managed it.
Unfortunately, the sound was ruined a little bit by the venue's shitty engineer. At the end of the day it didn't bother me too much, because i was so surrounded by people that your hearing gets a little distorted anyway, but it would have been nice for the guy to do them justice. With a 23-ish song set, and considerably more fan favourites than that, a few big songs had to be cut from the list, but when you have as many awesome songs as Rise Against do, it's inevitable.
It's a great skill to turn an amazing song into a completely captivating live performance. I listen to their recordings sometimes and just wonder how it can get any better, but when I see them live, they somehow manage to take it to the next level. Their already powerful messages seem to reach right into your chest and grab directly onto your heart. Highlight of the night, despite having seen the song live before, was Swing Life Away, a fan favourite from the third album. Their whole set is amazing, but give Tim McIlrath an acoustic guitar, some dim lights, a microphone and a crowd of loving fans, and it's straight up magical.
I may have limped out of there with a leg i could barely put weight on, no voice, surrounded by people whose shoes had been stolen, and ears ringing but Rise Against remain the band who I will see any and every time they come to Australia. An epic night that I'll remember for a long time.
Before I finish up, a few quick musical mentions. Swedish House Mafia's film clip for Save The World is awesome. Shame on David Guetta for the lamest piece of video clip I've ever seen in Little Bad Girl. And a huge cheer for Tonight Alive making headway into the industry. An amazing Australian band, who I love, and I really hope they can keep it all together and stay true to themselves.
And that's all from me for now :) Thanks to the couple of people who've commented on entries so far, appreciate it :)
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