Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Rise Against/Thursday/Poison The Well @ Brixton Academy

Tonight's bill is strong, and this is evident from the huge queue that snakes around the building long before doors. The show is completely sold out, and there's a huge buzz from those waiting to get into the venue.

Sadly, a huge number of these people are still outside as Poison The Well take to the stage. A huge shame as they are on their usual good form. Even playing a set which ignores their classic "Opposite Of December", they still display perfectly why the are widely regard as one of the forefathers of the current metalcore scene. It is indeed one of the true trajedies of music that this band are still opening tours like this while bands that have simply aped their sound with half the passion and half the quality are somehow headlining venues this size.

Thursday are in similar shoes. The buzz that broke around the band on release of their second album, Full Collapse, was huge but quickly flattened bu the (unfair) mauling their follow up received. They've never really found their feet since, and despite repeated strong releases and an incredible live show, they've never made it back to the top of the pile. Tonight examples the sadness of this fact, as their all too brief set shows a band that sadly should have been destined to bigger things, but somehow fell short of their dreams.

Which brings us to Rise Against. Now here's a band that appear to have surpassed expectations. Whilst undeniably a great band, who could have predicted that the Rise Against that released "revolutions per minute" on Fat Wreck, would grow to be this monster of a band. For me, Rise Against always sat alongside the likes of Anti Flag and Strike Anywhere, but as the band take to the stage, it's clear they have evovled far beyond this. This is by no means underserved and as video screens flcik through footage of war and other global attrocities, it's clear the band have lost none of their political bite, and if tonight's set is anything to go by, they are still firing on all cylinders musically also. Their aggressive but anthemic songs are sung back at them by everyone in the room and it's brilliant. Moment of the night has to go to the genuinely touching rendition of Swing Life Away. Taking the foot off the pedal briefly, the song tonight stands out as an undeniable classic and perhaps hints at how this band got this big. Fair play to them.

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