Rise Against

As the rain eases slightly and the sun begins to peak through leaden skies, a tightly packed crowd at the front of the main stage anxiously awaits the arrival of Rise Against. Suitably warmed up by preceding act Bring Me The Horizon, there is a clear feeling in the air that a great deal of aggression will be somewhat exorcised when the Chicago four piece start to ring out the first chords of their relatively short set.

True enough, the entrance of the band onstage is greeted by a roar of approval from the crowd and a jumble of drinks and bottles are launched skyward with force. Launching straight into 'Chamber the Cartridge', singer Tim McIllrath screams 'Put your fists in the air' and the hyped up crowd duly respond and punch along to the metal-esque chug of the intro with all their collective mights.

This feeling of pent up rage is present throughout their set as huge pits open up sporadically, with testy groups throwing themselves into each other wildly, bouncing and in some cases jumping high into the air in some sort of mass primal anger party.

Set highlights include 'The Good Left Undone' 'Audience of One' and 'Help Is On The Way', which garner the biggest reactions of the afternoon, but there is something clearly missing here.

One thing which is notable is the distinct lack of any of the band's pre-2006 material. Tracks from the most recent album 'Endgame' are deservedly well received by the audience - many of them having each word committed to memory and heart - but for those who have been aware of the band from fairly early in their career, the lack of this early work seems rather disappointing. Their cover of The Clash's 'White Riot' too, although adequate enough, was rather lacking in some respects also.

Despite the set's obvious flaws, it apparent that Rise Against are very much a band of now. Politically and socially aware and going some way to represent the disquiet bubbling under the surface of British youth, they really are vital band to a generation.