Fans who are planning to attend their first Rise Against tour date in 2011 might be surprised to find how deeply the band's roots are planted in punk culture. Before the current incarnation of the band: Tim McIlrath was with punk band Baxter, bassist Joe Principe was originally with 88 Fingers Louie, and Dan Lumley of Screeching Weasel filled in on drums for a short while. Rise Against even signed with LA punk icon Fat Mike's record label Fat Wreck Chords in their early days, before they hit the mainstream with Siren Song of the Counter Culture. While the album broke into the Billboard 200, it marked a move from the traditional punk that had launched McIlrath and Principe's careers towards a more "melodic" hardcore sound. It is this signature sound that has already sold out several tour dates in 2011.
Rise Against used the popularity of their breakout album to embark on a rigorous concert schedule in 2005, including the Taste of Chaos tour, The Leeds Festival, and the Warped Tour. Even with such a hectic concert schedule the band was able to release The Sufferer & the Witness, which brought Rise Against back to their punk roots. By 2006 the success of the album had made the band headliner of Warped Tour concert dates that year, and they shared some of that fame by opening for My Chemical Romance at the onset of their concert schedule. It was also around this time that Chris Chasse left the band due to the innumerable tour dates, and was replaced by Zach Blair.
Immediately after the replacement, Rise Against once again went on tour dates until Appeal to Reason was released in 2008. The album received mixed reviews, with critics now claiming it was too mainstream and strayed from their punk roots once again. Fans of the album attributed the change to the ever-present pop influence in society, and that the songs themselves were strong and well-written.
Rise Against's new album, Endgame, is a blending of their melodic riffs and screeching guitars, which should please fans on both sides. While McIlrath claims the album is not a concept album, many of the songs deal with serious worldwide events such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Rise Against has been promoting the album on a South American and European concert tour, but will return to the US with tour dates starting on April 5 before heading back to Europe. Many tour dates are already sold out, including the Long Beach show which will feature popular punk band Descendents; their first time playing in fourteen years. Rise Against will be joined by Bad Religion and Four Year Strong on the remainder of the tour, so fans are advised to buy tickets soon.
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