Friday, February 20, 2009

Back to Basics: Finally, a Punk-Rock Tour!

Hey Boston, are you sick of winter yet? Are you thinking this horrid weather is never going to end? Well, don't let it get you down. You've got a lot to look forward to, believe me.

In case you haven't noticed, this summer is set to be huge in the alternative music world. Not only are blink-182 reuniting, but the Vans Warped Tour is making two stops in New England, Boston and Hartford. Is that enough to break your winter blues? No? Well, how about throwing another sweet tour into that mix, packed with an insane line-up. That's right Boston, on Thursday, Rise Against announced a summer headlining tour with special guests Rancid
and Billy Talent. And they'll be playing the House of Blues, twice.

Rise Against have been touring non-stop since early last fall. They're currently bouncing around the U.K., and will soon be heading off to Australia to give their international fans a taste of their latest album, Appeal To Reason. They'll be back stateside in May for Bamboozle, and come June, Rise Against will be taking the states by storm again.

Is this band really anything short of amazing? They've crafted their music, message and image on some basic ideals of equality, freedom and animal rights. Whether you agree with them or not, you've got to give them credit for standing up for what they believe in. Besides, their music transcends party lines. Democrat, Republican or Independent, I'm pretty sure anyone can feel something from songs like "Swing Life Away" or "Ready To Fall." 

Rise Against have an amazing talent to blend heartfelt emotion with political activism and a message. They're a working man's band. They've gotten to where they are because of their dedication and persistence. And boy am I thankful for that, because now I get to see one hell of a tour this summer. 
Now, let's not forget about the other awesome talent that will be joining the Chicago natives. Rancid are set to open for the entire tour. How cool is that? These guys are the fathers of modern punk-rock. They've been playing together since 1991, post Operation Ivy, of course. Think about it though, 1991. How old were you? Five or six? You definitely weren't sweating it out in the pit with Tim Armstrong. Neither was I for that matter, but it will still be awesome seeing the guys this summer. I wonder if Armstrong will still wear his leather jacket come late-July when they're in Boston. Hmm..

Billy Talent is also on the bill this summer. Don't know much about these dudes? Don't worry, most of America doesn't. They're Canadian, but totally worth a listen. Trust me, you'll like them more than our other Canadian friends, Sum 41. Billy Talent are actually really popular overseas (I first heard them in France, and have been hooked since),
but for some odd reason they haven't caught on in the U.S.. Maybe this tour can change that. They've got some really catchy hooks, and a sound that's all their own. And isn't that what all of us indie kids are looking for these days anyway? So make sure you show up when the show starts. You won't want to miss their live performance.

As for the tour itself, it's nameless as of now. I know, boring. But like I mentioned earlier, Boston is lucky enough to have two shows listed. July 28th and 29th at the House of Blues. How exciting, I know you all miss those late nights on Lansdowne Street. 

So is that enough to make you smile? Did you forget the fact that it's snowing outside for a hot second? I hope so. Be happy Boston, you've got a great summer coming up. Awesome tours, awesome music and warm weather. It doesn't get much better than that kids.

Check this out:

Last October I was lucky enough to interview Rise Against on the day Appeal To Reason came out. They played two free shows in Boston that night. One at Newbury Comics, and another at T.T. the Bear's. It was small, intimate and one of the coolest experiences of my life. I would personally like to thank the band for being so kind to me (especially Tim, I'll never forget the handshake and the hug!). These guys deserve all the credit in the world. So thank you Rise Against, you helped me earn my first 'A' in graduate school. You've got a friend and a fan for life. Here's the video from the interview:

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