Sun 24 Jun – Rise Against, Silverstein, Comeback Kid
I took my 12 y.o. son to Norfolk to see Rise Against
at The Norva
. The warm up bands were Only Crime
, Comeback Kid
, and Silverstein
. The Norva is a rehabbed warehouse of some sort, so it's all brick and industrial-looking inside. The main floor is the largest area, and there are two levels of balconies around the sides. I talked my kid out of going up front on the main floor, because (1) I'm too old for moshing, and (2) he'd likely be crushed (the average age was perhaps 19). So we went up on the balcony, and ended up in the best General Admission spot in the whole place, perhaps 30 feet from the stage, and maybe 6 feet from this enormous bank of speakers hanging from the ceiling.
Only Crime was the first band, and I thought they were pretty good, but the crowd was indifferent. They didn't seem as polished as the other bands, and it is tough to go on first (that's why they have warm up bands, after all). They seemed to be a bit of a "message" band, although I couldn't quite make out what they were saying (I'm strictly a music man, I'm terrible with lyrics). The lead singer looked like a cross between Johnny Rotten
(the Sex Pistols
) and Mike Ness
). As their wiki says, they tend to old school hardcore.
Next up was Comeback Kid. They were much more polished, and my son says that they were much better live than they are on CD. They put on a good show, although I was distracted by some ugliness going on down in the mosh pit at this point.
Silverstein was up next, and they were very polished. They were both emo and hardcore punk, which the ladies in the audience really liked. I became aware that I was in the presence of a true showman.
And finally Rise Against was up. First they started up their fog machines, which kicked up so much moisture in that small space that by the end of the evening all the pipes on the ceiling were dripping and all the floors were wet with water droplets and beer.
Rise Against was without question the best band of the evening. They put on a good show, their energy level was top notch. They are a "message band" as well, with a lot of political commentary. At least that's what my son tells me. :D At one point the lead singer asked if there were any service members in the audience (Norfolk is a big Navy town), and he dedicated a song to them, hoping that "this bullshit war ends real fucking soon!"
One of the things that struck me about Rise Against is their penchant for abrupt time changes, which is a refreshing change from the strict adherence to 4/4 in most punk.
Being so close to the speakers was pretty intense. Besides feeling my innards resonate, I could feel my shirt vibrate around my body. I didn't have any noticeable hearing damage, but my son's ears were ringing. He was almost the youngest one there, but there was one punk mama who brought her two little kids in with cotton stuffed in their ears.
All in all it was a hell of a show. My son was ecstatic, and I had a good time.