Following the triumphant inaugural Hotter than Hell festival last weekend, it appears Adelaide’s weather has literally turned hotter than hell. Friday night in the city of churches and as the mercury peaked at forty degrees, where else would you rather be than Rise Against’s return to the Thebarton Theatre. Its been seven years since Rise Against played a headline show (and ten years since they last played at Thebby), spectacularly supporting the Foo Fighters in the time between, but to say they were overdue is an understatement!!

Touring in support of their ripping new album Wolves, its no surprise that tickets sold out in no time and have been the hottest of items for months!!

Kicking off proceedings was hard rocking Spanish three piece, and long-time friends of Rise Against, Berri Txarrak. They played a quick set, but they were brilliant and had a lot of fans arriving early to see them. Their solo show tonight at the Ed Castle would be good to catch and you might even get the Rise Against boys in attendance.

Up next was Sydney hardcore punk rock outfit Bare Bones. Hot on the release of their debut album Bad Habits, the boys hit the stage running and had the temperature soaring in the venue. Tom up front is a big man with a bigger voice. His range was impressive, on some songs even channelling the great Phil Anselmo. Finishing the set with Midnight Climax with the comment “and it goes a little something like this…” had the Triple M listeners in the crowd asking for them to play it exactly how it goes. A quality up and coming Aussie act to keep an eye on.

Then it was time, the massive crowd piled onto the floor area and the temperature went through the roof. Seriously one of the hottest shows I’ve ever experienced. Beers where going down like water and had to be drunk at a rapid pace to counter the outpouring of sweat and to win the race against it warming up. The air was so thick and hazy you could barely see the back of the venue.

Rise Against exploded onto the stage and ripped straight into Chamber the Cartridge, which set the crowd alight and set the tone for the night. Barely taking a breath they launched into Give it All, The Violence and Re-Education (Through Labor) which garnered a huge sing along. Despite the sweat and heat, the pit was huge and going crazy and when it was hit after hit there was little respite for those down the front (as if they’d have it any other way!!). The energy on stage was high and crowd was giving it back two-fold. Prayer of the Refugee, made famous by Guitar Hero, was epic and finished the first stanza.

After a short break Tim returned solo armed with his acoustic guitar and took the foot off the accelerator to deliver a stirring acoustic set of People Live Here, Hero of War (which I love musically, but question lyrically…) and Swing Life Away which had the older fans in the crowd singing along.

Another short break and the band returned to fire one last furious bracket of punk rock awesomeness!! Help is on the Way and my highlight of the night Bricks before a one-two punch of Satellite and Savior.

Hot show, hot crowd, Adelaide was on fire… almost literally!! Come back soon Rise Against.

Review by Tim Nicholas