As someone who began my teenage years in the early 2000’s, it’s safe to say I grew up around a very wide range of music. Pop punk was still going strong, emo was getting bigger (though admittedly I missed that train) and I was personally getting more into the 90s punk scene. I also owned a PS2 and, around the age of 16 was addicted to racing games – namely ‘Need for Speed: Underground 2.’ This was the game that introduced me to Rise Against.
Surprisingly, it took me an additional 13 years to finally see them in concert! Alongside my girlfriend/partner at all things photography, I took my place at the front of the stage for a show that would become one of my favorites to work at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park. With one of my favorite live acts – Anti Flag – opening the show and AFI taking up the middle slot, I knew the night would be packed with crowd chants, high jumps off the drum kit, crowd surfers and everything that got me into the Asbury Park music scene.
Safe to say I was not disappointed!
Anti Flag kicked off the show with one of my favorite tracks, ‘Press Corpse’ and didn’t stop until they left the stage. I will never got tired of catching Justin Sane mid-pose or Chris #2 giving us the perfect jump-shot. Overall a great set filled with older tracks combined with their newer releases off of ‘American Fall.’
AFI took up the center slot. Not going to lie – I went into this set with zero expectations. I was a fan of theirs back in the days of ‘Miss Murder’ but haven’t really given them much thought since then. I am very happy to say I have now added back most of their catalog to my daily playlists! Going through the photos of their set was a blast as frontman Davey Havoc was super animated, posing for shots and jumping off the monitor risers with the mic stand in hand! Safe to say I was impressed and couldn’t wait to relive the show while editing the shots later in the week.
Rise Against closed out the night with a huge light show and enough popular songs to have the crowd singing along for the remainder of the night. One of the cooler moments was when, mid-set, frontman Tim McIlrath took a Facetime call from Pennywise members all the way from Florida. They were playing the last set on the final stop of Vans Warped Tour in Florida and wanted us to be there. Overall they had a great set and ended the night with a handful of crowd favorites.
Catch the Mourning in Amerika Tour on their cross-country run through the end of September!
More photos to be available later in the week here.