Riot Fest prep: 10 from Rise Against

Rise Against is unquestionably one of the best bands to break out of Chicago, and we can’t wait to see them again at Riot Fest 2019. With a catalog that includes eight studio albums, a handful of EPs, an acoustic set and tons of great B sides, a Rise Against set list has a deep bench to pull from. Here are ten songs that are pretty undeniable, though this list admittedly only scratches the surface of the band’s work.

“401kill” (The Unraveling) – Good thing the band thing worked out for Rise Against; they made it clear very early on that life in a cubicle was never going to work out for them.

“Voices Off Camera” (Revolutions Per Minute) – One of the band’s most enduring songs, made even more interesting on last year’s “Ghost Note Symphonies.”

“Life Less Frightening” (Siren Song of the Counter Culture) – The lyrics work on political and personal levels: “I don’t ask for much/Truth be told I’d settle/For a life less frightening.”

“Prayer of the Refugee” (The Sufferer & The Witness) – A slow build works its way to explosion in this RA classic.

“The Approaching Curve” (The Sufferer & The Witness) – Dark and compelling, propelled by an unusual (for Rise Against) spoken word framework.

“Savior” (Appeal to Reason) – One of the band’s highest commercial peaks is also one of their songwriting masterstrokes. Maybe it’s just me, but I still get chills when Tim McIlrath’s voice leads in with “It kills me not to know this…”

“Satellite” (Endgame) -“We are the orphans of the American Dream”

“People Live Here” (The Black Market) – Rise Against at their most delicate, and a wonderful showcase for the nuances of McIlrath’s voice.

“House On Fire” (Wolves) – As powerful a song about parenting as you’ll ever hear.

“The Violence” (Wolves) – Takes a look at humanity and asks us to consider whether we’re good enough to pull ourselves out of our self-destructive morass. “We’re not stories, we’re not actors/We’re awake and in control/And this is not a dream”

by James VanOsdol