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Rise Against, AFI and Anti-Flag Mourn for Amerika in Philadelphia

Mourning In Amerika Tour 2018

Throughout history there has always been music with a voice, music to help get through the difficult times and even shine hope and positivity in what can often seem like some of the darker times. With that said if you happen to be Mourning In America, there is no better or fun three bands to mourn with then Rise Against, AFI and Anti-Flag. The trio of Veteran Punk Rock activists have all joined forces for the Mourning In Amerika Tour in an effort to speak their peace and make life a little easier to understand.

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Now there are a lot of great summer tours but how many of those tours feature three bands that can all be headlining their own individual tours? The answer is not many!  Each band is out supporting and bringing awareness to their new albums. Anti-Flag released American Fall (SpineFarm Records) in 2017 just five days prior to Donald Trump becoming President. AFI (Concord Music Group) released their new record The Blood Album also in 2017, and then Rise Against (Virgin Records) released their powerful and acclaimed new masterpiece WOLVES in June of 2017. The band followed that up a few weeks ago with the addition of The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol 1, which includes reimagined versions from the bands catalogue. Each band has their own message, their own music, but mutual beliefs clearly align the three.

Saturday night, Mourning In Amerika made its way to the city of brotherly love at Festival Pier at Penns Landing. The night was one of inspiration, hope, social awareness, and unity, often four things we forget about in everyday life. We were now meant to be reminded of the importance of all these issues we so often forget bond us together.

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The Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Punk rockers Anti-Flag were the first to take the stage for the nights musical revolution. Formed back in 1988 by singer Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic and is still rocking as hard as ever. They’re still spreading their message of anti-war, class struggles, and other social political issues that are as important today as they were when the band began. Sane’s first message for the crowd upon the band playing their very first note: “If someone falls, you pick them up! We protect one another.”

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The band’s set very much conveys that sentiment over and over with the whole line-up geared towards having fun as a community. Bassist Chris Number 2 could be seen jumping all over the stage while Justin Sane screamed in protest to the band’s songs like “Broken Bones” and “Fuck Police Brutality”, during which the band and the packed Philadelphia crowd held up their middle fingers in unison.

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Anti-Flag’s message isn’t just verbal either; their beliefs were displayed visually on the stage banners, their guitar picks, and even Justin Sane’s guitar, which has the message across it “No God, No Masters”.

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The performance included powerful records such as “American Attraction” and “Die For The Government”, all of which caused some major movement amongst the crowd, but none more than the band’s closing track in which Chris Number 2 took his bass and mic stand into the crowd for the song “Brandenburg Gate”, which will now go down as the most punk rock thing I’ve seen a band do. Sane performed in the crowd inches from a circle pit in a ritualistic like experience that brought me back to the good old days of Punk Rock.

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Anti-Flag’s latest album American Fall is available HERE

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Next up was the direct support for the evening, AFI, short for A Fire Inside. The California-based rockers, consisting of Davey Havok, Jade Puget, Adam Carson, and Hunter Burgan, have been performing together since 1998, and their connection and chemistry shines as bright as ever.

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Though Havok and Carson are the only original members from the band’s formation in 1991, this is the band line up that fans know and passionately love. AFI released their tenth album The Blood Album last year and I was excited to see some of the songs performed live. Havok, being known for his charismatic stage presence and theatrical presentation, wasted no time kicking this up ten notches with the set’s opening track and classic “Girls Not Grey”.

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The band was full energy on the song “17 Crimes” with guitarist Jade Puget and bassist Hunter Burgan switching stage sides and running back and forth playing to each side of the stage. At times Havok was unpredictable in his movements, sometimes slowly swinging the mic stand and others jumping onto the large speakers between the crowd and the stage. The setlist featured an array of the band’s catalogue with songs being performed from AFI albums like Sing The Sorrow, Black Sails In The Sunset, Crash Love and The Art of Drowning giving fans a wide look into the band’s career and showing just how much staying power they actually have!

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The highlight of the performance comes during the record “I Hope You Suffer”, which singer Davey Havok performs the song standing on top of the crowd and found himself up close and personal with the audience. They close out the night’s set with the catchy and ever so popular “Miss Murder”. Echos of the lyrics could be heard throughout the venue with what seemed like every person in there singing along.

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AFI’s The Blood album is available for purchase HERE!

The tour’s headliner Rise Against prepared to take the stage. The setting was a black stage with beams of light shining through onto the crowd. RA are rallying on this tour between two releases, their newest LP WOLVES and their week old release of The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol 1 which finds the band performing new takes on some older tracks.

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Rise Against have always challenged fans to create their own identity together, one that doesn’t focus on the elections in our country or the setbacks those elections bring forward or backwards depending on how you view it. The band’s acclaimed eighth studio release WOLVES is about recognizing the power within all of us, it’s a primal call for the prey to become the hunters.

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For the past eighteen or so years, Chicago Punk rockers Rise Against led by frontman/guitarist Tim Mcllrath have kept their morals honest and voiced them openly using their international musical platform to speak out and make a change in the name of social justice. Like with all the band’s albums the songs tackle a variety of not only the political struggles but also an array of personal issues. The band’s message of hope and unity dig deep into their performance. Live, the band’s connection to their fanbase could be viewed almost as a spiritual experience for both the guys and their loyal fanbase.

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The show features only three songs from their WOLVES album, but does a fantastic job of balancing the groups work as a whole. Blending new and old, and combining the feel of each era of the band paints a great overall picture of what the band is at its core. Fan favorites like “Survive”, “House on Fire”, “Ready To Fall”, “Savior” and “Prayer of the Refugees” make for great sing alongs during the bands 19 song setlist. Vocalist Mcllrath stays close to his guitar for most of the night but certainly doesn’t break the trend of getting up close and personally with Philadelphia. The performance does a great job of switching modes between slow and fast paced material and seemed to keep the fans locked in the entire performance.

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Fan’s are treated to not one but three encores all which remain as high energy and carry a message of unity just as in the shows start.

Purchase Rise Against 8th studio album WOLVES HERE!

Purchase Rise Against The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol 1 HERE!

Overall with all the rock shows touring around North America this summer, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. However for Rise Against, AFI and Anti-Flag, I believe that’s impossible. The all star lineup makes this tour special for the sole reason that they’re not just names on a poster or flyer floating around the internet, instead they’re friends who have come together to support each other and each band’s mission and message. Every set of the night was special and memorable in its own way, honestly it’s impossible to choose a favorite performance for the evening. This is the tour the fans wanted and the tour punk rock has needed for quite sometime now.

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I recommend if you can go, you don’t miss out on the statement these shows make. The tour still is only in its beginning stages only a few stops in and with dates running till September 30th, I believe you’ll be hearing more about the tour and its impact. For the full list of Mourning In Amerika Tour dates visit the band’s official website here  http://www.riseagainst.com/tour

See full gallery of the night!

Rise Against Setlist Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, PA, USA 2018, Mourning in Amerika Tour

 

Mourning in Amerika Tour:

AUG7
Tomorrow 6:30 PMby Rise Against
Raleigh, NC
AUG9
Thu 7 PMby Rise Against
AUG10
Fri 5 PM1,924 guests
12 Avenue Murdoch, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 1C3, Canada
SEP6
Thu 7:30 PM CDTby Rise Against
Minneapolis, MN
SEP8
Chicago, IL
SEP9
Sun 7 PM CDTby Rise Against
Nashville, TN
SEP11
Tue 6 PM CDTby Rise Against
Austin, TX
SEP12
Wed 7 PM CDTby Rise Against
SEP13
Thu 7 PM CDTby Rise Against
SEP15
Sat 7 PM MDTby Rise Against
SEP16
Sun 6 PM MDTby Rise Against
Salt Lake City, UT
SEP17
Mon 7 PM MDTby Rise Against
SEP19
Wed 7 PM MDTby Rise Against
SEP20
Thu 2 PM UTC-06by Rise Against
Calgary, AB, Canada
SEP21
Fri 6 PM UTC-06by Rise Against
Edmonton, AB, Canada
SEP23
Sun 7 PM PDTby Rise Against
Vancouver, BC, Canada
SEP24
Mon 7 PM PDTby Rise Against
Seattle, WA
SEP25
Tue 1 PM PDTby Rise Against
Portland, OR
SEP28
Fri 7 PM PDTby Rise Against
Concord, CA
SEP29
Sat 6 PM PDTby Rise Against
Santa Barbara, CA
SEP30
Sun 6 PM PDTby Rise Against

1 Comment

  • Andy Frisk

    / Reply

    Man so would love to see Anti-Flag in concert! Great photos!

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