@ Newcastle O2 Academy, November 8 2011

Following headline slots at the Reading and Leeds festivals over the summer, Rise Against brought their brand of angst-ridden punk to the city of Newcastle.

The band last graced the banks of the Tyne two years ago on the Vans Warped Tour and wasted no time in laying into a hit-laden set for a raucous treat. 

Fist-pumping choruses and singalong vocals have become a staple of the band’s six-album career and there was no shortage of them on offer for an energetic crowd.

Support was provided by the fantastic Tom Morello, of Rage Against The Machine fame, and his band of merry musicians working under his solo project The Nightwatchman.

Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath and Zach Blair joined Morello on stage for a rousing rendition of his latest release World Wide Rebel Songs, before breaking into their own setlist with latest single Satellite.

Critically-acclaimed 2006 release The Sufferer and The Witness got a fair airing, with The Good Left Undone and Chamber The Cartridge proving definitive hits.

McIlrath’s raspy vocals prove perfect for delivering the band’s staunchly anti-establishment message, demonstrated best during Help Is On The Way, from the band’s latest album Endgame.

The ultimate hit of the evening was the perennial crowd-pleaser Prayer Of The Refugee, followed by a rare acoustical interlude with Swing Life Away and Hero Of War – the latter even prompted a lighters-in-the-air moment.

Ready To Fall prompted McIlrath to invite a crowd-led chorus, which they were only too happy to oblige and Savior brought the curtain down on a triumphant return to Tyneside.

In a world blighted by injustice and scandal, it’s refreshing to find a band who are fierce critics of the political system and strain every sinew to make a difference.

Jamie Durent