Rise against are one of those bands. The ones whose name you don’t necessarily hear all that often, but when you do, you’re immediately excited. Their fans are die hard, their music is amazing, and their live show is the embodiment of why I feel in love with live music in the first place. But enough of that. Let me start at the beginning.
It was my first time shooting at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Calgary. It’s always interesting checking out a new venue. Stage size, GA or seated, sound quality, capacity, LIGHTING, are all different everywhere you go. The Grey Eagle does not disappoint. Somebody the decision to turn their conference centre into a music venue, and then someone else decided that they were going to do it right. A large stage complimented by serious lighting and PA equipment graces the centre of one of the long walls in this high ceilinged rectangular room. No seats were in sight for this show, and the well behaved crowd at the sold out show took up a good two thirds of the available standing room. Packed in tight, but still accommodating people trying to get from one side to the other, this has been my second experience with Calgary live music crowds. They’ve clearly read the rule book.
Pierce the Veil took the stage at 8pm to an already full room. Undying high energy was the highlight of their set. The band moved around the stage frantically will delivering their hits to an appreciative audience. Bassist Jaime Preciado stuck out as with his unwavering grin and audience interaction. This is a man who most certainly loves and appreciates his job. Kudos to you sir.
With the crowd now at capacity, and restlessly chanting for their headliner, Rise Against took the stage about 15 minutes late. Opening with their hit “Long Forgotten Sons” the room exploded and I knew I was in for a treat.
Singer Tim McIlrath wasn’t shy, jumping forwards to the crowd for the majority of “Give it All”. As the ran through their obviously practiced set, I was brought back to an simpler time in my life. The passion they put into their music is palpable, and the crowd gazed on with rapt attention.
I look forward to more shows at The Grey Eagle.
Dave Di Ubaldo is an Alberta based Wedding Photographer. You can find his work online at Worn Leather Media.