The great achievement of Chicago-based punk foursome Rise Against is the fact that the group has walked a tightrope that has felled so many similar bands. Its original stance, down to the band name, was largely political. Yet Rise Against has continued to enjoy the respect of both fans and critics, even as its mainstream profile has exploded.
That's because the music — a fast, melodic style of new-school punk — has matured while never really losing its teeth. It's also probably because the group's politics were not as staunchly radical or anti-major-label as some of its peers (such as Against Me!) that have been branded sellouts.
Still, Rise Against doesn't hesitate to assert its activist streak when necessary. Example: The group canceled a planned South Florida appearance at the Buzz Bake Sale in 2009 when organizers moved it to a military-sponsored stage at the festival.
And this Saturday, the band returns to the area on its own terms, headlining the Sunset Cove Amphitheater with support from A Day to Remember.
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