After a week of more tranquil shows in the Queen City, Rise Against infiltrated the Fillmore, bringing their Black Market tour to Charlotte, N.C. along with Killswitch Engage and Letlive. On behalf of their seventh studio album, The Black Market, the melodic hardcore band Rise Against hit the road for a second time following their summer tour success. The album soared to the top of Billboard’s rock charts, peaking at number No. 1.
The crowd lined up outside the Fillmore on a brisk November evening to gain early entrance, packing the pit in front of the stage to rock out with the metalcore band Killswitch Engage. The atmosphere was incredibly lively for an opener. Fans head-banged, waving their grown-out hair in unison with guitarist Joe Stroetzel. Lead vocalist Jesse Leach’s screams were infectious, drawing an incomparable amount energy from the audience as their fists punched the air.
By the time Rise Against took the stage, the bars overflowed with fans and the merchandise table was jam-packed. The pit began to re-fill as the crowd thrusted forward, pressing themselves against the wooden barrier separating the fervent audience from the dimly lit stage.
The lights cut off and house music ceased. Large letters spelling out the word “RISE” were erected center stage and flickered in the darkness. The deafening silence was disrupted by a quiet siren noise. Purple spotlights rotated, piercing the near pitch-black Fillmore. Fictitious fire began to burn along the back of the stage. The word “RISE” illuminated orange; the crowd began to roar.
Guitarist Zach Blair darted onto stage, jumped on the elevated platform, both fists clenched in the air. The lights turned on, Rise Against began rocking.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Tim Mcllrath began to strum rapidly, leading the four-piece band in the well-liked track “Satellite.” The lyrics and chords were barely recognizable over the roaring audience.
Beer cans flew through the air, crowd surfing was standard throughout the setlist. Over joyed fans rode the wave the audience pushed them in, hand-horns extended the entire ride. Security officers caught the surfers as they flowed over the wooden barricade, sending them back into the pit for another ride. No matter the song, the crowd intensified whenever Blair or Joe Principe leaped into the forefront, swiftly strumming the guitar in the audience’s face
The band, hailing from Chicago, played the audience a mix of tracks across all seven of their studio albums. The highly diverse crowd resonated with the performance of timeless hits “Prayer Of The Refugee” and “Dancing For Rain.”
After a short solo acoustic spell, the band rejoined Mcllarth in the spotlight for one last heart-pounding production. Every light situated on the stage turned on. Bright yellows, purples and reds gleamed into the audience and the iconic words rapidly flashed a bevy of colors. Rise Against kicked back into gear, going 110mph with their finale “Savior.” The pit began to mosh and every soul in the building sang along. The climax exhausted the crowd. Fans left the Fillmore voiceless after being submerged in vitality for three hours.