State Theatre Portland
Rise Against

Mourning In Amerika Tour 2018

Rise Against

AFI, Anti-Flag

Sun, July 29, 2018

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

State Theatre

Portland, ME

$38.25 Advance / $42 Day of Show

This event is all ages

Buy tickets in person at the Port City Music Hall box office (504 Congress Street) Wednesday-Friday 10AM-5PM, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or online right here. State Theatre box office will open one hour before doors night of show.

Rise Against
Rise Against
The darkest moments in history -- those when fear and hate trump all else -- are the times that define us. As politicians use bigoted rhetoric to gain power at home and abroad, and fringe groups creep from the shadows, it's tempting to succumb to despair and defeatism. But Rise Against is challenging fans to create a bold new identity together: one that is stronger than these setbacks, and bigger than any election. WOLVES, their 8th studio release, is about recognizing the power within all of us; it's a primal call for the prey to become the hunters.

"If you are in the wilderness and you hear wolves howling, what you're hearing might be an animal lost or mourning," says Rise Against's Tim McIlrath. "But it doesn't make you any less afraid. You know they're there. And you know what this powerful pack of animals is capable of."

For 18 years, Rise Against has kept its moral compass steady, using their international punk platform to speak out for social justice. The band cut its teeth during the George W. Bush administration and has released records across three presidencies, but today's political climate forced the band to step back and rethink how they define themselves.

The record was originally titled "Mourning in America," but after the U.S. presidential election that rang hollow. It felt somber and hopeless. Members of the band felt those emotions, too, but decided they needed to create an album that focused more on our potential than our failings. They knew it needed teeth and claws. The result is WOLVES, a soundtrack for the hunt.

"In many ways, a Rise Against show is a safe space for our fans," McIlrath says. "But I realized that I don't only want to create safe spaces, I want to create dangerous spaces where misogyny can't exist, where xenophobia can't exist. I want to create spaces where those sentiments don't have any air, and they suffocate: where those ideas die. WOLVES isn't about creating a safe space, it's about creating a space that's dangerous for injustice."

The influence of the U.S. presidential election can clearly be heard in songs like "Walls" ("the monsters lost in history are now making their return") and "Welcome to the Breakdown" ("ignoring the facts, intoxicated by the throne"). WOLVES is of course shaped by the new presidency, but it's not limited to it. There is a spirit of resistance and optimism here that transcends our current crisis, and will outlast any politician.

Like all Rise Against records, the band tackles political struggles alongside personal ones, creating songs as complex as their fans. On tracks like "House on Fire" and "Politics of Love," one can hear echoes of the iconic punk/folk songwriter Billy Bragg in McIlrath's words; the personal is political, the political is personal, and it's all rooted in a revolutionary, uncompromising love.

This evolution in Rise Against's identity came against the backdrop of other changes for the band. For 11 years, they had worked closely with producer Bill Stevenson, of the Descendents and Black Flag fame. With Descendents on tour and Stevenson tied up, Rise Against stepped out of their comfort zone and began working with Nick Raskulinecz, the Grammy-winning producer who has partnered with Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, and Deftones.

Recording with Raskulinecz meant moving to Nashville, Tennessee -- far from the band's familiar worlds of Chicago and Los Angeles, and a firmly red state where Rise Against has rarely played. Political yard signs and conversations around town were constant reminders to the band that they were in new territory. And even though Nashville is a music town, it's country -- not punk or hardcore. During the band's five months in the area, these outsider feelings shaped the identity of WOLVES.

Living in the South transformed the record in some unexpected ways. "As people on the news are arguing about immigration and class warfare, we are driving down the highway and seeing Civil War battlefields and monuments," McIlrath says. "When you tour these battlefields, you hear about what kind of muskets they used. But shouldn't we be talking about what got us to that point as a country?"

As further evidence of the geographic influence on the record, it's comprised not just of anthems of resistance, but also reconciliation. Living in Nashville drove home that we can't just focus on our differences, McIlrath says. If we can stop and talk to each other, face to face, we might realize our common ground. We are all wolves in the same pack, circling at the gates.

"They say we're divided, we are conquered," McIlrath sings. "But our enemies have never been each other."
AFI
AFI
AFI is touring in support of AFI (The Blood Album)(Concord), which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative and Hard Rock Albums Charts and No. 5 on The Billboard 200.  The band revealed the album in stages: Stereogum premiered “Get Hurt” (which was also spotlighted on “Best of the Week with Zane Lowe” on Beats 1),  Pitchfork debuted the “Snow Cats” video, Rolling Stone launched  “White Offerings” and NME introduced “Aurelia.” In between, AFI performed at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas show, where they delivered what Billboard called “arguably the strongest set of the night.” They tore through “Snow Cats” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, kicked off their headlining tour of North America with a sold-out show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, then wrapped it with two sold-out nights at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Alternative Press and Q gave AFI (The Blood Album) 4 stars each, AV Club said it sounded like the band are “as fired up now as they were 25 years ago,” People magazine made it a Pick of the Week, Kerrang called it a “serious contender” for the Best Albums of 2017 list, The 405 praised it as “their strongest album in a decade” and ABC News gave it 3.5 stars and described it as “a dynamic record that should please both old and new fans of the band.”AFI (The Blood Album) is the follow-up to 2013’s Burials, which hit Top 10 on The Billboard 200. Since the release of 1995’s debut album Answer That and Stay Fashionable, AFI has written and recorded five top ten hit singles, hit No. 1 on The Billboard 200 (with the stunning Decemberunderground), garnered worldwide critical acclaim and amassed a fiercely loyal global following whose members number in the millions.
Anti-Flag
Anti-Flag
Music bestows a voice upon the voiceless. It provides a mouthpiece for the unheard to be heard. It amplifies the cries of the downtrodden in the face of oppression and tyranny. It’s the last line of dissent….

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” – Howard Zinn

Since unleashing their seminal 1996 debut Die for the Government, Anti-Flag has empowered and emboldened the listeners of two generations beset with a new millennium stricken by war, racial upheaval, and financial collapse. The Pittsburgh, PA quartet—Justin Sane [vocals], Chris#2 [bass, vocals], Chris Head [guitar, vocals], and Pat Thetic [drums]—has consistently embodied a timeless punk spirit over the course of nine influential offerings, including The Terror State, For Blood and Empire, and most recently, 2015’s American Spring. The latter boasted appearances from icons such as Tom Morello and Tim Armstrong and yielded the anthem “Brandenburg Gate,” which cracked 1.3 million Spotify streams and counting. 

They’ve incinerated stages on tour alongside Rage Against The Machine, Sick of It All, Billy Talent, The Offspring, Rancid, and more in addition to festivals ranging from Coachella to the Vans Warped Tour. A cultural institution, they have spoken out on behalf of movements such as Occupy Together, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, and Amnesty International between launching their own label A-F and ANTIFest. 

As the world changed again with the controversial 2016 presidential election, the time felt ripe for Anti-Flag’s tenth and most definitive offering yet, American Fall [Spinefarm Records].

“There’s a focus on politics right now for obvious reasons,” says Chris#2. “When that happens, our band gets more attention. Being our tenth record, we wanted to make sure that we were true to ourselves. It had to sound like Anti-Flag. At the same time, London Calling is my favorite by The Clash because they took risks. Since they were in front of more eyes than ever, they didn’t play it safe. We wanted to push the envelope so we had a reason to put out another record when everyone was watching.”

Writing back home in Pittsburgh, the signature sound naturally evolved with slower grooves, tighter songcraft, thicker guitars, and bigger melodies. It provided the perfect musical counterpoint to the incendiary and inflammatory subject matter.

“Because we’re living in very divisive and dark times, we wanted to deliver our message in a way that wasn’t overbearing and oppressive to listeners,” adds Justin. “Getting a little more melodic makes the pill easier to digest. It became more impactful and simple.”

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” – Woody Guthrie

Kicking off 2017, the boys traded snowy Pittsburgh in January for sunny Southern California where they would co-produce American Fall with Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden. His personal perspective proved indispensable in the studio.
“He understands that we know how to do this, but he also added a fresh take,” Chris#2 goes on. “It was cool to have him around on these songs, because many of them are structurally and sonically pretty catchy punk rock. We embraced the idea of writing singalongs and big hooks. We were all on a similar page going into this.”
“He had a great sense for feeling where something was heading and pushing it in that direction,” adds Justin. “That was a really impressive skill that he brought to the process.”

Introducing American Fall, opener and first single “American Attraction” hinges on a hulking drum beat and hummable guitars before snapping into an explosive chant. It’s quintessential Anti-Flag as far as the subject matter goes...

“We were definitely interested in talking about the politics of distraction on that one,” Justin exclaims. “The politics of distraction lead people to make choices that aren’t in their best interest. They follow leaders who are just using them and don’t care to actually do something positive for the country. When you live in a society that glorifies guns, drugs, and war, you become susceptible to those politics—while the individuals in charge are only worried about re-election. They don’t care about you.”

“Sooner or later, the people of this country are going to find out the government doesn’t give a fuck about them. Government doesn’t care about you. All they are interested in, is keeping and expanding their own power.” – George Carlin

Elsewhere on the record, “The Criminals” gallops ahead at full speed driven by a performance soaked in blood, sweat, and tears and pure punk fury. The acoustic guitar and chant of “When The Wall Falls” gives way to a buoyant groove, and “Casualty” caps everything off with a fitting middle finger, proclaiming “Try to shut us down, but we won’t be another casualty.”

Speaking directly to those in need, the lyrics to “Casualty” are accompanied by phone numbers for Trans Lifeline, Suicide Prevention, Domestic Violence, Crisis Text Line, and Trevor Project Lifeline. Moreover, the booklet includes essays, quotes, and writings of Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, Peter Montgomery, Ryan Harvey, and more.

American Fall heralds another era for Anti-Flag as their impact remains as palpable as ever.
“We were on Warped Tour THIS summer,” recalls Pat. “Three-to-five trans folks would come to the booth and say hello to us every day. These same marginalized kids were at the shows 20 years ago, but they were afraid to express themselves. The fact that they are NOW empowered to be who they really are is incredible…the fact that they know they are welcomed by our band and community is awesome, the same goes for so many others who are feeling alienated and they are receiving that message loud and clear.”

In the end, American Fall does what Anti-Flag has always done—it inspires change.

“I want everybody to realize they’re not alone,” Chris#2 leaves off. “These conversations we’re having are ones that others are having too. Four kids from Pittsburgh don’t have all the answers, but we’re looking out the same window and realizing that the color and the shape of things isn’t what we want. However, we can band together with some likeminded individuals who feel the same way and turn it into the thing we want.”

“After all this, won’t you give me a smile.” – Joe Strummer
Venue Information:
State Theatre
609 Congress St
Portland, ME, 04101
http://www.statetheatreportland.com/