Every now and again, dreams do come true. Wednesday night, one of my dreams came true in the form of a rock show. After listening to Rise Against for nearly six years (I got into them when I was in high school), I finally had the opportunity to see them in concert. When I found out back in June that they would be coming, I knew that I had to go see them. And go see them I did.

Rise Against is a classic punk rock band: speedy songs, politically minded, incredible energy, and positive messages all sent out in the form of incredible music. They've opened up my eyes to a great many things, not the least of which include good music and caring about the world we live in. To give you an idea of just how awesome these guys are, here's a quote lead singer/guitarist Tim McIlrath said before jumping into one of their songs (I've paraphrased it): "We know how important it is to live and care about the world, and our own part of it, and that we as people all have the obligation to leave this world a better place than the one in which we came into..." Wow. Just wow.

Rise Against's set consisted of a one hour set, then a 4-song acoustic guitar set encore by lead singer/guitarist Tim McIlrath, and wrapping up with another 20-minute encore by the whole band. I don't think I've ever screamed so much at a show, and I found myself singing and shouting the lyrics along with them, at the top of my lungs. So by the time I left, I was pretty well hoarse.

To the band that has for so long rocked my world, you rock even more than I had ever imagined. Keep it up, guys.

And now, for your enjoyment, check out the video below. The song is called "Give it all," from their album Siren Song of the Counter Culture. I've also included the lyrics below. Enjoy.

Break through the undertow
your hands I can't seem to find
pollution burns my tongue
cough words I can't speak
so I stop my struggling
then I float to the surface,
fill my lungs with air
then let it out

I give it all
now there's a reason why I sing
so give it all
and it's these reasons that belong to me

Rock bottoms where we live
and still we dig these trenches,
to bury ourselves in them
backs breaking under tension

For far too long these voices
muffled by distances
it's time to come to our senses
up from the dirt

We give it all
now there's a reason why I sing
o give it all
and it's these reasons that belong to me

Breathe (breathe)
the air we give (give)
the life we live (live)
our pulses racing distances (breathe)
so wet my tongue (give)
break into song (live)
through seas of competition

So please believe your eyes
a sacrifice
is not what we had in our minds
I'm coming home tonight
home tonight

We give it all
now there's a reason why I sing
so give it all
and it's these reasons that belong to me

Today I offer all myself to this
I'm living for my dying wish
I give it all
now there's a reason
there's a reason
to give it all


After a show as good as Rise Against's was, it's mandatory to buy a t-shirt. I did. Check it out.

Phil Rises Against