Photos and words by Jerome Miron
The Mourning in Amerika Tour rolled through the DFW area on Thursday night with the triple bill of Anti-Flag, AFI (A Fire Inside) and Rise Against playing at the Toyota Music Factory. This lineup represents an excellent cross-section of American punk/alt rock of the early and late nineties.
Opening was Anti-Flag, hailing from Pittsburgh, PA. This punk rock band, known for their strong political activism and social lyrics ripped through a ten song set from their catalog spanning two decades. Founding members, singer Justin Sane and Pat Thetic on drums were joined by long time members Chris Barker on bass and Chris Head on guitar.
Next up was fan favorites AFI, who could have headlined the show, judging by the audience’s reactions. After a brief delay to fix a broken guitar, the band likewise treated the thrashing crowd to ten songs from their catalog, including early hits Miss Murder and Love Like Winter. The California rock band consists of mostly the same lineup from the late 90’s: singer Davey Havok, Adam Carsonon drums, bassist Hunter Burgan and Jade Pugeton guitar.
But of course, the main attraction, Rise Against, drew the most crowd surfing, mosh pit action of the evening. This punk rock Chicago band, formed in 1999, did not disappoint with their eighteen song set, including a nice four song acoustic interlude. Original members Tim McIlrathon vocals and guitar and bassist Joe Principehave been playing with lead guitarist Zach Blair, and drummer Brandon Barnessince 2000 (Barnes) and 2007 (Blair). While critics have complained that Rise Against has shifted from their punk rock roots to a more mainstream rock sound, it certainly didn’t show this night. Opening with a bass thumping version of their new song, The Violence, the boys made sure the Dallas crowd knew they were here to have fun. Highlights also included multiple songs from the critically acclaimed albums Appeal to Reason and Endgame.
Indeed, this was a show heavy on the activist message that we are all in this together, so let’s respect and take care of each other. And all three bands delivered a heavy dose of music to go along with that love. Well done, lads.