Killswitch Engage and Rise Against raised the temperature on an already hot and humid night at Chicago’s Northerly Island.
letlive. certainly made an impact opening the night with their hard hitting, action packed, half hour set. Setting out the rules for the circle pit, this LA band raised the energy in Chicago’s Firstmerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Jason Aalon Butler’s antics certainly kept the security staff on their toes, jumping into the pit to hug an over-excited fan who tried to make his way onto the stage. He even went crowd surfing with the wired mic still in his hand before being perfectly delivered back onto the stage at the exact spot from which he left it.
After a quick turnaround, Killswitch Engage took to the stage. The power and grit of Jesse Leach’s voice were incredible. The relentless energy put into their show made you think that was the performance of the headlining act. No review of a Killswitch Engage show can do it justice without at least a tip of the cap to the ball of energy that is Adam Dutkiewicz. Their set spanned old and new material, with “Always,” being the song to get everyone’s fists in the air while singing along at full volume. After a bottle of tequila was thrown into the crowd for all the “hot girls,” it was the headliners turn.
Chicago’s very own Rise Against will always receive a warm welcome from their home crowd, and this was no exception. Despite the threat of an ever-nearing thunderstorm, the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion was packed and buzzing in anticipation of Tim McIlrath and the guys taking to the stage. The atmosphere was truly electric as they performed a passionate show. Even the PA momentarily going down couldn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, with the audience stepping up and filling in for the missing sound. Luckily the PA came back to life quickly and the high-octane show continued into the night.
FirstMerit Bank Pavilion was a fitting venue for Rise Against to perform at on this extremely hot summer night – an open air venue by the lake with the Chicago skyline providing a beautiful twinkling backdrop to the stage. Perfect surroundings for the audience to take in the powerful lyrics expertly matched with a tight performance. Here’s to future homecoming shows.