REVIEW: Rise Against and Tom Morello

Review: Rise Against and Tom Morello live at Rock City, Nottingham

HAVING played in two of the biggest rock bands of the last 20 years - Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave - Tom Morello is something of an icon.

This status proved to be both a help and a hindrance to him at Rock City.

It certainly helped secure him a large crowd of eager listeners, but sadly, he failed to meet the high expectations his reputation sets.

His songs were mediocre and the crowd were non-responsive, only perking up momentarily when he played a brief Rage Against the Machine riff.

The fact that the best song of his set was a cover of The Ghost of Tom Joad says a lot.

It is hard to criticise such a talented musician who has contributed so much to his genre, but this performance gave little to praise either.

Rise Against, however, were a completely different story.

The second they set foot on stage the room came alive and energy levels went through the roof.

From opening track Re-education to encore finale Saviour they unleashed an unrelenting aural assault that didn’t falter once.

Mid-set acoustic numbers Swing Life Away and Hero of War showed a softer side to the band, and made the room sing and sway like a well rehearsed choir.

It was hard to pick any stand out tracks when all were delivered with such conviction and precision, but new single Make it Stop and dance-floor filler Prayer of the Refugee were two particularly memorable moments.

For two acts so similar in outlook and credibility, they could hardly have been more different.

Tom Morello leaves you feeling that his best days are behind him, Rise Against leave you struggling to believe they could be better than they are today.

By Sarah O’Malley