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Plea For Peace/Take Action Tour - live in Chicago [night one]

After waiting 4 weeks after I bought my tickets, my friend and I were driven to the Metro in Chicago. It was an hour long drive, and we waited in line another hour for the show to start. The sign showed the bands were playing tonight were: Common Rider, The International Noise Conspiracy (or T(I)NC), Anti-Flag and the Bouncing Souls. I thought the Lawrence Arms would be there, but unfortunately, no. I guess they would only play the monday night show.

So I made my way into the show, and my friend and I went straight to the front, and very few others were in the front. So we looked around the place for a while. We checked out the merchandise booth, the political literature booth, and the Vegan booth. There were a lot of things being sold, and a lot of buyers.

Seeing as how Common Rider was not to begin for at least 15 minutes I went to go buy some t-shirts. The main merchandise booth was set up so that each band had their own merchandise section. I easily went to the uncrowded Common Rider section and bought an awesome shirt of theirs. Then I made my way to a huge line where Anti-flag merchandise was being sold. After about 10 minutes, I finally got to the head of the line and bought two anti-flag shirts (one for me and one for a friend of mine who couldn't make it to the show).

So I get back and it is really crowded. Unfortunately me and my friend are on the outskirts of the crowd when Common Rider starts out. Jesse Michaels starts to talk a little, but he is lost for words so he just starts to play music. Though, I am not really familar with all the stuff from their new cd yet, they played a lot of the good songs from This is Unity Music. I think their first song was "Firewall", they also played "Small Pebble". Then they got into their older stuff from Last Wave Rockers. Their version of "Conscious Burning" kicked ass. Everybody shouted at the same time "We stay stand together", when that lyric was sang. One kid in the crowd shouted that they play "Unity". But Jesse said that it would be disrespectful because he would only do it with the old band Operation Ivy. In between songs he talked about the importance of Suicide Prevention. Of all the bands, Common Rider was the most conscious of the purpose of the show. Jesse gave the positive message, and he said that we hopefully will might some lives tonight.

The crowd was not really energetic just then, but it was an awesome opener.

So while the T(I)NC setup, I talk to some friends that I see at the show. As I look upstage, I see the guitarist of the band T(I)NC. I remeber I saw him walking around earlier on the Chicago street while I had waited.

To get to the point, T(I)NC started off. A lot of people in the back of the crowd where I was talked about how much this band sucked. But as soon as they started, I sang, slamdanced, and just had a great time. They started off with "Up For Sale" and then went to some of their best stuff. They played "Capitalism Stole My Virginity", "The Reproduction of Death", and of the wonderful "Smash it Up". The lead singer was amazingly energetic. I don't think I can describe this well, but he went upon this huge platform and he must have jumped like 7 feet. No joke. He threw his microphone everywhere, and you could tell me was feeling the music. Some kid next to me gave ma a weird look. He thought I was having a seizure because I was closing my eyes and vibrating to the subversive sound.

Yeah, the T(I)NC put on the best show of the night. The lead singer, damn I should know his name, came into the crowd many times. He was just amazing. His politically motivated speeches were much better than Anti-Flag's. He talked about how America looked at 9/11 and saw how it shouldn't have happened to America, but never looked at how something like this shouldn't happen to anyone. The singer also talked about how capitalization keeps screwing us over.

I went to buy a water, and talked to a friend of mine. During that show a lot of my friends had split up with me, just because it got crazy. Then Anti-Flag started...

Well, they started fast and furious. They played songs like "Tearing Everyone Down", "You'd Do the Same, 衟 for peace", " Angry, young and Poor" and of coruse ended with "Die for your Goverment". I had no idea, but I guess Justin Sane, the lead singer of Anti-Flag, had lost his best friend when he was 19. I don't know why (possibly suicide?). But the band plays sort of sloppily. I think anyone who saw them at Warped Tour saw a much better show than this one. Still, the crowd was amazing. Kids everyone, moshing and dancing, and just doing their own thing. My vocal chords were strained by then, with all my singing. Since, I hadn't heard their split with the Bouncing Souls, I couldn't tell what songs they played from it.

Also before the show, it was cool just seeing Justin Sane walking the streets talking to this girl. The band talked a lot about the upcoming war with Iraq at the show. It wasn't really that motivating.

Though I hadn't liked a lot of stuff i had heard from the Bouncing Souls, I was interested in their live show. The crowd went nuts. I mean, I thought it was crazy during the AF show, but wow. Some kid elbowed me in the face. My cheek really hurt and it grazed my teeth and bloodied my mouth. Kids were skanking, and moshing at the same time. it was insane. I got so many hits, and bruises I seriously thought about leaving to avoid further injury. Haha, I'm so wimpy.

It was striking that a lot of the crowd was older. I guess it makes sense because the Bouncing Souls were awesome. I can't really remember any of the songs they played, because I don't know many of the real titles. I think they played " I like your Mom", " No Regrets" and "Hopeless Romantic". When I got to the 2nd row, it was even better. The band was just amazing live, the music, the energy. Everything was great. When they finished I got the pleasure of shaking the lead singer's hand.

Oh but it wasn't over yet.. The crowd started to chant "Ole, Ole, Ole" after the Bouncing Souls had left.

It got really loud, and then the Bouncing Souls came back on. As did anti-flag. Together they sang two songs from the split cd. I didn't know the first one, but they finished off with "Ever fallen in love, with someone you shouldn't of". Wow it was amazing.

Really great show, really great cause. If you get the chance check these bands out.

Individual scores out of 10

Common Rider - 7
T(I)NC - 9
Anti-Flag - 7
Bouncing Souls - 8

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