The band that made me, me.
I had never felt so at home in the city as I did those two nights. I have seen my favorite band, Rise Against, perform a total of two times in my life and I can honestly say I have fallen in love with the words, the raw emotions laid out in every lyric, that Tim McIlrath writes more than I have ever loved a single piece of literature, which, for a writer, must be saying something. I have never related so much to the thoughts and. melodies of any other band as I have to them. No, I am not the fan girl who stalks their social media. I was the junior high outcast that found comfort in the lyrics of “Satellite” and “This is Letting Go.” Endgame is the first album I listened to fully and the first time I laid in bed with a single CD on repeat in my stereo system. I fell in love with the words of every song on this album, but those two stood out because those were the exact words I needed to hear. I’ve always had an imagination that saw day dreams better than reality and I could picture myself in music videos to every one of these songs. I kept this CD but had no more ambition to look into the band further until the release of Black Market only because my friend had an extra ticket to the concert in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom. As a senior in high school I had as little lust for life as any depressed, anxious teen wishing they could be anywhere else in the world and with anyone else in the world. So, once again I found myself lying in bed, this time with my ipod, playing the new album on repeat. I memorized every word to “Tragedy+Time” before moving onto the next song and even then, I couldn’t get over the fact that a single song managed to hit every major emotional string in my heart. Everything left of my emotions was torn apart by a single song. The beginning of this song reached out to everything I felt and everything I was going through, not leaving anything for debate, and I found myself in tears until the end. In the end he sings the lyric, “And the bravest of faces are the ones where we fake it in the roles that we play.” He goes on to say that no matter what, we will all have a reason to smile someday. He destroyed me here. These words were exactly what I needed to hear and still are from time to time. I felt as though he had read my mind when he wrote this song and gave me all I needed to get through the hard times. The next song to catch my attention was “People Live Here.” People do live here and no one seems to notice. No one seems to give a damn about each other until there is that girl sitting on a ledge with a crowd beneath her dangling feet. No one notices when someone is falling apart. We are selfish human beings in every way and it doesn’t matter to anyone. The speech Tim gave before playing this at the second concert I had ever seen Rise Against play, he said that with everyone he has made an impact on he remembers their stories. He wrote this for them. He wrote this because of every time the band had an affect on someone’s life because of the fact that no one cares about each other in our world. I cried. I full-on cried, tears streaming down my face because that impact was made on me too and I may never be able to thank them for their lyrics and their songs and everything they do. The man I went to the concert with held onto me through the whole set and knew exactly which songs I would be most affected by and I couldn’t thank him enough for always being there for me. If I ever had a chance to thank the members of Rise Against, I would freeze and never get the words out. I am still no fangirl. I am just a child of a fucked up world who found a band that inspires me to keep living and I have no words to thank them other than the proof that I am still here because of them.