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Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Northalsted

Rise Against Performs Virtual Show From Metro To Support Indie Concert Venues

The virtual Save Our Stages Festival raised money for independent music venues struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chicago-born punk band Rise Against performed a virtual show from the Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., raising money for struggling independent venues. CIVLization, a new virtual music festival raising money for the industry in Chicago, kicks off 8 p.m. Friday.
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LAKEVIEW — Chicago-born punk band Rise Against returned Saturday to the Metro for a livestreamed show benefitting venues struggling from the coronavirus pandemic.

The 30-minute set was streamed on YouTube as part of the Save Our Stages Festival, a virtual concert series featuring dozens of artists performing livestreamed shows from empty music venues across the country.

Rise Against was among stars like Miley Cyrus — who delivered a viral cover of “Zombie” by the Cranberries from a club in West Hollywood — who joined together to raise money for the National Independent Venue League’s Emergency Relief Fund, which supports venues in peril from the pandemic.

“Donate money to help save these venues,” Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath said mid-set. “A lot of them are falling through the cracks and are a huge part of culture, art, music and life.”

In Chicago, venue owners say 90 percent of the city’s indie clubs don’t believe they can survive another six months of coronavirus shutdown without government intervention.

Other local venues like the Hideout, Empty Bottle, Sleeping Village, Subterranean and more have rallied people behind the Save Our Stages bill, which would give much-needed financial support to live venue operators, promoters, producers and talent representatives.

McIlrath said the band chose to perform from the Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., because it’s in their hometown and played an important role in the band’s come-up.

“We started here on this very stage,” McIlrath said, looking back on the time they pulled footage from one of their Metro shows for the group’s “Give It All” music video in 2004.

Credit: David Leep/Fabio Brienza
An empty stage at the Metro.

The Metro “is one of those places that lives in a larger-than-life, mythologized world,” McIlrath said. “I always knew it was the greatest venue, but when we started touring around the world, we realized people outside of Chicago even felt the Metro was the greatest venue.”

Rise Against’s six-song set featured some of the band’s greatest hits and the live debut of its latest song, “Broken Dreams Inc.”

Performances from the #SOSFestival can be rewatched on NIVA’s YouTube channel, and donations can be made online to its Emergency Relief Fund.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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