Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rize in NYC at Webster Hall Studio

Here are some photos from the Rize shows in NYC and Toronto. It's been a couple of months since the shows, but everyone is in agreement it was probably one of the best tours North America has seen in ages.


Mind you, this is RIZE we're talking about, man, motherfucking RIZE. There's no way a Rize show could ever suck, because these guys give it their all, and they make every show their best one yet. Watching them live is a powerful experience.

I've been to many shows. I've been to huge venues that had sold out; I've been to venues the size of a shoebox that contained three hipster kittys and the band's girlfriends. I've been to shows at venues of every size in between those two. Some were amazing (Dir en grey at the Gramercy, anyone?). Some were mediocre (The greatly hailed X/X/X show of X Japan's tour finale comes to mind.) I've seen at least forty different bands and artists at Webster Hall studio over the past few years. I can say with full confidence that NONE of them have ever given a better show than Rize did that day.

Maybe it was the atmosphere the moment we walked into the venue. People who looked like they normally wouldn't mix were mingling and chatting and introducing themselves. A pack of L'arc en leftovers from the Madison Square Garden gala camped out sullenly in the back, with their lolita dresses and spiked hair. Metalheads drifted amongst rap fans. And somehow, there was a feeling of unity, that we're here to enjoy the show and have fun.

I've been to shows where the most fun part had been waiting in line for the doors to open. Sometimes, solid friendships are forged when you are waiting there, for hours, with nothing to do. Really, most of the time, at shows, I've found I had nothing in common with the people who attended, especially if it was a vkei show. I guess, one of my complaints about that particular scene is that they don't really care about the music itself. It's all about the looks of a band, and how cute they are. That scene is fueled by hating everyone else they know within that scene, but being too afraid to actually stop talking to each other, because then they'd be the only ones who listen to the music.
It isn't this way at all. No glared daggers, or people just there to be seen. People came to enjoy and have fun. Perhaps, a crowd is part of what makes a show great. For me, though, this was a strange difference, something I didn't think existed anymore. Perhaps, I should learn to not expect the worst all the time from all the scenes. 

The members of the audience stood up and danced no matter who was playing, no matter the genre. Every artist was treated with respect. Maybe that was another reason the show was so great. 
Of course, the moment Rize started to play, is where things got REALLY fucking awesome. It's one thing to watch live DVDs, or listen to the albums. It's entirely another thing to actually be right there, in the front, and have the bass shaking through your ears, and the music is all around you. Rize is a powerful energy that moves people. Just thinking back on that show, months later, I feel the emotion of that set rushing back to me. I actually cried when they played Heiwa. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one singing along, or trying to record video. 
My point is, Rize is more than just a band. And that was more than just a show. It was a cosmic experience of unity and awesomeness. I have never seen so many different people just come together to enjoy a show. I don't know if I ever will. 
Rize is the world we all dream of.
Rize is the band we hope to become someday.
Rize is the lifeblood of those who just want a place to belong. 
And... Rize had better come play in New York again. Haha~

Big thank you to my friend DUNAN NUTS of for allowing me to use her photos from the events! If you have the time, go check out her blog! She has posted recaps from all of the RIZE shows that she had gone, and has tons more photos.  (Incidentally, I happened to meet her while waiting for autographs after the set...)
THANK YOU! And big thank you to RIZE!


  1. RIZE is LIFE. Thanks for this post.
    Rizers respect Rizers. And they especially respect the music.

    Sadly, I'm not the type to take photos during shows, so I don't have pics from the shows I've been to. ^^; Just some pre- and post- show pics.
    I'm too busy headbanging. xD (and being in pain for days after, lol)

  2. Thank you for posting the amazing heartfelt words about Rize! Those who got to see them live are very fortunate to see this amazing & hard ass rock band! I've only seen them on video and I can say they are an amazing band to watch! Maybe someday, I'll see them Live in the states and actually experience the sound of Rize!
    Great pictures and video. Thank you!