TVD Live Shots: Rise Against, Descendents, and The Menzingers at Five Point Amphitheater, 8/21

An open-air triple header featuring Rise Against, the Descendents, and The Menzingers took Southern California by storm under a star filled night in Irvine, CA. This trio of punk rock heavyweights brought their A-game to a nearly sold-out show at Five Point Amphitheatre for what was for many their first night of live music in nearly two years. Fans were on their feet and screaming for more throughout a three hour show that left little to be desired for all ages in attendance.

If you are a fan of punk rock, there was no better place to be on Saturday night than Five Point Amphitheater for what would end up being a one incredible mosh-pit under the stars. Although I’m not a huge punk rock fan, I walked away mesmerized by three uniquely different bands, each bringing something special to a near packed house deep in the heart of Orange County.

Opening up for Rise Against were two incredible bands, The Menzingers and the Descendents.  I’d never heard The Menzingers before and was literally blown away by their on-stage presence coupled with a killer sound that captured me from the very first note. Their energy was off the charts, and they definitely loved being on stage in front of the ever-growing crowd. Next up were OG punk legends—and Southern California natives—Descendents. This band has been flying the punk rock flag for almost 45 years and their killer set was everything I could have dreamed of (and more). They slayed 24 of their classics in ways that most bands half their age could only dream of doing.

After a brief intermission, Chicago natives Rise Against finally took the stage under a beautiful starlit sky and immediately launched into “The Numbers” off their 2021 release, Nowhere Generation. The now packed house immediately jumped to their feet as Tim McIlrath, Joe Principe, Brandon Barnes, and Zach Blair crushed the perfect song to kick off their 18-song set.

Over the next few hours, Rise Against put on a clinic, showcasing diverse songs from a storied past which highlighted why the band is so special to so many. My favorites of the evening were acoustic versions of “Forfeit” and “Swing Life Away” along with encore worthy classics, “Worth Dying For” and “Savior.” Overall, it was a killer selection of songs that satisfied even the pickiest Rise Against fan. And for new fans like me, it opened my eyes to some truly special songs that I am sure will be on repeat for years to come!




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