Rise Against is finally headlining a tour. No longer needing the big boys there to hold its hand, the Chicago punk-rock outfit is stepping out of the shadows of mentor bands like Bad Religion. With its first major-label release, Siren Song of the Counter-Culture (DreamWorks), Rise Against has shown it can write refined, socially charged anthems that go down more easily than jagged Anti-Flag tunes. The members support animal rights, fight against racism, and spread the word about the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, all through tasty punk-rock nuggets. Don't be surprised if Rise Against does a tsunami benefit show or appears on a compilation for the cause -- that's just the band's style.
Rise Against openers Tsunami Bomb have to make that same decision more cautiously. We can't run around calling the members tasteless for their band name, because they chose it in the '90s. Lead vocalist Agent M has a cheery outlook on life, and along with the three guys in her band, offers upbeat punk rock you can dance to. Look past the name and dance a bit.