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Rise Against Rip Through Germany: Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Chicago band takes us backstage, into the crowd and onto a giant nearby chessboard

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014, Germany

Sandra Steh

"Our favorite bands had only sold 10,000 records while playing punk dives, and that was what we aspired to," frontman Tim McIlrath told Rolling Stone in 2013. "When we outgrew the punk dives we were kind of in uncharted territory, so we had to figure out how to navigate those waters and still keep our identity."

One year later, McIlrath and Rise Against continue to go deeper into that territory. Touring in support of their new LP The Black Market, the band has spent its summer playing theater gigs across the country and headlining events like Eschwege, Germany's August Open Flair Festival. In Eschwege, Rolling Stone's cameras followed the band from the hotel to the stage, and upon their return to the States, they wrote captions for all our photos:

"So jet-lagged. We all live in different parts of the country, so we'd flown separately. This was the first time we'd seen each other in a few weeks, walking around this beautiful, idyllic German town looking for coffee."

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Mystery of Chessboxing

"Playing in a band the last 15 years and making decisions every day is kinda like chess. You have to be able to envision the repercussion of every decision and to be able to look a few steps ahead. I'd like to think that the fact that we're still here means we've made a few good moves. "

 

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

No Flex Zone

"Joe loves Eighties hardcore, and this shirt is a tribute to Dischord's Flex Your Head compilation, which takes its name from the Wire song '12XU' that Minor Threat covered."

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Family Business

"Going over the set list. I met the always smiling, bearded Rem while he was working for Tom Morello, and I told my guitar player Zach we should hire him for some shows. Turns out Zach and him grew up together in Texas and used to detail cars together. Pictured here along with our indispensable tour manager/sound guy Jon Dunleavy and our assistant tour manager, the lovely Cally Harris. Our crew is family."

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Bleed American

"Joe runs through the set before our show at the Open Flair festival in Germany. I think Jimmy Eat World was onstage at the time. "

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Thumbs Up

"I snuck into the crew room to warm up before the show. At some point some girl opened the door, screamed at me with a thumbs up, then left. I just kept singing. "

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Drum Machine

"Brandon is a machine. He sets up this sort of portable drum pad set to run through the songs before every show. It would be like if you could hit a mute button on drums. Works well in tight quarters. "

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Celebration Rock

"We have an amazing community of fans in Germany and this was our first show since the The Black Market, which hit Number 1 on the German charts. The whole show was a celebration."

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Air Zach

"Zach achieves flight every night. He goes at the show like an athlete. We're not really a 'pull up a bar stool' kinda band. We play physical music." 

Rise Against at Open Flair 2014 Germany

Sandra Steh

Goal

"We've been doing shows in Germany with the same promoter for years now, and he always gets us some really cool gift. Germany had just won the World Cup, so he made us and our whole crew these really cool German soccer jerseys with our names on the back. At the last second we decided to wear them on stage for the encore. We were all Number One, and the football purists out there took issue with that, of course."

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