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Rise Against: Doing a Show at The Machine Shop Would Be ‘F—ing Awesome’ [VIDEO]

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During last night’s set at the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing, Rise Against gave Flint’s Machine Shop some major love, and even said that doing a show there would be “f—ing awesome.” Yes. Yes it would.

The Machine Shop has gained a hell of a reputation among artists in its 14 years of business. Owner Kevin Zink always goes the extra mile to make sure the artists feel welcome, and that positive energy radiates throughout every inch of the building. It’s a rarity in an industry where all too often money changes hands without so much as a conversation between the artist and the venue, and they’re treated less like welcome guests, and more like “hired help.” That’s why you see so many acts return to The Machine Shop, who’ve largely stopped playing other venues its size.

One such act, which usually frequents much larger venues, would be Chicago’s Rise Against, who performed last night at Lansing’s Common Ground Festival. While that band has never played at The Machine Shop, frontman Tim McIlrath did perform an acoustic set there as part of 2011’s The Justice Tour, which was headlined by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. That gig may have came about in an effort to rebuke pending anti-union laws, but it got them in the door, and from the sounds of it — the experience made a lasting impression with at least one of them.

During Rise Against’s set last night, McIlrath volunteered some authentic high praise instead of the usual “How you doing, [insert name of city you’re in here]? We just got back from [insert local business name here] and it was great” fluff-job most bands offer up as mid-set banter on a nightly basis.

“We’ve had a lot of great shows here in Michigan — Grand Rapids, Detroit… We haven’t been to The Machine Shop, but I’ve been there and I think Rise Against should play a show there. I think It’d be f—ing awesome. I’m just sayin’.”

It seems kind of crazy that a band that easily packs a 2000-seat room is so amped to play one a quarter that size, or does it? The Machine Shop is one of those places with a reputation that stretches far beyond its size. Just a few weeks back, Alice in Chains frontman William DuVall was talking about how he’d love to play there, and AIC probably hasn’t rocked a room that intimate since the early 90s.

Speaking from experience unrelated to The Machine Shop, all too often the business side of things gets in the way of happenings like this. Some booking agents or managers will urge a band to play bigger venues to ensure that their cut of the profits are bigger, which is understandable. It is, technically, a business, and more seats equal more money. There are also times where a band’s fee is so high that tickets would have to be $200-$300 just to get them in a room that size. However, I think The Machine Shop’s got so much clout that we’ll begin seeing things like this on a regular basis — where bands may be willing to drive around the aforementioned roadblocks to play in front of a great rock crowd like Flint, in an incredible venue like The Machine Shop. A boy can dream, anyway.

Your move, Rise Against. We can’t wait to see you in Flint.

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