Rage Against The Machine To Meet GOP In Twin Cities
by Jeff Dinelli
LA political activist hard rock quartet Rage Against The Machine just got done tearing up Chicago's Grant Park Saturday night in a thunderous closing set to that evening's Lollapalooza event. There were some injured people towards the front of the stage and gate-crashers bum-rushed the show.
Lead singer and well-informed lyricist Zach de la Rocha lobs anti-establishment verbal bombs from the stage while the trio behind him is possibly the most powerful in all of rock music. As the mass of humanity pressed against the barricades in front of the stage, the band took a long break, demanding everyone take 5-6 steps back or they wouldn't continue. "We got enough problems out there in the streets with these fucked up politicians and cops. Save that shit for the streets," de la Rocha urged the crowd.
Being on an overseas tour all year, Chicago was to be the incendiary band's only 2008 U.S. show. No strangers to mixing it up with the political scene, Rage has just scheduled a show in St. Paul, MN on Sept. 3rd, during the GOP Convention, held in the same city. Guitarist Tom Morello and singer/songwriter/activist Steve Earle will play a union rally Sept. 1st, the opening day of the convention.
In 2000, RATM played on outdoor show in LA during the Dem Convention, and that ended with police in riot gear using tear gas and pepper spray to...well, I'm not sure what they were trying to do, but hundreds of people were treated in local hospitals.
There are no details of what the specific message will be in St. Paul, but put it this way: this band was performing thunderous, anti-government anthems during the Clinton Administration. The band split around 1999, and just now reunited. It takes little imagination to assume de la Rocha has not been very happy during the Bush years. He released a protest song with DJ Shadow the day the Iraq invasion began.
Saturday night he had this to say about Barack Obama, which actually was high praise compared with the utter indifference or distrust of the Illinois Senator displayed around the festival: "We know brother Obama. But I tell you what, if he comes to power come November and doesn't start pulling troops out of Afghanistan, I know a lot of people who are gonna stand up and burn down every office of [the] Senate."
Rage On, Boys. Maybe I'll see you up in MPLS.