This Rage Against the Machine Live Footage Gave Me Chills
In 1999 I saw Rage Against the Machine headline a concert at New Jersey’s Continental Airlines Arena in support of the activist and former radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was then on death row for allegedly killing a Philadelphia police officer and remains incarcerated in 2015. The concert came under heavy fire from New Jersey government officials and generated quite a bit of attention in the press for its political message. To this day it’s probably the most violent concert I’ve ever attended; people were riled the fuck up.
Watching this footage from Rage Against the Machine’s reunion show in the UK in 2010, it’s amazing to see that the band hasn’t lost a single fucking ounce of the passion that inspired them to play a benefit concert for a seemingly esoteric court case 11 years earlier. The power of these songs still lives, the lyrics every bit as meaningful now, maybe even more so, a reminder of why it’s so important for musicians to be politically vocal. Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello lead the show, while bassist Tim Commerford (world’s stupidest tattoo and all) and drummer Brad Wilk sit back deep inside the pocket. The energy is absolutely electric; you can see it in the audience, and the band feeds right back off of it.
RAGE AGAINST THE FUCKING MACHINE! God dammit!
Watch a couple of clips from the DVD of that concert, Live at Finsbury Park, below. The set comes out on October 16th via Eagle Rock and can be pre-ordered here.