Originally published in Spanish in La Jornada
Translated by irlandesa
Saturday, October 30, 1999.
Rage, Aztla'n and Tijuana, Agitation for Mexico City Residents
Juan Jose Olivares
Rage Against the Machine's music turned into a manifesto against the oligarchies, and it has been echoing ever since Wednesday night, when they performed at the Sports Palace.
A devastating guitar by Tom Morello, a cutting bass from Tim Bob, maddening drums from Brad Wilk and Zack de la Rocha's angry persuasive voice.
A night of dissent and shouts of support to the EZLN, where rebellion became a thing of youth, in the expectation of coming into contact with Machine's angry music.
The real party began with a virtual message from Sub Marcos, on a screen, from the "most forgotten place: the mountains of the Mexican Southeast," and the invitation to dedicate themselves as beings in solidarity ("What the Sup says is absolutely right," a kid of about 15 would say). After a long wait - which those attending forgave, because they knew how good Rage is - the first shots from "AK-47" were fired from the throat of Zacari'as de la Rocha, and the entire band was on their knees. "Bombtrack," "Vietnow," "People of the Sun" ('When the fifth sun sets get back reclaim, the spirit of Cuauhte'moc alive and untamed, Cuando el quinto sol vuelva a ponerse recuperara' el espi'ritu de Cuauhte'moc, vivo e indomable').
Shouts, leaps, total schizophrenia and energy, used as a search for social equity, screwing any machinery of the state. More powerful shots and the brief earthquake in the East Pavilion Hall.
Zack continued asking for bullets in the heads for those dictators who crush their youth in the streets, "Bullet in the Head" ("Bala en la cabeza"), pure hip hop, pure hard rock that opened our veins until the rebels' blood was scattered, so that they could reach a change through music, and to awaken consciences lulled by alienation, "Wake Up" and do something, the message in "brotha" says the oppressed brothers are dying of hunger.
Untamed energy: Tom Morello never stopped moving his little fingers, trained by Jimi Page, Tim Bob followed him, Brad saw the face of the oligarchy in the cymbals, and Zack bounded about the entire stage, frothing at the mouth from so much fury. Another for the South: "Land or Death," Zacari'as shouted, and "Roll Right" and "Killing in the Name" announcing their fleeting departure. Five minutes later the sweet guerrilla music continued, in order to give the power back to the people in "Take the Power Back," "Settle for Nothing" and "Freedom," freedom that filled a space made especially for 17 cuts from this great band.
Before Rage, Aztla'n Underground: good. Tijuana NO: better, with five good songs, unconditional support for the EZLN and a "Fuck you, Pres..."
Rage, Tijuana and Aztla'n: agitation and seditious information for capitalist ears.
"You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you
shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."
-William Jennings Bryan, 1896