"The Battle of Atlanta", Dec. 9, 1999
I hate to begin this review with a cliche, But if you are a Rage fan and have not seen them live, you are missing the whole Rage experience. This was the position I was in, so we drove 4 and 1/2 hours from Tampa, Florida to see them in Atlanta. I have a number of their concerts on Tape, but the live concert was beyond belief!
Anti-Flag opened the show and played for about 20 minutes (which was about 20 minutes too long). Very little crowd response, even in the pit. Gangstarr came next and put on a decent show. They gave major props to Rage and even had the crowd chant, "Rage, Rage..." The bass drowned out most of their lyrics but from what you could hear it is safe to say that their music will not be used at a Republican convention or Fraternal Order of Police benefit. (many one-finger salutes)
The energy level of the crowd began to rise as the wait continued, but when the lights went down the place erupted! Zack went to the mic, and said, "we're Rage Against The Machine from Los Angeles" and then they ripped into "Testify" while the banner behind them unrolled to say "The Battle of Atlanta". Great strobe effect at the beginning of the song! The pit became pure mayhem which would continue through the show. They went right into "Guerilla Radio" where the crowd screamed the refrain, "It has to start somewhere, It has to start sometime..." Zack had incredible energy and the band played really tight. "People of the Sun" followed and the crowd really got going, singing every word and the pit went into a frenzy!! The set-list continued as follows:
Bullet in the Head- Crowd sang with refrain, "just a victim of the in-house drive-by..." Pit went into a frezy during jam.
Calm Like a Bomb- sounded great live
Know Your Enemy- Holy Shit..awesome live..crowd sang along with whole song, and drowned out zack during, "All of which are american dreams" Pit was a small riot!
Ghost of Tom Joad- surprise they played this one, but incredible energy in song.
Sleep Now in the Fire- great song live..may become one of their signature live songs. major energy.
Born of a Broken Man- Awesome performance. Zack's emotion on Jesus line was noticeable, then they RIPPED into the chorus!!
No Shelter- another surprise. would liked to have heard Vietnow or Bombtrack.
War Within a Breath- Another Holy Shit... They ripped this one up and Zack did a major dive into the pit during the end jam!! The place went absolutely wild!!
After a short trip from the stage, Rage returned and ripped into Bull on Parade. The entire crowd, both on the floor and seats, jumped with the thunder beat. That looked amazing! Next was Freedom, during which Zack sang "Freedom..for Mumia" at the end with the crowd singing along. During the end jam the house lights came on and you could see the chaos on the floor. It resembled a small scale riot. They went right into Killing in the Name and the place erupted again. Of course, the crowd sang with all the choruses and the pit was out of control.
The crowd for the show was wild and the band fed off that energy. Zack is by far the top front man in all of rock, mostly because he means and feels what he sings. For as loud as the show was, the sound was very clear. Tom's guitar playing was as clear as the CD and they proved that not only are they best live band around but also the most important!!
NEW TRIAL FOR MUMIA NOW!!!
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