Rage in Baltimore, Dec. 2nd
Seeing Rage in concert a dozen times now I have something to say for those who have not had the chance to see them live...You must at any given chance see them. They are exceptional performers. I have never walked away from a Rage show disappointed. Their show is second to none. Here is my take on the Battle of Baltimore.
The lights go out...The crowd begins to roar...Rage takes the stage...The roars increase a few more decibles...and then..."Good evening, we're Rage Against the Machine from Los Angeles California".
Immediately they roll into Testify. The first time Zack yells in Testify, the black tarp covering the stage backdrop fell to unleash a massive Battle of Baltimore back drop - Very nice! They were all business on this night my friends. Very minimal speaking to the crowd, who was not all that intense compared to most other Rage shows I have been to. During Freedom when Zack says, "Freedom...yeah right.", the yeah right was replaced with "For Mumia". Ghost of Tom Joad was much shorter. I believe they cut out the entire middle verse. Definitely the highpoint, for which the crowd went apeshit was the encore: bulls.../freedom/killing... Bulls on Parade started with a new nice little intro. Born of a Broken Man and Know Your Enemy were my favorites of the night. The setlist was pretty awesome. I would have liked to hear another old song, something they rarely play live anymore like Take the Power Back, Wake Up, or even Revolver. But I can not complain.
Now for the important stuff, the setlist: 1.Testify 2. Guerilla Radio 3. People of the SUn 4. Calm Like a Bomb 5. Bullet in the Head 6. Ghost of Tom Joad 7. Vietnow 8. Sleep Now in the Fire 9. Born of a Broken Man 10. Know Your Enemy 11. No Shelter 12. War Within a Breath encore: 13. Bulls on Parade 14. Freedom--> 15. Killing in the Name
Rage was awesome, but I can not say the same for the openers. At the Drive In...horrible. At times the singer reminded me of a schizo Perry Farrel with his deliverence but you could not make out a word he was saying. Gang Starr tried really hard to get the crowd going but gave a rather lackluster performance. They gave shout outs/respect/props for about the last half hour of their set. And really, how many more times do we have to hear a DJ do the somebody say hooo...now scream bit! Played out. Hip hop is great, but not all groups are able to pull it off live. Beastie Boys, the Roots, Wyclef + Fugees, and even Everlast are a few that have success, largely in part because they are backed by and play live instruments. Some other hip hop groups are good performers too, but Gang Starr's performance was average at best
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