Rage Against the Machine Reviews

J. Moreno's review of Rage's set at the KROQ Dysfunctional Family Picnic:

They had been advertised the whole time as the headliners of the show; so people were surprised when they didn't go on last - which was too bad for Limp Bizkit.

Set List:

People of the Sun
***NEW SONG***
Know Your Enemy
Bullet in the Head
No Shelter
Bulls on Parade
Killin in the Name

Out of the 9 times I've seen them whether in a small venue or a big one, this seriously might've been their best show & therefore the best live performance I have EVER seen.  Even if I step out of them being my favorite band, they were incredible.  Most of the other bands only get the crowd really going during the chorus of their most popular songs; Rage had the whole venue at that high THE WHOLE TIME - so when they'd really get into the riffs & choruses; forget it, people were screaming in ecstasy & shit out of having nothing else to give.  It was fucking brutal! Completely eradicated the whole "a good band sucks in a large venue" - fuck that! As big as the venue was it was like a personal experience for almost everyone & the whole place felt like ONE living thing.  It FELT like a small lil club. They kicked it off with "Bombtrack" & from the get go the place was ablaze.  Zack switched up the chorus a bit; "Burn burn yes ya gonna burn, burn burn muthafucker burn!" The second song was "Maria" which, after listening to the bootleg so much, I knew pretty well.  Even on the new unknown song the place was into it. I was telling peops the name of the song & everyone kept asking "When's the CD coming out?!" & I'm like, "Nobody knows..." "People of the Sun" started & forget it, the place was nuts! One big ass pogoing organic being.  Then they did the best version of "Vietnow" I have EVER heard.  Something about the guitar, it was just like cutting & slicing, it was awesome. Then the highlight of the show:

A brand NEW song they've never played before.  Not "Hendrix" or "Mic Check", but something new.  Didn't catch the name but it kicked off with something like "Get ready to feel the funk" or something...& the chorus went "watchu want watchu want what!"...the song, sonically...was phat! amazing!, incredible!, I don't have enough words to describe it.  This song will definetely be the highlight of the new album in my opinion, unless it's possible to come up with a better song than this one.  The best Rage song I have heard since '96.  It was the epitome of Rage taking it to the next level.  The sonics were astonishing in how they sounded but, the Rage's intensity was there & a PUNK feel that hadn't sounded or felt like this since when you first heard the first album.  Tim's bass has now also been affected by Tom's experimentation so the bass is also become revolutionary...the bass sounded like a growl, like something I'd never heard a bass guitar do before..the closest thing I can think of is the bass line on "Mic Check"..but even deeper & stronger, almost sounded like evil & ominous & shit, then Tom's guitar, among other things he had this sound that the closest I can define it is it sounds like the sample all throughout Public Enemy's "Rebel Without A Pause", you know, that manic high pitched siren noise, just as manic, but think of that sound & it being sucked in into the Hard riffs the song also has.  Still metallic, but there's like a heavy punk feel in parts of the song, & Brad's drums, he was using a different style than the usual funk he does, like a heavy Tom-drum presence that made the song hit even harder.  Overall the best description I can give is think how it felt the first time you heard Rage, the punk ferocity, the riffs, the unusual sounds, that's what this felt like; like hearing them again for the first time but different.  So to you people worried about how the new album will sound; between this song & "Hendrix", you got nothing to worry about; they still hit fucking hard while coming up with some dippy dope guitar shit.

Next "Bullet in the Head" & "Know Your Enemy" did their thing with the crowd & then they played the best version of "No Shelter" I've ever heard (& I've seen them do it 2 out of the only 3 times they've played it live).  It's like they sped it up a bit or something & the guitars were mad crisp, it sounded punkier...Zack didn't even have to sing the chorus 'cause the crowd was into it loud enough that they were a natural part of the song.  Everyone had been waiting for "Bulls on Parade" so when it kicked of the crowd went into the biggest fever high of the night, until then ...when Tom was doing the DJ scratching solo, the place was going nuts.  Next they did a full out, take-no-prisoners version of "Freedom" which is usually their closer. They had 2 giant screens focused on Zack's face right before he'd go off; & it was scary..Zack's like possesed or some shit. Towards the end when he flips out & shouts "freedom", he inserted "freedom for Mumia" instead & punished the crowd accordingly.  But then when we thought it was all over after the 10 songs they had just hastily ripped their way through, they played an 11th song, the crowd pleaser "Killing...".    It was a bludgeoning experience on the senses & it left the crowd amazed, happy, just full of emotion....I was thinking how any band could possibly follow THAT.

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