"The Battle of Los Angeles", Dec. 19, 1999
I've been a Rage fan for years now, but the "Battle of Los Angeles" album really got me excited. There were rumors that they were going to play at the new, high-tech Staple Center in LA. Then I heard later on that it didn't happen because they were afriad that the fans were going to trash the place. I guess that's the only good reason for not having Rage play there. The day tickets went on sale, I woke up early wanting to get floor seats and went through the wrist bands and the first person in line was the only person that got floor seats. I told my friends, "fuck this, I'm going to be on the floor!" My friends got some lame ass seats and were in the high colanade seating. The concert sold out in less than 10 minutes. As a result they opened a second show which didn't sell out until the week of the concert. I tried getting tickets at some ticket businesses and they were asking $110 for floor seats! I was tempted but I didn't agree with spending over $100 for floor seats. I went to the concert and pressed my luck with the scalpers. Not too many scalpers had floor seats, and when I finally found one he asked for $60. I'm almost 100% positive he would of given me 2 tickets for $100 but I only needed one ticket so I paid the man and went on my way towards floor entrance by myself. They searched me and went on my way to passed the locker rooms which was really cool going by the area where the Lakers and the Kings locker rooms used to be located. As I was looking through the tunnel, it was pitch dark where the floor was located and that was when my heart started really pumping.
As I went through the tunnel I looked over to my right and there was Gang Star on stage putting up the beats and I admired them not only for their music, but because of what they siad. I can't quote them because I don't remember word for word, but they were talking about how great it was to see such a diverse crowd in the arena. I listened to about half of the show and they didn't say anything racist, or prejudice about men and women, black, white, or any ethenic background. I may be just one stupid white boy, but that is greatly appreciated, because racism is one thing I'm totally against because all it does is brings out the worst in people. They gave their dedications and thanks towards Tu-Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. which was a special moment I think for everyone. It was either their last or second to last song that they played thier own version of "Fuck the Police". It was great and I probably will never forget it as long as they live. I give props towards Gang Star, they proved to be a quality opening act.
I kicked back for the Gang Star performance and when it ended I tried to get up as close as I could to the stage to get ready to experience RAGE! The people in the seats can listen and feel Rage, but it's different when your on the floor taking in the full blow of Rage Against the Machine. At that point everyone was leaving to go to the bathroom or something and would get up as close as I could without pushing and shoving people around. And for those people that push and shove before the music even starts, "Fuck You!" At this point you need patience because Rage didn't come on for 45 minutes, the longest 45 minutes of my life! But it was all worth it when they came on stage and everyone stated chanting "RAGE, RAGE, RAGE, RAGE!" They started off with "Testify" which I think is the best song to start off their concert because of the light intensity that if gives out until 20 seconds later when everything turns into a completely different atmosphere. The only word that I can think to describe this moment is anarchy. I remember seeing people, especially girls, trying to get out of their ASAP. All I got to say to everyone, is when you go into the floor of a Rage concert, don't expect to have the atmosphere of an Elton John or Barbera Streisand concert because it's going to be crazy! They should have a warning label on the ticket saying, " You wil get pushed, shoved, thrown to the ground, punched, elbowed, kicked in the face, and basically get you ass kicked!" Oh ya, "This is NOT suitable for pregant women." They then played Guerilla Radio, and then People of the Sun. I was so tired by the time they played People of the Sun, I tried to use that as my rest period, but everyone else was tired as well because all of our energy was depleted and the intensity level was down a little bit. They played so many great songs such as, Calm like a Bomb, War Within a Breath, Know Your Enemy, Bombtrack, Sleep Now in the Fire, Born of a Broken Man, and others that I can't remember at this point. I got my ass kicked in the Pit, went crowd surfing, helped other crowd surf, pushing my way up to the front, and they finally went off the stage only for a moment and gave us a rest. People were still maushing and I started chanting "Break, Break, Break", and finally everyone settled down. At this point I felt like I wasn't going to be able to last the rest of the concert. I was so absolutely tired, that I felt like calling it quits, I then siad to myself, "Don't let Rage get the best of you". That was probably the shortest 10 minutes of my life because of the beating that I took. At this point I can't remember what they played exactly because I think I got kicked in the head a few too many times. They came out and the first song they played was NO Shelter and then Bulls on Parade, one of my all-time favorites, but I was so tired I couldn't put my full effort into it because of the beating that I took, but I don't regret the beating at all, because I know everyone was as fucked up as I was. Then he played a slower song that I never heard of before talking about Mumia Abu-Jamal, I think it was Tom Joad, I could be wrong, then Freedom and Killing in the Name. I went to the Coachella show and now this being my second Rage show, I still think the best part of the show is when everyone is proudly sticking their fingers in the air, saying "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me"! After everyone started clearing away I noticed how badly briused my arms were from absorbing all the blows from everyone, and it took me I think a half an hour to walk to the car because I sprained my left ankle. How do you know if you've been to an awesome concert? When you try to finally go to bed and all you hear is bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
If your a Rage fan and you don't go to a concert, you're missing out. Out of a scale of 1 to 10, I would give the concert an 11. Peace out.
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