Rage Against the Machine Reviews

Rage at London Astoria on 13th September 1999

With a surprise announcement in the UK music press 3 days before tickets were going to be on sale, this show was certainly a great surprise to all UK rage fans. The show was to be held in the London Astoria, which with its 1,500 capacity is certainly the smallest environment in which I've ever seen the band. (Having previously seen then at Brixton Academy, Reading Festival and supporting Kiss in Finsbury Park).

  Unsurprisingly the tickets sold out in under an hour, leaving many (including myself) ticket-less, with touts charging about £50 for a ticket with a £10 face value.

  Interestingly the band two days before played a secret show, only announced on the afternoon of the show, in the Oxford Zodiac, a 400 (yes FOUR HUNDRED) capacity venue, where they played a sixteen song set, including nine new ones.

  Amid much excitement from the queuing fans the doors of the Astoria were opened at 7pm, although a support band was expected, none appeared leaving fans very restless at 9:25 when the band had not made an appearance.

  At 9:30pm the band strolled on stage, decorated with a backdrop the same as the new RATM official site menu screen, Zack calmly said the now famous "we're rage against the machine from Los Angeles, California". The set consisted largely of  new songs from their new album, including Guerrilla Radio, and No Shelter from the Godzilla soundtrack.

  As I am unfamiliar with their new material I could not put together a set list (plus the fact I was having too much of a good time for that), however from the first two albums they played Bulls on parade, Bullet in the Head, Know Your Enemy, Killing in the Name, People of the Sun and Freedom.

  Zack remained silent (as usual) during the set apart from a small speech about the Kosovo situation and dedicated Bulls on Parade to Tony Blair.

  A truly magical part of the set is at the end of Killing in the Name Zack invited a girl up from the audience who screeched her way through the "Fuck You in won't do what you tell me" part.

  All in all an excellent gig, as Kerrang! magazine says they "proved themselves to be the best live band on the planet, bar none!"

- Adam Aggas

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