Rage Against the Machine Reviews

Concert Review for Rage Against The Machine
11/19/99, Oakland Arena
Oakland, CA

By Chris Rowe

I had been awaiting this date, November 19th for almost two months now.  I can remember when I was waiting about 6 or 7 months for "The Battle of Los Angeles" to come out.  After this, I was even more pumped for the concert.  I made sure to get my tickets early because I knew that this was the long awaited return of Rage and the place would be packed, which it was.  The concert was supposed to start at 8:00 and I got there at about 8:10.  I wasn't even aware that I had missed the "Dilated Peoples" until a few days after the show.  I was with a couple friends and we decided to stay in the seats until Gangstarr came off because we wanted to save our energy for rage. Gangstarr came out and did a good job of get the crowd ready for RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE.  The greatest thing about Gangstarr was that the lead guy had a ball and chain that he swung around, he called it "Lucile."  I don't know why, but it entertained me.  Finally, Gangstarr finished up it's set and the lights came on.  Now was the time when I started to the trip to the floor.

I had only one problem with this concert.  This was the venue they played at. A year before I had been to another concert here.  For some reason this venue locks off the floor so no one can get in our out.  You stay where you are for the whole concert.  As we made our way down the stairs a sudden rush of excited fans swarmed down the stairs pushing everyone forward.  This was only to find that the security had already locked off the floor, all of this pushing was pointless, people were jus being pushed into a fence.  A few of the desperate fans jumped the fence and ran through the crows as the fans cheered them on.  I was one of the unlucky ones that didn't make it onto the floor.  I was stuck up in the seats the whole entire show.  This angered me but I wouldn't let it ruin one of the most amazing experiences I was about to encounter.  I found a descent place to stand up in the seats and waited for Rage to come on.  The energy level was already pounding.  There were about six different pits all over the floor without anyone on the stage.  Finally two large red stairs were raised on the side of the stage and a huge banner reading "The Battle of Oakland" came up behind the drums.  The crowd was ready for Rage.  When the lights went out the crowd went insane, screaming for Rage to emerge from backstage.  Zach, Tom, Brad, and Tim came onto the stage as the crowd just exploded with excitement.  They spread out to their different instruments and Zach picked up the mic saying "Check one two, one two," "We're Rage Against the Machine from Los Angeles, California."  Then they went directly into "Testify"  The Sound quality of the song was amazing and the volume was perfect.  I was in Utopia, everything was just so perfect. They went through there setlist perfectly playing:

Set List:
1. Testify
2. Guerrilla Radio
3. People Of The Sun
4. Calm Like A Bomb
5. Bullet In The Head
6. Bombtrack
7. Sleep Now In The Fire
8. Born Of A Broken Man
9. Know Your Enemy
10. No Shelter
11. War Within A Breath
12. Bulls On Parade
13. Freedom
14. Killing In The Name

Killing in the Name was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, everyone was singing the words and everyone was just so pumped even though it was the end. This was by far the best concert I have ever seen and will be sure to come back to see them anytime they are in time.  I encourage everyone to buy tickets to the nearest show of Rage Against the Machine and see this amazing spectacle.

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