Rage Against the Machine Reviews

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

By Alex Martinez

I had been waiting a long time to see Rage, and now finally I had the chance. With a huge crowd (easily 10,000, probably a lot more), I could tell it was going to be an awesome night. It was tight because it was Rage's first day on their U.S. tour, so I knew the energy was going to be to the extreme.

The first band, or I should say rap group, was called The Dilated Peoples. They were alright, the highlight was when Mix Master Mike (DJ from the Beastie Boys) came out and DJ'd a song. That was about it. The next group was Gang Starr. He was pretty good to my amazment. He got the crowd worked up, and by the time he left the stage, everybody was ready for Rage.

Even with the music off and stage crew getting Rage prepared, there was pushing and a mosh pit going. Everybody was psyched. They started hanging this big poster which had the picture of their new album, but instead of saying "The Battle Of Los Angeles", it said, "The Battle Of Oakland". It was tight, and everybody was ready.

Soon after the lights turned off, and Rage came on stage. Zack De La Rocha went to the mic and said, "Good Evening. Welcome to the Rage Against The Machine concert. We're from Los Angeles, California." After he said that, they went into "Testify". Oh man was the crowd ready! Everybody was off their feet, jumping around, it was crazy. When it got to the third song ("People Of The Sun"), I barely had enough energy to sing! Everybody was tired after they played that song, but still kept on going.

After they played "Sleep Now In The Fire", Zack started yelling at the guys in the front row. He started saying, "Just because the girls want to be as active as the guys, doesn't mean that gives you the right to grab areas where you're not supposed to. If I see any of fucking guys grabbing the girls again, I'm going to kick the fucking shit out of you and have the security guards throw you out, understand?" I think all the guys got the point, and they went into playing "Born Of A Broken Man".

Rage's last song was "War Within A Breath", and then went off stage. It took five minutes of chanting, "Rage! Rage! Rage! Rage!" when they came back on stage for their encore. They went into playing "Bulls On Parade", and then started playing "Freedom". Both songs got the crowd re-energized and I got hit in the head pretty hard with a elbow! I kept going and at the end of "Freedom", they went right into "Killing In The Name". When it got to the part, "Now you do what they told ya," he let the crowd sing along, and when he started singing, "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me", Everybody had their middle finger in the air! It was a sight to see. After, Zack said, "Thank you for coming. We need to save Mumia Abu Jamal, stop this political bullshit. We're Rage Against The Machine. Peace and goodnight." It was definatley the best concert I have ever been to. I haven't ever seen the kind of energy like these guys put on. I came out sweat drenched from head to toe. I was very satisfied with the performance, and when they come back to town, I'll be there!

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

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