Rage Against the Machine Reviews

RATM, Philadelphia, Dec. 6th, 1999
By Joseph Bradley

After the two opening acts, Anti-Flag and Gangstarr, a banner was lowered showing the BOLA album cover, but with Los Angeles changed to Phialdelphia.  Rage came out with Pam Africa who started the show with a short speech about Mumia Abu-Jamal, questioning why those in law enforcement are afraid to give him a fair trial if they are so sure they can prove his guilt.  Zack hugged her as she left the stage and the band went right into Testify.  The crowd was into the show from the very start.  You'll never know quite how intense Rage can be until you see it for yourself.  The set list went as follows, although this may be slightly out of order.

Testify Guerrila Radio People Of The Sun Calm Like A Bomb Bullet In The Head The Ghost Of Tom Joad Know Your Enemy Sleep Now In The Fire Vietnow Born Of A Broken Man No Shelter War Within A Breath

After having played for about an hour without interrpution, the band left the stage.  After a few minutes of the crowd chanting "Rage," the band returned with a blistering version of Bulls On Parade.  Zack then started to talk about Mumia Abu-Jamal while the band played a somewhat laid back groove.  He said that police were protesting Rage shows across the country, saying they support cop-killers.  "That's not true.  We don't support any kind of killer.  Especially killer cops!"  He then said that the cops were afraid of us, the fans, because we have the power to free Mumia.  He dedicated Freedom to Mumia.  The show ended with Killing In The Name.  At this point the crowd was at its most intense, as every voice shouted "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!"  Overall, an amazing show with full crowd participation.  I can't wait for them to come to this part of the country again.

In Solidarity,
Ashish Desai

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