Rage Against the Machine Reviews


Concert review for Rage Against the Machine
11/20/99
Arco Arena
by Jonpaul Seivane

The words "anticipation" and "frenzied" took a whole new meaning when Rage Against the Machine hit Sacramento in their second stop of their "Battle of Los Angeles" tour. As my fiance and I awaited our favorite band, we were witness to a spectacle of energy never before seen. The crowd was moshing and jumping and pushing long before Rage came onstage, as  the rap group Dilated Peoples came out and was greeted with middle fingers and a chorus of boos. Then more rap, this time Gang Starr came out and tried to entertain, but again was met with lots of middle fingers and boos. Although they did get the crowd moving once in a while, the crowd was eager for Rage and eager for Gang Starr to finish.

The intermission between Gang Starr and Rage seemed an eternity. The place was so full of energy and anticipation that I thought the arena was going to boil over. Everywhere on the floor was pushing, moshing, shoes and shirts being thrown, people body surfing everywhere, and lots of jumping. And this was before Rage started!! After what seemed like an eternity, the lights finally came down, the crowd went bananas, and finally, after waiting for 5 years, I got to see my favorite band take the stage.

Zack came out and introduced the band with the infamous "We're Rage Against the Machine from Los Angeles, California." The crowd was beserk and then they started "Testify". With this, the place exploded like a bomb. Everybody, including those in the seats, we're hopping, screaming and enjoying the hell out of it. It was great to hear 11,000 people say "Who controls the present now?" and then see the floor turn into a warzone. The place responded to every song just as full of energy, as "Guerrilla Radio", "People of the Sun" and "Calm Like a Bomb" were next.

"Bullet in the Head" was next, and it delivered just like I had hoped. After the entire crowd rapped its way through the song with Zack, the finale of the song had the arena shaking in its foundations. The floor was a true spectacle. It was sea of chaos. They then did "Bombtrack", "Clear the Lane" from their Live CD, "Know Your Enemy", "Sleep Now in the Fire", "Born of a Broken Man" and "No Shelter". Somewhere amongst these songs, Zack stopped the show to deliver a small message to the crowd. "Some girls here are trying to have a good time down here in the floor, and if you men are too weak and you're putting your hands where you're not supposed to, then you don't belong here. If you see another brother putting his hands on a girl where they are not welcome, then show him where the fucking exit is!!" This had the crowd screaming in support.

Later on, after leaving the stage, the crowd chanted and screamed for an encore, and they finally got their wish after about 5 minutes, when the four of them marched back on stage and did "Bulls on Parade". Every guitar solo by Tom during "Bulls" had the crowd screaming like mad people. You could sense that the crowd was getting anxious for a grand finish to a killer show, and they got it when Rage did "Freedom" and "Killing in the name" to finish the show.

You haven't seen anything until you see 11,000 people live during "Killing in the name". Every single word was screamed by everybody in the crowd, not to mention about ten thousand of us flipping off Zack during the last part of the song. As the song went into its finishing chorus of "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me", I swear I have never seen anything like it, the arena erupted like a volcano. The lights came on so we could see the entire arena, and EVERYBODY, I mean everybody, was screaming at the top of their lungs, jumping into one another,  and chanting "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me" in unison as Tom and Zack were pogoing up there like crazy men on stage. The place was a damn zoo.

Afterwards, many people just sat there in their seats, covered with sweat, in amazement of what they had just seen. It was a night I will never forget, and I am sure a night Sacramento will never forget. This band rocked this city harder than any band ever has or ever will.

Set list:
1. Testify
2. Guerrilla Radio
3. People of the Sun
4. Calm Like a Bomb
5. Bullet in the Head

Not sure about the order of the next 6, but am sure of the songs. 
Was having too much fun to write them down!!

6. Bombtrack
7. Sleep Now in the Fire
8. Born of the Broken Man
9. No Shelter
10. Know Your Enemy
11. Clear the Lane

Encore---

12. Bulls on Parade
13. Freedom (with an interesting intro I had never heard before, lots of
sounds from Morell's guitar)
14. Killing in the Name


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