Rage in Sacremento, 11/20/99
It's 2 PM and my friend and I are aimlessly wandering outside of Arco Arena. Various people are scattered near the parking entrances as we walk anxiously around. Suddenly I spot equipment trucks and immediately start towards them, and immediately me and my partner are called back by security. "You've got to wait out by the parking lots before we let you close to this area, sorry". Sorry. So we walk ever so slowly back towards the parking lots, watching other fans who've arrived early ride around on scooters and chat while playing music from their cars. More people attempt to approach the doors and more people are sent back.
Finally at 4:30 the security cart drives by and tells us to "walk slowly" towards the entrances. Funny how he thought that would actually happen. As we run at full speed towards the entrances the local radio station vans are there setting up. It gets dark as time creeps on, and finally at around 5:30 PM the guard randomly says, "alright you can go" and me and my friend hurry up with the rest of the crowd. We wait about an hour and are finally let in, slapped with wrist bands we are free to wander as we please. I venture down to the pit but notice that the front spots are taken, and knowing my own endurance I opt for seating instead, because we all know how pits get at Rage shows. At least we snagged good seats, third row, as close as close could get in seating.
The opening act is a very dull rap band dubbed Dilated People. They are hounded with screams an cries of "fuck you!" and random objects going airborn in the sky as the crowd gets rowdy and impatient. During this time I leave to take care of humanly needs and return, after Dilated People have left. Everyone assumes Rage is coming on next, but I knew that it was Gang Starr that was coming on after Dilated People. Fights break out during intermission as people get wasted and impatient for Rage, finally the lights dim and Gang Starr comes on. Unfortunately for them, the crowd is not in the mood for little league players. They are awaiting the real deal. They try to work the crowd as best they can, and after what seemed like an eternity they finally exit the stage, somewhat belittled by the Sacto crowd. Again a long intermission.
More fights, more impatience as people chant "RageRageRage", in hopes they might appear out of nowhere and greet them. And thankfully they did, after eons of waiting I was to see one of the most influential bands in the world and in my life. They opened up with a booming version of "Testify" and continued on with classics like "bombtrack" and "Know your enemy" with the crowd religiously chanting "All of which are American Dreams" throwing their fists in the air in unison with Zack himself. Morello delivers each guitar solo with such finesse you could literally see the audience stand in awe and wonder at the master himself.
Morello also opens up with one of my favorite tracks "Born of a broken man" and the crowd goes beserk, but it's when they jump into "No Shelter" that everyone begins to chant the infamous radio single that plagued the US for months, forcing Rage to be heard to those unbeknownst to their talent and power. They exit the stage momentarilly as the crowd nervously wonders what they're up to. They come out, play about 3 more songs closing with "killing in the name". I've never seen more middle fingers and heard more people chanting "fuck you I won't do what you tell me" then that evening.
Not many people get the chance to experience Rage in concert, I however was fortunate enough, and the crowd at Arco proved that Sacramento truely has powerful fans that are well aware of Rage's presence and will never leave them, ever since 1992, to that evening, now and forever.
On a side note, one of the highlights of the concert I felt was when Zack mentioned the mistreatment of women, you could hear all the ladies in the arena scream wildly in agreement. I felt that was very noble and respectful of Zack to say and I appreciated it a lot. Ever since I heard "Bulls on Parade" Rage has changed my life forever, and I hope they will return again soon to Sacramento.
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