From MSP Magazine, a review of last night's Rage Against the Machine concert at Target Center:
They played with genuine anger, only one night after the cops in St. Paul had prevented them from performing on the Capitol's steps.
"Genuine anger," that's it? Come on. You can get genuine anger coming from every coffee house folkie with a guitar in town. You can get genuine anger from every coffee house waitress in town. Genuine anger is the air they breathe in Minneapolis. The people who attended this concert didn't buy tickets for Genuine Anger Against the Machine. When you promote yourself as RAGE, you better dial it up a few notches boys.
Those are high expecations. I kind of feel sorry for them. I bet they have variations of this conversation every week in the dressing room:
Tom Morello: I'm sorry Zach, I'm just not feeling full of rage tonight. My disposition toward the Machine could best be described as insouciant. I begged you to not to name the band Rage Against the Machine! It's too high of a standard! Ticked at the Machine! Irked at the Machine! It would have still worked and we wouldn't be under this constant pressure. I'm only human!
Zach de la Rocha: I empathize with your feelings Tom. I'm not exactly frothing at the mouth either. It's hard to, especially after getting that update from my broker this afternoon - yowza! Getting in on Exxon-Mobil two years ago was a stroke of genius. Anyway, that anxiety you're feeling about the performance tonight, use it! Dwell on it! Let it burn you up! Seriously, even if we only rise to the level of genuinely angry, the fan boys and critics will lap it up, as always. Now get on those handcuffs and torture hood and let's give these people a show!
More of the review:
The four band members were led out to the stage in four orange jumpsuits and four black Guantanamo-style hoods, with their hands bound behind their backs. When their hands were freed, they took up their instruments and went into a nasty version of "Bombtrack." Screaming "burn burn, yes ya gonna burn!!!!" underneath a torture hood
Which I understand sounded something like "Mmmfffmrmmfffmrfrrrrmm". That's the thing about torture hoods, you really have to take them off before the singing begins.
They apparently did learn their lesson from last week's show. Take off the plastic handcuffs before starting the guitar solo. That's progress.
At [a previous concert in Chicago], I walked out with thousands of adolescents who had just witnessed their first Rage show. They were chanting Rage's trademark "F**k you, I won't do what you tell me!" while marching into the city
At which point the Chicago police descended to deliver a good spanking and sent the audience to their rooms without supper.
If you would like to hear more from Rage Against the Machine, check out this Loon of the Week from May 5, 2007.