Rage Against The Machine at L.A. Rising Festival
Look up the word “rebellious” in our generation's urban dictionary, and you will find a picture of the popular American rock band, Rage Against the Machine, right next to a giant middle finger pointing directly at you. For decades Rage Against the Machine have been the definitive voice for musical rebelliousness, fueling the fire that was within my generation's desire to stick that homework assignment up our teacher's “black hole.” Fans flocked to the coliseum last Saturday at the L.A. Rising festival to rekindle their anarchistic relationship with the legendary band in an age where Facebook and iPhones has turned everyone into technological zombies.
For those living on a farm, who's only taste of resistance have come from milking cows on a cold Sunday morning, all you need to know is that Rage Against the Machine formed in 1991, when guitarist Tom Morello approached vocalist Zack de la Rocha, and together with bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk they formed the popular band we all know of today. A year later they released their debut album, titled after the group's name, which became a massive success, and shot them up to rock legend. After the alleged break-up in 2000, the band has since made many reunion recurrences around many different venues, including Coachella 2007.
The L.A. Rising Festival was history in the making. Curated by Rage Against the Machine, the festival featured rare appearance from an interesting mix of musicians. The festival runs for nine hours, making it the grandest music event at the Coliseum since last year’s Electric Daisy Carnival festival, which ended with the death of a teenager. As a result of last year's incident, security and law enforcement were abundant, ironic when considering everything the band stands for.
Towards the end of the night, Zack de la Rocha approached the mic, facing the thousands upon thousands of fans all waiting for him to speak as if his words were the voice of a new God. He held his fist high, and everyone knew what was next...Testify! And the fans were not afraid to yell out in their own “testifying way.” This was the signature energy of our generation. It wasn't the slow rocking hip movement that our hippy forefathers drugged out to at Woodstock. If a weatherman was looking down at the crowd from a weather-balloon he would think that hurricane Katrina was returning. Fans let loose in frantic joy, in ways that only narcoleptic seizure patients could do if they were on meth, and in the mosh pits you've never seen so many intense smiles of joys on the face of bludgeoned and bloody-nosed youth.
For the next hour and half, Rage Against the Machine gave the fans a strong dose of hard rock, that spoke out against the reality of our world today. The depression of the recession, and the toxic-spewing that came out fat politician's mouths would have to wait another day, because today at the L. A. Rising Festival these fans weren't going to put up with the horse fodder. The music of Rage Against the Machine made the fans feel liberated, and their engaged mental-self proved that no infrastructure could be their master.
While the packed crowd couldn't get enough of Rage Against the Machine, they weren't the only bands that many were there to see. The most notable of the other bands was the British alternative rock band, Muse. Muse formed in 1994 and have since been proclaimed as one of the best bands to see live, giving visually appealing and lively performances that would even drain the most energetic of people. While they may have been too different of a tone for Rage Against the Machine fans to immediately fall in love with, Muse had their own loyal following at the sold out show, that were singing the songs even louder than the group was.
Rise Against proved to be closer to the taste of Rage Against the Machine fans. The punk band out of Chicago formed in 1999, staying mostly in the independent scene until signing with a major label in 2003. Anyone who made the mistake of getting close to the stage could have been easily kicked by the martial arts antics of the band's organic energy.
Just when you thought you were seeing a pattern to the night's festivities, out comes famous R & B/rapping artist Lauryn Hill. Hill got her start as a member of the Fugees in 1998, before releasing her highly successful solo album that netted her five Grammy awards. The most interesting aspect of her set for the night was that it not only featured her songs from her solo career, but also songs from when she was with the Fugees. It was a nice touch for her devoted fans that were in attendance.
Before the soul, came some spice, as the Mexican rock band El Gran Silencio made their way to the stage. The rock band blends rock, reggie, and dub while playing on traditional Latin instruments. They surprised many fans when the took the stage, giving a delightfully satisfying opening that pumped fans.
Using aid from El Gran Silencio, Immortal Technique was next to take the stage, his passion bleeding through the mic with every verse. The Afro-Peruvian rapper is known for his controversial lyrics, that focus on many hot topic global issues that a lot of the CNN correspondents are too afraid to explore.
With all of these heavy hitters gracing fans with their presence, the fact still remains that Rage Against the Machine was the main event. Their rebellious lyrics set the tone for what the L.A. Rising Festival was all about: Rising against the injustices that the populace has turned a blind eye on, and to stop eating into their feces-infested lies. To simply put it: they were trying to make us, “Wake up!”...