Rage Against The Machine are a band that transcends generations, to be honest. The band’s blend of rap, metal, and overtly political music is difficult to ignore, to be sure. And with their first shows in over a decade finally happening, it’s time for a new generation to discover them.
Kicking off the night was Run The Jewels, blasting through a 45 minute set that felt at home opening for Rage. They stopped to talk a little and give props to Rage as a dream tour. The crowd knew them as well, going word for word with them. RTJ have cemented themselves as A listers in the genre, following on the steps of Rage as being political heavyweights.
Now it was time for the moment that most fans thought would never come. Now Night 1 of Rage’s stay in Chicago did have a snag, 4 songs into the show Zack seemed to have landed wrong on his leg or knee and had to be seated and carried off after the show. Starting the show was Zack being carried to the stage and set on some road cases set up before the rest of the band joined and ripped right into “Bombtrack”.
For the next 90 minutes fans got to witness a group of friends back on stage playing songs that meant so much to an arena full of people. It was clear the band was happy to not only be back on stage but back together. Tom and Zack smiled at each other often, Brad and Tim were happy, and all seemed right in the world in the venue despite Rage coming back at a time when we needed them most.
Blasting through a 17 song set, it’s clear why the band is held in such high regard. These are timeless classics, to put it simply, but also so eloquent. Zack has such a fire behind every word he says, while Tom makes his legendary style of playing look effortless. The crowd regardless of if on the floor, low seats, or nose bleeds were jumping around and singing every word with a passion that was reignited as part of their youth.
Even through clear pain that at times seemed to be almost too much to handle, the band carried on. Zack made it clear that he was fighting through it because he wasn’t giving up on night 2 in Chicago. Tom took several breaks to sit next to Zack to check in and the band all cared for each other as long time friends would.
This was an evening to remember through and through. The music was amazing, the show was spectacular without any need to have a massive stage set, and the band shared messages throughout that needed to be see regardless if you agreed or not. In 2022 we needed Rage and I’m happy to say it looks like they needed us too.