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Rage Against The Machine And The Battle Of Chicago

The return of Rage Against The Machine has finally seen the light of day. Originally schedueld in 2020 and delayed like most events in the world, RATM made their return with their first arena performance in over a decade at United Center in Chicago, IL.

It’s hard to sum up just how much of a celebration this felt like. The tour was specifically designed to reflect current social problems from healthcare and immigration to the recent Supreme Court decisions that led to the band performing in front of messages like “Abort The Supreme Court” through the night.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/W8AxKqq9e7U

The energy was chaotic at points, with Zach hurting his leg somehow not even half way through the set and having to perform the rest of the night sitting down. The crowd didn’t seem to mind. In fact, anyone walking in during the set would never have known something was wrong. United Center had arguably the most energetic and lively floor section at any arena show I’ve ever seen.

This show was personal for me. Rage was the band that got me into heavy music originally when I saw the music video for “Guerilla Radio” on MTV as a child. I then looked up stations in my area that played the song and was hooked since. Rage was my gateway to something I loved. It took me this long to finally see the band live and hear many of the songs I thought were held back in the 90’s.

The music is as timely and poignant as ever. Tom Morello is still obliterating guitar strings and effortlessly creating something most guitarists can’t even dream of. Hearing Tim C and Brad Wilk crush the beat with so much energy made me re-appreciate how much they contribute. Seeing Zach’s face when he realizes this is something special and knowing the live audience is on the same page as him is a look I may never forget.

Setlist:
Bombtrack
People of the Sun
Bulls on Parade
Bullet in the Head
Testify (with “Revolver” intro)
Tire Me
Wake Up
Guerrilla Radio
Down Rodeo
Know Your Enemy
Calm Like a Bomb
Sleep Now in the Fire
War Within a Breath
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Freedom
Killing in the Name

RATM is touring with Run The Jewels who stated that they were just excited to see Rage Against The Machine live as much as the crowd was. Killer Mike said that there is proof out there that rock and rap have more in common than people give credit. An entire audience chanting “RTJ” helped prove that.

You can find more information on upcoming tour dates on the band’s socials and IG post below.

All photos taken by Luke Spencer
on July 12th, 2022 at United Center
in Chicago, Illinois.

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