UK (London), June 6, 2010
smb, on june 09, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Rage Against the Machine are known for their great quality hi-fi crystal clear sound, and at Finsbury Park they had a PA worthy of the band. The gig was a bit on the quiet side though. Tom Morello mostly played his Arm the Homeless guitar and all the weird noises he gets out of it in his solos sounded great. Tim Commorford's bass sounded punchy and clear but was perhaps a little underwhelming after bass-heavy support bands Roots Manuva and Gogol Bordello. // 8
Perfomance: This being the victory party for the campaign to get Rage to #1 for Christmas, the band were playing to a pretty friendly audience. 40,000 free ticket winners had turned out to hear all the hits, and I don't think anyone would have gone home disappointed with the band's performance or song selection. Township Rebellion was a particular highlight, dedicated to ending the Gaza blockade. Bullet In The Head was another standout track. The band were introduced by an animated Simon Cowell. In the middle of the set, Rage presented the Facebook group's founders with a cheque addressed to homeless charity Shelter. They played a cover of the Clash song White Riot which went down well with fans, but of course everyone was there to hear the Christmas #1 single Killing in the Name which was performed as an Encore to a rapturous reception. // 9
Overall Impression: It would have been nice to have seen something more interesting done with the stage, and perhaps if the band could have got some guests to come and play with them or something, but at the end of the day it was a free show, and still Rage put on an unforgettable performance. The audience was pretty indifferent to openers Gallows and Roots Manuva, and while Gogol Bordello were more popular with the Rage crowd they put on a subdued performance compared to the normally mental Gogol stage show. But Rage were the stars and they ploughed through their hits with enthusiasm, though there was no icing on the cake it was a great free day out. // 7
UK (London), June 6, 2010
MaidenandEddy, on june 09, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Totally brilliant. Open air concerts can sometimes have problems with sound as the wind can blow it around, but today this was not the case. Everyone could be heard clearly and the wizadry of Tom Morello was delivered to every pair of ears watching the show. All the songs were flawlessly performed and vocalist Zack de la Rocha was on fine form, relaying every word with the same grit and rage that the studio recordings bring out. Simply outstanding. // 10
Perfomance: Songs by Rage Against the Machine breath anger from start to finish. Live, they take that anger and multiply it by ten! The setlist was as follows:
03. People of the Sun
04. Know Your Enemy
05. Bulls on Parade
06. Township Rebellion
07. Bullet in the Head
08. White Riot ('The Clash' cover)
09. Guerrilla Radio
10. Sleep Now in the Fire
12. Killing in the Name
The band had been saying that they wanted Simon Cowell to introduce them, and whilst we didn't get the man himself, we did get a very amusing cartoon version of him instead. Entering and opening up with a now-staple beginning of Testify and Bombtrack, Rage were every bit the live band we've come to expect and love. There is no need to use special effects like pyros and fireworks, because the songs and the fury that delivers each track is enough. Halfway through, the band brought on Jon and Tracy Morter, who began the Facebook campaign to get 'Killing in the Name' to Number One, and presented them with a cheque for almost 163,000 to donate to the charity Shelter. They found time to praise bands like The Sex Pistols, The Jam and The Clash, before tearing into a cover of the latter's 'White Riot'. And finally, they reminded us why they were here: a video showcasing the press coverage leading up the the Christmas chart show preceding an utterly magical rendition of 'Killing in the Name'. One word to sum it all up? Wow. // 10
Overall Impression: The excitement for this event had been building since mid-February: Rage Against the Machine's free gig for getting to Christmas Number One ahead of X Factor winner Joe McElderry. Finsbury Park became a mini-festival for the day, with rides, stalls and, (in true RATM style), political petition and charity tents. Three support acts were also confirmed for the day: Gallows, Roots Manuva and Gogol Bordello. Gallows walked on stage to the National Anthem before ripping into a cover of The Sex Pistols 'God Save the Queen' and set the tone for the rest of their set. Vocalist Frank Carter was once described as 'the best British vocalist not called Bruce Dickinson', and it's clear why - he spent most of the time in the audience and was full of energy and jokes. If you are attending this year's Sonisphere Festival, miss them at your peril.
Hip-hop star Roots Manuva was up next, and whilst you cannot deny that he and his band were performing to their best, the sense that they were slightly out of place was always overhanging. Especially as they disappeared offstage without any warning at all.
Gogol Bordello, on the other hand, are a live experience worth watching. Their brand of 'gypsy rock' has to be seen to be believed, but they pulled it off with some aplomb, culminating in Ecuadorian member Pedro Erazo throwing a drum into the audience, before climbing onto it and surfing for a few minutes.
Tonight, however, was all about the headliners, and having been nicely warmed up, the band entered and simply blew away everyone else on stage. Whoever is going to Download Festival is in for a real treat, because Rage are on top form. There are some performances and shows that go down in history: Led Zeppelin at Knebworth in 1979, Def Leppard at Donington in 1986. This event will surely go down alongside them: the day Rage Against the Machine threw a free victory party for 60,000 people and rounded off their historical Facebook campagin in style. // 10