RATM‘s Live At Finsbury Park is a must have document from the titans of guerilla funk metal.
In late 2009, a successful campaign was launched by English DJ Jon Morter and his wife Tracy to promote an alternative to the omnipresent “X-Factor” winner being the Christmas No. 1 hit in the U.K. singles chart. The track they nominated was RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s “Killing In The Name”. The band supported the campaign, donated the proceeds from the sales to charity and lead singer Zack de la Rocha promised that RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE would perform a free concert in the U.K. to celebrate the achievement. This is that concert.
From a crucial introduction from professor Chuck D of hip hop greats Public Enemy (who have a dope new album out this year Man Plans, God Laughs) to a fired up crowd truly passionate and alive after doing the unthinkable and taking the power back from the gross spectacle the pop charts have become, this was a landmark moment for music with bite breaking through. It should be as essential viewing as The Clash at Shea Stadium or the new Run The Jewels clip (featuring De La Rocha) for their racial violence song “Close Your Eyes (And Count To F–K).
We have missed RATM on wax despite the infrequent but still vital times they have risen up for sporadic live shows. I get that The Battle Of Los Angeles is a damn hard act to follow (and Bleed The Pigs, OTEP and Stray From The Path have done their best to fill the void), but seeing the sea of people surging to “Testify” or being fresh from watching the 2015 Dem Debates on my tv and hearing Clinton get it wrong on medical marijuana or candidates drag feet on Snowden, Wall Street reform and other issues, it’s good to know that somewhere there was once more of a spark of resistance in our alternative music and not just trying to get everyone nude at a festical, all due respect to Miley & The Lips. While maybe that could be revolutionary for Millenials in 2015 eager to pick and choose from the hippy days, but it seems like a good recipe for douche bro/ molly rape to me, the validity of body acceptance themed events notwithstanding.
As De La Rocha raps the familiar words from the great S/T album about the bombtrack starting as a “sketch in my notebook”, you wonder how many people are trying to drop knowledge at a higher level and how many just want to get high.
Finsbury is a great example of the populace being engaged in their own destiny and saying “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”.