Looking back at all of the major tours cancelled in 2020 by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Rage Against the Machine’s Public Service Announcement Tour was certainly one of the most anticipated to be halted. Now, after two years, RATM (vocalist Zach de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, drummer Brad Wilk, and bassist Tim Commerford) was finally able to begin their road run at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin—nearly 12 years to the day since they played their last show. After stops in cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and a few dates in Canada, RATM kicked off the first of five historic nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The landmark band released four groundbreaking albums before breaking up in 2000. They returned in 2007-2010 to play a number of major festivals and short tours. Although the group hasn’t released an album since Renegades in 2000, their catalog stands the test of time, with songs that are still quite relevant.
Following an opening set by Run the Jewels, the almighty RATM took the stage, welcomed by an energetic packed house. They opened with “Bombtrack,” “People of the Sun,” and “Bulls on Parade.” While playing the United Center in Chicago, de la Rocha injured his foot and has performed sitting down since, this night included. Amid a simple stage setup with only amps and a large screen in the rear, the set continued with such hits as “Testify,” “Guerilla Radio,” and “Take the Power Back.” After three decades, the outspoken unit is as intense as ever and still has a timely message to share. The closer was none other than “Killing in the Name,” which starts off with Commerford’s iconic bass line, which he played on his signature Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray 4-string. This show rocked hard and was definitely worth the wait.
RATM will play MSG again tonight, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
Rage Against the Machine Setlist 8-8-22
People of the Sun
Bulls on Parade
Bullet in the Head
Take the Power Back
Know Your Enemy
Calm Like a Bomb
Sleep Now in the Fire
Born of a Broken Man
War Within a Breath
The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Killing in the Name