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Revisiting the Rage

drums1225

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In the 80's and early 90's, I was all about hard rock and metal as a player, fan, and concert-goer. But it's been a long time since I rock and rolled. I mean, I play rock gigs all the time, but I haven't actively listened to hard rock or metal or gone to many shows since the mid-90s. Once I became aware of Tower of Power and the Chick Corea Electrik Band in the mid-to-late 80's, my slow, gradual departure from the heavy music I grew up on was underway. It still holds a place in my heart, and every once in a while, I'll pick up my guitar and play some heavy riffs, but overall, it's just not my vibe anymore. I seek a different type of musical release than what loud, angry, aggressive music offers.

A few weeks ago, I got a text from my lifelong best friend saying, "Just a heads up, the Rage concert is on August 9th". I totally forgot that he had bought a bunch of tickets to see Rage Against the Machine back in 2020 (just before the pandemic) and offered me one. At the time, I told him I might be interested, for nostalgia's sake, but I didn't give it another thought. Of course, the 2020 tour never happened. It was completely off my radar. I loved the first RATM album and wore it out in the early 90's, but I wasn't really enthusiastic about going to the show. I was even thinking of bailing and offering my ticket to someone else, but a combination of some travel gigs and sheer procrastination made it slip my mind until the show was upon us. I didn't want to be a jerk and stick him with a ticket late in the game, so I figured, "What the hell? At the very least, I'll get to hang out with some great friends".

Damn, what a mistake it would have been to miss this show. Rage KILLED it, and I was brought right back to how much I dug their first album (and to a lesser extent, their 2nd album) and how, sometimes, having that type of release can be good for you. It still felt familiar. The band sounded great, the production and visuals were great, and Rage's monster riffs and grooves shook MSG. Just a powerful display. Zack de la Rocha had a leg injury (recently disclosed as a torn ACL), so he couldn't put any weight on it. He sat on a road case the whole time, but his energy and charisma wasn't diminished one bit and he had the Garden in the palm of his hand from the first downbeat. I just read that they canceled the rest of the tour, so I'm glad I caught them when I did. My friends went again two days later.

After the show, my friends (non-musicians, but HUGE music enthusiasts, and particularly Rush/Neil Peart freaks) asked me what I thought of Brad Wilk's drumming. I was honest in saying I really enjoyed his playing, but he didn't play much that could be seen as "advanced" or challenging, though he did some cool stuff in his solo. Middle-aged me doesn't need pyrotechnics to appreciate a drummer the same way my younger self did. Wilk kicked the band's ass all night with every note being right in the pocket. They grooved hard.

The next day, I picked up my guitar and played "Bombtrack" completely from memory. I'm going to send my friend a video of me playing it as a thanks for fronting the cash and wrangling us complacent middle-aged dudes to recapture our younger days for a couple of hours. He'll get a huge kick out of it.

Anger is a gift.
 

dje31

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Musically, I like RAtM, but can't stand the "singer." Found him completely annoying.

An instrumental with them would be fine. Or just listen to Audioslave.
 

INeedDrumLessons

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I saw Rage on the Evil Empire tour in ‘97. To this day it’s still the best concert I’ve ever been to. They turned the lights on during Bulls on Parade and the crowd was a sea of synchronized thrashing and pogo-ing. It was magical.
 

Tony_H

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In the 80's and early 90's, I was all about hard rock and metal as a player, fan, and concert-goer. But it's been a long time since I rock and rolled. I mean, I play rock gigs all the time, but I haven't actively listened to hard rock or metal or gone to many shows since the mid-90s. Once I became aware of Tower of Power and the Chick Corea Electrik Band in the mid-to-late 80's, my slow, gradual departure from the heavy music I grew up on was underway. It still holds a place in my heart, and every once in a while, I'll pick up my guitar and play some heavy riffs, but overall, it's just not my vibe anymore. I seek a different type of musical release than what loud, angry, aggressive music offers.

A few weeks ago, I got a text from my lifelong best friend saying, "Just a heads up, the Rage concert is on August 9th". I totally forgot that he had bought a bunch of tickets to see Rage Against the Machine back in 2020 (just before the pandemic) and offered me one. At the time, I told him I might be interested, for nostalgia's sake, but I didn't give it another thought. Of course, the 2020 tour never happened. It was completely off my radar. I loved the first RATM album and wore it out in the early 90's, but I wasn't really enthusiastic about going to the show. I was even thinking of bailing and offering my ticket to someone else, but a combination of some travel gigs and sheer procrastination made it slip my mind until the show was upon us. I didn't want to be a jerk and stick him with a ticket late in the game, so I figured, "What the hell? At the very least, I'll get to hang out with some great friends".

Damn, what a mistake it would have been to miss this show. Rage KILLED it, and I was brought right back to how much I dug their first album (and to a lesser extent, their 2nd album) and how, sometimes, having that type of release can be good for you. It still felt familiar. The band sounded great, the production and visuals were great, and Rage's monster riffs and grooves shook MSG. Just a powerful display. Zack de la Rocha had a leg injury (recently disclosed as a torn ACL), so he couldn't put any weight on it. He sat on a road case the whole time, but his energy and charisma wasn't diminished one bit and he had the Garden in the palm of his hand from the first downbeat. I just read that they canceled the rest of the tour, so I'm glad I caught them when I did. My friends went again two days later.

After the show, my friends (non-musicians, but HUGE music enthusiasts, and particularly Rush/Neil Peart freaks) asked me what I thought of Brad Wilk's drumming. I was honest in saying I really enjoyed his playing, but he didn't play much that could be seen as "advanced" or challenging, though he did some cool stuff in his solo. Middle-aged me doesn't need pyrotechnics to appreciate a drummer the same way my younger self did. Wilk kicked the band's ass all night with every note being right in the pocket. They grooved hard.

The next day, I picked up my guitar and played "Bombtrack" completely from memory. I'm going to send my friend a video of me playing it as a thanks for fronting the cash and wrangling us complacent middle-aged dudes to recapture our younger days for a couple of hours. He'll get a huge kick out of it.

Anger is a gift.
Welcome back! RAtM has been a part of my various playlists since the early 90's and it never gets old.
 


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