Rage Against The Machine: The Battle of Minneapolis, part deux

Rage Against the Machine Target Center, Sep. 4 Review by Desiree Weber Photo by Andrea Myers

Rage Against the Machine took the stage last night at the Target Center. And at least this time, they got to play. The police presence before the show was minimal – a few riot police were stationed on the corners around the Target Center as fans were streaming into the building. That was not the case afterward.

It seems that the cops weren’t the only ones that sensed that some shit might go down.

Rage Against The Machine: The Battle of Minneapolis, part deux

Zach de la Rocha didn't have to make do with a bullhorn on Wednesday. More photos in the slideshow.

As if to proclaim the presence of the harpy herself, air raid sirens alerted everyone to 4 figures being escorted on stage. All four members of the band were clad in orange jumpsuits and black hoods; they played all of “Bomb Track” in that get-up. Zach de la Rocha’s voice is pretty unmistakable, but it wasn’t until the next song “Testify” that the crowd got a glimpse of him and Tom Morello without their hoods.

By a couple songs in, the mosh pit was in full force and even the self-described Republican next to me dared to nod his head to the beat. He must have gotten special compensation from the hag across the river to even come to the show. Lucky him – at least he didn’t have to hear her verbal diarrhea. (Ok, if you still don’t know, I’m talking about Sarah Palin.)

Rage is no stranger to riled up fans and really, having a light display on stage that reads “RNC Fuck You” isn’t all that subtle. But de la Rocha is smarter than your average ‘anarchist’ getting pepper-sprayed in the streets: his soliloquy on the police state and foreign policy was hopefully not lost on the drunken masses. And here’s a little newsflash for all those Republicans that think they can get away with it: he knows that protesters broke a bunch of windows but that the government broke two countries. He knows that they say it’s for our security, but he wants you to tell that to New Orleans. And adding a bit of snark of his own, he even made fun of the shrew herself, pointing out that Palin’s daughter is pregnant at seventeen. What you reap is indeed what you sow.

The show ended with “Killing in the Name” and an entreaty to the fans to show more restraint than the police had so far in the week.

And shockingly, the rows and rows of riot police and bicycle cops lined two-deep outside didn’t reassure me about my safety. I didn’t stick around for the impromptu march or the eventual (inevitable?) corralling, gassing and arresting of about 100 fans – but what happened at least represents an entirely different culture war than the Republican nominee for vice predator tried to incite on the other side of the river. -- Desiree Weber

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