Rage Against the Machine performed Saturday night before a crowd of over 30,000 at Alpine Valley Music Theater in Wisconsin after 11 years of inactivity—including a pandemic-related postponement.
Since the band’s first announcement of their current tour in 2019, Rage fans have been anticipating the band’s epic reunion. The first schedule called for the event to get underway in El Paso, Texas, not far from the border, immediately after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
The United States has experienced an increase in political angst throughout the course of the group’s two-year deferral. This restlessness was let loose throughout Rage’s performance. Zack de La Rocha mumbled moans and whispered appeals for freedom as the band projected a proclamation in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Forced conception in a nation that is the only developed nation in the world with no national guarantee of paid parental leave. forced childbirth in a nation where mothers of color endure maternal death rates that are two to three times greater than those of white mothers. forced conception in a nation where gun violence is the leading cause of mortality for children and adolescents. Finally, “Abolish the Supreme Court.”
On June 24, shortly after the Roe reversal was made public, Rage made the announcement that the $475,000 in ticket revenue from the Alpine event and two gigs at the United Center in Chicago will be donated to charities supporting reproductive rights in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Rage played the finest songs from its repertoire for the duration of its hour-and-a-half set and gave fans a special surprise with a version of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” from its 2000 cover album “Renegades.” The last time Rage put out fresh music was 23 years ago. The ensemble has not played since 2011 up until the performance on Saturday night.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that there was no speech during the performance, and the actors periodically left the stage as gory visuals were shown behind them. A Border Patrol agent posed with an upset German Shepherd, an El Paso police cruiser on fire, and a blindfolded youngster tore apart an ICE agent piata, among other scenes.
Through April of the following year, the band will make stops on their reunion tour in 12 different nations.