Prophets of Rage 10/15/16

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It seems I am destined to see Rage Against the Machine every 10 years in one form or another. I was lucky enough to see them at the Gorge in 1997 before they broke up the first time, in San Francisco in 2007 during a short-lived reunion/one-off show and now as Prophets of Rage with the instrumental core intact plus B-Real from Cypress Hill and Chuck D from Public Enemy filling in on vocal duties for Zack de la Rocha. Essentially this was as close as I was going to get to see Rage again for the foreseeable future so Bob and me got a ticket. This was one of those shows that tickets went on sale for way in advance of the show so by the time the show came around Bob had to bow out. Since most of the people that are down to go to concerts with me no longer live in San Diego, finding someone to take the vacant ticket presented more of a challenge than I originally anticipated even though the original date was changed from Sunday to Saturday night. After much effort I ended up convincing my beautiful not-so-into-metal wife to go with me because AWOLNATION was opening and I agreed to drive so she could drink.

After drinking premade Costco margaritas (deceptively strong) in the parking lot we started to hear a band playing inside the amphitheater. It was a band named Wakrat and as we made our way to our seat I realized that this 3-piece band was being led on vocals and bass by none other than the bass player from Rage, Tim Commerford. I also quickly realized that the entire lawn section of the amphitheater had been completely closed due to low attendance, which I have never seen before. It was cool for anyone that bought a lawn ticket because they were upgraded to the 300 level for free. It was not cool for us since we basically overpaid for the 300 level seats we already had. The highlight of Wakrat was during the finale when Tim Commerford dove into drums and wrestled with the drummer.

Next up was AWOLNATION. I am a casual fan that had never seen them but this was especially cool since I learned the drummer was Isaac Carpenter, who I went to high school with back in the Tri-Cities. He was a year younger but still to this day was one of the best guitar players I ever saw at the ripe age of about 15 shredding with Oil Can Boy before he turned drummer for Loudermilk/Gosling.

After a short intermission DJ Lord came onto the stage by himself and worked his way through about a 15 minute mashup of several popular songs before the rest of Prophets came on. B-Real was dressed up like a sheik with sunglasses and the band ripped into Public Enemy’s “Prophets of Rage.” All in all it was kind of like seeing 3 bands at once with the set being fairly balanced between songs from Public Enemy, Cypress Hill and Rage Against the Machine. I was impressed with how well the dual vocals worked on the Rage songs in place of Zack. “(Rock) Superstar” was killer with the instrumentation of Rage backing it up. Since this was the last stop of the tour they also had a surprise up their sleeve: they brought out Sen Dog for 2 Cypress Hill songs! At one point the members of Rage left Chuck D, B-Real and DJ Lord to do a mashup of Cypress Hill and Public Enemy songs before the “rock” came back to kick our asses back where they came from with songs like “Bullet in the Head” and “Killing in the Name.” Good shit.

SETLIST: DJ Lord Intro, Prophets of Rage, Guerilla Radio, Cochise/She Watch Channel Zero, Bombtrack, Miuzi Weighs a Ton, (Rock) Superstar, Know Your Enemy, Bombtrack, How I Could Just Kill a Man, Testify, Sleep Now in the Fire, Bullet in the Head, Cypress Hill/Public Enemy Mashup: By the Time I Get to Arizona/Hand on the Pump/Can’t Truss It/Insane in the Brain/Bring the Noise/I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That/Welcome to the Terrordome/Jump Around, Take the Power Back, People of the Sun, No Sleep Til Brooklyn/Fight the Power/The Party’s Over, Bulls on Parade, Killing in the Name

Street Scene 8/28/04

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Day 2 of Street Scene. Randomly I remember having a Chipotle burrito here for the first time with guacamole. I’ve not had one without guacamole since. This was the day there was a fiasco because the trolley ran right through the parking lot where the event was and at some point there were so many people trying to get to one of the stages that the trolley was blocked. I remember watching Eek-A-Mouse because Dee is into reggae, which worked out nicely to stake a spot for Cypress Hill. For this performance they had lost the 2 guitarists I had previously seen them with and went back to just DJ Muggs, Sen Dog and B-Real. Lots of marijuana smoke in the air but if you know anything about Cypress Hill then you already knew that. I got my fill before the main attraction for me: Foo Fighters. I had only saw them once before and had not seen them since the release of One by One. The picture of Dave Grohl in the red shirt was taken around this time period but not at this show. I included it because it invokes the main moment that sticks out in my memory. He strapped on this tuned down Dale Earnhardt Jr. Budweiser guitar (apparently given to him by Dale Jr.) and ripped into “Stacked Actors.” Awesome. There was also a moment during their set where some guy jumped up on the stage and Dave said something along the lines of “you’ve got the balls to jump on the stage but do you have the balls to show the audience your balls?” The guy did it and Dave said “You’re awesome dude. Nice balls. Now get the fuck off my stage.” I think P.O.D. ended up not being at this show for some reason but I do remember seeing some of Jack Johnson’s set.

Lollapalooza 7/4/95

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The nights were very long that summer and I smoked a lot of pot. I was looking for something in my dad’s closet and came across a brick of weed. This was more than I had ever seen and I could not resist but pinch a little something off of it. Once I got it back to my bedroom and broke it up, it turned into a quarter of an ounce! This kept our stoner appetites alive for a few months. At this point in my life I had started seeing a fiery redhead named Daisy who I had met through my friend Jackie. She was the first girl that I ever really cared about. I was smitten. She was a few years younger but seemed much wiser than her years. She was a prototypical rock chick who happened to play the piano since an early age. She was probably a big reason me and Marvin decided to attend Lollapalooza 95’. There were bands playing that we wanted to see and we had missed the year before because it occurred on the first day of school. Ironically 94’ was the year Nirvana was supposed to headline. We had also missed the magical 93’ lineup that showcased Alice In Chains, Tool, and Rage Against the Machine. Jackie, Daisy, and their friend J.R. had decided to go up the night before and camp. I later found out that on that night Daisy had fooled around with someone at the campground, which is what eventually broke us up. The temperature on the 4th of July was particularly hot that year. Beck was the first band to perform that I really cared about. This is about the time he had broke into the mainstream with “Loser.” The next band that I wanted to see was Cypress Hill. They came out on stage with a 15 foot bong and they were also the first band I had ever seen toke up on stage. The next band I wanted to see was Hole. Courtney Love was a mess because of Kurt’s death and acted appropriately. She kept taking her top off and berating the crowd but overall put on a decent show. The headliner that year was Sonic Youth. I was not and still am not that big of a fan but they definitely impressed me that night.