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Photo Gallery: Rage Against The Machine – United Center • Chicago

| July 13, 2022

Rage Against The Machine
United Center
Chicago, IL
July 12, 2022

Rcap and photos by Curt Baran

They warned us. It’s all there on the tape. And then they were gone. Rage Against The Machine seems to be both prophetic and simultaneously obvious. Their politics have always been the stuff of ultra-leftist viewpoints, but they’ve also screamed about the cyclical nature of history repeating itself. The threat of fascism never left us. It was simply brought out into the daylight and legitimized by the Orange Menace and a crowded herd of elected enablers.

Maybe that’s why the return of Rage Against The Machine is hitting like a dropped anvil. People are angry at the government and each other with seemingly no resolution in sight. So, on the second of two nights at Chicago’s United Center, the Los Angeles quartet provided the cathartic release that many have craved, especially since this tour has been in the works since 2019 (thanks to COVID, a coup attempt, and the general collapse of reason in the supreme court). Zach de la Rocha spit-fired lines like diatribes while invisibly shackled to a road case.

Having injured his leg early on during the previous evening’s performance, de la Rocha was carried onto the stage, unable to navigate it without assistance. His band mates then proceeded to provide him with a spleen-venting, hip-hop-infused, metallic soundtrack that never ebbed in its intensity. The injury should have subdued the energy of the proceedings. But all evidence to the contrary revealed itself. The more confined de la Rocha became, the more his struggle became a metaphor for what everyone has seemingly been through. By night’s end, he was an animal trapped in a hot car. Once he realized no one was coming back to crack the windows, he simply bared his fangs and used them to shatter the glass.

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