Los Angeles legends celebrate Christmas Number One with Clash cover
Rage Against The Machine made good on their promise of a free London show tonight (June 6) – playing a triumphant open air show in Finsbury Park in front of 40,000 fans.
The Los Angeles band had promised to play the show following a Facebook campaign to prevent 2009 winner of The X Factor Joe McElderry from reaching the festive top spot with his cover of Miley Cyrus‘ ‘The Climb’. They pledged to play the free show if enough people downloaded their signature tune ‘Killing In The Name’.
The band covered all costs of putting on the show themselves, paying for it through a string of European festivals this summer.
Before they took the stage, the screens broadcast a cartoon parody of Simon Cowell voiced by comedian Mark Steele, who, after making light of the judge’s “strangely erect nipples,” said, “it gives me great displeasure to introduce the greatest rock band in the world, Rage Against The Machine.”
Rage powered through tracks ‘Testify’ and ‘Bombtrack’ as the sun went down, before singer Zack de la Rocha introduced to the stage Jon and Tracy Morter, who had orchestrated the campaign. “I want to introduce you to two people who had an idea, an idea that spread through the grassroots.”
Explaining how the Morters had urged those who downloaded ‘Killing In The Name’ to donate money to homeless charity Shelter, Tom Morello said: “Not only are they great political strategists, they’re humanitarians, and they inspired Rage Against The Machine to donate 100 per cent of the profit from your downloads to Shelter.”
The band then handed over a giant cheque, with Morello exclaiming “Fucking up the system never felt so good!”
De la Rocha then went on to pay tribute to the British punk tradition and the bands who had inspired them to first pick up guitars, leading into an incendiary cover of The Clash‘s ‘White Riot‘.
When the band left the stage before the encore, McElderry‘s version of ‘The Climb’ was pumped out into the park, with quotes from newspapers, McElderry and Cowell telling the bizarre story of the campaign, before flashing up the words ‘YOU Made History’.
The band then returned to the stage for an ecstatically received rendition of ‘Killing In The Name’.
Rage Against The Machine played:
‘People Of The Sun’
‘Know Your Enemy’
‘Bulls On Parade’
‘Bullet In The Head’
‘Sleep Now In The Fire’
‘Killing In The Name’