Los Angeles legends also rail against American and Israeli governments
Rage Against The Machine attacked “pop bullshit” as they headlined the Download festival tonight (June 12).
In the introduction to ‘Know Your Enemy’, singer Zack De la Rocha had a dig at the X Factor, saying that, while the song wasn’t about Simon Cowell, it was about what he represents.
Despite arriving onstage 20 minutes after their billed show kick-off of 9pm (BST), Rage Against The Machine wasted no time in getting down to business, starting their headline set with a searing rendition of ‘Testify’, followed by an equally incendiary ‘Bombtrack’.
Their third track ‘People Of The Sun’ was cut short after a crush in the crowd. “Brothers and sisters,” said De la Rocha, “please, please take care of each other.” De la Rocha then asked the people at the front of the crowd to take a step back for their own and other fans’ safety.
“There’s a couple people been real hurt over here,” he added, after a member of the security team went up on stage to tell him what was happening in the crowd.
When the crush had calmed down, De la Rocha yelled out “rewind!” and restarted ‘People Of The Sun’ from the beginning.
After the song, De la Rocha spoke again to the audience, thanking them for taking part in the Facebook campaign which saw them score last year’s Christmas Number One with ‘Killing In The Name Of’.
Other targets in line for De la Rocha‘s scorn were the governments of America and Israel, who he chastised during ‘Township Rebellion’.
The set included also a cover of The Clash‘s ‘White Riot’, and there was a two-song encore, which finished with the mass crowd yell-along of ‘Killing In The Name’.
De la Rocha held up a clenched fist for the opening few chords of the song and grinned broadly whilst surveying the huge crowd. “Thank you! Thank you so much!” he said at the end of the track, as he and the rest of the band applauded the crowd and then joined together for a group hug.
The band’s set followed a video screened to honour the work and life of the late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray. Featuring footage of Gray playing live, as well as candid clips of him rehearsing, the crowd cheered when the words “We Love You Paul” were written across the screens.
Rage Against The Machine played:
‘People Of The Sun’
‘Know Your Enemy’
‘Bulls On Parade’
‘Bullet In Your Head’
‘Calm Like A Bomb’
‘Sleep Now In The Fire’
‘Killing In The Name’
NME is coming live from the Download and Isle Of Wight festivals this weekend. Head to NME.COM/festivals for the latest news, photos, videos, blogs and more straight from both sites.