Prophets of Rage played their first ever show in Poland last night at Open’er 2017, with Chuck D telling the audience they want to: “Make Poland rage again.”
The supergroup, made up of Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord, and Cypress Hill’s B-Real, didn’t allow the gathering rain clouds to dampen their righteous ire.
They opened with their version of Public Enemy’s ‘Prophets of Rage’, the track from 1988’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ from which they take their name. The rest of the set was dominated by Rage Against The Machine’s greatest hits, although they also found time to play a handful of Cypress Hill tracks and an instrumental version of Audioslave’s ‘Like A Stone’, dedicated to Chris Cornell.
Before playing the song, guitarist Tom Morello announced: “Not that long ago a good friend of ours and a musical comrade passed away. Please give an enormous ovation for Chris Cornell. We loved him very much too. We’d like to sing a song in his memory. If you know the words, sing along. If you don’t, say a prayer for peace.”
Morello’s guitar bore the legend ‘Arm The Homeless’ on the front, and ‘Fuck Trump’ on the reverse. Before playing final song ‘Killing In The Name’, B-Real thanked the crowd and said: “We came together to talk about and against injustice and fuckery. We hope we connected with you today to make a change in the world. Dangerous times call for dangerous songs. Here’s a dangerous fucking song.”
The band were followed on the festival’s Main Stage by The Weeknd, who was also playing his first ever show in Poland. After playing ‘Reminder’ three songs into his set, the Canadian singer commented: “You know this is my first time in Poland tonight? I’m gonna have to come back next year, you guys have showed me so much love.” As the set drew to a close, he played his 2015 hit ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. Off went the lights, before he launched into ‘I Feel It Coming’ as fireworks burst above his head. He then reappeared to finish with ‘The Hills’.
The day’s most theatrical performance was provided by Polish pop star Brodka, who appeared on the Tent Stage. Despite first rising to prominence as the winner of Polish Pop Idol in 2004, her eclectic live show is a far remove from safe, commercial pop. Performing wearing disco-ball gloves with a shaved head and her face studded with pearls, with an incense stick burning at the end of her guitar, each song seemed to reflect her varied influences. She moved effortlessly from the punky ‘My Name Is Youth’, to the lush, Kate Bush-influenced ‘dreamstreamextreme’ to the St Vincent-esque heavy guitar riffs of ‘Granda’. She finished the set crowd-surfing her adoring audience.
Following her on the Tent Stage were Warpaint, who were on laidback, crowd-pleasing form. Both Emily Kokal and Jenny Lee Lindberg danced down to meet the audience whenever they weren’t playing their instruments, and Kokal introduced ‘So Good’ by asking: “Who wants to dance? This is a laid back disco tune. Like you’re roller skating.” Drummer Stella Mozgawa, whose parents are Polish, attempted to teach the rest of the band how to tell the audience ‘I love you’: “Kocham Cie.”
Earlier in the day, Mac Miller‘s Main Stage set had been delayed for 15 minutes by inclement weather. However, the Pittsburgh rapper didn’t seem to mind the rain, telling the poncho-wearing fans who’d stuck it out to see him: “I don’t know about you, but I love the rain. Let’s hear it for the rain! This is music, man. This ain’t baseball, we don’t get rained out.” Miller then slowed the set down with a piano-led rendition of ‘Congratulations’. He played a mix of heartfelt tunes like ‘Stay’ and harder rap tracks like ‘Diablo’. He closed with the heavy ‘When In Rome’, cutting his set short to finish at 7pm as originally scheduled.
Open’er Festival concludes today with headline sets from The xx and Lorde.
Prophets of Rage played:
- Prophets of Rage (Public Enemy)
- Testify (Rage Against the Machine)
- Take the Power Back (Rage Against the Machine)
- (Rock) Superstar (Cypress Hill)
- Guerrilla Radio (Rage Against the Machine)
- Unfuck The World (Prophets of Rage)
- Bombtrack (Rage Against the Machine)
- Fight the Power (Public Enemy)
- Rap interlude: 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
- Sleep Now in the Fire (Rage Against the Machine)
- Like a Stone (instrumental) (Audioslave)
- Know Your Enemy (Rage Against the Machine)
- Bullet in the Head (Rage Against the Machine)
- How I Could Just Kill a Man (Cypress Hill)
- Bulls on Parade (Rage Against the Machine)
- Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine)