On June 6 2010, LA rap metallers Rage Against Machine played a free concert in London’s Finsbury Park. The show thanked fans for making ‘Killing In The Name’ the Christmas Number One as a protest against The X Factor. A DVD of the gig, out now, shows just one of their finest attempts at sticking it to The Man…
RAGE AGAINST SIMON COWELL
Finsbury Park (2010)
When ‘Killing In The Name’ hit Number One, it put an end to The X-Factor’s reign over the UK’s festive singles chart. This show was a “cheers!” to everyone who bought the song. “If Rage had entered the competition, they wouldn’t have got past boot camp,” went an on-screen cartoon parody of Simon Cowell. Cue: 40,000 people booing.
RAGE AGAINST GUANTANAMO BAY
Reading Festival (2008)
The band were vocal in their desire for the US detention camp to be closed, and wore orange boiler suits and black hoods. “We need to end torture and close Guantanamo now,” said guitarist Tom Morello.
RAGE AGAINST THE STOCK EXCHANGE
New York (2000)
Rage rocked up to the New York Stock Exchange to record the video for ‘Sleep Now In The Fire’. Director Michael Moore gave the band one instruction: “No matter what, don’t stop playing.” The NYPD swarmed, the building shut. “For a few minutes, they shut down American capitalism,” said Moore.
RAGE AGAINST SWEATSHOPS
Santa Monica (1997)
In 1997, Morello was nicked for obstruction of a place of business while on a demo against the sweatshop labour used by jeans brand Guess. “They think that fashion is more important and that brutal exploitation of workers isn’t going to matter to them,” he said.
RAGE AGAINST CENSORSHIP
During Lollapalooza 1993, the band appeared naked on stage for 10 minutes, with only duct tape covering their mouths. The move was made as a stand against censorship. “We were hauled off by the police,” said bass player Tim Commerford. “That was a special moment.”