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Rage against the machine is not your "bells and whistles" type band. Do not expect elaborate stage decoration when you see them at a live performance. Stage decoration for Rage Against The Machine consisted of an American Flag (turned into a banner or poster) complete with the number of the beast and an anarchy symbol with the words "Failed, Failed, You've been tricked" scrawled between the stripes. The rest of the stage consisted simply of instruments and two of their best qualities as a band, charisma and powerful playing. Who needs all that stage "dressing" when your paying attention to the message they are trying to send and/or moshing your ass off with 10,000 other fans.

I was a Rage Against The Machine fan long before they hit the mainstream "alternative" airways... yeah, everyone says that, but in this case, it happens to be true. The incredible intensity of their music, incorporating tempo changes most musicians might think twice about as well as passionate lyrics about issues we all need to recognize and resolve. Those two qualities reflect their desire to be more than just a bubble gum band who merely reaps the benefits of the rock 'n roll lifestyle - here today and gone tomorrow. Yeah, I know a lot of people who are into "alternative", that like to mosh, be angry, get pumped up, but who never really listen to the message that Rage Against The Machine is trying to send. This is evidence of the popularity of their angry style and powerful music; however, with an enormous following of fans that range between the ages of 14 and 35 you have your proof that the members of Rage Against The Machine are artists, not simply song-writers nor performers, but presenters of an idea that we need to wake up, question what is going on around us and for heaven sakes, do something! In other words, if you can hear the cry of the indigenous Mexican farmers through the voice of Zach and you aren't angry, you really should ask yourself, why?

As Rage Against The Machine points out in most every song on their two albums, there is plenty to be angry about. You need look no further than American politics and government intervention (or non-intervention for that matter) to realize that you need to "WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP". That was my best Zach scream... if you don't know what song I'm talking about, run right out, buy both albums and read this again.

So, how was the performance you ask? I was lucky enough to get front row seats, which was sweet, but just try to write down notes during this kind of a show. I don't remember another show at Red Rocks ever being so crazy. I have to give props to D & L Security, of Denver, for a tremendous (and successful) effort, holding back the raging crowd and keeping me and all other fans safe while we partied. No blood spilled and with all the chaos, I was indeed surprised. Body surfing...everywhere.... screaming fans waiting to hear their favorite songs... so, to say the least, it was a smashing good time! I would give you a set list, but I can't read my notes from the show, pretty sad I know, but if you are truly disappointed that I didn't provide that information for this review then how sad are you? Byte me. Seriously though, I doubt any writer could do justice to the artistic, passionate, intelligent and powerful music of Rage Against The Machine Against the Machine. My best advice is to go see a live performance yourself. You won't be sorry unless your in the "pit".

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