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This item originally appeared in the Dec. 11, 2003, issue of The Tech Talk.

Rage Against the Machine

"Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium"


Grade: A

Nothing is quite like a live album with fans screaming the lyrics like a group of comrades.

This musical extravaganza starts with a dose of "Bulls on Parade," followed with a spoonful of "Bullet in the Head" and a little "Born of a Broken Man" to wash it down. The sheer energy of these guys live is staggering in the vocals, improvisational bass work and screaming guitars.

The fourth track, "Killing in the Name Of" showcases vocalist Zack De La Rocha, the satirist and skeptic. "Some of those that burn crosses/Are the same that hold office."

"I'm Housin'" waah-waahs straight to your ear, with De La Rocha's vocals alternating from liquid flow to a full-mouthed growl. The best thing about these guys shines here: their ability to harness silences around the cut of De La Rocha's delivery.

Skip to the finale, "Freedom." This is a landmark Rage track, anyway, but this live set's finale is pure thump in your rump. De La Rocha reminds us all, "Your anger is a gift," and it won't stun fans in the slightest when he ends with "Freedom... for Mumia."

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist and Pennsylvania death-row inmate convicted for murdering a police officer, though many still believe he is innocent.

This 16-song set, recorded live on September 13, 2000, represents the band's last time on stage together before parting ways; De La Rocha to his solo pursuits and the instrumentalists from Rage joining ex-Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell in Audioslave.

And, what an ending.

-- By Nick Todaro, Staff Writer

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