LOS ANGELES Political rockers Rage Against the Machine have received permission to play a free show Monday night (Aug. 14) across the street from the Democratic National Convention, where President Clinton is scheduled to speak.
City officials approved the performance on Friday, according to Rage Against the Machine publicist Michelle Fleischli, who said the group did not need a special permit. A federal judge designated the area where Rage will perform as an open demonstration site, so the city could have faced charges of censorship if it hadn't allowed the concert. The show will be held across from the Staples Center around 6 p.m., the same time Clinton is scheduled to address the convention.
Police are concerned that the title of the band's most recent album, 1999's The Battle of Los Angeles, may prove prophetic.
The Los Angeles Police Department is "gravely concerned," Cmdr. David Kalish told the Los Angeles Times, because the band could attract a crowd prone to volatile behavior. Already, as many as 50,000 protesters are expected to show up for the convention.
"We're a rock band; we make CDs," Rage guitarist Tom Morello said in the Times story. "We're certainly not the danger to society that the rogue elements of the LAPD are. ... We don't beat homeless people, we don't steal, we don't kill people."