Rage Against The Machine’s Countdown Clock: What’s It Counting Down To?

Web site is sponsored by concert-promotion company.

When it was announced back on January 22 that Rage Against the Machine would reunite for a headlining slot at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in April, it was implied that the show would be the band’s only reunion gig.

In fact, guitarist Tom Morello told MTV News that Coachella’s closing set would be Rage’s sole reunion performance, at least for the foreseeable future (see “Rage Against The Machine’s Ferocious Reunion Caps Coachella’s Final Night” and “Nightwatchman, Rage Reunion Have Morello Fired Up For Political Fights” ).

Then, two months ago, Rage — who split in 2000 — announced that they’d be participating in the revived Rock the Bells Festival alongside Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy and others this summer. The band has agreed to appear at the July 28 and 29 dates at New York’s Randall’s Island; the August 11 gig in San Bernardino, California; and the August 18 stop in San Francisco.

Now, a new Web site has surfaced, ratm82407.com, which features two countdown clocks and the opening riff to Rage’s “Bulls on Parade” running in a continuous — and, to be honest, annoying — loop.

One clock is set to expire on Monday, with the other ticking away to August 24. But beyond that, there’s little information about the actual site itself (which is registered to LiveNation, the concert promotion company spun off by radio giant Clear Channel Communications), or what it might mean.

Because of who owns the site — and the band’s reversal of the “one gig” commitment — it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume it signifies the announcement of an upcoming, full-on Rage reunion tour and a new studio LP, or possibly even a live release recorded during the band’s Coachella set (see “Rage Against The Machine’s Ferocious Reunion Caps Coachella’s Final Night” ). Really, at this point, it’s all just mere speculation on the part of fans and music-biz insiders.

Spokespeople for LiveNation and Rage had not responded to MTV News’ requests for comment at press time. But one Rage fan site, vietnow.org, may have figured it all out.

The site claims the band has booked a show in East Troy, Wisconsin, on August 24, at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre — basing that assumption on HTML code obtained from the LiveNation-controlled Rage site. Upon viewing the source of the “Spread the Word” pop-up, vietnow.org claims a hidden form value — which it says is intended to help LiveNation keep track of its promotions — includes the words “Rage at Alpine.” After viewing the same source code, MTV News did not find the phrase, but the site predicted early last month that the band would play a gig at Alpine on August 24.

Whatever the new Rage site might mean, no official clarification seems likely until Monday — when the final seconds fade from the first countdown clock — at the soonest.