It’s a safe bet that few of the attendees of the upcoming Republican National Convention (September 1-4) in St. Paul, Minnesota, will take a break from the expected coronation of Senator John McCain as the party’s presidential hopeful to attend a certain show taking place across the river in Minneapolis.
Mainly because the headliners are Rage Against the Machine, who, according to Minneapolis’ Star Tribune, will bring their incendiary politics and anthems of violent revolution to the Target Center September 3. Coming off a fierce performance at last weekend’s Lollapalooza — during which singer Zack de la Rocha was forced to stop the show three times to ask the crowd to stop crushing fans near the front of the stage — the band will likely be plugging in and offering a less-than-favorable view of conservative politics.
De la Rocha recently called for President Bush to be “tried for being a war criminal,” and during the band’s Lolla set, he raged against the last eight years of Republican rule and even had a word of warning for “Brother Obama,” referring to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama.
“Now, we know Brother Obama. … But I tell you what, if he comes to power come November and he doesn’t start pulling troops out of Afghanistan, I know a lot of people who are gonna stand up and burn down every office of every Senate.”
In addition to the Rage show, the band’s guitarist, Tom Morello, will hook up with outspoken singer/songwriter and fellow social activist Steve Earle to perform a show at a union rally on September 1 at St. Paul’s Harriet Island.
Rage played a free show at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 2000 that erupted in chaos when police rushed in and used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd, who they said had gathered unlawfully.
If Saturday night’s headlining set at Lollapalooza is any indication, the scene at the Target Center could get very intense. Despite the appearance of chaos and a bit of panic from fans attempting to flee the crush of the crowd, festival spokesperson Shelby Meade told MTV News on Sunday that there were actually fewer medical issues during the Rage set than during Radiohead’s headlining gig on Friday night, when more fans were overcome by the intense heat up front. She said most of the medical attention Saturday night was also due to fans overcome by heat and that the ones taken out of the pit on backboards were transported that way as a safety precaution.
A medical worker told the Chicago Tribune that no serious injuries were suffered during the Rage set, though an unspecified number of fans were taken to local hospitals with broken bones and were to be released Monday. “It was nothing out of the ordinary for a big show,” Charlie Walker, one of the co-owners of Lollapalooza concert promoter C3 Productions, told the paper.
Meade also confirmed reports that “about 100″ fans without tickets who had been listening to Rage from outside the festival’s gates pushed down a fence and rushed the venue, but were quickly turned back by horse-mounted police.