This year at least, Rage Against the Machine are bipartisan bomb-throwers. The agit-rockers, who are already playing a show in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention in September , have just announced another gig during the Democratic National Convention in Denver at the end of this month.
The “Tent State Music Festival to End the War” will take place August 27 at the Denver Coliseum and feature sets by Rage, the Flobots, the Coup, State Radio and former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, whose proto-punk band famously performed against the wishes of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley during the violent protests outside the 1968 DNC gathering. The band went home without their instruments, but they did have bloody battle scars from brawls with police.
Rage also know a thing or two about getting shut down at the DNC, as their 2000 set during the party’s gathering in Los Angeles erupted in chaos when police rushed in and used tear gas to disperse the crowd. This year’s all-ages show will begin at 11 a.m., and tickets are free to those who sign up for the lottery by presenting a valid ID at the Tent State University location in Denver between August 24 and August 26. Winners will be notified by e-mail on August 26.
The Denver protest event is being put on in conjunction with the Iraq Veterans Against the War and Tent State University, a group that works to help young people “take back their campuses and their communities.” Tent State plans to erect a “sea of tents” in City Park, Denver, during the DNC and create an “alternative university, teaching tactics and strategies necessary to force an end to this war.” Among the guests on tap during the protest are third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
During the protest, Tent State will also host a series of other shows as part of the first Tent State Music Festival, featuring sets by longtime social critic and ex-Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, as well as the Coup, Michelle Shocked, Jill Sobule and some “special guests” during an event they are billing as “4 Days of Love & Action.”
The logo for the protest, as well as the slogan, are meant to evoke the iconic poster for the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival, which promised “3 Days of Peace and Music” and featured a white bird sitting on the neck of a guitar. The Tent State festival, in contrast, features an electric guitar being held aloft by a fist.
The organization has several days’ worth of creative protests planned, including the Funky Snake Marches that will wind through downtown to protest the war in Iraq, daily morning gatherings that the group says will “turn downtown into one massive reminder to the delegates and the public of what war looks like” and the erection of mock checkpoints around Denver on August 26 to “mimic the experiences we force on people in Iraq, Palestine and on the U.S./Mexico border.”
Other acts scheduled to perform during the Tent State festival include: Melissa Ivey, Blue Scholars, Son of Nun, God-des and She, 8″ Betsy, David Rovics, Rachel Bagby, Common Market, Apex Vibe, P Nuckle, Fulcrum, Kombat, DJ Russh and the Flash Mob.
The latest Rage show is part of a growing musical roster for both conventions, which also includes a just-announced Grammy Foundation-sponsored gig featuring Daughtry, Everclear and the Flobots during the DNC; a Service Employees International Union-sponsored show by Rage guitarist Tom Morello, Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco and Steve Earle during the Republican Convention; and various other local concerts in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area during the gathering.
MTV News and our Street Team ’08 citizen journalists will be on the ground at both conventions, sorting through speeches, streamers and ceremony to find the information you need to choose our next president. Stay tuned for more coverage.
Get informed! Head to Choose or Lose for nonstop coverage of the 2008 presidential election, including everything from the latest news on the candidates to on-the-ground multimedia reports from our 51 citizen journalists, MTV and MySpace’s Presidential Dialogues, and much more.