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Gig Review: Prophets of Rage @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 20/03/2018

27 Mar 2018 // A review by Paul Goddard
I was lucky enough to see Rage Against the Machine just after they released their debut album. It was a tiny venue in the UK and the energy and anger along with Tom Morello's insane guitar histrionics was a massive influence on me and the music I wanted to create. It was a new sound something truly revolutionary. I don't remember hooking into the political side of the lyrics I just connected to this insanely catchy, heavy sound and how good they were live.

So here we are 20 years later via Audioslave, Public Enemy, Cypress Hill to witness Prophets of Rage. Zach has gone (check out the vastly underrated EP by One Day as A Lion) and critics have written this band off as a nostalgic covers act but there is a real air of anticipation that you can feel as you walk into a very intimate Spark Arena.

DJ Lord is on the decks warming up the crowd with an eclectic mix of beats ending in a twisted version of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. The crowd is pumped and not just in the pit. All around people are standing, heads are banging as the lights burn red and Prophets of Rage take the stage.

From the opening silo of the self-titled Prophets of Rage, it is clear the band are fired up and they are all over the stage like an act half their age. Morello, in particular, is in amazing form and what follows is 90 minutes I will never forget.

It doesn't matter if only 4 of the 19 songs they blast through are new tracks. Prophets of Rage are more than the sum of their parts. We get to experience the magic that made their previous bands so special. There is no let-up, and this is the best atmosphere I have experienced at any gig.

One highlight is when we get a medley of Cypress Hill/Public Enemy Hand on The Pump/Can't Truss It/Insane in The Brain/Bring the Noise/I Ain't Going Out Like That/ Welcome to the Terrordome/Jump Around.

This is followed by Tom introducing adopted New Zealander Serj Tankian (SOAD) for an emotional version of Audioslave's Like A Stone.

Then it is back to business, Bullet in The Head, Rock Superstar, Unfuck The World - I just have a constant smile on my face as every person loses their shit all around me. The end, of course, is Killing in The Name and it's all over too soon.

Are Prophets of Rage relevant? Sure, we need more bands making a noise and taking a stance on issues as there is far too much apathy around but tonight just like when I first saw Rage Against the Machine it doesn't really matter. It's the music, the energy, the connection between band and audience. Life is about creating memories, and this is one that will stay with me 'til I die.



Review written by Paul Goddard
 

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