What happened at Prophets Of Rage's Los Angeles show?

Tom Morello performing live with Prophets Of Rage
(Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

(Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

There was no hotter ticket in Los Angeles last week than the pair of debut shows by Prophets Of Rage, the hip-hop and metal megagroup featuring Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford, along with Cypress Hill’s B-Real, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord, who warmed up the frenzied house with a fist-pumping half hour of metal before the band took the stage. Though heavily-tilted to RATM classics including Guerilla Radio, Testify and closers Bulls On Parade and Killing In The Name, the band stormed through twenty roof-destroying hits from all three of the original bands including Public Enemy’s Miuzi Weighs A Ton, Welcome To The Terrordome and Bring The Noise and Cypress Hill’s Insane In The Membrane and Rock Superstar. They also debuted a new original song called The Party’s Over. Here are some more things we learned:

Dave Grohl Continues To Be Everywhere

Whether you were a carpenter driving in from East LA or a Grammy-winning modern day rock god like say, Dave Grohl, you picked up your wristband at the venue and the scene outside of the Hollywood Palladium looks like a ragtag horde of Wildlings noisily amassed at The Wall. Slipping through the ranks, we spy Mr. Grohl at the box office, giddily smiling like a kid at his first Maiden show. We also see Dug Pinnick (King’s X) and Deryck Whibley (Sum 41).

(Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

The Palladium Is Ready For A War

As we slip on our wristband, a waiver is pushed in front of us that requests that we acknowledge that if our bodies or our camera equipment are bashed all to holy hell, it’s all on us. Shut up and give us the damned pen – this is totally worth it. Inside, the energy feels like a powder keg with its wick nearly spent. DJ Lord whips the house into a fervour as fans scoop up literally every piece of Prophets merch in the building. Two shirts are for sale – one saying “Vote Rage” and the other saying “Fuck You I Won’t Do What You Tell Me” – and both sell out quickly. All merch is gone before the show finishes. Even the t-shirt bootleggers darting up and down Sunset Boulevard run out of product.

The Prophets Will Not Be Voting For Donald Trump

Chuck D dedicates Fight The Power to the US Republican Presidential candidate, whom he refers to as “Mr. Comb-Over.” When he roars “Put your hands in the air if you wanna take the power back,” the floor turns into a meadow of clenched fists. Later, B-Real changes the lyrics of How I Could Just Kill A Man from: “How could I just kill a man, One time tried to come in my home take my chrome, I said ‘Yo it’s on’” to: “…one time Trump tried to come in my home …” Finally, Chuck introduces The Party’s Over by saying, “This one’s for Donald Trump. Fuck Mr. Comb-Over.” Safe to say you won’t be hearing any Prophets Of Rage songs at a Trump fundraiser anytime soon.

(Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

The West Coast Vs East Coast Rivalry Lives On

Metal is largely free of bi-coastal beefs but you wouldn’t know it tonight. When the band shout, “We’re going 3000 miles east for No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn,” the crowd boos in clattering derision. This is the only moment of the evening where the audience show up as anything less than rabidly supportive of everything issued from the stage. Dissension erupts into triumph when the band pile straight into Fight The Power.

(Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

Zack De La Rocha Is Sorely Missed By All – Including The Prophets

Chuck D and B-Real prove more than equal to the task of carrying the RATM material, singing in lower registers with an elongated, syrupy cadence that invests the material with a wholly arresting new vitality. Still, the Rage songs were begging for Zack’s vitriolic staccato bursts. Chuck brings up Zack on a few different occasions, underscoring his open invitation to join the band and opening Know Your Enemy by quoting Harry Belafonte, saying, “’You can cage the singer but not the song.’ There’s always a place for Zack.”

(Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

Weed Does Not Improve Dancing

We are not unfamiliar with that old familiar-smelling resinous plumage that gathers above concert audiences but tonight’s crowd are taking exceedingly enthusiastic advantage of California’s liberal pot laws. At times it feels like the show is occurring inside of a bong. Nonetheless, despite the sweet perma-haze floating through the Palladium, the sight of metalheads attempting to throw shapes to Cypress Hill induces both laughter and brain-piercing cringes. The dancers don’t care though – they’re having the time of their lives. The whole venue is, for that matter, and as a triumphant roar greets the dropping of a giant red “Make America Rage Again” banner, we know that we’ve just seen a piece of history.

Prophets Of Rage setlist

  1. Prophets Of Rage
  2. Guerrilla Radio
  3. Bombtrack
  4. Miuzi Weighs A Ton
  5. People Of The Sun
  6. Take The Power Back
  7. Rock Superstar
  8. Testify
  9. Hand On The Pump / Can’t Truss It / Insane In The Membrane / Bring The Noise / I Ain’t Going Out Like That / Welcome To The Terrordome
  10. Sleep Now In The Fire
  11. Bullet In The Head
  12. Shut ‘Em Down
  13. Know Your Enemy
  14. The Party’s Over
  15. How I Could Just Kill a Man
  16. No Sleep Till Brooklyn / Fight The Power
  17. Bulls On Parade
  18. Killing In The Name

Prophets Of Rage announce Make America Rage Again tour

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.