Rage Against the Machine @ GelreDome, Arnhem NL – 09 June 2010

On 10 June, Rage Against the Machine reached Holland with their 2010 Tour. The Battle of Arnhem was one of the only six European dates they had for this year and took place in GelreDome, the largest Netherlands venue.

The event announced them as headliners and Gallow, Gogol Bordello and Jane’s Addiction as Special Guests.

Although the hall has a capacity of 30 000 people, tickets didn’t sell as expected, forcing the organisers to change the venue setting by gathering all the already sold tribune seats in the one across the stage and by covering the lateral ones. The standing field was full but divided by a fence which prevented any movement in the middle.

I must admit I was there for RATM and tried to avoid the other bands, not being in the mood for something that was not my cup of tea. But I happened arrive there before 8 pm, when Jane’s Addiction was scheduled, so I attended it. The concert left me with a rather discomforting impression, no matter how hard I tried to think (and see) that they have Dave Navarro and Duff McKagan. They offered us 45 minutes in a show which gave the feeling of being correctly prepared at home, with hot dancers on Three Days and echo effects on the vocal part from now and then. There were people in the public enjoying the band but what totality lacked was the interaction with them. Although Jane’s Addiction was mentioned all over the place as THE Special Guests, all they did was: be there, sing and leave as quickly as possible, throwing a “Thank you, good night!” at the end of the show. The sound was bad at the beginning but improved later, giving us the chance to hear the bass line, which was quite good especially on Ted, Just Admit It.

The setlist was:
Mountain Song
Ain’t No Right
Three Days
Been Caught Stealing
Ocean Size
Ted, Just Admit It…

Rage Against the Machine… I was lucky enough to see them four times and the best concert for me still remains the one in Antwerp Belgium in 2008. I always had the feeling that at RATM shows, the audience interaction is made via music in a double way feedback. If everything goes well, you can feel the connection between what’s on the stage and the public. Although it was a good concert, I can’t really say this happened 100% at GelreDome.

Jane’s Addiction finished at 20:45 but we waited for another 45 minutes before the RATM act. First signs of impatience began around 21:15. At 21.25 the public called for the band again. Another song in the background (Pantera – Walk) and the waiting broke off with the well know military sirens. We could finally see the flag with the red five-pointed star being raised. When they got installed on the stage, the hall exploded and the ovations covered Zack voice while saying „Good evening, we are RATM from Los Angeles, California!”. First track was Testify and a promising rage delirium but these first moments were repeated only occasionally on some parts of tracks such as Know Your Enemy or Bulls on Parade or when Zack was asking the public to sing along, jump or clap hands. Otherwise, the public enjoyed everything but there was no blast, no energy explosions although the setlist could satisfy any fan. They played songs from all four albums and included a Clash cover, White Riot. There were moments when Zack seemed like losing enthusiasm but there was no such moment for Morello. If on the whole the concert didn’t lose the intensity, it’s due to his accurate performance. But still, he didn’t destroy the guitar as had happened before. We could enjoy every scratchy clear expressive sound and every solo intensified the joy of witnessing it.

But they left the stage after Freedom and only 1 hour 10 minutes of performance, leaving the feeling of not having enough of anything in terms of time or concentration. What definitely slowed down the concert rhythm was the time lag between the songs. There was always a pause, a moment of silently waiting for the next song. The only exception was the encore when they came back on The Internationale anthem and continued with “Killing in the Name Of”, version with modified lyrics in „Some of those that burn crosses are the same that hold office”. This was also the only encore we had, the concert ended.

We can only hope now to see them again, touring with a new album, as last week they announced they were considering getting back in the studio. Well, Zack just said it was a “genuine possibility” (www.nme.com), but not even such cautious formulation can prevent me from getting very excited about it!

The Setlist was as follows:
People Of The Sun
Know Your Enemy
Bulls On Parade
Township Rebellion
Renegades of Funk
Bullet In The Head
Calm Like A Bomb
White Riot (The Clash cover)
Guerrilla Radio
Sleep Now In The Fire
Intro Internationale +
Killing In The Name

An Youtube link (not very good quality but well, from there):
Intro + Testify, Rage Against The Machine – Gelredome – 09-06-2010

ywannish, 11 June 2010


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