live in the London Astoria 13th September 99


RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, a band who only plays 3 gigs this year, a band who was one of the headliners of Woodstock 99, announces a one-off show in London only about 2 weeks before it happens, a sensation! To make it even better they play in the Astoria which is a very small venue (I mean, Janus Stark have played there!) with about 2500 people capacity. I couldnt believe my luck, I've wanted to see RATM all my live, and now they just play London.

People wander around searching and selling tickets already at 3pm as I pass by the venue. Doors open at 7pm, theres a huge queue which goes all the way down from the Astoria to Soho Square, around the corner, around another corner, and ends in Oxford Street!

Finally in there, noone cares if you got a standing or balcony ticket and I sneak into the standing area and somehow manage to get quite in front.

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At 8.30 the venue is full. I have never seen such a small venue so packed. The DJ plays a tune from DCV1, the atmosphere is as excited as it can get. Everybody still cant really believe that soon THEY will be here, and we will see RATM on this small stage!

A roadie comes on stage and people start to clap and shout: "We want rage, we want rage!"   Nothing happens yet, but I also cant wait to see them! Noone knows if there will be a supportband at all, everybody hopes not, all we wanna see now is RATM. Photographers enter the pit, TV cameras are beeing installed, securities bring water and we all know, they will be here very soon!

Finally, at 9.20pm they are coming, Zack De LA Rocha, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, Timmy C. enter the stage and start the unbelievable set!

They play old songs, but also new songs from their forthcoming album, which are all in true 'rage' style with very aggressive lyrics by Zack and unbeliavably unique guitar parts by Tom. Damnit, its wicked!

The crowd goes crazy from the first minute! Its a Crowdsurfers paradise and I dont remember how many shoes I had in my face that eve, but who cares anyway! RATM are wicked, Zack runs around, and its hard to ever catch him for a picture. His lyrics are live even more aggressive than on the album, just pure 'rage'. When a new song is played people go a bit more quiet, but as soon as they recognize a song it goes wild again! Everybody wants to hear 'Bullet in the head' now, from the RATM debut album, and they play it just before they leave the stage. We all sweat, are thirsty, exhausted, but all we want is RATM to come back. And they do come back, play another tune, before then the gig peaks with 'Killing In the name' ! !

Everybody in the Astoria is jumping and sings along now, and I do mean EVERYBODY! You can hardly hear Zacks voice anymore, the whole audience and the band are just one unit now. Zack leans into the audience and gets a girl on stage and lets her sing the last part of the song, along with the rest of the crowd. Pure energy!

They play another tune and then its definitely finished and they leave the stage, leaving behind a happy, sweaty, exhausted crowd who first need time to realize what great gig they  just  had experienced. 'Charly Big Potato' by Skunk Anansie comes out of the speakers and everyone wanders around looking exhausted but damn happy. I realize that this was one of those nights that I will never forget in my life.


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