Few rock artists succeed in mixing their music with overt political statements. Most collapse under the weight of trying to articulate an actual message, with one notable local exception: Rage Against the Machine.
Rage mixes spirited leftist diatribes that attack what the four outspoken members see as the discriminatory social status quo in this country, with a potent rap-metal hybrid for a disarming, in-your-face mix that’s hard to resist.
Performing a free, 90-minute show Saturday as rehearsal for a spring European tour (after a Friday night appearance at Dragonfly), Rage tore through songs from its million-plus-selling 1992 self-titled debut and its “Evil Empire.”
The band was inspired: Singer Zack De la Rocha’s furious raps and guitar-whiz Tom Morello’s wickedly inventive solos and riffs were held aloft by the rhythm section’s invigorating modern-metal flow that was part P-Funk and part Black Sabbath.
Whether the band actually walks the political walk that it talks so well has been debated for four years now, but its onstage conviction is the perfect musical antidote for those election-year blues.