The current state of Rage Against the Machine begs an important philosophical question: How long does a band have to be dormant until it can be deemed “broken up?” The group hasn’t played a single note of music together since L.A. Rising on July 30th, 2011, nearly three years ago. That show was their one gig of the year and they’ve been off the road since October 2010 That said, there’s been no formal announcement of a split or even a hiatus. They simply stopped working.
If L.A. Rising does prove to be Rage’s final stand, they went out on a a very high note. The show was held at in front of a capacity crowd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where they shared a bill with Muse, Rise Against and Lauryn Hill. Much of the crowd seemed to be there for Rage, and during their 14-song set the entire place turned into a crazy mosh pit. They capped off the night with a frenetic “Killing in the Name.” When the song wrapped the four members of the group put their arms around each other, raised their fists high into the air and walked off together. Here’s video of the performance that fans cobbled together from multiple cameras.
In 2012, Tom Morello told Rolling Stone that the future of Rage Against The Machine was extremely uncertain. “I consider them brothers and brothers-in-arms,” he said. “Whether or not we ever play music again in any capacity is unknown. . .Every show we’ve ever played might’ve been the last.”