As hosts of the L.A. Rising show at the L.A. Coliseum on July 30th, Rage Against The Machine have planned a full slate of activities, including sets by Muse, Rise Against, Lauryn Hill, and more, a “reeducation camp” with activists, speakers, and booths, and, touch football?
Yep, there will be some football, according to guitarist Tom Morello. In the latest Guerilla Video, shown first exclusively to Rolling Stone, Morello at one point jokes, “Bring your picnic tables, gonna be a lot of heated touch football activity on July 30th out here. Rage Against The Machine and Muse head to head. In the title match, Immortal Technique and El Gran Silencio will be going for the Golden Cup.”
We don’t seriously think there will be football, though Rage and Muse going head to head would make for a great between-sets break. But the video brings out a different side of the band, who are celebrating their twentieth anniversary as a group with L.A. Rising.
The opening minute lays out the history of the venerable Coliseum, the only stadium to host the Olympics twice, is laid out, along with a preview of the show. The narrator promises, “Massive video screens, monster sounds, so every seat in the house is gonna be epic.”
But for the rest of the video, frontman Zack de La Rocha, Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk are seen on the hallowed Coliseum grounds throwing around a football, and Commerford and de La Rocha get set to race.
Amidst the fun though, Morello is well aware of the music history there, with the likes of the Who, the Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and U2 all having headlined the stadium. It turns out there was one show that heavily influenced the feel and bill of L.A. Rising. “Wattstax (1972), which was documented on film and it’s one of the great concert movies of all time,” says Morello. “We want to sort of echo the vibe of the Wattstax shows where it’s really the music of the city and that music is a big part of Los Angeles history. Rage was a band that could have occurred in no other city. It’s a band that looks and sounds like the city of Los Angeles, from the hard rock to the hip hop to the punk rock to even the ethnic makeup of the city.”