Rage Against The Machine rock Leeds

Leeds Festival 2008 review

published: Thu 28th Aug 2008

Rage Against The Machine

Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th August 2008
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
daily capacity: 55000
last updated: Wed 20th Aug 2008

At the risk of sounding like an old war veteran telling his grandchildren tales of yesteryear... I can remember when Rage Against The Machine (RATM) played the Leeds festival back in 2000, and after seeing that performance, I thought they deserved to be headlining the festival.

Sadly that never happened due to numerous problems within the band, which eventually resulted in them going their separate ways... Until now...

Whatever the reason behind them reforming, was irrelevant to me, I couldn't care less if it was political or financial, hell it could be even to raise money to fund Gary Glitter's bail for all I care. The fact was they had agreed to headline one of the most prestigious festivals of all. After such a long wait, it was going to make an old man very happy.

Rage Against The Machine

As I was all geared up in a nice position awaiting the arrival of RATM, there seemed to be quite a delay, they clearly were over running, but from where I was standing it was possibly due to a crowd safety issue, and I would gladly sooner wait for it to be safe for the audience than risk anyone falling over.

Talking of which the festival organisers have to be credited for laying down extra bark at the front of the stage, to cover the muddy patches up which otherwise would have been extremely dangerous.

Once all of the issues were dealt with the house lights went down, and on the stage backdrop a bright red star started to glow.

Opening with 'Testify' it was impossible not to start bouncing on the spot and going absolutely wild with those incredible guitar riffs, and vitriolic lyrics which RATM produce faultlessly.

No sooner had they finished 'Testify' the unmistakable sound of that 'bow wow bow wow' guitar noise from 'Bulls On Parade' ploughed its way over the field of semi-sunburnt fans.

After just two songs it was clear to see that RATM were back to prove a point, they write incredibly rifftastic infectious songs that just create an interesting energetic response from the listener.

The crowd took moshing to an even higher level when 'Bombtrack' was belted out which resulted in the band having to stop the song and advise the crowd to step back to avoid a crush, once the crowd were perceived to be safe, they started from the point at which they left the song.

For such a political band, vocalist Zack de la Rocha seemed to be unusually quiet, just choosing to deliver the lyrics and not make any statement.

Rage Against The Machine
Tom Morello's guitar work is in a league of its own, and I have to be honest here, I hate him so much because he can do things with a guitar that I could only dream of. Although I can out play him on Guitar Hero (admittedly it was the computer version of Tom Morello).

'Killing In The Name' was saved until the very end, and incredibly the audience still had plenty of energy to jump around like possessed billiard balls on speed.

Everyone that had come to see RATM were left feeling satisfied, they delivered a sterling performance, and for me if it means waiting another eight years to see a band this good, then I will gladly do it... so let's get the rumours started- Leeds Festival 2016, main stage headliners Rage Against The Machine.

On a serious note talking of rumours, with this years line-up being such a solid line-up, it begs the question how can they better it for next year? I feel an AC/DC headlining slot is looming ever closer!!!

'Bulls On Parade'
'People Of The Sun'
'Know Your Enemy'
'Bullet In The Head'
'Renegades Of Funk'
'Guerilla Radio'
'Down Rodeo'
'Calm Like A Bomb'
'Sleep Now In The Fire'
'War Within A Breath'
'Killing In The Name'

Rage Against The Machine

Special Thanks to Lewis and the team at Hall or Nothing for making this review and photos possible.
review by: Luke Seagrave

photos by: Luke Seagrave

Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th August 2008
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
daily capacity: 55000
last updated: Wed 20th Aug 2008

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