When I first heard that the musicians from one of the most influential rock bands of the last 20 years were hooking up with Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill to form a hybrid voltron of 90s boom bap blended with searing distortion & razor sharp delivery in what would be called Prophets of Rage, I was skeptical. Is this for real? Why Now? Is this just another nostalgia fueled cash grab in an election season? It could have all went real sour, real fast.
Instead, it what looks to be the most fiercely demonic US election in decades, Prophets of Rage say what need to be said & do it on their own terms. It can’t really be nostalgia, if the words first written in ’87 thru ’92 still ring true in 2016 with the same strength, resonance & conviction that they did 25 years ago. It means they are simply keeping the music and more importantly the attitude, alive and well in a time when that rebellious spirit is at an all time high. A portion of the proceeds from each Prophets Of Rage concert helped benefit a local charity that works to help the homeless and the hungry as they made their way across America leaving a trail of dust in it’s path.
From the on stage intro, though the RaTM arrangements of classic PE songs, to the DJ Lord break set where the essence of the live hip hop performance interplay between the DJ & the MC that is now a forgotten art, was on complete display, as Chuck & B Real crushed a medley of each others greatest hits, everyone knew they were seeing something special.
This entire project could have been a colossal failure, but the talented, veteran performers made it a triumphant success in trying to help Make America Rage Again. Salute!
Setlist – 8/27/16 – Holmdel NJ
Prophets of Rage,Guerilla Radio, Bombtrack, My Uzi Weighs a Ton, People of the Sun, Take the Power Back, So Ya Wanna be a Rock Superstar?, Testify, DJ Lord intro -> Hand on the Pump, Can’t Truss It, Insane in the Brain, Bring the Noise, Ain’t Goin Out Like That, Welcome to the Terrordome. (full band) Sleep Now in the Fire, Cochise (She Watch Channel Zero – lyrics) The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce style w/ singer from AwolNation), Bullet in the Head, Guitar Solo -> Shut Em Down, Know Your Enemy, The Party is Over, No Sleep till Brooklyn / Fight the power, Bulls on Parade, Killing in the Name of.