▣Xfinity Center, Mansfield, MA ▣Sunday, August 21st 2016
“Prophet; the dictionary defines this as one who delivers divine messages or who fore tales the future. Rage; a useful and necessary tool for revolution. Put these two together and you will find a common theme for a group whose global message has proven them to be The Prophets of Rage”
When Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine decided he wanted to form a new group, he reached out to long time friend Chuck D, founding member of Public Enemy. Because of the current state of affairs, Morello wanted a group that would stand for the good of the people and set a good example. Both share the same views on many different issues that are dividing America these days; from poverty, to racism, over populated prisons and women’s rights. They decided now was the time to do something about it. With a little help from the power of music, the group was joined by B-Real from Cypress Hill. B-Real’s voice and band have been controversial for over 25 years, having plenty of “Fight The Power” moments in his career, always standing for what he believes in. These three legends would be the right chemistry to form the next elite group, using music as their weapon. Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford from Rage Against The Machine and Dj Lord from Public Enemy also joined the group, and The Mighty Prophets of Rage were born.
The weather was perfect at the Xfinity Center and around 8:45 pm, the lights went down and Dj Lord made his entrance, greeting the Boston crowd “Hey Boston how y’all doing tonight? My name is Dj Lord from the Mighty Prophets of Rage. We need all you motherfuckers to come up to the front real quick, check this out!” He placed his right hand on his chest and began playing the National Anthem by Jimmy Hendrix. Patriotic and very appropriate…well played Lord, well played. But to be in an elite music group like Public Enemy and now Prophets of Rage, you have to be special. His talents were deeply displayed during his opening set. He warmed the crowd and smashed hits from Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz, Queen, Aerosmith, White Stripes. By the time he went into playing Nirvana’s Team Spirit, he was on fire! The night would start by him displaying his many talents on the turn tables in front of the Boston crowd.
The lights went out and the alarms started to sound as the guys from Prophets of Rage hit the stage. With just a bright white light behind them, the only thing you could see was their shadows as they stood strong with fists in the air. The crowd immediately got their fists up as the band opened their set with a Public Enemy cover, Prophets of Rage. But now with a new spin; the Rage Against the Machine edgy sound combined with Public Enemy’s hard lyrics. It was the perfect opener. At the end of the song, Chuck D approached the crowd for the first time “Boston! Make America Rage Again! Say it again loud as fuck! Make America Rage Again!” They would yell it back with fists up in the air, as they went into Rage Against the Machine’s cover of, Guerrilla Radio. Chuck D introduced them to the audience and yelled “Collectively We Are The Prophets of Rage!“. It was monumental. They continued with another RATM hit, Bombtrack; the crowd was raging. Tom Morello was too, his energy poured out from his guitar. It is amazing to watch him play, his style is like no other, and on any front line he would be hard to beat.
Things slowed down for one of Public Enemy’s most controversial songs, Miuzi Weighs a Ton. But, they would soon make this crowd rage again with People of The Sun. At the end of the song, Chuck D could be heard yelling into the megaphone “Stay alert, stay alert is the cheapest price that you can pay” B-Real joined and approached the crowd “Right about now on this time, we have come together, to bring you together, to motivate you, inspire you, to Take The Power Back. You motherfuckers ready to take it back?!” The heavy build up from Brad Wilk’s drums and Timmy C’s bass, the guys took on Take The Power Back. And at the end as B-Real repeated “NO MORE LIES, NO MORE LIES” Chuck D threw his microphone in the air. The crowds energy was bursting, as they cheered for the elite group. At the end of the song, B-Real expressed to the crowd, “It’s obvious we will be taking the power back”.
The Prophets of Rage continued their performance in Boston, B-Real performed Rock Superstar, taking it back old school with one from his own catalog. They would sing Testified; the RATM cover before moving onto one of the best parts of the night. Chuck D and B-Real moved to the very front of the crowd and started to get a little personal. Joined by Dj Lord on turntables, now back on stage, the guys went on to sing Hand On The Pump, Can’t Truss It, Insane In The Brain, Bring The Noise and I Ain’t Going Out Like That, the Cypress Hill and Public Enemy medley. B-Real was sent crowd surfing into the audience while singing Insane In The Brain and it was intense. The guys were having a blast. Chuck D could be seen grabbing the phones from people in the crowd singing into them, shaking hands, fist pumping and making memories with the crowd that they would never forget. Dj Lord mixed and scratched to every song with ease. They would move the party back to the stage as they went onto playing Welcome To The Terradone. After Chuck’s opening part of the song he yelled “Boston! Welcome To The Terradone!” They would be joined again by Brad, Timmy and Tom as they would go into Sleep Now in the Fire before moving on to an intense cover of The Bullet in your Head, the Prophets were killing this crowd.
Tom Morello would take a moment to thank all of the staff that helps day in and day out to put together all of their shows, before bringing out Aaron Bruno from Awolnation to sing a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad. It was an emotional performance. Tom’s guitar skills were on another level. With some amazing guitar solo’s during a little mix of Audioslave’s Cochise and And She Watched Channel Zero?!.
Tonights performance continued with Shut’ Em Down, a Public Enemy cover that would display how brilliant of an MC Chuck D really is. They continued with Know Your Enemy by RATM before going into their own song, The Party Is Over. They followed with No Sleep Till Brooklyn/Fight The Power, a mix of the two songs as the battle between Morelo and Dj Lord began. Tom would play something and Lord would try to beat him on the turntables. It was an impressive showing of talents by both artists.
The guys of The Prophets of Rage and the crowd were still very much energized by the time they went on to the last two songs of the night, both RATM covers. First Bulls on Parade and then This is Killing in the Name!. But, before the last song, B-Real took the time to thank the crowd for coming and bringing their energy, passion, focus and love of their music and message, and that we were all part of their elite group. And, if we weren’t sure who to vote for in November, to write in Prophets of Rage on the ballot.
With fists up in the air, B-Real introduced the last song of the night, “This is Killing in the Name!” The raging continued as B-Real jumped in the pit again and the Boston crowd showed their appreciation by singing along with the two hip hop legends. But when Chuck started yelling with his middle finger up in the air,”Fuck You, I won’t do what you tell me“, the crowd completely lost it. Crowd surfers started flying around the pit. What an intense performance by the new elite group known as Prophets of Rage. At the end, as the guys stood on stage with fists up in the air yet again, this time meaning so much more, the Boston crowd would give them a standing ovation.
Come this November, based on their epic performance here tonight, they would easily get my vote. It has to start somewhere, It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now. All hell can’t stop them now…Prophets of Rage.
Review & Photos – Carlos Londono
Note from the writer –
I arrived at Xfinity around 8:20pm after being delayed by endless emails. There was a miscommunication and I was not able to obtain photo credentials. But at last minute, Chuck D’s assistant was able to put me on the vip list for the show. Thank you Ms. Gammell, I appreciate you! I am grateful I was able to attend and document what I personally thought was a historic moment in music history.
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