After two years of pandemic-induced postponements, Rage Against The Machine took the stage at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI on Saturday. The show marked the band’s first concert since July 30th, 2011 at the L.A. Rising festival, and even without any new music to showcase, the politically-fueled rap-rock act displayed just how relevant its music still is.

The Public Service Announcement Tour, which also features opening support from Run The Jewels, was originally set to coincide with the 2020 presidential election. Though we are two years removed from Donald Trump and Joe Biden‘s presidential race, the cultural and political landscape is still ripe for RATM’s fury, with the band setting its sights on the U.S. Supreme Court and its recent overturn of Roe v. Wade. No member of the band formally addressed the crowd, however an array of messages appeared on a giant LED screen behind the group as it chugged through its 16-song set.

“Forced birth in a country that is the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level,” the screen read at one point. “Forced birth in a country where Black birth-givers experience maternal mortality two to three times higher than that of white birth-givers,” it said later before “Forced birth in a country where gun violence is the number one cause of death among children and teenagers,” and finally in all caps, “ABORT THE SUPREME COURT”.

Guitarist Tom Morello also found another way to communicate with the audience by switching into an “I Love CRT” shirt toward the end of the performance. Instead of any stump speeches, vocalist Zack de la Rocha used the band’s lyrics to express his feelings—mostly rage—with a healthy offering from the band’s 1992 self-titled debut including the opening “Bombtrack”, “Bullet In The Head”, “Wake Up”, “Know Your Enemy”, “Freedom”, and the show-closing “Killing in the Name”.

Related: Unearthed Footage Shows Zack De La Rocha Onstage With Dave Grohl At 1994 Scream Reunion [Watch]

Saturday’s concert touched on all of RATM’s studio albums, with “People Of The Sun”, “Bulls On Parade”, “Tire Me”, and “Without A Face” from 1996’s Evil Empire and “Testify”, “Guerrilla Radio”, “Calm Like A Bomb”, “Sleep Now In The Fire”, and “War Within A Breath” from 1999’s The Battle of Los Angeles. The band also busted out a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s “The Ghost of Tom Joad”—which appears on RATM’s 2000 covers album Renegades—not performed since 7/23/00. In the time since, Morello turned in a memorable performance of the title track to The Boss’s 1995 album at the 25th-Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concerts in 2009, delivering one of the best guitar solos of the star-studded two-night affair.

As the final notes of “Killing In The Name” rang out to end the encore-less concert, Rage Against The Machine proved it had a sense of humor too as Bobby McFerrin‘s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” played over the PA as the band left. The Public Service Announcement Tour continues on Monday with the first of two shows at Chicago’s United Center.

Rage Against The Machine – “Bombtrack” – 7/9/22

[Video: shinepigeon]

Rage Against The Machine – “People Of The Sun” – 7/9/22

[Video: shinepigeon]

Rage Against The Machine – “Bulls On Parade” – 7/9/22

[Video: taylor kinsella]

Rage Against The Machine – “Guerilla Radio” – 7/9/22

[Video: shinepigeon]

Rage Against The Machine – “Know Your Enemy” – 7/9/22

[Video: taylor kinsella]

Rage Against The Machine – “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (Bruce Springsteen) – 7/9/22

[Video: taylor kinsella]

Rage Against The Machine – Alpine Valley Music Theatre – East Troy, WI – 7/9/22 – Full Show

[Video: shinepigeon]

View Videos

Setlist: Rage Against The Machine | Alpine Valley Music Theatre | East Troy, WI | 7/9/22

Set: Bombtrack, People of the Sun, Bulls on Parade, Bullet in the Head, Testify, Tire Me, Wake Up, Guerrilla Radio, Without a Face, Know Your Enemy, Calm Like a Bomb > Sleep Now in the Fire, War Within a Breath, The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen), Freedom, Killing in the Name

[1] LTP 7/23/00