Rage Against the Machine:
Arguably one of the most influential and popular metal bands of the 90s was Rage Against the Machine. Their unique blending of hip-hop, rap, metal, and rock created a signature sound that revolutionized contemporary metal. Rage Against the Machine used their music as a platform to address social and political travesties and possibly brought more attention to various issues than Michael Moore (who directed their "Sleep Now in the Fire" music video). Their tour dates are infamous for bringing together thousands of people together in aggressive celebration for amazing metal. Fans of Rage Against the Machine have awaited reunion tour dates ever since Zack de la Rocha left the band in 2000, and received their wish in 2007. Rage now has a scheduled concert date in 2011 for the L.A. Rising festival, as well as tour dates in South America over the summer and conflicting rumors over a new album in the works.
In 1991, Tom Morello saw Zack de la Rocha freestyle rapping in an Los Angeles club and invited him to start a band. Brad Wilk was invited to be the band's drummer and de la Rocha's childhood friend Tim Commerford joined as the bassist. The group dubbed themselves Rage Against the Machine after a song from de la Rocha's previous band and soon recorded a self-titled demo tape. The demo evolved into a self-titled debut album, which was praised by critics for its heavy, driving sound and pristine production values. The album eventually went triple platinum and was followed by numerous soundtrack contributions. Whereas most bands would start off with tour dates at small clubs, Rage Against the Machine immediately began playing huge concert dates all around the world, opening for metal veterans like Suicidal Tendencies. In 1996, Rage Against the Machine released another triple platinum album, Evil Empire, whose track "Tire Me" won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance.
After a tour date at the controversial Woodstock '99, Rage Against the Machine released Battle of Los Angeles, which was heavily inspired by George Orwell's 1984. The album was followed a year later by the announcement that Zack de la Rocha was leaving the band due to creative differences. This too was followed by the most recent Rage Against the Machine album to date, Renegades, in 2000. The album was full of covers of older and contemporary artists, all featuring Rage's signature metal style.
Rage Against the Machine played their first tour date in seven years on the last day of Coachella in 2007, and have continued to play single shows here and there. In 2011, Zack de la Rocha announced that Rage Against the Machine was working on a new album, which was soon countered by a message from Tom Morello saying the band had not planned a new record. What is definite is that Rage has an upcoming 2011 concert at the L.A. Rising festival with Muse, Immortal Technique, and Ms. Lauryn Hill, scheduled for July 30. Rage also has three tour dates in South America scheduled for early October, which includes stops at the SWU Festival, Fazenda Maquinaria Festival, and at the Costanera Sur ecological reserve. With the future of Rage Against the Machine still on the fence, fans should seize this opportunity to see these 2011 concerts, just in case.