Summer is here folks and we just so happened to have attended one of the hottest shows of the year. For those who missed this week’s Prophets Of Rage show at Brixton Academy, you missed something truly special.
Its safe to say that fans all over the world showed an immediate interest upon the announcement of this project consisting of Tom Morello, Tim Commerford & Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave fame. Add to the mix Chuck D, DJ Lord (Public Enemy) and B Real (Cypress Hill) and we have ourselves one mammoth of a supergroup.
With only a handful of tracks released from the group, speculation was rife on what the shows would consist of. Summer festival appearance confirmed that it would be a mixture of their own material as well as covers & mashups from all respective bands. On paper this sounds fine, live and in person, this was another thing entirely and quite frankly shook Brixton Academy to its very core through what could potentially be 2017s live show of the year!
It all begins with a 15 minute set by Public Enemies very own DJ lord who absolutely kills it. DJ sets prior to a main act can be a dangerous thing. In the pas we have seen DJs get boo'd off the stage by angry fans who were just not into it. DJ Lord gave us the exact opposite. A seamless mashup of all of our favourite tunes across many genres had the fans eating out of the palm of his hand. Huge cheers when Lord drops into any huge hit such as Beasite Boys, Metallica or Nirvana, it was a moment that not only showcased his skills on the turntables but warmed up everyone in the room for the main act with relative ease.
Anticipation was high and a buzz in the air as everyone knows they're about to witness something special. Lord finishes up to much deserved cheers as the alarm rings out over the PA introducing the bands self title track 'Prophets Of Rage' It builds into a massive explosion of energy both on and off the stage. Its at this point you're unsure if you should be standing, jaw wide open at your first glimpse of the supergroup on stage or if you should be going crazy. Brixton opts for the latter and quite rightly show.
The setlist is as expected – a stunning mixture of songs from all the bands involved. It only takes until the second song for us to hear a Rage Against The Machine song 'Testify' that elicits a huge response of biblical proportions. Funnily enough though, this wouldn’t be the biggest response in the form of singing and moving that the band would see tonight. The best was yet to come.
There are multiple stand out moments we see on stage. One of the best moments of the show however comes in the form of a tribute to fallen friend Chris Cornell that more than likely has grown men weeping in Brixton. The remaining three Audioslave members only begin their tribute to Cornell with 'Like A stone' one of the more popular songs of the bands back catalogue. A spotlight shines on a microphone on the stage as the band plays the music only, because who could possibly replace the voice that is Chris Cornell on this song. The crowd have a pretty good attempt however as they fill the academy with their huge sing a long of the chorus.
Another notable mention of the night is the sheer musicianship of all members live who sound bigger and better on this night. Morello showcases just how good he is every step of the way and what's better is he does it with what feels like absolute ease and a smile on his face. Both Chuck D & B Real working well together along with the catchy drums and bass, the backbone for the classic Rage Against The Machine sound that is, quite rightfully so, very present and an enabler for the fans to go a special kind of crazy tonight. That crazy does culminate when the band closes with 'Killing In The Name Of'. Its an expected conclusion to what has been a very special night leaving the fans and the band thirsty for more no doubt and with a debut album on the way, I'm sure we'll all get our fix again soon.