The story behind Eagle Rock Entertainment’s just-released DVD, Rage Against the Machine Live at Finsbury Park needs to be told to fully understand how amazing it is.
In late 2009, it seemed like a sure bet that the winner from the BBC’s X Factor would be the #1 Christmas single in the U.K. But DJ Jon Morter and his wife Tracy launched a campaign on Facebook to make Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of” #1 instead. The band supported the campaign and promised not only to donate all the profits from downloads of the song to Shelter, an English charity that helps the homeless, but also to perform a free concert in Finsbury Park. “Killing in the Name Of” was #1 at Christmas and this is the film of the June 10, 2010 free concert.
The film is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and in digital format, but this review is for the high definition DVD.
The visual quality on this DVD is stunning. Everything is clear and vibrant. The cinematography is extraordinary, making effective use of aerial shots, close ups of the band, and crowd shots to really catch the scope and excitement of the show. Rage Against the Machine is a dynamic and extremely active band on stage, with lead singer Zack de la Rocha at times leaping across the stage as guitar innovator Tom Morello spins and twists as he coaxes noises out of a guitar that emulates the “scratching” achieved by club DJs or the sounds of whistling bombs as well as just plain incredible guitar playing. The camera catches all that and the complete euphoria of the vast crowd that was present.
The sound quality here is also excellent and lets you hear the band’s socially conscious lyrics and mesmerizing blend of metal, punk, and hip-hop. The concert includes the band’s most popular songs, “Killing in the Name,” “Bulls on Parade,” “People of the Sun,” “Guerrilla Radio,” “Bullet in the Head,” “Bombtrack,” and “Sleep Now in the Fire,” as well as a spectacular cover of The Clash’s “White Riot.” The bond between the audience and the band is palpable. The entire mass of young people is completely engaged and ecstatic, and the band is obviously thrilled with the whole experience, while still managing to somehow project the proper amount of rage to support their politically charged lyrics.
Bonus features include a short but fascinating “Behind the Scenes” and an interesting interview with the couple who started the campaign.
This is an absolutely top-notch concert DVD and an absolute must for any fan of the band.
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