Since forming in 2016, all-star supergroup Prophets of Rage made their long awaited arrival in Australia for the Download Festival held in Melbourne over the weekend. Luckily, they announced sideshows including their Brisbane appearance that was relocated from Riverstage to sell out the popular venue The Tivoli. Prophets of Rage playing in a club? I prepared for an evening of chaos!
Local prog-rock legends Dead Letter Circus opened to the packed Brisbane venue. Their unique sound was an interesting start but excellent warm up for the supergroup. They played through their newer catalogue such as ‘While We Wait’, ‘In Plain Sight’, older tunes ‘The Mile’, as well as a new song announcing their latest record due out in August.
The crowd was beyond excited for the return of these music icons that have made an enormous impact musically and politically. Prophets beat provider DJ Lord was first to take the stage to spin some much loved tunes ranging from Hip Hop, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal and Grunge. Then to the sound of sirens walked out the remaining members; Tom, Tim and Brad from Rage Against the Machine, B-Real from Cypress Hill and Chuck D from Public Enemy with their fists up before exploding into their debut single ‘Prophets of Rage’. The Tivoli went from 0-1000 in a matter of seconds and didn’t slow down as they went into iconic Rage classics ‘Testify’, ‘Take the Power Back’ and ‘Guerrilla Radio’. The bursting energy from each member, the thickness of each riff, variation of vocals and chemistry was unbelievable. All these elements were demonstrated in ‘Living on the 110’, ‘Hail to the Chief’ and ‘Legalize Me’ from their debut album ‘Prophets of Rage’.
The RATM members took a break and left the amped crowd in the trustworthy hands of front men B-Real, Chuck D and DJ Lord to perform Hip Hop bangers from their prime. They joined the crowd in the front crow rapping to their memorable Public Enemy and Cypress Hill classics such as ‘Insane in the Brain’, ‘Bring the Noise’ and ‘Jump Around’.
Another recognizable act that made an appearance was Audioslave that was fronted by the late, great Chris Cornell. Band mates Tom, Tim and Brad led the crowd in a moving tribute of ‘Like A Stone’ for the late vocalist as an empty microphone stood lit up front of stage symbolising his presence. The full band then came together with the early RATM favourites ‘Know Your Enemy’, ‘Bullet in the Head’ and ‘Bulls On Parade’. The Tivoli reached melting point with their electrifying performance making the heat almost unbearable that was noticeable by the sweaty band and crowd, however it got a lot more heated. B-Real thanked the crowd for appearing at their final show of their Australian tour and introduced what he calls “The most dangerous song of all time” as RATM slammed into the intro of their breakthrough sing ‘Killing in the Name Of’. There’s nothing more incredible than an entire venue including children with their middle fingers in the air yelling “FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!”. The rebellious anthem sparked the supergroup to extend their set with ‘Bombtrack’ to conclude their Australian tour.
No one knew what to expect when Prophets of Rage made it to our shores but they did prove one thing - these icons have together created an unstoppable musical force, blending the best of Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy. Prophets of Rage have shown that each member is still in their prime and this supergroup is their best work yet.
Review by Christian Kafritsas