JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

September 25, 2016
Gexa Energy Pavilion
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andrea D. Morin
Photos by Michael Insuaste

Prophets of Rage - Prophets Of Rage, AWOLNATION

Hip-Hop & Hard-Core Rage @ Gexa

The pouring rain didn't keep the Dallas fans away from seeing Prophets of Rage with AWOLNATION at Gexa Energy Pavilion on Sunday night for the Make America Rage Again Tour. Prophets of Rage bassist Tim Commerford and his new band, WAKRAT, opened up the set. Great to hear Tim's own vocals shine through as the lead rather than backing vocals.

With a short intermission, the lights once again dimmed as a Spaceman holding a lantern walked around the stage to the mellow electronic intro which led to the deep bass lines of an astounding remix of "Run (Beautiful Things)" when AWOLNATION took the stage. They recently released their new EP Run (Remixes), which features nine reworked compositions from the bands' 2015 album Run, by artists such as Mike D, Steve Aoki, Kill The Noise and Dan the Automator, along with a new video for the song.

The almost unrecognizable Aaron Bruno with his full thick beard and longer hair had great energy jumping all around the stage in his blue jumpsuit giving the fans what they want with "Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)," "I Am" and "Sail," which were by far the fan favorites, even making an impression on the people who were less familiar with their music.

One of the highlights of the set was percussionist, Issac Carpenter, who whaled on the drums with an impressive solo! AWOLNATION's wide variety of sounds came to life through their live set, so much richer than listening to their albums. Their mellow but hardcore electronic and industrial rock vibes and creative sounds with solid energy brought out the diehard fans who were there in full support, however, it was obvious who most of the people came and were eager to see.

DJ Lord kicked off the Prophets Of Rage set spinning about fifteen minutes of hits, cutting in heavy riffs from classic songs from Queen, Michael Jackson, Prince, Guns N' Roses even Nirvana and the White Stripes just to name a few, getting the crowd pumped up and excited with anticipation while also showing how diverse the band truly is. Not many bands can draw a crowd of loyal hip-hop fans as well as hard-core rockers into one venue.

With the first note of Public Enemy's cover of "Prophets Of Rage," as the band took the stage, which also inspired their name, the crowd went wild. This is the first song on their debut EP, The Party's Over for this supergroup made up of members from Rage Against The Machine (guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk), Cypress Hill (rapper B-Real) and Public Enemy (rapper Chuck D and DJ Lord). The Party's Over five song EP combines a brand new original song with the same name, with Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name," two updated Public Enemy songs "Shut 'Em Down" and "Prophets of Rage," and "No Sleep Til Cleveland" as a mash-up between Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" and Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Til Brooklyn."

The mosh pit was in full force and judging by the amount of security guards lined up in front of the pit, they were expecting it to get intense! The majority of the songs performed were RATM covers, "Guerrilla Radio," "Bomb-track," "People Of The Sun," "Testify" and "Bullet In The Head," while sprinkling in a few hit songs from Public Enemy and two from Cypress Hill. Tom's impeccable continuous shredding guitar solos with his undeniable talent oozing from his pores were all the rage with his fans who screamed in awe over his signature guitar effects all throughout the night.

Chuck D carried around his signature megaphone as homage to his Public Enemy days. The heavy hitting combination of Chuck D's fearless deep rap vocals with B-Real's quick high-pitched nasal vocals together with the flawless musically tight talent from Rage's Morello, Commerford and Wilk, make this band a true powerhouse who haven't even touched their full potential by developing all original music. They channeled Zack de la Rocha's sound and passion while adding their own flare, making it their own.

B-Real and Chuck D walked off the stage into the pit and stood up on the platform to do a medley of Cypress Hill and Public Enemy hits: "Hand On The Pump," "Can't Truss It," "Insane In The Brain," "Bring The Noise," "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That," and "Welcome To The Terrordome." They were super close connecting with their fans throwing fist pumps, crowd surfing, and even signed a few autographs.

As always they delivered a relevant and strong political message, using their art form as well as their spoken word in an attempt to create social change, awareness and reform, without directly mentioning the presidential election or candidates. Tom Morello, spoke to the crowd explaining how proceeds from every concert around the country benefited a local homeless shelter or food bank in their city. Here in Dallas, the funds were donated to the Wilkinson Center Pathways Out of Poverty, who had representatives at Gexa. Tom asked everyone to donate a few more dollars on their way out.

Morello's inspirational message of the night was loud and clear: "I'm here to encourage you to fight for the world you really want, without compromise, without conformity, and without apologizing. Aim for the world you really fuckin' want. A world of justice, a world of peace, a world where no one's homeless, where no one's hungry, where every kids has an education, where everyone has enough to eat, where you don't have to be afraid to be killed by a drone in the Middle East or killed by a cop here in the United States of America. And how do you do that? You stand up. You stand up against injustice wherever it rears its ugly head... in your homes, in your schools, in your place of work, in your community, in your country at large. But I'm going to let you people in on a secret tonight Dallas. All that can wait 'til tomorrow, cause tonight, we are going to have a good motherfuckin' time! This next little fancy guitar thing I'm going to do; I'd like to dedicate to the memory of Dimebag Darrell." The crowd then erupted in screams!

The consistent epic performances of the band and nonstop fan engagements throughout the night combined with the high energy fuel coming from the mosh pit, made this show one of the top shows of the year! Prophets Of Rage ended with two powerful renditions back to back of "Bulls On Parade" and "Killing In The Name." No encore but everyone left more than satisfied, and pumped up ready to fight for the world they really want, and to fight for social change. We want more original music from this collaborative supergroup, or as Tom calls themselves as "an elite task force of revolutionary musicians!"