The Prophets of Rage Smashit at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, then you’ve likely heard of the Prophets of Rage. A super-group made up of members of Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, and Public Enemy, they have been making waves since they burst onto the scene in 2016. While bands mixing rock, metal, and hip-hop have come and gone over the years, PoR have taken this combo to new heights, incorporating the political messages all three groups are known for with a sound that blends these bands distinct styles into a new medium that transcends the others.
Walking onto stage by himself, DJ Lord worked the crowd through an electrifying set of genre-bending music via his legendary skills at the turntables. Working the crowd up before the rest of the band took the stage, the lights suddenly dropped and in a mist of dark red light and smoke everyone took their places and erupted with ‘Prophets of Rage’.
Ripping through a number of Prophets of Rage originals and covers of songs from the members respective bands, including ‘Testify’, ‘Unfuck the World’, ‘Guerrilla Radio’, ‘Made With Hate’, ‘Know Your Enemy’, ‘Hail to the Chief’, ‘Heart Afire’, and ‘Take the Power Back’ the place was quite literally hopping.
After a medley featuring ‘Hand on the Pump’, ‘Can’t Truss It’, ‘Insane in the Brain’, ‘Bring the Noise’, and ‘I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That’, the band broke into ‘Jump Around’. The place went absolutely nuts. If you though the place was hopping before, this is when it literally went off the hook and sent the place into a frenzy. After that the Shepherd’s Bush Empire was groaning from the force of the energy it was barely able to contain.
After a touching tribute to Chris Cornell in the form of an instrumental cover of ‘Cochise’ as the crowd sang every verse, the band worked through ‘Bullet in the Head’, ‘Living on the 110’, ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man’, and ‘Bulls on Parade’. It may come as no surprise that when those first recognisable chords of “Killing In The Name Of” started to peel out into the night, the place broke into a flurry of middle-fingers raised in the air as the sold-out crowd screamed out “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” in protest to the system with the band!
Finishing off the night with ‘Bombtrack’ for the encore, it brought a superb show to a brilliant end. As the band exited to a recording of ‘Black Hole Sun’, it was difficult to say who was giving it their all the most throughout the night, as it was clear both the band and the crowd were feeding off each other. Between that and the simply mind-blowing performance by the band, it made for one of the stand-out shows of 2019. This was one of those gigs that people will look back on and say “I was there,” and I most certainly was glad to be a part of it.
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – Editor At Large
Erik De’Viking is a London based freelance music journalist. His musical interests include music in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.