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Sound the Air-Raid Siren, Rage Against the Machine Are BACK with a world tour

Donald Trump is still in office, which can’t make some people happy.

Before any of you start raising your fists in resistance to say “yeah that’s me”, I know there’s one group that’s ready to explode in 2020 with 8+ years of pent-up political anger. I am of course specifically referring to Rage Against the Machine, who just announced the 40-city “Public Service Announcement” tour with fellow rock-meets-rappers Run the Jewels.

We already knew the incendiary Los Angelenos were already scheduled for Coachella, but have now added Canadian festivals Ottawa Bluesfest and Festival d’été de Québec to a globetrotting itinerary that will also see them visit Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton and Toronto between May 1st and July 23rd. Tickets for all dates go on sale Thursday, February 13th at It’s only their first shows north of the border in 21 years, no big deal right?

Yes, there is a certain amount of irony with how a band whose very name implies standing up to the establishment are now playing corporately-branded arenas and cozying up with the ultimate Evil Empire to many in Ticketmaster. I guess sometimes you have to dance with the devil to get a message across to as many people as possible. As I also mentioned before, ’90s nostalgia comes with a hefty price tag.

In other related politically-charged rock news, The Strokes headlined a New Hampshire primary rally for Bernie Sanders. No, no, you read that right and here’s proof from the democratic socialist himself, although I couldn’t help notice someone holding a “Take the Power Back” sign which is of course the title of a Rage Against the Machine song.

There was apparently quite the surreal scene at the end which may have cut The Strokes’ set short when they did “New York City Cops” – originally left off 2001 album Is This It because of 9/11 – while actual police officers were on stage trying to curb overzealous fans. Very RATM-like!

The Strokes also debuted a brand new single in “At the Door” from The New Abnormal coming April 10th. Not sure with its mopey synths if this is something that will get people out to vote like some of Rage’s hard-hitting motivators. Julian Casablancas’ voice sounds refreshed though, no doubt due to his recent experience as a woke speaker discussing “The Looming Threat of Fascist Politics” at Hamilton’s McMaster University a few months back.

Gilles LeBlanc

Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” wayyy back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. It took him awhile, but Gilles now writes feverishly about all things that rock (and or roll) through his ROCKthusiast alter ego.

Gilles LeBlanc has 104 posts and counting. See all posts by Gilles LeBlanc

One thought on “Sound the Air-Raid Siren, Rage Against the Machine Are BACK with a world tour

  • Alan,

    It seems Tom’s heart is in the right place but the contradictions are quite glaring. Maybe somebody has to occupy that position. The tunes are still great. Tom, just give us reasonable door prices, okay?


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