PROPHETS OF RAGE
BB&T Pavilion – Camden, New Jersey – 20 August, 2016
Words and Photos by Scott Smith
Prophets of Rage consists of Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello (guitar), Tim Commerford (bass), and Brad Wilk (drums), with B-Real (Cypress Hill) and Chuck D (Public Enemy) on vocals. Rounding out the band is turntablist, DJ Lord, who started touring with Public Enemy in 1999. What happens when you mix iconic rappers and rockers into one package? You get a kickass band that’s on a mission to spread a simple message: stand up for social injustices and recognize your rights as a human being. Prophets of Rage played with passion and it was one of the best shows I’ve seen in 2016.
The band visited the BB&T Bank Pavilion in Camden, NJ on August 20, 2016 and played to a full house. Their set included tunes from Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, and one from the Beastie Boys. It was a splendid mix of hip-hop and rock, with a socio-political message for all those in attendance.
The show started calmly with DJ Lord taking the stage, stating “I’m here to warm you up.” DJ Lord started mixing tunes from Nirvana, Black Sabbath, KRS-One, and Jimi Hendrix amount others. He showed off his prowess as a DJ with each song he played, and to the delight of the crowd, he tossed in the Star Bangled Banner to the mix. When DJ Lord finished, the stage lights dimmed and pavilion lights were turned off.
Prophets of Rage entered the pavilion and each member took their respective place onstage with their right fist high in the air. They appeared as menacing silhouettes in the darkened arena as the crowd roared in anticipation. With that, the lights went on and the band tore into Public Enemy’s, “Prophets of Rage.” They followed with blistering renditions of Rage Against The Machine’s “Guerrilla Radio” and “Bombtrack,” before revisiting Public Enemy with “Miuzi Weighs a Ton.” After playing “People of the Sun” and “Take the Power Back,” they visited Cypress Hill’s catalogue with “(Rock) Superstar.” The infectious vocals of Chuck D and B-Real blended nicely with the infamous riffs and bass lines from Morello and Commerford.
Midway through the show DJ Lord, Commerford and Wilk left the stage as the spotlight focused on B-Real and Chuck D. Both stepped into the pit area in front of the stage and rapped through a mix of tunes while they engaged with the crowd. During their duo performance, they covered several songs including “Hand on the Pump,” “Insane in the Membrane,” “Bring the Noise,” “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That,” “Can’t Truss It” and “Welcome to the Terrordome.” During the segment, B-Real jumped into the crowd for to body surf.
Once back on stage, DJ Lord spoke to the crowd and stated that the purpose of DJ Lord was to confront the world’s injustice and he indicated that “the world can’t change itself, only you can change the world.” He also told the crowd that a portion of the proceeds for all shows will go towards assisting the homeless. A portion of Camden’s proceeds were to go to a farmers’ collective that donates food to the homeless.
When the evening finished, the band played a blistering two hour set that was both powerful and intense. Chuck D, B-Real, Morello, Commerford, Wilk, and DJ Lord put on an incredible show that had the audience out of their seats throughout the night. During the performance Chuck D told the crowd to tell their friends that couldn’t make it what they missed. If you live in the Camden area and didn’t make it out to see Prophets of Rage, you missed one of the best shows this year.