In what you might call a walk down riot-gear-lined memory lane for Twin Cities fans, Rage Against the Machine will return to Target Center on May 11, same site as its legendary performance during the Republican National Convention in 2008.
The infamously political Los Angeles quartet of “Guerilla Radio” and “Bulls on Parade” fame already announced in November it would ramp up again in 2020, following a nine-year hiatus. Initially, the band only announced a handful of benefit shows along the U.S.-Mexico border leading up to two big appearances at both weekends of the Coachella festival in April.
On Monday, Rage tacked on many more shows to its schedule, including the Minneapolis date as well as stops in Winnipeg (May 8), Sioux Falls (May 9) and Kansas City (May 14), plus a big outdoor gig at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wis., on July 10. Hip-hop duo Run the Jewels will open the trek, dubbed the Public Service Announcement Tour.
Tickets for the Target Center concert (which falls on a Monday night) are listed to go on sale Thursday at 11 a.m. via AXS.com. No prices or pre-sale options are named yet.
Rage’s members – frontman Zack de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk – have stayed relatively mum on their reasons and intentions for this year’s shows. The fact that it’s an election year likely has something to do with. So does the fact that the quartet is overdue a good reunion payday.
Except for Nirvana and Metallica, probably no other rock band from the ‘80s and ‘90s has today’s 15-year-olds still headbanging along to its songs as Rage does; which is to say nothing of the 45- to 55-year-old fans who have been feeling rather rage-y in recent years, too.
That 2008 protest concert during the RNC – which followed a similar gig during the Democratic Nation Convention in Denver that summer -- wound up being the band’s last Minnesota show before it went on hiatus in 2011. Twelve years later, it is widely held up as one of the most thrilling and certainly one of the most unusual Twin Cities rock shows of all time.
The performance was an exceptionally good but otherwise pretty standard Rage set, with chants of “[Bleep] you, I won’t do what you tell me!” and whatnot. Afterward, though, fans exiting Target Center were greeted by hundreds of police and other law enforcement agents in riot gear lined up around the building like Stormtroopers hanging around the Death Star. A few minor scuffles ensued. Mostly, though, attendees just filed past the wall of authority to the walls of beer taps at O’Donovan’s and Kieren’s Pub across the street.