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(Credit: Penner)


Watch raw footage of Rage Against The Machine's first-ever live performance, 1991


Live music, it would seem, is nothing but a distant memory amid this current climate.

With strict social distancing measures forcing millions of people to remain in lockdown, the Far Out Magazine ‘From The Vault’ section is here to inject a shot of nostalgia in your arm in a bid to quench your live music thrust.

Delving deep into the archives, we’ve managed to dig out some early 1990s material in the shape of Rage Against The Machine in what is a defining moment in popular culture. Here, we revisit the first live performance from the now-iconic Los Angeles-based rock band.

The band, who announced their return a matter of months ago, saw their reunion dates succumbing to the current crisis which has forced delayed albums, cancelled festivals and postponed tour dates.

Slipping into a YouTube rabbit hole to fill the void, we unearthed the first known public performance of the band which took place at the Quad (Cal State Northridge) in Northridge, California. The show, which is rough and ready, was later confirmed by guitarist Tom Morello as the band’s first-ever public performance.

The footage, dated October 23, 1991, is a full year before the band eventually release of their debut self-titled album. The set, which opened with an instrumental version of ‘Killing In The Name’, arrives at a time when the band had yet to formulate their now-iconic lyrics of “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”.

Closed the show with a rousing version of ‘Freedom’, Rage also performed songs such as ‘Take The Power Back’, ‘Darkness Of Greed’, ‘Know Your Enemy’ as well as a wonderful cover rendition of The Clash song ‘Clampdown’.

So here it is, lose your shit:

Rage Against The Machine first gig setlist:

  • ‘Killing In The Name’ (Instrumental)
  • ‘Take The Power Back’
  • ‘Autologic’
  • ‘Bullet In The Head’
  • ‘Hit The Deck’
  • ‘Township Rebellion’
  • ‘Darkness Of Greed’
  • ‘Clear The Lane’
  • ‘Clampdown’ (The Clash)
  • ‘Know Your Enemy’
  • ‘Freedom’

[MORE] – Rage Against The Machine announce ‘Live At The Democratic National Convention 2000’ album