This past Saturday, July 30 I drove up to LA to attend the LA Rising Festival with Muse and Rage Against The Machine. A little background. I have wanted to see Muse for many years so I was just as excited to see them as I was RATM. Also, 17 years ago I saw Rage for the first time at the same venue, the LA Olympic Colosseum as the opened for U2 on the Pop Mart tour.

OK, back to the night. So I drove up from Chula Vista at about noon (show started at 3). I had no interest in seeing any of the other bands, but I knew that if I wanted to get my hands on a cheap ticket I would have to get there early (scalping trick). The other thing was, I didn’t want to pay for parking ($25) so i had to get there in good time to score street parking. If you have been to the Olympic Colosseum before then you know that it is not necessarily located in the Beverly Hills of LA (not that it would make it any safer or anything if it was). It is in a neighborhood that I am not to used to. It is pretty ghetto and honestly a bit scary. I am not sure what I am basing that on, I have never been attacked or threatened there, maybe I have just seen to many hollywood movies. Regardless, I parked a few blocks from the venue and walked in.

I only asked a few people for tickets before I met my guy. I asked if he had extra, he said yes and I said how much? Well, he paid $100, so I offered him what I had which was $17. With little hesitation he handed me a ticket and told me it was my lucky day. I am a true believer that we have not because we ask not. 95% of the time I get tickets this way.

Fast forward past the bands that I didn’t like all the way till when Muse hit the stage. They were amazing. One of the tightest, most entertaining shows I have ever seen in my life. For 3 dudes to hold a crowd of 60,000 is not an easy gig. They worked hard, especially since Rage was coming up next and everyone had been waiting all day to see them. They pulled off an amazing set, filled with covers of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and even Rage. They played a full set filled with lasers, giant balloons and multiple fog machines. When they were done you could feel the energy rise as people knew Rage was coming out soon. 30 minutes later the lights went dim and the crowd went crazy.

Rage hit the stage and started out their 14 song set list with Testify. When they got to the first verse the sound completely shut down and most of us thought that a riot was going to happen, thankfully they got it sorted. I have rarely seen or felt that much energy from a show that size. At one point I looked on the floor and there were 8 circle pits happening at the same time. One of those pits had a bon fire going on in the middle of it (how they got a fire started I have no idea). People were dancing and jumping through and around the fire and to my knowledge nobody died, another amazing thing. People around me kept looking at each other and saying “can you believe this, I can’t believe I am here and this is happening.” It was a huge deal to see Rage again. They put on an epic show and showed that they are not old and they are not classic rock. Rage is still relevant and they have a very strong voice in the music industry.

The main think I liked about the festival was that it was calling people to action. Calling people to use their voice to make a difference in the world and locally. They had organizations there like Drop In The Bucket, UNHCR and others who care about justice and see the need for people like you and me get involved. It was a show calling people to action, I loved that.

All in all it was a good day filled with great music and good people, some of whom I met at the show. Not sure when Rage will be playing again, but if you have the chance I say go.

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