Prophets of Rage crusade against social injustice and make America rage again

Prophets of Rage // Photo by Andres Alvarado

The Prophets of Rage infiltrated the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Atlanta for a crusade against social injustice and their Make America Rage Again Tour. The Prophets, formed earlier this year, is a rock-rap group that consists of six mega hip-hop and rock stars: Chuck D & DJ Lord of Public Enemy, Brad Wilk, Tom Morello & Tom Commerford of Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave and B-Real of Cypress Hill.

Earlier this year Prophets’ Tom Morello described this super group as “an elite task force of revolutionary musicians determined to confront this mountain of election year bullshit.”

Tom Commerford’s side project WAKRAT opened the show, stepping on stage with the guitars blazing at 7 p.m. sharp. With powerful riffs and drums, WAKRAT fired up the crowd and wasted little time. Through their 30-minute set, the boys displayed a superb alt-punk sound that has them making waves throughout the music industry, most notably with hit single “Knucklehead.”

Photos by Andres Alvarado

Following WAKRAT, AWOLNATION and their versatile frontman Aaron Bruno took the stage. Appearing by 7:50 after an otherworldly introduction – from a member clothed in a long cloak and spaceman’s helmet with a bright lantern in hand – the rest of the band joined on stage. The area filled with smoke and multicolor strobe lights shined while Bruno quickly livened the atmosphere with slick dance moves, as he delved into a rendition of “Run” off their 2015 hit album of the same title. This produced a successful vessel for what would be a 45-minute show of constant highs.

With a roaring crowd in hand, Bruno & company didn’t let go. They constantly outdid themselves with each passing song. Energetic performances were commonplace, with hits like “I Am,” “Dreamers” and “Burn It Down.” Bruno displayed his powerful voice and showmanship which created a deep euphoria that the crowd thrived on. To put a finishing touch on an already stellar presentation, AWOLNATION performed finale “Sail.” The renowned single produced an overwhelming response from those in attendance, who couldn’t help but sing along to every word and send off the LA natives with cheers, whistles and the approval of all.

Photos by Andres Alvarado

With the stage beyond warm, the Prophets of Rage commenced. Legendary DJ Lord led the tribe onto stage, who went above and beyond to engage the crowd with his artistry. Lord displayed the skills that made him a hip-hop icon with scratches and mixes of hit singles from groups like the Wu-Tang Clan and The Beastie Boys. It didn’t take long for the audience to realize they were in for a special night. After a 15-minute solo-set, the other Prophets stepped in.

With all six members on stage under dimmed lighting, the show launched behind a powerful start. Each member stood in their designated stage area with one closed fist in the air – the iconic symbol of the fight against social injustice the band stands for. Clear lighting is jettisoned onto the stage and the band breaks into a cover of Public Enemy’s “Prophets of Rage” to rousing applause.

The energy on stage is unrivaled. Morello, in a “Make America Rage Again” red cap and dark aviator sunglasses commands the moment with vivacity. He’s a rock star on a mission. Armed with his custom made “Arm the Homeless” guitar, Morello cannot help but steal everyone’s attention with his theatrical presence.

Photos by Andres Alvarado

Not to be outdone, the pairing of Chuck D and B-Real on vocals is a match made in hip-hop heaven. The duo is in complete harmony with Chuck’s commanding voice, perfectly complemented by Dr. Greenthumb’s baritone delivery. Add in Wilk’s superior drumming skills, Commerford’s backing vocals/bass and Lord’s spins and the vision of rock-rap royalty comes full circle.

The tour, which has garnered rave reviews from previous stops, completely lived up to the hype. The boys of Prophets pulled off renditions of several tracks from the members’ alternative groups like Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy and Audioslave along with hit “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” from the phenomenal Beastie Boys. The 90-minute set was everything the fans wanted and more.

Catch WAKRAT, AWOLNATION and the Prophets of Rage next in Cincinnati before they hit the major Texas markets. They’re definitely worth the price of admission.

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