LIVE: Prophets of Rage @ O2 Academy, Brixton

By Christopher Lee

Fresh off the back of a blistering performance on the main stage at this year’s Download Festival, Prophets of Rage arrive at the famous Brixton Academy with their tails up and ready to make Brixton rage again. As supergroups go, it doesn’t really get any bigger than this, consisting of members from some of the biggest acts ever seen. Collectively, Prophets of Rage can easily say that their influence on the music scene is unparalleled across multiple genres. Handling the drums, bass and guitar are Tim Commerford, Brad Will and the mighty Tom Morello of the legendary Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. Couple that with DJ Lord and Chuck D of Public Enemy and throw in B-Real of Cypress Hill, and the end result is a dream for anyone who’s a huge fan of rock and hip hop.

Many bands have toyed with the crossover of these two iconic genres but few if any will have come close to the sound that Prophets of Rage produce. Their own material might be light on the ground at the moment with only an EP and one single from their upcoming self-titled album so far, but with so many combined iconic tracks to choose from their set is hit after hit from start to finish.

As the band take to the stage, the anticipation levels shoot through the roof and you can see just how much it means to those who were lucky enough to secure a ticket for the evening. These aren’t just men up there, or an up-and-coming rock band. These are heroes, people who have shaped lives through their music, and it’s only right that the roof of this famous venue is almost raised as they kick off with an original number in ‘Prophets of Rage’.

What follows is 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated excellence. The bulk is made up of legendary Rage Against The Machine hits, of which there are simply too many to mention, but needless to say, everything you could possibly want to hear gets a run out. Chuck D and B-Real handle the part of Zack de la Rocha seamlessly throughout, whilst adding their own spin in a way only they can.

As they did at Download, there’s the same beautiful moment shared between band and fans as they play an instrumental version of Audioslave’s ‘Like a Stone’ and allow the crowd to sing the lyrics in a touching tribute to the late, great Chris Cornell. A DJ battle between DJ Lord and Tom Morello on guitar (whose technical ability is as exceptional as ever) and an insane hip hop medley in the middle of the set follow.

Bringing the set home with yet another flourish of Rage Against The Machine numbers, there’s barely time for the crowd to recover from mosh pit after mosh pit between each huge track. As the last notes of ‘Killing in the Name’ ring true and the crowd scream the iconic, “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,” there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind – Prophets of Rage are far from a gimmick and are exactly what a supergroup should be: excellence in every form.