Tom Morello – Electric Ballroom 13-6-24

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Review and Images By Dave Martin

Morello is best known as the guitarist for multiple high profile bands including Rage against the Machine, Audioslave and Prophets of Rage. Hailing from Libertyville, Illinois, Morello came to prominence upon meeting Zack de la Rocha in 1991, five years after graduating from Harvard University. He is well known for his unique playing style and guitar sounds inspired by hip hop, heavy metal and punk.

He has experience being number on the UK charts with his track “Killing in the Name” when in 2009 it was used to protest against X-Factor contestants reaching the top spot at Christmas. Morello is well known for his political stances, and this was evident throughout the set played at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London from start to finish. His song selection for the evening stays true to his beliefs He entered the stage with his trademark style and slogan guitars and launched into “Soldier in the Army of Love” followed by “Vigilante Nocturno”. Changing his hat from beret to cap,

Morello then launched into the first Rage Against the Machine medley of the night. At this, the crowd started to liven in response to some of Morello’s more famous guitar riffs stitched together. On completion of the medley, he was joined on stage by Thomas Raggi of Italian Eurovision winners Maneskin. The dual guitars entertained the audience for two tracks with Raggi exuding a presence on stage which dovetailed well with Morello. After a couple more songs, Morello broke into the distinctive intro for Audioslave’s “Cochise” demonstrating his distinctive helicopter sound before changing tack and jumping into “Like a Stone” also from his Audioslave days.

The gathering appreciates the throw back to the early 2000s and the work done with Chris Cornell. Soon after there is a change in musical genres with a short acoustic set including the other musicians in the band downing instruments and gathering round Morello to clap along, a far cry from the normal industrial sounds associated with Morello. He does revert to type later unplugging his Jack lead and using it as an instrument to good effect. After performing “Let’s get the Party Started” he leaps into the second Rage medley of the night, this time a more extended one containing distinctive riffs from six of the most famous and popular songs, however one major track has still not featured. Following on, Morello pays homage to The Boss Bruce Springsteen with a cover of the “Ghost of Tom Joad”.

This deviation from his normal genre leads to Morello requesting the house lights to be raised as he introduces the next song as an old English Folk Song before playing the intro to “Killing in the Name”. The crowd goes wild and a mosh pit starts. He plays the song in its entirety as those assembled sing the lyrics in unison. Following the audience’s enthusiastic rendition of the Rage Against the Machine classic, Morello covers John Lennon’s “Power to the People” before bringing the evening’s entertainment to a close. Interspersed through the evening were political statements such as when he flips his guitar during a solo to show “Ceasefire” written on the back of his guitar.

This gig had many of the aspects your would expect from Morello from his band days but supplemented by moments you are less accustomed to.

Setlist: 1. Soldier in the Army of Love 2. Vigilante Nocturno 3. Rage Medley 1 (Testify/Take the Power Back /Freedom) 4. Gossip ft Thomas Raggi from Maneskin 5. Kick out the Jams 6. Where it’s at Ain’t What it is 7. Hold the Line 8. Audislave Medley (Cochise/Like a Stone) 9. House Gone up in Flames 10. Keep Goin’ 11. Let’s Get the Party Started 12. One Man Revolution 13. Rage Medley (Bombtrack/Know Your Enemy/Bulls on Parade/Guerilla Radio/Sleep Now in the Fire/Bullet in the Head) 14. The Ghost of Tom Joad 15. Killing in the Name 16. Power to the People

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