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Live Footage Of Rage Against The Machine’s First Performance Available

Live footage of what is said to be Rage Against The Machine‘s first ever live show has been making the rounds on the internet as of late. The footage was captured at an October 23rd, 1991 performance at The Quad at Cal State Northridge in Northridge, CA and can be found below along with the setlist:

01 – “Killing In The Name” (instrumental)
02 – “Take The Power Back
03 – “Autologic
04 – “Bullet In The Head
05 – “Hit The Deck
06 – “Township Rebellion
07 – “Darkness Of Greed
08 – “Clear The Lane
09 – “Clampdown
10 – “Know Your Enemy
11 – “Freedom


  • jayofdajungle

    I dig de la o’s half-running man. The dude dancing during “Freedom” looks a bit…touched. Notice when he tires out he puts his hands on his hips ala Forrest Gump.

  • scorpions

    Some of the best shit I’ve ever seen… These mo-fos are like 21 in this recording

  • adamonfire

    Timmy C and Tommy Hitman doing work. They sound amazing for it being their first show – but I’m certainly glad they reworked the lyrics on Know Your Enemy, which was the first song that got me to look into the catalog and outside of what was just on the radio.

  • pinkmaggit

    Love the end of Bullet in the Head

    • jrr

      Yeah, seriously. Zack goes fucking insane during it. His voice cracks way too much during the screams, though. Glad that he managed to improve on that within the year between this show and the first album release.

  • Ska_Mitzvah

    This is their first performance? Wow, that’s incredible.

  • Dax

    Seriously?!? First show? This is ridiculous – it’s, what, twenty years old? And it pretty much crushes everything in terms of honesty, intensity, and being committed to what you’re playing. Wow. I wonder if those students had any indication they were in the presence of something grand and brand new. Also pretty amazing how mapped out those songs were at their first show and how lots of it remained unchanged. It’s times like this, and when a live version of This Love came on the radio, that I feel old and I think how so many more recent acts who try to be intense fall flat in comparison.

  • Livedefflo

    All i have to say is PURE ENERGY. These people watching weren’t prepared for this obviously. One of the greatest rap/metal bands to have ever developed. This is one of the few bands that has a very important message and gets it across as intended. Rage on!

    • jrr

      Best part is 20 years later, you still see Zack running from to end to end of the stage, bringing that dynamic energy. Granted, it’s not quite the level of energy seen here, but it’s still impressive. Though, I’ve never seen him bust out the dance moves that were on display here. I think like the general going off better anyhow.

  • jrr

    This is amazing. I’m kinda glad it only just surfaced. Seeing them play to an insanely huge crowd at L.A. Rising only to then to see their humble beginnings here, where they barely even drew a crowd, is a trip.

    I wonder if Killing in the Name was even a full song already, or if it actually existed as just that first bit of instrumental for a set opener like that first.

    Definitely glad that the gang vocals from Autologic never really made it into any of their released stuff. Reminds me of an interview with Tom a long while back when they asked why he doesn’t do background vocals, and his response was something like “You don’t wanna hear me sing. I use to do background vocals, and it was awful.”

    I’ve only gotten through Hit the Deck so far, though. I’ll need to check the rest later.

  • Kent Brockman

    Long sleeves under the T? This is an old video, eh?

    • MARIACHI EL willX

      funny shit Kent. I used to rock that same look at times back when this was filmed. funny funny funny…

  • rreddrop

    oh my god, i just watched this for the first time. so awesome!!

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