Those concerned about the misguided energies of rave kids, of the chaos that somehow manages to collide with mass-market electronic music at every turn, should be thankful that the Rage kids –- those in the Coliseum on Saturday night who are obsessed with the collected music and ideas of Rage Against the Machine -- haven’t yet combusted in the streets of L.A.
Because unlike the underlying philosophy of rave culture, at least as imagined in the scene’s “PLUR” mantra of “peace, love, unity, respect,” the anger and tension during Rage’s daylong music festival L.A. Rising in downtown L.A. was much more menacing and forceful than a bunch of dance freaks angry at the man for not being able to boogie on Hollywood Boulevard.
The Rage-curated bill featured British trio Muse, Chicago aggro-punk band Rise Against, masterful singer and rapper Lauryn Hill, Peruvian American rapper Immortal Technique and Monterrey, Mexico's El Gran Silencio. The nine-hour festival was the biggest music event held at the Coliseum since last summer’s Electric Daisy Carnival electronic music festival, which made headlines after the death of a 15-year-old girl and YouTube clips showed bloodied fans scaling Coliseum barriers to get onto the field. On Saturday, there was a heavy security and police presence all over the place.