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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Rage Against the Machine: Live at the Olympic Auditorium
Rage Against the Machine: Live at the Olympic Auditorium
Sony Music // Unrated // December 9, 2003
List Price: $14.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted December 12, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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The Movie:

One of the most politically active music bands of the 90's, "Rage Against the Machine" became one of the most electric and engaging of the many rap/rock acts that eventually started to populate the landscape. Lead by the by the furious vocals of lead singer Zach De La Rocha and backed the instrumental attack of guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, the band was never less than an exhausting live act, punishing themselves to deliver versions of their songs that were even more explosive and energetic than the album versions.

Unfortunately, the performance contained on this DVD marks the end of the band's career, as lead singer Zach De La Rocha went on to persue a solo career. The band's core is as remarkable as ever here; deep, catchy grooves powered by furious drum and guitar work (Morello's amazing guitar work often manages to deliver impressive, funky scratching sounds that sound like the best of record scratching) , topped off by De La Rocha's boiling intensity.

The concert is a better presentation than the band's previous DVD effort, "The Battle of Mexico City". Not only is the filming improved (some odd audience footage and shaky video-camera style footage aside), but the audio is an improvement over "Mexico City"'s raw sound.

Songs:
1.Bulls On Parade

2.Bombtrack

3.Calm Like A Bomb

4.Bullet In The Head

5.Sleep Now In The Fire

6.War Within A Breath

7.I'm Housin'

8.Killing In The Name

9.Born Of A Broken Man

10.No Shelter

11.Guerrilla Radio

12.How I Could Just Kill A Man

13.Kick Out The Jams

14.Testify

15.Freedom


The DVD

VIDEO: The concert is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame. The filming seems to have been done with a mixture of styles, as some footage seems to be from a lower-grade video camera, while the majority seems cleaner and clearer. Sharpness overall seemed perfectly fine, as the picture seemed crisp and well-defined during the moments on stage and only veered into softness and grain during some of the audience footage. Compression artifacts, edge enhancement or other concerns were not spotted. Colors looked bright and well-defined, with stage lighting not looking smeared.

SOUND: The show is presented in PCM 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1. Although "Mexico City"'s 2.0 track seemed clearer than the somewhat muddled 5.1 mix, this time it's the other way around. The 2.0 presentation has a raw, indistinct quality that manages to sound just satisfactory. The 5.1 mix, on the other hand, actually comes close to delivering the kind of power the band delivers in a live performance. Much more dynamic, cleaner and distinct, the 5.1 presentation uses the surrounds quite nicely for both reinforcement of the music and crowd sounds. Vocals also seemed clearer on the 5.1 track, as they sounded slightly muffled on the 2.0 presentation.

EXTRAS: Firstly, there are two bonus concert performances, of "People of the Sun" and "Know Your Enemy" (in 5.1 or 2.0). Viewers are then offered a complete bonus concert, as the band plays at the Democratic National Convention in 2000. While this 32-minute concert is only in 2.0, it's still a great bonus, with terrific performances of "Bulls on Parade", "Testify", "Guerrila Radio", "Sleep Now in the Fire", "Freedom" and "Killing in the Name". Lastly, we get music videos for "Bombtrack" and "How I Could Just Kill A Man".

Final Thoughts: An amazing full concert, a powerful second concert, bonus footage, great audio/video quality and all for $14.95 (or even less at most stores). An easy recommendation for fans of the band.

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