Closing out Ripple
Effect festival at State Capitol Lawn.
By Fred Mills
5:45 pm EST: With
the free Ripple Effect festival in progress right now in Minneapolis-St. Paul
at the State Capitol Lawn as one of several concerts this week coinciding with
the Republican National Convention, it’s activist nirvana in the Twin Cities –
and BLURT has just learned that none other than that most active of musical
activists, Rage Against the Machine, is going to do an unannounced set at the
The band has kept the news hush-hush all day long,
reportedly because the city police have been trying to get the festival shut
down and Rage doesn’t want to give the cops any additional incentive. But if
all goes as planned, the group will go on between 6 and 6:30 pm local (Central
zone) time. The concert was advertised as ending around 7 pm. So this is a
natural fit – kids, you might not get home on time today like you planned.
Also on the bill: headliner Michael Franti, plus Dead Prez,
Anti-Flag and Wookie Foot. Guest speakers include Medea Benjamin, Will Steger
and Winona LaDuke. You can go to the Ripple Effect site HERE.
Rage, recall, is already scheduled to play a regular (if
anything is “regular” in Minneapolis-St. Paul this week) concert Wednesday
night at the Target
Center. And Rage
guitarist Tom Morello, in his other guise as the Nightwatchman, performed
yesterday at the Service Employees International Union protest concert along
with Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Mos Def and the Pharcyde. (Read BLURT’s coverage
of the Monday events HERE.)
But in a statement issued last week, Morello broadly hinted
that his band’s involvement during RNC week might extend further than merely
walking out onto the stage of an arena. Said Morello, “While there’s a lot
of clinking of champagne glasses and toasting one another and passing big
checks back and forth inside the convention, there’s a reality on the streets
outside that will be represented by the Nightwatchman and Rage Against the
Machine and Anti-Flag and all the other bands playing to protest in Minneapolis-St.
Paul. We’ll be outside the barbed-wire fences throwing musical Molotov
cocktails toward the fences.”
Let the tossing of Molotovs begin.