Rage Against the Machine seemingly exploded out of nowhere with their debut album in late 1992, but they had to start somewhere. That “somewhere” was the campus quad at Cal State Northridge in Northridge CA on October 23, 1991. While it wasn’t their first gig (apparently, that was at a house party), it was among them. It’s hard to imagine a more humble beginning than playing in front of a handful of disinterested kids on their way to classes. There are a few things that make this grainy videotape golden:
a) The one kid that shows up midway that’s doing something in between moshing, pogoing and noodle dancing.
b) Hearing a segment of their biggest hit “Killing In the Name” leading off the set as an instrumental.
c) Getting to check out some songs that never made it onto a Rage album.
d) At around the 38 minute mark where someone’s like “these guys any good?” Yeah dude, they’re pretty good.