Through the wonders of modern technology, we can transport ourselves back to 1991 and catch the very first Rage Against The Machine gig. Recorded on a primitive camcorder perched to the right of the stage, the show is captured in all its gritty glory. What makes this a fascinating case study is that this set is chockablock full of future classics. Through the gnarly on-board mic the band still sounds fantastic, they play the show like they are playing their hits to thousands, not with pompous poses and a well-groomed image, but with real honest heartfelt power.
But watch the concert and see who takes notice. You can visibly see RATM tribe build. The masses that walk past probably paid $100 for a ticket in future years and never even realized they caught a glimpse of Rage's first show. That is the majority of people, they don’t care about your band, they only care about themselves.
This is where the music industry has faltered, they have been so intent on the focusing on the masses that walk past and don’t really care, that they forgot the importance of the core few who stick it out from day one.
The future of your music career is dependent on you treating those core fans like they are the important ones, not that being huge is important. Because if you focus on the on the masses, your music will reflect the majorities lack of passion for what you truly care about. The result is a sea of beige.
Rage Against The Machine created a little bit of flourishing musical color amongst the beige that day, and that is why 20 years later this set list sounds as vital and important as it ever did.
Watch and learn: