Watch: Rage Against the Machine Play “Fistful of Steel” For the First Time Since 1997

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Rage Against the Machine just wrapped up the 2022 leg of their Public Service Announcement reunion tour with a five-night run at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. At the second to last show, the band broke out “Fistful of Steel” for the first time since 1997.

The song is a deep-cut fan favorite from the 1993 self-titled album. They have heavily revisited the LP across the reunion tour, playing every single track—save “Settle For Nothing,” which they haven’t touched since 1993.

In many ways, “Fistful of Steel” has aged a significant amount. With references to steppin’ into the jam and slammin’ like Shaquille, the lyrics definitely date the track to a specific time and place. Despite the inescapable ’90s vibes, the song hit every bit as hard during the show on Friday night nearly 30 years after its release. Frontman Zack de la Rocha had to play the heavy song while seated, thanks to an ongoing leg injury, but nevertheless, he delivered a crowd-raising performance. Check out fan-shot footage of the moment below.

The rest of the setlist came predominately from the band’s three proper studio albums, but they did play Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” from their covers collection Renegades, “No Shelter” from the Godzilla soundtrack, and Run the Jewels’ “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck).”

The band’s reunion tour has been eventful, to say the least. De La Rocha tore his ACL on the second night of the trek, a security guard accidentally tackled Tom Morello and Guy Fieri has taken the title of the group’s number one fan, following them to each show on the tour.

The band was originally slated to head to Europe later this month but the leg was canceled per the doctor’s orders given de la Rocha’s injury. “Zack must return home for rest and rehabilitation,” they wrote in a letter to fans. “The flights, travel time, and rigorous schedule in the UK and Europe are simply too much of a risk for his complete recovery.”

RATM will resume the tour in February 2023 at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico with a slew of arena dates throughout North America to follow.

(Photo: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

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