OK, it wasn't an official Rage show that was supposed to happen today. Their buddies, the band Anti-Flag, were playing a show on the Capital grounds in St. Paul, some eight blocks from the Xcel Energy Center, where the Republican National Convention is being held this week.
What Rage was gonna do, was just show up and play a 30-minute set with minimal gear, and hopefully minimal hassles. The local rock radio station made an announcement at 5:30 that Rage would be onstage in 60 minutes. When the band pulled up in a couple of vans around 6:20, suddenly a wall of Minnesota State Troopers surrounded them and prevented them from going onstage. In the midst of negotiations between the band, their management, their security detail and the Captain of the State Troopers, the entire crowd started chanting "let them play, let them play." That and a few other chants went on for quite some time.
The Mexican Hat Dance with the troopers went on for nearly 30 minutes, during which time the authorities killed all of the electricity for the stage and audio gear.
The police refused to let the band play because they weren't listed on the event permit. Also, the permit expired at 7pm, which it was by that time.
No permit + no power = no gig.
Someone handed the band a battery-powered megaphone, so all four guys (along with their manager and a security detail) waded out into the crowd to speak to them. A couple of the bandmembers gave quick speeches, and then they sang 2-3 songs over the megaphone. The crowd sang along with every word. Tom Morello even faked his guitar solos during the tunes.
Soon enough, they were whisked off to their vehicles to depart. The mob headed for the RNC a few blocks away and evidently there were "issues." If you were following the news today, you probably heard about it.
Photos from today:
Brad Madix, Pete Lewis, Andy Veasey
Spragoo, Brad Madix, Seth Kendall
Rage crew guys with cops: