Review: Rock the Bells at Randalls Island

Full story: Newsday 44
Sorry, haters, hip-hop isn't dead. It may be in trouble, dogged by ongoing attacks on its language and imagery in the wake of Don Imus' racist remarks, as well as a 33 percent drop-off in the genre's sales for ... Full Story
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Joey PK

Parsippany, NJ

#1 Jul 29, 2007
That get your attention? Well, some journalist credited Bush with being such a fuck-up president that he reunited the greatest hard rock/hip hop band in the history of protest music. Fuck Audioslave, they were getting old anyway.

Seriously though. Words cannot describe the intensity of this concert. The mosh-pits that began to open up during Cypress Hill only got bigger by the time Rage got there. People were crowd surfing alongside Method Man, who insisted on pulling front flips stage dives into the arms of his fans.

For as angry as the pit seemed to be given the current state of our government, there was still plenty of room for "mob etiquette." If someone hit the floor following a particularly brutal forearm, the entire pit would go into stand-by until the victim was back on their feet, two fists in the air. When bottles of water were thrown into the crowd, the lucky recipients would take a swig and pass it on, or spray their neighbors with much-needed liquid coolant.

There is not a muscle in my body that isn't bruised and sore, or still bleeding internally. And for that, I can only thank Mr. Bush.
fremiot s

East Elmhurst, NY

#2 Jul 29, 2007
your article is clearly on point...i was in attendance last night at the saturday show at randalls island...and my goodness..it was the best concert i have ever been too!!!!! all acts were great...but rage against the machine really has a helluve backing...wow!!! i heard them back in the days....but last night...just plain and simply...THEY ROCKED!!!!!! as tired as we all were and all the people passing out from dehydration and standing up all day in that baking,humid,disgusting heat...we all moshed and jumped and rocked or brains out on depleted energies....it is a night of nights to remember...i thank the guerilla union and all those others that made this ROCK THE BELLS HAPPEN!!! i was privileged to be at such a great high powered event...lol and im 34!!! and we were in the front getting crushed and crushing others...well i've said enough...thanks for the recap and for getting it right by how you wrote this article...you sure did not embellish it...just said it like it is...great journalism....PEACE!!!
Mee

Manchester, CT

#3 Jul 29, 2007
Respek. Nice article for real yo.
Jay B

Toms River, NJ

#4 Jul 29, 2007
I was there for day two. It seems everyone had to pay dues both Saturday and Sunday concerning the weather conditions. Saturday's crowd had to deal with the heat and humidity and we had to endure a few hours of heavy rain. The acts were solid on the main stage. Immortal Technique commanded the crowd to get live. Pharaohe Monch (definitely not an up and comer, he's been around since the early 90s, gave an all-out fantastic performance. Rakim with Kid Capri was an unforgettable thing, real happy I got to see that. PE was off the trapezoid, Wu-Tang was incredible even minus Ghostface and O.D.B. (RIP) We had to leave a few songs into Rage's set but they were building a great momentum. The entertainment was phenomenal. Unfortunately the organizers hired a staff of schmucks for crowd control who were incompetent and ignorant. Oh and placing porta-potties all over the place is a consideration great in theory, but it just plain stinks.
Andrew

Reston, VA

#5 Jul 29, 2007
Best concert of all time. Honestly though no one came close to the amount of intensity Rage Against the Machine brought to the stage (as Bono + Kayne said) Rock bands have it so much easier taking over a crowd. Rage tour the place down 35,000 I heard in attendance and when Testify first started everyone was in the air ready to take in the brilliance that DeLaRocha and Morello bring to us. I much appreciate their return and look forward to another album possibly being conceived...
dawnn

Bronx, NY

#6 Jul 30, 2007
Rock the bells was amazing! I went sunday (the other day) and was blown away. Of course, Rage, P.E, WU-Tang but MF doom really did it for me. A lot of people missed the end of his set because of WU-Tang but the missed some great stuff, like when Kwali joined him onstage for 'old school'

“megaupload.com/? d=C99S7CL3”

Since: Apr 07

The Motherland

#7 Jul 30, 2007
was jedi mind tricks at your show?
msg

New York, NY

#8 Jul 30, 2007
There's a difference between a Tuba and a Sousaphone. The Roots have a Sousaphone in the band, not a Tuba.
Disgusted citizen

Astoria, NY

#9 Jul 30, 2007
This trash is disgusting. Just Google the lyrics to some of these groups. Is this what we want our culture to be? Shame on Newsday for giving these idiots the attention they don't deserve.
Rick D

New York, NY

#10 Jul 30, 2007
"up-and-comer Pharoahe Monch." You lost all credibility with that line partner.
James Mee

United States

#11 Jul 30, 2007
ROCK THE BELLS WAS THE BEST FESTIVAL FOR YEARS TO COME!
IF YOU WERE THERE YOU WERE A PART OF HISTORY!

HIP-HOP AND ROCK MUSIC FOREVER

FROM A LONG ISLAND HIP-HOP HEAD

7/28/07 never forget that day
distusted citizen 2

Avon, MA

#12 Jul 30, 2007
Disgusted citizen wrote:
This trash is disgusting. Just Google the lyrics to some of these groups. Is this what we want our culture to be? Shame on Newsday for giving these idiots the attention they don't deserve.
we want this culture to change. If you want to protect the culture that we have right now, you are protecting racism, a culture where people are underfed, jobs are hard to find, and with an administration more geared to its own power than protecting its people.

given that, wu tangs lyrics are pretty bad, singing mostly about how much they think of themselves. Cypress hill is more concerned with weed and his own debauchery than anything worth singing about.
public enemy and rage though, they strive for the betterment of culture and society. They are disgusted citizens, disgusted with the way it is now.

and yes, progressive change deserves attention.
Mac

Springfield, MA

#13 Jul 30, 2007
Oh my god, I can't believe I just saw the best show in my life. I had a great time. I went Saturday, and partied all day. All the hip hop was great, and Rage tore the place down.. Well, actually.. we tore the fence down to get the hell outta there! What a great time!
Staal is the future

Brooklyn, NY

#14 Jul 30, 2007
Very nice review. One of my biggest highlights was Felt (Slug from Atmosphere) killing it on the smaller stage.
Think for yourself

Brooklyn, NY

#15 Jul 30, 2007
Disgusted citizen wrote:
This trash is disgusting. Just Google the lyrics to some of these groups. Is this what we want our culture to be? Shame on Newsday for giving these idiots the attention they don't deserve.
wow, talk about narrow minded. the point is that they have the freedom to say whatever they want. not everyone wants to hear how to make this world a better place ALL the time. and just because someone says something in a rhyme, doesn't mean they actually do it.
Disgusted citizen

Astoria, NY

#16 Jul 30, 2007
Think for yourself wrote:
<quoted text>
wow, talk about narrow minded. the point is that they have the freedom to say whatever they want. not everyone wants to hear how to make this world a better place ALL the time. and just because someone says something in a rhyme, doesn't mean they actually do it.
There is always a decent way to say things and a repugnant way. Using four letter words that describe violence will only attract like minded individuals, some of whom may actually "do" it. Will you know for sure this wasn't the case next a cop is shot? Or a tweleve year old?

True progressive change issues from convincing people to see a different point of view. I doubt the American Revolution, the end of slavery, or civil rights would have occurred in this country if their proponents would have rapped their call to action with indecencies.

And are you really sure these "singers" really want change, or the change in your pocket?
dooder

New Hyde Park, NY

#17 Jul 30, 2007
I went sunday and it was awesome minus the rain in the beginning but WTF happened to Erykah Badu? She was on the line up and Why annouce mos def when he just sits in the back of the stage. That kinda pissed me off. But its was awesome. RATM were amazing, I never saw saw a huge charge up crowd. But the rain OMG I never felt so gross. The mud wrestling was fun though..
dooder

New Hyde Park, NY

#18 Jul 30, 2007
For you disgusted citizens I find you disgusting and close minded. Go move to the bible red tape of your eyes belt
Mike

Colts Neck, NJ

#19 Jul 30, 2007
This concert was a religious experience. It was crazy. Protest, yes. But nonsensical violence, no. Wu-Tang, Rage, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, Pharoh, etc, they were all amazing.
I was on my feet for 16 hours, i could have gone a day more to that music.
AMAZING!!!
JJ Rager

Winchester, MA

#20 Jul 30, 2007
Yo! I was in the Pit from 6pm...it was nuthin' till Rage hit the stage. As soon as Tom hit the first cord I was hanging on to dear LIFE!!! AND I SURVIVED to tell the stories! I'm 46...anyone older than 46 in the mosh pit? I think I was the oldest! RATM is the best.
My doctor told me that the body-cast can come off in 6-8 weeks...fuck: it was worth it!
Joey PK wrote:
That get your attention? Well, some journalist credited Bush with being such a fuck-up president that he reunited the greatest hard rock/hip hop band in the history of protest music. Fuck Audioslave, they were getting old anyway.
Seriously though. Words cannot describe the intensity of this concert. The mosh-pits that began to open up during Cypress Hill only got bigger by the time Rage got there. People were crowd surfing alongside Method Man, who insisted on pulling front flips stage dives into the arms of his fans.
For as angry as the pit seemed to be given the current state of our government, there was still plenty of room for "mob etiquette." If someone hit the floor following a particularly brutal forearm, the entire pit would go into stand-by until the victim was back on their feet, two fists in the air. When bottles of water were thrown into the crowd, the lucky recipients would take a swig and pass it on, or spray their neighbors with much-needed liquid coolant.
There is not a muscle in my body that isn't bruised and sore, or still bleeding internally. And for that, I can only thank Mr. Bush.

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