A witty intelligent raconteur we are led through his whole musical career from first picking up a guitar, dodgy college bands, moving out west, working for a senator and finally hooking up with Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and Prophets of Rage. The chat is interspersed with Tom demonstrating guitar technique, various solos and how he gets those crazy noises out of his guitar. There’s a poignant segment talking about Chris Cornell and dedicating a song to him. It’s moving stuff.
Next up is a complete run through of Tom’s new album ‘The Atlas Underground’ which sees a different collaboration on each track. His vision for the album is to fuse EDM (electronic dance music), rap and his unique guitar style and for me it largely works. Whilst EDM is definitely not my thing, it’s an interesting album on first listen that does hold your attention on each track. I particularly liked the collabs with Portugal, The Man, Marcus Mumford and another of my modern guitar heroes Gary Clark Jr.
So onto the final act. We start with a brand new track, that’s so new the guitar tech (of 26 years standing) has to hold up the words. For me I thought it was excellent, played and sung well and actually better than most of the songs on the new album. After speaking about his Springsteen residency in the Q and A earlier we are treated, and treat does not adequately describe it, to a rendition of ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’. His version of this with Bruce at Hyde Park is still one of the best moments in a concert I have ever witnessed but to see this is again up close and personal is stunning.
Finally, dedicating this song to us all who took this to Christmas number one the audience are invited onto the tiny stage to belt out ‘Killing in the name of’. Warning them to keep their feet of off his shit, Bush Hall literally rocked to its foundations, even the chandeliers were moshing. Pure joy on the faces everyone there. For us oldies we are taken back twenty years to prime Rage and for the youngsters it’s an opportunity to get on board the Morello rockin train.
It was an indeed a rare opportunity to hear him speak and then rock like the proverbial ba$tard in such an intimate venue. The format worked but it’s the amazing final third that will live long in the memory as we continue to hum that final riff all the way home.
Until the next time keep on rockin y’all