Rage Against the Machine were just four songs into their show at Chicago’s United Center on Monday night when Zack de la Rocha injured his leg during a wild rendition of “Bullet In The Head.” He briefly walked offstage with the help of crew members but ultimately finished the show in a seated position on a stage monitor.
“I don’t know what happened to my leg right now,” he told the crowd when he returned. “But you know what? We’re gonna keep this fuckin’ shit goin’. If I have to crawl across this stage, we’re gonna play for y’all tonight. We came too fuckin’ far.”
The Chicago gig was just Rage’s second show of their long-awaited reunion tour, which kicked off Saturday night at East Troy, Wisconsin’s Alpine Valley Music Theater. The set is a cross-section of songs from their three albums, including classics “Bulls on Parade,” “Killing In The Name,” and “Sleep Now In The Fire.” There are no new songs, but it’s packed with political messages about the Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe vs. Wade, police brutality, and the refugee crisis at the southern border.
Rage has yet to comment on de la Rocha’s s injury beyond his statement from the stage, but it seemed to happen during the climax of “Bullet In The Head” when he was frantically jumping up and down. After that part of the song, he walked slowly around the stage and appeared to be in pain. He finished the show seated on monitors on the side of the stage and near the front, occasionally attempting to stand for short periods of time.
This is not the first time de la Rocha has injured himself during a Rage concert. He hurt his ankle on August 20, 1997, at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, when he jumped onto a speaker during “Bombtrack.” They wound up finishing that concert, too.
Dave Grohl faced an even more serious injury when he fell off the stage during a 2015 Foo Fighters gig in Gothenburg, Sweden, and broke his leg. He managed to complete the show while doctors tended to his leg, and he finished out the tour in a throne-like chair made out of guitars. When Axl Rose broke his foot during the very first show of the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour the following year, he borrowed Grohl’s guitar throne for a few weeks.
The Rage tour is scheduled to continue tonight with a second show at the United Center in Chicago. As of now, it’s still going forward.