Tom Morello Occupies SXSW In Austin, Police Shut It Down

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Photo by Kevin Winter//Getty Images

Photo by Kevin Winter//Getty Images

Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello threw a cog into the musical machine that is South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, Texas by turning his show into an “Occupy” approved protest, otherwise dubbed as “Occupy SXSW.”

In the beginning of his “normal” set at the Swan Dive, Morello played a solo set with an acoustic guitar and then invited his band, the Freedom Fighter Orchestra, on stage.

Dubbing himself the “pied piper of rock,” Morello led the audience outside to screaming Occupy Austin protestors after the last song of his set. Cops tried to shut down the protest by unplugging the PA, but that didn’t stop Morello who continued to play sans mic.


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[pullquote quote="Whether it's with the Occupy movement or with different activist-oriented events. There's very little planning, there's often no PA, and the cops often pull the plug. It was a very inspiring night. "]“I’ve heard the police are going to pull the plug any minute,” Morello announced. “That doesn’t matter to me.”

After the show, Morello told Rolling Stone: “Frankly, I play a lot of shows like that, that are very unscripted. Whether it’s with the Occupy movement or with different activist-oriented events. There’s very little planning, there’s often no PA, and the cops often pull the plug. It was a very inspiring night.”

During Morello’s “official” SXSW badge-only set at the Swan Dive, he played Nightwatchman songs like  “Save the Hammer for the Man,” “The Garden of Gethsemane,” and “Union Town.”

At one point, he brought out MC5‘s Wayne Kramer for a cover of “Kick Out the Jams.” Later, Kramer joined him outside for a rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday.

No matter what medium, Morello is never scared to speak his mind.

Earlier this month, Morello tweeted conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh to stop using their music on his “racist, misogynist, right wing clown show,” signing the tweet, “Sincerely, Rage Against The Machine.”

In case u foolishly missed last nites Occupy SXSW show: twitter.com/nicadler/statu…. When the cops pulled the plug the show got LOUDER. Mic Check!

— Tom Morello (@tmorello) March 17, 2012

[Source: Rolling Stone]

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