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Concerts / Tom Morello


Saturday, May 18
Town Ballroom



While it’s not quite an exact analogy, the powerhouse guitarist behind Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave seems to be evolving into his generation’s equivalent of Bruce Springsteen (with whom he has frequently performed and recorded), constantly shifting from hard-driving rocker to folksy acoustic troubadour and back, unafraid to experiment beyond the boundaries of his primary genre and never losing sight of the political underpinning of his career-long mission to give voice to the voiceless. His latest solo project, last year’s album The Atlas Underground, comes in two forms: one packed with guest vocalists, the other entirely instrumental, and thus ideal for touring. The collaborators are a wildly eclectic bunch, drawn from the worlds of hip hop (including Big Boi, GZA, RZA, Vic Mensa, and Killer Mike), rock (Marcus Mumford, Portugal.The Man), blues (Gary Clark, Jr.), EDM (Steve Aoki and Bassnectar), and the one-woman subgenre that is K. Flay. Despite that diversity, the album sounds surprisingly consistent (bordering on monotony in its mostly testosterone-fueled anger and intensity), both in sound and lyric content. In one recent interview, Morello described the overarching theme of the record as “social justice ghost stories: These songs tell the stories of heroes and martyrs and those unjustly killed in the past to inform the struggles of the present, and hopefully light a fire under an audience that will build a more just and humane future.”



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