Renegades, The Music Room, Dublin, 6th September 2003
Anger is a gift. And anger was the order of the night on Saturday evening in the Music Room where Dublin based Rage Against The Machine cover group, Renegades, played to a jam-packed house of fans.
Supporting a band as energetic as Renegades can be a tall order and was ably handled by the opening act, Tuesdays With Morrie. Fronted by diminutive singer Sarah O'Toole, no stranger to the stage herself being an ex-student of the famed Billy Barry Stage School, they treat the early arrivals to songs of love, hate and pirates. Yes, pirates! The stage presence and confidence of a band of such tender years surpass all expectations and, as they close, the entire venue is on its feet cheering this band as one to watch out for in the future.
If you haven't been lucky enough to see Renegades in action yet, you're missing out. They have been whipping up a storm in Dublin of late and tonight's gig is their second in the Music Room with appearances at The Voodoo Lounge, Spi Bar and Eamonn Dorans already under their belts. For a band that has only been together since May of this year, they are such a tightly knit, well-oiled machine that they would put most other groups on the circuit to shame.
The violent, yet precise, drumming of Johnny Brewer well compliments the chunky rhythms of bassist Shane O'Connor. While guitarist Keith Walsh seems in a trance as he churns out riff upon riff exactly as Tom Morello did with the legendary Californians. Vocalist Adam Brewer thunders about the stage snarling and spitting out lyrics like they were being torn from his own heart and working the crowd into an absolute frenzy in the process. RATM anthems such as 'Bulls on parade', 'Bombtrack', 'Killing in the name of', 'Know your enemy' and 'Bullet in the head' sit perfectly with lesser-known tracks like 'VietNow', 'Tire me' and 'Ghost of Tom Joad'. Brewer and co seem to feed off the energy of the crowd as they become more intense with each song.
Renegades finish the night with a storming version of 'Freedom', leaving the crowd exhausted, sweating and screaming for more. As the band depart the stage, I see some people searching for scraps of paper and pens. Autographs? Quite possibly. This is a group that are ready to take it to the next level. Don't be surprised if you see them billed for the Olympia anytime soon. An immense gig from a group of great potential.
Anger, it certainly seems, is a gift.