Long-awaited Phoenix-area Rage Against the Machine shows canceled

Oct 7, 2022, 3:00 PM
Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Zack de la Rocha (seated) and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine pe...
Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Zack de la Rocha (seated) and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine perform at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 8, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Bad news for Rage Against the Machine fans who had been patiently awaiting the beloved band’s return to the Valley.

The rap-metal titans scrapped what was left of their comeback tour after singer Zack de la Rocha ripped up his Achilles tendon in the second show of their reunion.

Rage Against the Machine had been scheduled to play at Glendale’s Desert Diamond Arena (formerly Gila River Arena) with opening act Run the Jewels on Feb. 26 and 28. Tickets purchased online will be automatically refunded, according to promotors. Cash buyers should contact the arena box office.

“Two years of waiting through the pandemic, hoping we would have an opening to be a band again and continue the work we started 30-some-odd years ago. Rehearsing, training, reconciling, working our way back to form,” de la Rocha wrote Tuesday on the band’s website.

“Then one-and-a-half shows into it and my tendon tears. Felt like a sick joke the universe played on me. As I write this I remind myself it’s just bad circumstance.”

The band, known for de la Rocha’s politically charged vocals and guitarist Tom Morello’s driving riffs, originally planned to reunite for just a handful of shows, including in Glendale, in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

But the plans grew into the “Public Service Announcement” world tour.

The Valley stop was originally set for March 30, 2020, and a second show was added to meet a high demand for tickets. But shortly before the tour was to launch, the concert industry shut down at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Glendale shows were eventually rescheduled for April 2022 before being bumped back to 2023, and now they are off.

Rage finally hit the stage for the first time in 11 years on July 9 of this year in Milwaukee. But in the next gig in Chicago two nights later, de la Rocha hurt his leg while performing “Bullet In The Head.”

The band made it through seven more shows, with de la Rocha seated, but on Aug. 11 canceled the scheduled European tour leg.

“It’s been almost three months since Chicago and I still look down at my leg in disbelief,” de la Rocha wrote this week when announcing that next year’s North American leg wasn’t going to happen.

The 52-year-old singer said only 8% of his Achilles tendon was left intact after the injury, and recovery will require “a lot of work and healing.”

“It’s not simply a question of being able to perform again, but extends to basic functionality going forward,” he wrote. “That’s why I’ve made the painful and difficult decision to cancel the remaining shows on our 2023 North American leg.”

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Long-awaited Phoenix-area Rage Against the Machine shows canceled