You're dripping sweat, searching for shade, drinking just one more and praying you don't end up in the hospital for dehydration. Ahhh, summer festivals.
The L.A. area's not lacking in the kind of fun you can only have when a massive crowd is unleashed into a contained-yet-open-air (read: hotter than hell) venue. In fact, Audiotistic is happening down the road in San Bernardino tomorrow.
But whereas most festivals cater to only one aspect of our defend-it-till-we-die city, L.A. Rising seems to have captured us perfectly. Earlier in the day we spoke with Tom Morello, and now here are Five Reasons L.A. Rising Is the Perfect Festival for Los Angeles:
1) It's diverse.
We like our festivals to reflect our L.A., a squirming, free-spirited mass of punky skaters, pale metalheads dressed in all black, neo-soul queens, and regular folks who just wanna rock on their weekends off work. Alt rock, activist rap, hardcore punk, rock en español, r&b/hip hop, and good ol' mashed up metal–if you can't find something to sway/thrash/mosh/swoon/freak to in this lineup of Muse, Immortal Technique, Rise Against, El Gran Silencio, Lauryn Hill, and Rage Against the Machine, you must like country music.
2) It's cause-oriented.
More than thirty non-profits were invited to participate–at no charge to their organizations–in order to raise awareness for war, immigration, labor, and poverty. While ending the war overseas is a widespread battle cry, the other three causes are close to the city's secret hippie heart. L.A.'s too tough to wear its heart on its sleeve, though. Don't worry, Tom Morello wants to sign you up, then “rock you senseless.”
3) It's green.
Yes, that kind of green, but also the earth-aware kind. “Can I pass out flyers inside? Outside?” reads the FAQ. The answer: “No. Try to be more green.” Yeah, you have to buy a bottle of water (only two bucks, calm down), but for zero dollars, you can refill till you float (and not because you're high) at the drinkable water hydration stations.
4) It's in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Coliseum is huge, for one thing, and a National Historic Landmark. It may not have hosted the 1991 Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Pearl Jam concert (thanks to commenters for noting that was at the adjacent Sports Arena), but the big ol' thing has starred in hundreds of movies, opened its gates to Super Bowls and World Series, and is the only stadium in the world to have hosted two Olympic games. It's also the home of the Trojans, but we won't talk about that.
5) The headliner: Rage Against the Machine.
We still think of Los Angeles in Wild West terms: All those seeking more freedom of expression than the rest of the country is willing to grant, wind up running into L.A.'s arms. Rage Against the Machine comes by its name honest, smashing rap and metal together in order to spit stronger fury at corporate America and government oppression. As the saying goes, no one's “from” L.A. … except Rage actually is. Anti-Hollywood, they embody the real spirit of the city.
Muse, Immortal Technique, Rise Against, El Gran Silencio, Lauryn Hill, and Rage Against the Machine will headline L.A. Rising at L.A. Coliseum on Saturday. Doors open at noon.