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It all began last December when a Facebook campaign put Californian band Rage Against the Machine’s song Killing In The Name at the top of the UK single charts, beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry to Christmas number one. It was the first time in five years that a winner from the TV talent show ( as well as producer Simon Cowell) had not enjoyed a Christmas No. 1.
More than 180,000 people applied for tickets to the concert via an online lottery. I was one of the lucky 40,000 winners, but that didn’t stop several hundred ticketless fans scaling the fence.
The crowd was ferocious when RATM came on stage and the band didn’t disappoint. Their rendition of popular 1992 track Bullet in the Head confirmed the band had lost none of its raw energy.
RATM called Jon and Tracy Morter, the couple who orchestrated the Facebook campaign, on to the stage in order to present a cheque — 100% of the proceeds from the Killing In The Name single were donated to the homeless charity Shelter.
Zach De la Rocha then paid tribute to the British punk tradition with a cover of The Clash‘s White Riot.
Finally the band left the stage before the encore, and the sound system pumped out X Factor winner’s single The Climb, while quotes from the newspapers filled the screens recounting the countdown to the Christmas Number one single sales. The words flashed up: “YOU Made History” as the the band rejoined the stage to play their biggest hit and last song of the night, Killing in the Name, and the crowd went wild.