CSU students turned out in droves Tuesday night to hear Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, perform as his solo alter ego, The Nightwatchman.
Morello was brought to the Lory Student Center Theatre by the Association for Student Activities and Programming, commonly called ASAP.
Before the show, many students more familiar with his prior works, were not sure what to expect, but were still anticipating a good time.
“Obviously he’s extremely talented . I think it’ll still be a good show,” said Kyle Ard, a freshman business major.
Gabriel Bouche, a human dimensions of natural resources major, quoting Morello’s song “Maximum Power,” voiced his expectations a bit more boisterously.
“You don’t got to be loud to be heavy as s***,” Bouche said.
After a one hour and twenty minute delay due to a flight setback, Morello took the stage with an acoustic guitar with the words “whatever it takes” written below the bridge and his trademark black ball cap.
He started the show with the “One Man Revolution,” which introduced the crowd to the both the folk-influenced style they could expect throughout the night and to Morello’s baritone vocals, which harkened back to the stylings of both Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
The crowd greeted the first song with warm applause — a few of them even stood up — but the crowd still seemed skeptical.
However, his second number “Union Song,” a bluesy shout out to the working class, heated up the crowd and set the tone for the rest of the show.
After the crowd missed their cue to cheer after the song’s declaration, “All union men and women/ Stand up and stand strong,” Morello took the opportunity to assert control of the show.
“It was appropriate to cheer there,” he said.
The crowd obeyed his command, and continued to do so for the rest of the show.
Perhaps the most powerful of Morello’s own material was the solemn “Midnight in the City of Destruction,” which was written in response to Hurricane Katrina, which Morello referred to as “a natural disaster made into a man-made catastrophe.”
The biggest crowd-pleasers, however, were covers of Rage Against the Machine’s “Guerilla Radio” and his closing song, Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”
On this final song, the entire crowd got on their feet, jumped and sang as Morello pounded away on his guitar.
As was promised, Morello did discuss his own personal views before a few of his songs. He touched on many issues, including his opposition to the G8 conference, religious strife, censorship and the Bush administration.
“We have a tyrant at home who uses torture against his enemies and needs removal,” he said.
Morello’s was paid $12,500 for his appearance, according to Mary Branton-Housley, ASAP programming coordinator, all of which came out of student fees.
Lauren Morley, student coordinator for ASAP, said all proceeds raised from ticket sales will go “back into ASAP . for spring budgeting.”
Editorials editor Sean Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.