Saul Versus The Republican National Convention: Day Three

Day Three is more like night three as we find Mr. Williams at the Axis of Justice/Involver benefit at the Knitting Factory in lower New York City. The place is packed, the line-up is loaded. Tom "the Nightwatchman" Morello of Audioslave, Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Steve Earle, Boots Riley of the Coup, and lest we forget, Naked Trucker and T. Bones, are all there.

Our man Saul takes the stage midway through the evening and is joined on organ by Serj, helping set the tone with sinister, meandering arpeggios. Before he actually starts his performance, Saul has the local paper opened reading a recap of the previous day's RNC happenings. He is struck by a line referring to Republican delegates in from out of town as, "never feeling more at home". The idea that this couldn't be farther from the truth is not lost on the crowd. This light-hearted moment segues into the tour de force that is "Pledge of Resistance" and on to "Coded Language", an amazing flow of names and ideas speeding towards pure stream of thought. Saul ends with an excerpt from his book, Said the Shotgun to the Head. Hearing the crowd reciting the readings with Saul in mutual protest was definitely the high point.

Ranging from Tom Morello's folky union-inspired protest songs to Serj Tankian's beautiful "War We Cannot Win" mix of lush verses and jarring rat-tat-tat vocal hooks to Boots Riley's impassioned "we have to make sure Kerry doesn't just ride the Bush haters coat-tails" plea, the night was a booming success. Like hearing stories from a wise old sage, the Axis Of Justice uplifts those uncertain of the dark future imposed on us by the Bush cartel and fills your heart with optimism. Light will win over darkness.

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Saul Versus The Republican National Convention: Day Three