Rage Against the Machine cancel 2023 North American tour dates following Zack de la Rocha's Achilles tendon tear

Rage Against the Machine
(Image credit: Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images)

Rage Against the Machine have canceled their 2023 North American tour, following a leg injury sustained by frontman Zack de la Rocha earlier this year.

The injury – a torn Achilles tendon – occurred during the second show of the band’s long-awaited Public Service Announcement tour with Run the Jewels in Chicago on July 11. 

Though the vocalist continued the band’s set seated – “We’re gonna keep this fucking shit going. I can crawl across this stage,” he proclaimed to the crowd in attendance – the severity of the injury became clear later on, leading the group to cancel a string of European tour dates scheduled for August and September.

And now, in a new social media post, the singer has confirmed the injury will take considerably longer to heal, meaning the band have to cancel their planned 2023 North America tour dates.

“It’s been almost three months since Chicago, and I still look down at my leg in disbelief,” he writes. “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.

“Then one and a half shows into it and my tendon tears. [It] felt like a sick joke the universe played on me. As I write this I remind myself it’s just bad circumstance. Just a fucked up moment.

“Unfortunately it is a moment that requires a lot of work and healing. I have a severe tear in my left Achilles tendon and only eight percent of my tendon was left intact. And even that portion was severely compromised. 

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

The vocalist continues: “I hate canceling shows. I hate disappointing our fans. You have all waited so patiently to see us and that is never lost on me. I never take that for granted. For you I have the ultimate gratitude and respect.

“To my brothers Tim [Commerford, bass], Brad [Wilk, drums] and Tom [Morello, guitar]; to El P, Killer Mike, Trackstar and the whole RTJ crew; to everyone on our production team: techs, cooks, drivers, assistants, security squad, to anyone and everyone who made the shows thus far possible, all my love and respect. I hope to see you very soon.”

The post notes that all tickets purchased through Ticketmaster or AXS for the 2023 North America dates will be refunded automatically to the original method of payment once the band receives funds from the venues.

At present, there is no word of new dates, or even if there’ll be any, so in the meantime you can check out good-quality fan-shot footage of Rage Against the Machine’s first show in 11 years in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin on July 9.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.