Zack de la Rocha’s Injury Puts Rage Against the Machine’s 2023 North American Tour On Ice

Rage Against the Machine cancelled their planned 2023 North American tour on Tuesday (Oct. 4) due to singer Zack de la Rocha’s ongoing convalescence from a serious foot injury. “It’s been almost three months since Chicago, and I still look down at my leg in disbelief,” read a statement from de la Rocha.


“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,” he continued. “Rehearsing, training, reconciling, working our way back to form. Then one and a half shows into it and my tendon tears.”

De la Rocha was referring to a July 11 show on their repeatedly delayed-due-to-the-pandemic tour in Chicago, when he injured his leg just four songs into the set. The 52-year-old lyrical bomb thrower known for his incendiary couplets and fierce stage presence soldiered on for the rest of Rage’s Public Service Announcement tour by performing while seated, but according to the statement even that arrangement became untenable.

“Felt like a sick joke the universe played on me. As I write this I remind myself it’s just bad circumstance. Just a f–ked up moment,” he wrote before revealing the excruciating details of an injury that has bedeviled the band’s first extensive tour since their last reunion swing wrapped in July 2011. “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 8% 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.”

For that reason, he said, he has made the difficult decision to cancel the rest of the shows on their planned 2023 North American swing, which was expected to kick off on Feb. 22 in Las Cruces, New Mexico and keep them on the road through an April 2 show in Detroit. The announcement came after Rage cancelled an August/Sept. 2022 UK and European tour on doctor’s orders.

“I hate cancelling shows. I hate disappointing our fans,” de la Rocha wrote. “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.” He ended his note with a hearty thank you to guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, as well as openers Run the Jewels, their entire touring team and everyone who helped to make the tour dates possible. At press time there was no information on whether the dates will be rescheduled.

See de la Rocha’s statement below.

Gil Kaufman