Friday, November 09, 2007

the other favorite concerts

These are some additional favortie concerts. No major incidents, just great shows in no particular order...

Jane's Addiction - AJ Palumbo Center, Duquesne University - 1991
I cruised up with Mark Infantino. On our way back to the car, some concertgoer said, "Hey, check out that bumper sticker. That's cool." It was the "He's Gone" bumper sticker on my Omni. In a strange way, it paralleled my existense during the early 1990's.

Phish - KSU Mac Center, Kent State University - 1994
A large crew of us went to this one - probably about a dozen. My first Phish show. The energy level was insane. I remember watching this hippie dude stealing beer from a vendor on the arena floor while doing some unusual "mother shabooboo" dance moves.

Foo Fighters - Chevrolet Ampitheatre, Pittsburgh, PA - 2003
Just a total rock show. I'm a huge fan of Dave Grohl.

Prince - Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA - 2004
I saw Prince at the same venue during the late 1990's. That show was pathetic. This one was unbelieveable. It was me, Amanda, and the indomitable April Green.

Farm Aid - Starlake Ampitheatre, Burgettstown, PA - 2002
A ton of us went. Phenomenal dumpster parking and just an overall great time. When we were leaving, I kicked some kids out of their chairs by the steps. "Oh, are these yours. We're sorry." I just mumbled, "No big deal." Snagged the chairs, threw them in the hatch and said, "Now we're done." I still have those chairs compliments of Weirton Rent-a-Center.

Beastie Boys - CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio - 1998
After begging just about everyone I knew to go up, the best I could muster up was Bill Samms from the 440 N. Front Street House of Death. Needless to say, he remained consistently silent the whole night. The concert made up for it though.

Fleetwood Mac - Starlake Ampitheatre, Burgettstown, PA - 1997
Went up with a small crew. Angie Szalay ran over a dead deer carcas on the way there. Total energy show. There's something intrigueing about Christie McVie. The other girl, not so much.

Live - Starlake Ampitheatre, Burgettstown, PA - 1995
Place was packed. It was their Throwing Copper tour. After the show, we were doing long range soccer kicks. The ball was careening off peoples' cars as they left the parking lot. Windhields, doors, the little parking security trailor. Nothing was immune to the soccer ball. People were pissed off. We couldn't stop laughing. When we finally left the lot, I took out about a dozen barrels in the Maxima.

X-Fest - Starlake Ampitheatre, Burgettstown, PA - 2000
I know, I know. Everyone has their stories of multple lawn chair fires and people throwing giant hunks of dirt from the lawn. This has happened many times at the festival shows up there, but never like this one. Dunkle danced around the fires like a wild injun. Stone Temple Pilots closed this one out, but Cypress Hill was the the highlight.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Death Angel/Rigor Mortis 1988

Death Angel is one of the baddest metal bands on the planet. It didn't take much coaxing for a crew of us to go see the "Frolic Through the Park" tour at Bogarts in Cincinnati. The guys from the Trash house (Mike, Steve and Cleve) and me, Anthony Semirale and Ed Montgomery all made our way to the familiar concert hall. Trasher Mike was a huge Rigor Mortis fan. He would look at you in this drunken, stoned haze and recite their lyrics.

Your body's in slices. You're in six fuckin' pieces. Bodily Dismemberment.

That pretty much set the tone. When Rigor Mortis came out, the place went berzerk. A very rough pit. I steered clear but when Death Angel opened with "Mind Rape," I found myself in the middle of it all. An absolute killer show. Definitely in my all-time top 5. After the show was over, we were partying with the band in the back alley. For some reason, they had a real tour bus. This was a bit unusual for a band of their stature. They invited us on the bus. I bought a t-shirt and had the whole band sign it. I'd have it for a few years until this complete dumbshit who lived in my Wheeling Island apt. for two weeks snagged it. The sad truth is, he was a fake white thug rapper. I think his name was Rob. He was a complete waste, but his girlfriend (my neighbor) Tameka was pretty cool. I can't even fathom what happened to either of them.
I spent some time talking with the drummer who was a little worried about openly drinking Corona. He admitted to me, "Hey, I'm only 15." This struck me as really odd. At the time, I was 19.

Testament at the City Limits, 1988

I'm pretty sure this was my first "real" metal show. I was a senior in high school and by virtue of the fact that I had a driver's license and access to a vehicle, it would fall on me. I remember it was me, Jepson, and two others (probably Ricer, Mulvey, Neuhardt, or Shawn White (who, to this day, still annoys the fuck out of me). Testament was scheduled to play at this abandoned roller skating rink formerly known as The City Limits in Penn Hills, PA. I recall pulling into the lot and checking out the line of metalheads. We were in heaven. This was the first real show for all of us. We're milling around and all of a sudden an old van pulls up and Chuck Billy (the lead singer) jumps out of the back. We were BLOWN away. You cannot put this into words - it was the equivalent of some Princess Di fanatic having a wine spritzer with Elton John. That's what we're talking about. We got some of the band members to sign our memorabalia. I bought my first "legit" metal concert t-shirt - THE NEW ORDER w/ all the tour dates.
We walked into the venue and realized that we could walk up and touch the stage. There were only one or two rows of people before the show commenced. All in all, I'd say about 500 people attended this show. The band Vio-lence opened. The lead singer would continually hurled himself backwards into the crowd and the fans would push him back onto the stage. This blew me away. I'd never seen anything like it. I think I was a bit starstruck at the time. Honestly, I idolized these bands and there they were, about 5 feet in front of me. The lead singer was wearing a 1-900 DOMINATRIX t-shirt. It was getting ripped too shreds. I'll never forget the picture of the woman with a whip.
Testament opened with "Into the Pit." Great choice. They also played "Over the Wall." Little did I know, Jepson would coin the phrase "Over the Wall" in reference to pissing outside the urinal. We stopped at a McDonalds on the way home and everyone (except me) purposely pissed outside the urinal. We saw a McDonalds employee heading into the bathroom. As we exited the restaurant, we heard him say "Ohhh, no."

Friday, November 02, 2007

RATM - 1997

The unlikely foursome of Mark I., Mandy B., Jepsonian and myself hit the Rage Against the Machine show at Starlake about 10 years ago. This was a rowdy crowd. Great tailgating atmosphere. Jepson was surprised by the attendance. I was not. We somehow managed to snag one of the boxes in the reserved seating area. For some reason, they didn't try to kick us out. Usually, they can be pretty persistent. Wu Tang Clan opened but I recall very little of their performance. The lights went down and Rage came out. The whole ampitheatre really went nuts. Stray bodies were charging in from the lawn area. Usually, people try to be pretty discreet when they sneak into the seats. You look for a moment when the security is distracted or the usher guy is showing someone to their seats. Not this time. These mororns would come running down the hill and hurdle themsleves over the barrier. One of the security guys resembled Fuzzy the Bear, but much taller and lankier. Anyway, he spotted some cro-magnon dude and went after him. I had my doubts about whether he'd succeed. Sure enough, Fuzzy emerges from the pit area. He's dazed and confused and it looks like he got his nose broken. Blood streaming down his face as the other security guys help him off. There's a good lesson in there - if you're only getting paid minimum wage, don't try to be a hero.
On the way out of the lot, I tried to weave through traffic to get to the front. I accidentally scraped this one guy's Imapala. I jumped out of the car, explained how sorry I was, told him we didn't need the cops coming and handed the guy 70 bucks. It was all the money I had on me. I think he was amazed that I offered anything. The actual damage probably cost a few hundred. I jumped back in the car and took off in the other direction. Everyone in my car looked at me like I was nuts. Jepson said, "How'd you get away with that." I responded, "Let's get the fucka outta here."