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© Atomic Flash

A PERSONAL VIEW ON SOME OF THE BEST CONCERTS OF 1990
PART I

by Richard Karsmakers
(with some contributions by Stefan Posthuma)

This year has been one of the best ever with regard to concerts
in the field of Heavy Metal. This year, I have more than doubled
the amount of concerts that I've ever been to (1988: Rush -
Queensryche and Metallica - Hellstar, Fate and Yngwie Malmsteen
- 1989: Aardschokdag with Wolfsbane, Leatherwolf, Vengeance,
Crimson Glory, Flotsam & Jetsam and Queensryche - London Horse,
Annihilator and Onslaught - Darkness & Mucky Pup), and that
seemed like reason enough to write a bit about it.
Since this is an 'undead' issue of ST NEWS, and especially since
I really felt like writing about these concerts, I included this
article. I hope you like it (ahem).

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LWS, INC AND MUCKY PUP
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Location: Tivoli, Utrecht, Holland.
Date: March 1st

It was cold, it rained, and it was half past eight as I arrived
at Tivoli concert hall, situated at one of Utrecht's old canals.
I had been here before in my student days, and I knew that it
wasn't too big and that the acoustics were meagre. Knowing that I
might get close to the stage, I had brought a cheap disposable
photo camera with flashlight with me.
It was peaceful, too. The odd Mucky Pup fan was already standing
around, but the actual door to the hall had not yet been
unlocked.
Almost nobody noticed the drummer of Mucky Pup walking past on
his way to backstage. Obviously, most people here had not yet
actually seen much of the band, and had only heard some stuff of
them.
The original reason for Mucky Pup actually touring again already
(previous gig I'd seen was on August 24th 1989) was the release
of their first album "Can't you take a joke?" on CD. I had bought
it, too, and hence I now knew more of their vintage material.
Anyway.
I had to wait long until something started to happen. When the
support act, Lunatics Without Skateboard Inc., started at 10 PM,
all we had seen so far was some slapstick movies projected on a
side wall accompanied by some unpopular heavy metal music.
LWS Inc. was a Dutch band, and they weren't very good. I didn't
know any of their songs, and therefore I didn't recognise a
single thing in their tunes. They seemed to be enjoying
themselves, however, and their new guitar player (God knows his
name) was playing OK.
Stagediving was a hot item here. In the middle, there was a
constant load of metallunatics crashing down in the crowd after
diving off the stage in various strange ways. One of these dudes
was really aggressive, stampeding around while banging his
largely bald head. A bit irritating.
Shortly after 11 PM, Mucky Pup finally started.
Now, stagediving also transferred itself to the right of the
stage where I stood. This forced me to head for cover, which
located me directly in front of some fairly impressive audio
stuff.
Deafening.
Especially since, at that time, I really hadn't yet discovered
that putting certain fluffy things in your ears is a good idea.
The concert was, as I was used from Mucky Pup, a party. Singer
Chris was looking foolish in a joker's cap, and a game was being
played with the audience where one could drink beer from a
strange device. All really funny, though the drinkers probably
got more beer on them than in them.
Well, I really lost track of the order in which they played
their songs, but all I can say is that they played the following
before they ended the gig at a quarter to twelve: "A.I.D.S.",
"Nazichism", "Moron Bros", "I.R.S.", "Mr. President", "U Stink",
"Batman", "Never Again" (partly), "Little Pigs", a jam (though
not the "Jam It" from "A Boy in a Man's World"), "Someday" and
"P.T.L.". They also played a 'neeeeww song', but they didn't say
what it was called.
With beeping ears I went back into the rain. I was the proud
owner of a Mucky Pup guitar pic, which bass player Dave had given
to me after being asked. I went in search for my car (which I
found), and about a quarter of an hour later I was with Miranda
again.
Richard

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CHINA AND YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
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Location: Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, West Germany
Date: May 1st

It was about 16:45 when I left Utrecht on my way back to
Germany. It was Tuesday, and I had just had a long weekend in
Holland with Miranda, including some kind of gala ball and more
things that are really nice.
As usual, I drove to the German border together with her. I was
to drop her off at Arnhem, which is the closest railway station
to Germany. That way, we would see another a bit more before a
massive eleven days would part me from her as she would be in
Scotland the next weekend.
On my way back to Gütersloh (where I live) I would go to the
concert of Yngwie Malmsteen in Düsseldorf. This would start at
20:00 hours, so there was plenty of time.
At least, that's what I thought.
We were barely outside of Utrecht when we hit a traffic queue
that held us prisoner for more than an hour.
"No problem," I thought, "I'll just drive a bit faster in
Germany."
After dropping her off at Arnhem railway station (boy did I feel
wretched) I proceeded by voyage that was to lead me to
Düsseldorf. Officially, I had to be there at 19:45, as the
voucher I had was only exchangeable until that time.
Driving faster in Germany?
Forget it, buster.
It couldn't have been much more than about 100 or 110 (that's
kilometres and not miles per hour), for all those stupid Jerries
were on their way back from a 'long weekend Holland' (this
Tuesday was a bank holiday, so therefore many had taken monday
off and headed for the Dutch camping sites).
It would be difficult to get there in time.
Finally, I got to Düsseldorf South, where I was supposed to get
off the autobahn to get to the Philipshalle as quickly as
possible.
I drove around.
I asked where the Philipshalle was.
I drove around.
I got lost.
I drove around.
I asked where the Philipshalle was.
"The Philipshalle? Well, then you're quite a long way off
track," someone said.
So I drove around a bit more.
Asking.
Shit.
At 19:40, someone told me it was "at at least a 20 minutes'
drive from here."
So I drove around a bit more.
I had already totally given up hope and thought I would never
find it when suddenly, out of the blue as it were, the
Philipshalle arose in my sight.
"Yippie!" I yelled. I parked my car as quickly as possible and
exchanged the voucher. Thank God this was still possible at
20:05...
So nothing was wrong.
"China", the 'special guest' was already playing. The music they
made wasn't really exciting or anything, and sounded a bit like
Kiss or something. Not very bad, not very good.
They played until 20:45 or thereabouts.
I was nervously fingering a photocamera the likes of the thing I
used at the Mucky Pup gig, and trying to get as close to the
stage as possible. I couldn't get altogether too close, but it
was bound to be good enough for some pics.
I already wore a Malmsteen T-shirt that I had bought there (as a
matter of fact, I had bought two - different ones, even).
Beethoven's Fifth was being played through the PA system,
obviously meant to get us heated up. Although a certain amount of
anticipation was present in me, it didn't seem to affect any of
the other spectators. They just stood there, and were not to move
much for the whole evening. What a shit crowd. If this was
anything like the average German audience, they must be just
about the worst you can get.
At 21:20, after lots of yelling and whistling, the light went
out. The air was torn apart by some guitar titbits that Yngwie
obviously played backstage. Everything was tingling with magic.
The Master was there again. And I was here, too.
Cheering.
As usual, Yngwie was brilliant. Although the heavy metal press
would later accuse him of 'acting as if the hall was filled
merely with would-be guitar heroes' and the sound was quite bad,
I was completely flummoxed once more. It is just amazing at which
speed he can play, especially when realising that the things he
plays aren't particularly easy bits.
The gig kicked off with "Bedroom Eyes", followed by "I'll see
the light tonight" and "Making Love" (though these two could have
been in the other order). After that followed (in no particular
order) "Judas", "Dreaming" (with acoustic intro with a bit of
Rainbow's "Catch the Rainbow", with a Hendrix-like cigarette on
the guitar), "Save our Love" (the audience could sing along
here), "Deja Vu", "The Queen is in Love" (shortened version),
"Heaven Tonight" (with sampled voice of the old singer, Joe Lynn
Turner, in the intro), "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget"
(identical to the "Live in Leningrad" version, including the
classical bits in the middle but without the voice/guitar duet),
"Far Beyond the Sun" (also identical to the Leningrad version,
with an interlude consisting of some classic Albinoni stuff),
"Guitar Solo" ("Trilogy", "Krakatau" bit and "Spasebo Blues")
and "Crystal Ball". The 'Zugabe! Zugabe!' consisted of "Black
Star" and the Hendrix cover "Spanish Castle Magic" with "Purple
Haze" added to it (last bit with Malmsteen doing the vocals).
After "See you in Hell", the end was there. The last song
contained a bit of solo action during which Yngwie threw around
him with lotsa guitar picks so I HAVE A MALMSTEEN GUITAR PICK
NOW
- so you must realise how happy I became.
It was 23:00.
The new band was pretty OK. The keyboard player was almost as
good as Jens Johansson, and the bass player was better. Singer
and 'frontman' Goran Edman missed a bit though. He sang very
well, but he mostly stood there without much radiating from his
being. He's got to learn a lot, but his singing is very good.
Of the 24 pics I had taken, only 3 were of a somewhat reasonable
quality. The distance had obviously been a bit too big.
Too bad.
But at least I got a guitar pick.
Richard

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METAL HAMMER FESTIVAL
(WARRIOR SOUL, BONHAM, DIO AND METALLICA)
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Location: Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, West Germany
Date: May 17th

Isn't it nice if you work for a company with more or less
liberal working hours? Well, that enabled me to drive off to
Dortmund from my work at about four, which was about the right
time to leave as the concert was supposed to start between six
and seven and I like to be at the scene quite in time.
About one and a half hours later I arrived at the biggest
Dortmund concert hall, the Westfalenhalle in the centre of town.
There were cars with headbangers everywhere, and many a bus
filled to the roof with 'em. Thousands of people had already
gathered around the hall, and many of them were trying to get
some kind of tan in the warm sun rays (which was quite a good
idea, for most Heavy Metallunatics have a rather pale complexion
under all that long hair).
I decided to walk in, also because I heard some music being
played - already!
The concert was supposed to feature Bonham (of which I had never
heard), Dio and Metallica. But who were playing now already,
almost an hours too early?
It turned out to be an American band by the name of Warrior
Soul. Though they surely seemed to be convinced that they had to
bring a meaningful message across, they didn't quite succeed.
The audience was quite tame, and they couldn't get me going,
either. I wondered what a band the likes of Warrior Soul did on
a Heavy bill that also featured 'different' bands like Dio and
Metallica.
The hall got fuller and fuller; there must have been 20-30,000
people at the start of the real bill.
Bonham.
As I said before, I had never heard of Bonham and if it's up to
me I won't ever, either. Though the atmosphere got increasingly
better, I think it's safe to assume that most people thought the
same.
When the lights went on again, after Bonham had gone, everybody
started to go as much forward as possible. A couple of them were
really vicious, like one drunken American kid that could hardly
stand straight and that constantly cried: "Metallica! Metallica
is the best! Yeah! Metallica!" (as loud as he could). He had two
friends standing around him, supporting him. They looked
embarrassed.
It must have been about half past seven when the lights went out
again. Deafening cries. Dio.
I knew Dio since his Rainbow days, though I hadn't heard much of
him apart from some the material he did in that group as well as
Black Sabbath. To tell the truth, I had actually ever heard two
true Dio songs: "Last in Line" and a rather good one by the name
of "Rainbow in the Dark".
The crowd went mad as the big little man (called thus because he
is quite small) started to sing. Ronnie James Dio played in a
fully new band, which included a new very young guitar talent by
the name of Rowan (Rowan Atkinson? I don't know any more), Jens
Johansson (ex-Malmsteen) at the keyboards and Simon Wright (ex-
ACDC) at the drumkit. They appeared to have fun doing what they
did; well, after all it was a short tour and the audience was
large as well as very enthusiastic.
It became hotter and hotter. I stood very close to the front,
and therefore I got some water thrown over me now and again.
Well, I can assure you that that's really welcome (unless it is
thrown all over my glasses). Dozens of people fainted but I
persevered.
Sound quality was great, too. I had discovered that a couple of
fluffy white things (God knows what they're called in English) in
your ears kept out the noise and distortion and made sure that
you heard it as if you were listening to a good live recording.
Great, and very advisable to anyone visiting concerts in
general (not only heavy metal!).
It was an obvious handicap for me that I didn't know many of
Dio's own songs, and hence I was happy when they played two
medleys of songs that I did know. The first batch I knew were off
his Black Sabbath period, and they were "Children of the Sea" and
(of course) "Heaven and Hell". During the first song, the entire
hall transformed itself in a sea of lit lighters. Breathtaking.
The second batch was from his Rainbow period; they played "Man on
the Silver Mountain" and "Stargazer", the latter being my all-
time favourite Rainbow song. I really hadn't expected any of
this, and therefore I began to really like the concert very much.
Gradually, I got to be a bit further to the front, pushing and
pushing. And a bit further still.
The audience was really enthusiastic. Between just about all
songs, the silence would be devastated by loud cheering followed
by yelling "Dio! Dio!". My opinion about German concert audiences
was changed instantly.
After these two medleys, Dio played about five more songs, of
which I only recognised "Last in Line" and the 'zugabe', "Rainbow
in the Dark" (!).
When the big little man and his band went off the stage, the
audience went restless....waiting for the top of the bill:
Metallica!
It had been about 20 months ago that I saw this band live, which
was November 5th 1988 in Leiden, Holland. I was extremely
flattened by the charisma radiated by their front man James
Hetfield, and it was then that I truly became a Metallica fan.
Their music was simply brilliant, and so were their lyrics (which
can be called remarkable for a Heavy Metal band the likes of
Metallica).
Just like on that Dutch gig, their concert started with the
familiar film music of "Once Upon a Time in the West" (or was it
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"? I really don't know for sure).
Flashes. Small explosions.
It was about a quarter past nine when a cat-like shape could be
seen leaping towards his drumkit.
Cheering. Deafening cheering. I cheered, too. Like mad.
"Creeping Death". Everybody started moshing like one enormous
madman, and sweat started literally pouring down my face. I was
bathing in sweat even before Metallica started, but now it just
became worse and worse. My eyes hurt from the sweat that poured
into them. My toes hurt from standing on them, stretching out to
try and see most of everything (the quality of a band performing
at a concert is directly proportional with the amount of people
standing before you that are longer than you).
Metallica could also be seen to have fun. Broad grins on their
faces as they saw the crowd go mad. Lots of fire and explosions
accompanied their songs, which were poured over the audience in a
relentless fashion, song after song after song.
After a couple of songs, I stood right at the front. I could
just see all musicians, and from that position I experienced
about ten seconds eye-and signal-contact with bass player Jason
Newsted. Aaaarrgghhh!! Kicku! (sorry, that's kinda Dutch)
Unfortunately, more and more people got to the front, so I was
slowly pushed aside so that I had to watch the rest of the
concert a bit more to the right rear. However, I still flipped
out totally and banged my head off (which is kinda strange to
see, I guess, for my hair is about half an inch long).
After "Creeping Death", they played a medley of "No Remorse" and
'old shit' "The Four Horsemen". After that followed (in no
particular order) "For Whom the Bell Tolls" + "Sanitarium",
"Blackened", "Harvester of Sorrow", "Whiplash", Jason Newsted
bass solo (including a bit of "To Live is to Die" without drums,
accompanied on guitars), "Am I Evil", "Fade to Black" (I started
to cry a bit there), "One" (I started to cry my heart out here),
"Master of Puppets" and "Frayed Ends of Insanity". Of course, the
audience was far from content with that.
Metallica came back for their first bit more: "Last Caress",
"Helpless", "Green Hell" (?), and "Battery". Kirk Hammett also
played a guitar solo there.
After going away they came back again: "Breadfan" and
"Motorbreath". And at 23:50 the event had truly ended.
Braindecayingly tired but very satisfied (even though they
hadn't played "Eye of the Beholder" and "...And Justice for All",
which are two of their best songs off their last CD) I went home.
Richard

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JOE SATRIANI
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Location: Vredenburg, Utrecht, Holland
Date: June 10th

It was a perfect coincidence when it turned out that Joe
Satriani would perform in Utrecht in a weekend (when I am usually
in Holland), and since Satriani isn't exactly 'heavy', Miranda
and me both got tickets and went there together.
Vredenburg is a very cosy concert hall; slightly old, but very
cosy nonetheless. Since we were some of the first people (we
arrived shortly after six, whereas the concert was supposed to
start at eight) we stood right up front. Fluffy white things in
our ears. Unfortunately, the camera we took was confiscated (it
was returned to us at the end of the concert, but shitty
anyway).
There was no support act, and Satriani started a bit too late:
It was 20:20 when the lights went out and the first notes of the
song "Flying in a Blue Dream" of his most recent album were
heard. The audience went berserk.
It was the first time for me to see a Guitar God other than
Malmsteen, and the difference was striking. Satriani was not
arrogant, seemed to have loads of fun and put his heart and soul
in the music he played (whereas Malmsteen usually just puts his
fingers and nothing but his fingers in his solos). Satriani's
power of sound control on a simple Ibanez guitar is unparalleled
- he may not be playing fast constantly, but one would think he
plays different guitars during one song if it weren't for the
fact that he plays only on one. Using the tremolo differently,
using the guitar pick in strange ways, and holding his hands in
different positions, I was amazed at the difference of sounds
creatable on a standard electric guitar. He controlled feedback
better than Jimi Hendrix and, indeed, he rarely used effect
pedals.
Since Satriani's last album contained a couple of songs with
lyrics (where he actually sung), I was afraid we might get a lot
of singing. This fear was legitimate after the second song,
"Can't Slow Down". As it would turn out, he would not sing much
more later on, and the concert became like a love hymn to the
designer of the electric guitar.
Incredible.
Since Satriani mostly played instrumental songs, it was somewhat
difficult to remember exactly what he played. So I will limit
myself to some of the songs I later heard on CD and that I then
realised he had played live, too. They were "Hordes of Locusts"
(one of his very best songs - I got a terrific lump in my
throat), "Memories" (another brill song), "Crush of Love" (third
song), "I Believe" (with acoustic guitar and singing, very
moody, fourth song), "Big bad blue moon" (with singing), "Ice
Nine" (wow!), "Surfin' With the Alien", "Rubina" (a beautiful
ballad named after his wife), "Always with me, always with you"
(which he played when he came back for the second time, also a
beautiful ballad), "Satch Boogie", "Circles" and "The Mystical
Potato Head Groove Thing" (all in not much of a particular order
except where mentioned).
His drummer (Jonathan Mover) and his bass player (Stuart Hamm)
got solo-spots, too. Especially the latter was impressive. Stuart
Hamm must be the best bass player on the globe. If you wouldn't
see him standing there on his own, you would think that there
were two or three bass player freaking out completely. He plays
'hammer on' with his left hand and his right hand, creating the
impression of two solos being played at the same time. He played
something off his solo albums, including the infamous "Country
Music" bit off "Radio Free Albemuth". Live, it was the same as on
the CD - only in high gear. It was amazing and the sheer idea of
seeing this, witnessing this, being here to breathe the same air
as this wholly incredible bass God, made tears roll over my face.
Wow. This was absolutely great.
When the concert ended I felt rich. A fantastic experience.
An interesting fact was that both Miranda and me wore "Eclipse
Tour" T-shirts I had bought at the Düsseldorf Malmsteen concert.
Quite a lot of people approached us, asking whether He had been
good, and where I had got it (as Malmsteen had not toured in
Holland this year and not everybody had the means to go to
Germany or Belgium).
I felt myself grow.
"Of course he was good," I said, "you missed something!"
Richard

Disclaimer
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.