A PERSONAL VIEW ON SOME OF THE BEST CONCERTS OF 1990
by Richard Karsmakers
(with some contributions by Stefan Posthuma)
CLASH OF THE TITANS
(SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, TESTAMENT, MEGADETH AND SLAYER)
Location: Groenoordhal, Leiden, Holland
Date: September 30th
When I first heard of this concert, my thoughts were like "Oh my
God; surely nobody is going to visit a bill like that, with so
Then I realised that Slayer was actually not too bad (I even had
two CDs of them).
Then I realised that Megadeth had recently acquired a new
guitarist named Marty Friedman, super guitarist formerly
associated with Jason Becker in the brilliant band Cacophony, and
all on his own responsible for the incredibly great solo album
About one week prior to the concert, Megadeth had launched their
album "Rust in Piece". I bought it. It was great.
By that time, I had already bought the ticket to the concert and
I was looking forward to it more and more.
The actual concert was pretty OK, though it could have been a
Anyway, it was 15:00 when I left Utrecht heading for Leiden. I
had the fluffy things with me again, assuring me of good hearing
the next day. I was ready.
The time between my arrival and the start of the first band was
spent buying a sweater and T-shirt, and by plain waiting.
I stood almost right up front, within reach of the fence. I
smiled at the girls that sat before me, looking up to me as if
they the place they wanted and I would never get there.
Obviously, they had never been to a heavy gig before. Before the
second song of Suicidal Tendencies, stagedivers and pogonuts had
driven them back quite a large distance.
So I was right up front, though I constantly had to look over my
shoulder to check if someone was trying to use dive a bit. There
were lots of these nutters at this particular concert, even more
than at Mucky Pup! I got a lot of boots in my neck, and once an
entire person crashed onto my head.
But I persevered, 'helping them a bit' on their way to the
concrete floor right before me in the press ditch.
About nine of these weirdos had to be taken away on stretchers,
with broken limbs and/or bleeding heads. Life's tough if you're
But they were a damn nuisance nonetheless.
The first band, as was already mentioned, was Suicidal
Tendencies. This band, it was widely known, was not happy with
the gig they were on, and didn't like the other bands they
played with. So I really hadn't expected anything.
A big surprise: Singer Muir banged his head off, ran around and
generally created an impression as if he liked being there. The
whole band radiated with joy so it seemed, and I really liked the
stuff they played although I didn't recognise anything of them
due to the fact that I've never actually heard any of their music
There was one song that appeared to be called "S.T.". The whole
hall was singing along with the chorus - being a dedicated ST
freak, I song along as loud as I could.
The next band was Testament. Although they seemed to be having a
good time, too, the music was really not very good. None of the
songs had anything that I could like, and I was therefore looking
forward to Megadeth more and more.
Whereas Suicidal Tendencies got me right in the mood (I found
myself loudly singing Metallica songs along with the PA in the
pause), Testament got me out of it again.
At least they liked what they were doing, something that could
not be said of Megadeth (at least, not of frontman Dave
Mustaine). Their bit of the Clash wasn't radiating with
anything, although super guitarist Marty Friedman was very good
and even seemed to like everything very much.
If you ask me, Marty will be out of Megadeth very soon. He
didn't even get a solospot. Just imagine: One of the very best
guitar players on all the fucking world doesn't get a solo spot!
The standard solos were very good, though. Sometimes, he even
left his stage spot (which was at the left of the stage whereas I
was, of course, standing at the right) and ran around a bit.
Since I had really begun to appreciate Megadeth only quite
shortly before, I didn't recognise all they played. From "So
far...so good...so what" and "Rust in Piece", they played
"Anarchy in the UK" (the encore - the only song), "Hangar 18"
(yeah!), "Holy Wars" (very good!), "Hook in Mouth" and "In my
darkest Hour". Another song they played was "Black Friday". They
played about four or five more songs, and had quite a bit of
pause somewhere half way. In total, they only played about one
hour (as would Slayer, whereas the other two bands only played
about three quarters of an hour). To my utter disappointment,
they didn't play "Five Magics", one of the best songs off their
last album "Rust in Piece".
During the Megadeth bit, I retired back to the middle of the
audience. In front, it had grown to be a bit too hot for my
The final band, Slayer, was very uninspiring. All I recognised
was "Black Magic" and "Die by the Sword", and they didn't even
play "Hell Awaits" which I consider to be one of their very best
songs they ever made. When you add this together with the fact
that only one song off "Show no Mercy" was played, it was not
very good. Slayer, again, showed little joy. It seemed as if they
didn't like to be here and they just played what they had to.
They also played "Angel of Death", by the way.
Somewhat disappointed, I went home at the end of the gig, which
was at 21:50. All in all, only two Megadeth songs had been really
good and the rest was all a bit too near to 'dismissable'
(although Suicidal at least left a good impression).
ANTHRAX AND IRON MAIDEN
Location: Groenoordhal, Leiden, Holland
Date: November 2nd
It was 19:15 when I arrived at Leiden, which was due to a bit of
a traffic queue right before the junction I had to leave off. I
quickly bought a Maiden T-shirt (the suckers only had large, and
no extra large....but nonetheless) The concert was due to start
at 19:30, the time at which I had actually only expected the
doors to be opened. It was therefore very hard to get to the
When Anthrax started off, I immediately realised it would be
very healthy to move back a bit, as soon there was an enormous
mosh the likes of which I had never witnessed before. Well, after
all, Anthrax is a moshin' band so I just waited until they
Anthrax kicked off with the title song off their new CD,
"Persistence of Time". They played very well and very fast, as
usual. I tried to have a look at the legs of the drummer and it
beats me that someone can use the bass drum that fast while still
doing it with a certain kind of rhythm. I haven't actually bought
this CD, especially since Anthrax starts with an 'A' and that
means I have to rearrange over 250 CD's since I have them stored
alphabetically. Anyway, as far as I could hear, they also played
at least two more songs off this CD, of which "Keep it in the
Family" left the best impression. Guitar player Scott Ian (with
bold head, goatee and pigtail) was flipping out completely. I am
not deep into Anthrax, but I recognised "Antisocial", "Mad
House", "N.F.L." ('Evilnikcufecin', Nicefuckinlive) and "Caught
in a Mosh". The atmosphere was brilliant, and although there was
an enormous mosh there were but a few divers.
The encore consisted of "I am the Man" (everybody knew the
words) and "I am the Law". A very nice support act Anthrax
surely is. They stopped at 20:30, and I immediately started to
try and get in front again. Within minutes I was within reach of
the fence, at approximately the same spot as I had been but
weeks before on "Clash of the Titans". Many true moshers already
left - Iron Maiden is probably too commercial for them. They
created lots of empty space up front, that was just waiting to
be filled with people like yours truly - but not for long.
At just past nine, the light went out, and the deafening
cheering was only dwarfed by the sound of the intro music -
something that sounded very familiar and that's probably off
some kind of TV science fiction series or something.
After this intro bit died away, Maiden kicked off with the first
track off their latest "No Prayer for the Dying" CD, called
"Tailgunner". The joy they had in playing was obvious - and new
guitar player Jannick Gers (that took the place of Adrian Smith)
was clearly an improvement. He moved a lot more - not entirely
unlike good ol' Yngwie, as a matter of fact. He sometimes played
very rough solos, sloppy and fast, but that could be forgiven.
Singer Bruce Dickinson 'just loved Holland': "Amsterdam is the
most beautiful city except for London where I live. I just walked
into this coffeeshop and I wanted to get a cup of coffee. Say
what? They didn't sell coffee...." (hilarious uproar and
tremendous applause and cheering from the audience).
The stage was pretty standard, especially to Maiden standards.
This time, there were no extensive decorations; just a large
white sheet at the back of the stage where relevant record
covers were displayed while the corresponding songs were being
played. Their mascot, Eddie, made two appearances. One time
during a song where he walked around 'bothering' the musicians,
and one final time during the song "Iron Maiden". Here, a giant
coffin appeared behind drummer Nicko McBrain out of which a
giant Eddie burst - like on the last record cover. Very nice.
Since I am quite into Iron Maiden, I recognised all the songs
they played. In not much of any order, they were "Enema Number
One", "22 Acacia Avenue", "Die with your Boots on", "Hallowed by
thy Name", "Holy Smoke", "Two Minutes to Midnight", "The
Trooper", "Hook in You", "Assassin", "Heaven can Wait", "No
Prayer for the Dying" (a very good song), "The Clairvoyant" and
"Iron Maiden" (which was the last song before the encores). The
first encore consisted of "Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter"
(here the audience could sing along) and "Sanctuary"; the second
encore consisted of "The Number of the Beast" and "Run to the
Hills". After this, at 22:45, they disappeared and left the crowd
listening to "Always look at the bright side of life".
It had been a great concert, and made me forget the letdown
(well...a bit of a letdown, really) of "Clash of the Titans".
Since this concert happened to have been at the day before my
birthday, when I came back to Utrecht I found Miranda in a very
secretive mood. I wasn't allowed to enter her room until
midnight. When this point in time was reached, I was allowed to
enter. She had decorated the room specially for me, the darling.
I think it would be an understatement to assume that we
merely made passionate love.
LYNCH MOB & QUEENSRYCHE
Location: Music Hall, Hannover, West Germany
Date: November 22nd
It was approximately four o'clock in the afternoon when I left
my work at Thalion, pulled on some Queensryche clothes, fetched
my car and drove towards Hannover - a good 100 km to the east of
Thalion's home town Gütersloh. In this city's "Music Hall", the
evening would feature the Queensryche concert.
At just past six, it was already getting a bit dark, I arrived
there. It was in a derelict part of Hannover - probably to make
sure 'decent folk' doesn't get bothered by the music that would
probably also be clearly audible outside.
About 10 to 15 people had already gathered their shivering
beings in the cold, waiting for the place to open. We all
literally froze our asses off. I got to talk a bit with a couple
of freaks - one of 'em happened to be English and living in
Gütersloh, so that helped matters. He also gave me some advise
about clubs to go to there that I had never before heard of
(somewhere in Harsewinkel, as I recall). Talking and talking, I
did forget the cold a bit. This may also have been due to the
heavy horse/alcohol breath of a rather backward German that found
it necessary to talk a lot to me (about shit bands, actually).
Everybody was talking about the fact that the previous
Queensryche gig was quoted to be 'fantastic' and 'enormous' on
TV a couple of days before, and this kinda made my expectations
rise. They were supposed to have played very long.
At seven the hall opened. Since I actually had a ticket instead
of a voucher, I was the first to be admitted to the hall. After
getting some merchandise, however, I had to be satisfied with a
one person's distance from the fence - right in the middle!
The Music Hall is a kind of circus tent - at least that's what
it looks like from the inside. One half was a bit like a HM
disco, and the other half was a concert hall with a 5000 person
capacity. The concert was utterly and completely sold out.
The audience was remarkably quiet. I thought by myself "Oh no
not another Malmsteen audience...". I was waiting for the concert
to start, generally being amazed by the ugliness of a boy and a
girl that were both heavily kissing right before me.
It was nice and warm in the hall. That was nice.
At eight the concert started with the support act, Lynch Mob.
This band, formed around ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch, made
typical American heavy rock the likes of which there are
thirteen bands in a dozen. The singer wore those peculiar
jeans/leather trousers that would have instantly made me horny if
worn by Gloria Estefan - but he just looked like a fag or
something. The bass player, I couldn't help noticing, played one
of those incredibly expensive Factory bass guitars (just like
Stuart Hamm) - which is really stupid for he didn't do much for
which this instrument may be required.
George Lynch was, to my surprise, quite a brilliant guitar
player. He played juicy, fast solos all the way. I didn't
actually know any of their songs, but the one I considered to be
best was a bombastic instrumental the likes of Malmsteen's
"Krakatau" which was a constant display of Lynch's talents. Very
But I wasn't exactly mourning when the stage was cleared (no
encore) and roadies started converting the stage for the main
act. The entire stage was quite big, and built around the drumkit
of Scott Rockenfield, which was hidden by dark canvas. The amps
were all hidden under aluminium stairs and rosters so that the
musicians would have optimal space to move.
In the mean time, people started to get movin' a bit. The
audience transformed itself from a static mass into a throbbing
mob that generally wanted to be anywhere except where they were
at the moment. A couple of smart asses tried to move people away
up front but these wankers got taught a lesson and shut up for
the rest of the gig.
At 21:10, Queensryche kicked off. "Resistance". An applause the
likes I had never heard before shuddered the hall. Queensryche
has been described as a 'charismatic band' and this was clear
from the very first instant they were visible. When singer Geoff
Tate entered the stage with the first vocals the applause was
repeated - and even louder. Brilliant, and warmth-invoking.
People were now all trying to get up front, which actually
automatically brought me to one of the fence positions. That was
the start of an adrenalin-pumping experience: The fence started
to move and tilt a bit, and about a dozen security people turned
around to push the fence back with all their might. Several times
I really feared the fence would crash and all people up front
would be crashing to the floor with 5000 freaks running all over
them. Several of these people now fleed from the front.
Then the fence really budged. "Back! Back!" the security people
yelled. Time to get back a bit. I was in no mood for any Heizel
Stadium experiences. It has to be said: The audience was
extremely enthusiastic - even more than that at the Dortmund
Metal Hammer festival!
The band was in excellent shape, too. They knew that every
single member of the audience didn't merely like them, but adored
them. Charismatic is the word.
After "Resistance", which was a track off their latest "Empire"
CD, they played "Walk in the Shadows". This was to be the only
song they would play off "Rage for Order". After these, they
played (again in not much of a particular order) "Best I Can",
"Roads to Madness" ("something old....something long...this is...
Roads to Madness"....I had to swallow a couple of times as they
played this majestic song), "The Thin Line", "Jet City Man" and
"Empire". After this, they did something I had never even dared
to dream of: They played the entire "Operation Mindcrime" album -
all fifteen songs included the in-between bits on tape. "I
Remember", "Anarchy X", "Revolution Calling", "Operation
Mindcrime", "Speak", "Spreading the Disease", "The Mission",
"Suite Sister Mary", "The Needle Lies", "Electric Requiem",
"Breaking the Silence", "I Don't believe in Love", "Waiting for
22", "My Empty Room" (with some beautiful stuff on acoustic
guitars) and "Eyes of a Stranger". "Suite Sister Mary" was
beautiful and moving, with a beautiful woman in ghostly lighting
doing the female vocals. Some tears rolled down my cheeks. This
was too good to be true. After "Eyes of a Stranger" they re-did a
bit of "Revolution Calling" and then the end of the main concert
Of course, nobody was satisfied with what had been offered so
far, even though it had been of a brilliance that is unreachable
by any other rock band past or present.
They came back and played one of the most beautiful of ballads,
"Silent Lucidity". This was it. This was too much. I sobbed. My
body shook and I wept like a child. I looked around me and saw
other Metallunatics that wept. Only Queensryche can do this.
The second song of the encore was, as could have been expected,
"a song of unity": "Take Hold of the Flame". This was to be the
last song, and there were no further encores. Slightly
disappointed everybody went to the exits - it was 23:10.
The band's contact with the audience was a lot better than last
time I saw them. But even if this would not have been so, it
would have been a great concert.
Since this concert, I can live with the thought that I have
never ever seen 'young' Malmsteen, Jimi Hendrix or the Beatles
live. I have seen Queensryche on their 1990 Empire European Tour.
The best concert of my life.
The additions by Stefan Posthuma
Heavy metal concerts are a special thing everybody should
experience at least once in his/her life. A few hundred to a few
thousand metalheads gather and witness a group of young people on
stage that completely exhaust themselves trying to produce as
much structured (and sometimes completely unstructured) noise as
possible, exciting the metalheads who in turn tend to go nuts.
They jump around, bang their heads, act like they are playing the
guitar, shout lyrics until their throats give out and if
possible, climb on stage only to jump off it again, landing
amidst the insane crowd who don't seem to mind people wearing
leather jackets with metal studs and (mostly) large boots jumping
on top of them.
Now some people might expect that the atmosphere will be
hostile. People will drink a lot, get violent and fight. Well, I
have been to a few concerts and I have never seen people fight or
make trouble. Of course, sometimes bad elements (like skinheads)
will go to a concert, trying to mess things up, but most of the
time the organisers of the concert have a good eye for
troublemakers and these people won't be allowed.
Now I am a very modest young man, who wears the usual clothes
(hightops, jeans and T-shirt) and I have no long hear (it's quite
short sometimes) and don't look like the sort of person that
would go to a heavy metal concert and freak out. The only thing I
do when I go to a concert is wear a Metallica (or likewise) T-
shirt and my old jeans because you run the chance of being
sprayed with beer and sweat (and sometimes: fake blood and other
dubious substances if you go to a Gwar concert)
Well, I don't go to them very often, but I have been to some:
My friend Ric who lives in Amsterdam is a real toughguy-heavy
dude. He is large, strong and likes heavy-duty bands like
Manowar. One day I went to visit them (I do that quite often, he
lives in the middle of the red-light district of Amsterdam, and
knows some interesting places to go to). His girlfriend plus some
more of his friends were there and he had 'a surprise'.
After a brisk walk through the Amsterdam night, we arrived at
the 'Paradiso' theatre and I finally understood what the surprise
was (with Ric, you can never be sure). A Manowar concert.
When we arrived, the support act just finished their last song
(can't remember who they were) and Manowar made their appearance
half an hour later. Mist filled the stage, thunder and lightning
sounds roared from the immense battery of speakers and the dudes
came on stage. Four body-builders dressed in rags of leather and
furry stuff (looking a bit pathetic really) came on stage
carrying various instruments. Yep, this was Manowar allright.
The music was what I expected: Loud. Very loud.
Now I didn't really know Manowar, so I cannot possibly remember
the names of the songs they played, but I had to admit that the
music was like the guys on stage. Immense, hard and brutal but
also quite good. They sing about warriors slaying their opponents
with large swords and other lethal weaponry, heroes who ride
across battlefields and other epic happenings. "Other bands play,
They had little intermezzo's where the members of the band would
address the public (girls mostly):
Manowar: "Hey don't I know you, did we fuck?"
Girl : "hiiihiiiiiiiii"
Manowar: "Take off your clothes, maybe I recognize you then"
More of this intelligent dialogue would take place during the
show, and at one point they invited a guy from the crowd on stage
to play the guitar. The bloke they got on stage slaughtered the
guitar without scruples, much to the delight of the mob of
metalheads going nuts in front of the stage.
The bass, guitar and drums players did their solos with immense
enthusiasm, numbing my poor eardrums even further and the end
sequence was impressive indeed. They bashed the bass and the
guitar together, creating a mass of sounds so violent that I
cannot describe it really. To surpass this even, the guys then
started pulling the strings of the bass and the guitar while the
amps were on max. The resulting mayhem was unbelievable.
Numb, sweaty but satisfied, I walked out into the drizzle. It
was quite a good concert and I bought a couple of Manowar CD's
in the days to follow. They are quite good really, with some
utterly funny things like 'Pleasure Slave' and parts with
complete choruses singing heroic battle hymns.
I was sitting in my room, being serene until the phone rang.
Ric: There's a Metal Church concert tonight in Tilburg. I'll
be at your place in about an hour. Be ready.
Ric: Right. See you in an hour.
So put on some old jeans and sneakers, dug up my Metallica T-
shirt and waited. Ric arrived an hour later with one of his
When we arrived in Tilburg, we asked somebody the location of
the theatre, and he was right. A large group of Metallunatics was
hanging out in the front of the building. We parked the car and
went inside. Ric and his friend headed for the bar immediately so
I made a mental note not to consume any alcohol so I could drive
the 'Little Pitbull' as Ric lovingly calls his car. (A rather
fast and furious Suzuki Swift GTI).
The support act (I can't remember their name either (actually
it was Toranaga, SMC)) was quite good an very funny. Apparently,
this was their last gig of the tour and they really enjoyed
themselves. At a certain point, some of the member of Metal
Church came on stage, sat down around a table they brought and
started playing cards while the other guys were running around,
creating lotsa noise. Then they started throwing cream pies and
beer around, resulting in lots of fun on stage. After this,
Metal Church came on stage, and when they started playing their
stuff I knew so well, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to go
Elbowing my way through the crowd, I made it to the stage. I was
standing in the middle of the mosh (area directly in front of the
stage where people go even more crazy), leaning on the stage,
almost able to tie the shoelaces of the singer together.
It was wild.
It was hot.
It was eardrum molesting, head-banging and completely and
I shouted lyrics, I tried banging my freshly-cut hairdo (about
2cm) and I went nuts.
Crazy people around me, banging their heads, their long hair and
other various parts of their bodies colliding with mine, the band
on stage giving a super performance.
I can't really remember the songs they played like Richard does,
but I can tell you it was simply great. Metal Church is one of my
favourite Metal bands and they proved themselves allright.
After the show, my T-shirt was soaked with sweat, I was bruised
in a couple of places, my ears rang and my throat was sore. Ric
and his pal were also in the mosh, and similarly affected.
I took the wheel of the Suzuki and once outside town, I tested
the capabilities of this little car once more. It's furious
indeed. Three heavy dudes in the car and the 1.3 litre engine
still managed to accelerate the car fast enough to make it
utterly exiting. At home, I took a shower and went to bed.
"Metal Church is holy church, go be the sacrifice"
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.