Archive for Rock Show Countdown

Rock Show Countdown: #4 Ozzfest ’97

Posted in Black Sabbath, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Marilyn Manson, Ozzfest, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Rock Show Countdown, Type o Negative with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2008 by gearsofrock

Ozzfest ’97 featuring Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Marilyn Manson, Type-O-Negative, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Powerman 5000, and Coal Chamber at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, June 15, 1997

This quote from the New York Times sums up this legendary show:

This made the very premise of the concert one of rebellion, infusing it with the notion that rock-and-roll is more powerful than the state.

Backstory: I’ll never forget waking up super early on a Saturday morning to stand in line at the Ticketmaster window only to find out that this performance was CANCELED! What? Huh? NOOOOOO! It turned out that the state of New Jersey would not allow Manson to play this gig, so Ozzy sued the state in Federal court. New Jersey had no leg to stand on and the tickets finally went on sale a few weeks later. Whew. Then, after that silly fiasco, my parents asked me not to go because they heard a bunch of awful rumors about Manson killing 666 goats on stage or something like that. Well, my parents ended up losing that argument to this “rebellious” 17 year old.

As for the highlights of the actual show:

Fear Factory got the party started on the main stage early afternoon. I was a crazy Fear Factory head in these days. They put on a great performance, consisting mostly of songs off Demanufacture. “Replica” and “Demanufacture” were the best songs of the set.

Type-O-Negative ruled the main stage with solid performances off of October Rust, as well as classics such as “Christian Women” and “Black #1.” At the conclusion of the show, Peter Steele ripped out all his bass strings. He’s really strong.

Marilyn Manson went on during the daylight and still performed really well with his usual wild live antics like Bible-ripping and wearing practically nothing. Despite what the NY Times review says, the stadium was shaking during “The Beautiful People.”

Machine Head played on the second stage in support of The More Things Change. During Machine Heads final song, the power was pulled so Pantera’s set could begin.

Pantera was the sickest band to play and the highlight of rebellion with hundreds of people spilling on to the floor, and body-tackles administered by Giants Stadium staff to some of these people. Hey, Phil Anselmo invited them to come on down. Phil later thanked everybody for this support during a performance at Roseland Ballroom the following year (another classic show). Pantera sounded amazing by the way, with a setlist of classics and supporting The Great Southern Trendkill.

Ozzy Osbourne’s set was pretty good. It wasn’t very long since he had to play with Sabbath later. He seemed to be conserving his energy for most of the set. Joe Holmes was still on lead guitar duty at this point.

Black Sabbath was awesome and sounded way better than Ozzy’s solo set. Ozzy was also a little crazier too. I haven’t seen Ozzy perform this well since. There were laser light shows for tunes such as “Children of the Grave” and “Iron Man.” I left this show with a big smile and a $30 Black Sabbath tee-shirt.

If anyone has a bootleg from this show, please contact me at

Rock Show Countdown: #5 Incubus 9/16/01

Posted in Incubus, Rock Show Countdown with tags , , on August 11, 2008 by gearsofrock

Incubus at Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC, September 16, 2001

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to this concert. It was just 5 days following the cowardly 9/11 attacks, and New York City was now a completely different place. Incubus even considered canceling this show, but they decided that life goes on and if anything, this city needs a show like this, right now.

There was so much love in this mosh pit. The crowd at times drowned out the band with “U…S…A” chants. There was such a powerful sense of unity in songs like “The Warmth” and “I Miss You.” There were also nothing but good feelings when the band broke into a cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”

This was a show that needed to happen. The city needed it and we needed it. No Incubus show I have seen since has come close in comparison.

*The video above was taken about a month before, 8/12/01, in Melbourne, Australia. All other videos on this countdown are from the actual show discussed unless otherwise noted.

Rock Show Countdown: #6 Pantera and Slayer

Posted in Pantera, Rock Show Countdown, Slayer with tags , , on August 9, 2008 by gearsofrock

Pantera and Slayer at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, June 21, 2001

First of all the, this show’s lineup was just insane and does not require any explanation of its awesomeness. Pantera and Slayer on the same night…Can life get any better?

This was also the final time I got to see the legendary, Dimebag Darrell perform. I still have his guitar pick from this amazing concert that I caught, wrestled for, then bled on. Yes, the pick is still fully outfitted with my blood. Ah, memories.

Rock Show Countdown: #7 Pearl Jam

Posted in Pearl Jam, Rock Show Countdown with tags , on August 8, 2008 by gearsofrock

Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden, NYC, June 25, 2008

I don’t understand how every Pearl Jam show seems to get better and better. This time around, these rock legends incorporated my 3 favorite things of all-time in the same show: The Ramones, Kiss, and the New York Rangers.

In addition to a great setlist with rarities such as “Garden” and “I’m Open,” CJ Ramone played the bass on “I Believe In Miracles,” and Ace Frehley played lead guitar on “Black Diamond.”

Eddie Vedder also gave a shout-out to the recently retired #2 of New York Ranger’s legend, Brian Leetch, and also a quick shout to Mark Messier’s #11. This probably means nothing to many people but it was a slice of Heaven for me.

Rock Show Countdown: #8 Bruce Springsteen

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Rock Show Countdown with tags , on August 7, 2008 by gearsofrock

#8 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, July 27, 2008

This concert was only 2 weeks ago but I must include it in the Top 10. Even if you disapprove of this guy, you have to admit, he is a legendary performer. Rather than write another reflection of this show, I’ll link to the one from last week.

By the way, the Boss can still nail a sweet powerslide at 59 years old (see 1:00-1:08).

Rock Show Countdown: #9 Megadeth and Dream Theater

Posted in Dream Theater, Megadeth, Rock Show Countdown with tags , , on August 6, 2008 by gearsofrock

#9 Gigantour featuring Megadeth and Dream Theater at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY, August 23, 2005

Again, this is one of those concerts that I was not expecting a Top 10 ranking. I decided to go last second with an old college buddy of mine who recently started listening to Megadeth. I have seen Megadeth and Dream Theater (including the “Scenes from New York” show) several times before, enjoyed the concerts very much, and felt like I had seen all that their live shows had to offer. But…

Dream Theater’s set was just about perfect on this night. They were happy to be playing in front of their home crowd and Mike Portnoy did a cool drum solo with Richard Christy of the Howard Stern Show which was excellent. The guys in Dream Theater were were very relaxed and seemed like they had a great time.

Megadeth came on stage soon after and blew up the beach. “Holy Wars,” “Reckoning Day,” Wake Up Dead,” Hangar 18,” “A Tout Le Monde,” and “Angry Again,” you know, the usual awesome songs were in the setlist. Dave Mustaine wasn’t as cocky as I have seen him and he didn’t cry like in “Some Kind of Monster;” it was just the perfect Mustaine-mix on this hot August night.

Rock Show Countdown: #10 Def Leppard and Journey

Posted in Def Leppard, Journey, Rock Show Countdown with tags , , on August 5, 2008 by gearsofrock

#10 Def Leppard and Journey at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY, June 24, 2006

I remember it was a rainy and yucky evening for this show. My wife (then fiance) and I went fully armed with our ponchos that we purchased from Rite-Aid an hour before. I was not expecting much from this concert at all. I just wanted to check Def Leppard off my list of bands to see. What I got was an amazing rock concert.

First of all, I was never a real big Journey fan. My wife knew all the songs and loved them growing up. Usually, when she is into a band, I look the other way because she really digs country music. Journey played with a withered line-up that night and still blew the headlining Def Leppard completely off the stage. All the Journey fans I talk to, to this day, swear that this was Journey’s worst performance ever. If that is true, then Journey just may be the greatest rock band ever. During Journey’s set, my smile did not leave my face. They just ran through their classics and ripped the place apart. I realized that night that I knew the words to about 12 Journey songs. I had no idea that their tunes have crept into my head through the years.

Def Leppard took the stage shortly after Journey and a quick pretzel, and rocked the house too. They did all of their hits, which was very predictable and did a great job. They were supporting their Yeah! CD of cover songs, which I think is a pretty solid album. What surprised me the most about Def Leppard was drummer, Rick Allen. It sounded like he had four arms at times as he nailed his fills and drum solo.

I guess one of the main reasons I singled this concert out for the top 10, was because I had fairly low expectations going in. Both of these bands ended up blowing me away. Hail! Hail! these rock legends.