Friday, August 27, 2010

Worst Shows Ever #9

As a music lover, I've been to A LOT of shows - huge sold out stadium shows, tiny bar shows with a handful of people, awesome shows that lived up to and exceeded all expectations and shows that were great but for a reason I never could have anticipated.  But this isn't about those shows...this is about the AWFUL shows.  The shows that make you feel like you wasted your time and money...the ones that leave a pit in your stomach and may even make you dislike a band that you used to love.  Sometimes its the band, sometimes other factors but no matter what the cause these shows were terrible.  These are my top 10 horrible shows.*

9. Operation Rock N Roll (Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Metal Church, Dangerous Toys) - Five Seasons Center, Cedar Rapids 1991

I had high hopes for this concert.  A little over a month earlier we had seen The Clash of the Titans tour featuring Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, with Alice in Chains (Man in the Box had been released as a single only a short time earlier) as an opening act.  It is one of my top five favorite concerts.  I knew Operation Rock N Roll wouldn't be as good but it had potential.  I didn't care for Judas Priest but was a big fan of Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Metal Church, and Dangerous Toys.  Four out of five ain't too bad...and I hadn't seen any in concert should be great!

But this concert had some factors working against it - A) it was on a Thursday, B) it started at 5pm.  My friend Steve and I were prepared to over come these obstacles and have a great time.  We both took off work and around 1pm, we loaded the car with Coke, Minute Maid Orange, Cap'N Crunch Crunch Berries, beef jerky, and other miscellaneous snacking items.  It was a two hour drive, but we wanted to get there early and hang out with some of the other metalheads and hopefully meet women (a lofty goal since I was - and still am - horrible at meeting women).  Leaving at one would give us an hour to hang out outside of the arena and meet others as they arrived and also leave us an hour to hang out inside before the show.  A perfect plan right?

It was hot that day...110 degree heat index hot (milk was a bad choice).  The air conditioning in my car didn't work well and after the two hour drive, standing in the blistering sun was no fun either.  We walked to the arena entrance and were surprised at how quiet it was.  There were a few roadie-type people walking around, moving equipment, etc... but that was it.  Not really anyone that really looked to much like a young metal fan.  "Man, we must be here REALLY early, maybe doors open at 5pm and concert is at 6pm," I thought.  I've had this happen to me many times, they print the door-time instead of show-time on the is always annoying because I am a person that likes to arrive early anyways and oftentimes there is not much to do to fill that extra one to two hours.

We were sweating profusely in the sun.  Having already paid the fee to park, we didn't really want to drive any place and have to pay again (we were poor students after all), so we started walking around trying to find some place to get out of the heat.  At this time in Cedar Rapids history, there was really not much around the arena, it was in the middle of the downtown area surrounded by office buildings and factories.  Not really any place that we could waste time.  We found a small strip mall that was barely air conditioned but at least out of the sun.  There was nothing in there that could hold our attention and soon we were out walking again.  We eventually decided to go hand out in hotel lobby of the Five Seasons Hotel (which was connected to the arena), it was small and there wasn't anything to do but at least it had air conditioning.

After sitting in the chairs for a few minutes, the desk clerk strikes up conversation with us and we tell him that we are sorry for hanging out in the lobby but we just needed some time out of the sun.  "That's fine, we're not that busy.  There was actually a group of guys here earlier doing the same thing.  The fools drove 100 miles for a metal concert...but they didn't know it had been rescheduled to tomorrow."  WTF?!?  "Ha ha, yeah what idiots...well we got to go," we muttered as we walked out.  How were we supposed to know it was rescheduled?  It wasn't on the Des Moines radio stations or in the paper.  We drive back home defeated and pissed.

Pretty good show
The next day, we take off work again and head back to Cedar Rapids.  We are not nearly as excited this time...but trying to keep up hope.  We don't leave as early...just early enough to make it on time for the show.  We have had enough of Cedar Rapids for a while.  We enter the arena and I immediately go over and buy a concert shirt -$30.  I was really into concert tees at this it was almost essential to me, plus I was still hoping for a good show.  Dangerous Toys came on and they did a decent job...not great but very good.  Things were looking up.  We go up to sit in the balcony while waiting for the next band because we had enough standing and walking the day before.  I look over and see the Dangerous Toys guys sitting next to us, relaxing after their set.  Steve and I start talking to them.  Steve doesn't realize who they are...thinks they are just some fans,  and makes a couple somewhat sarcastic quips after the singer says that he thinks he threw his back out a little going wild during the set.  DTs don't really notice but take off after a while to head back to their bus.  " do know that was the Dangerous Toys guys that you were mocking right?"  We both had a good laugh about that while heading back down for the next act.

This was not the Alice I was looking for...
Alice Cooper comes on stage.  I am surprised.  I was certain that Metal Church was next.  Alice Cooper is a much bigger star than Metal Church, but maybe he wanted an early slot to get his rest or something...he is old after all.  It is not the Alice Cooper show that I had been hoping for.  I had been a fan for several years and was hoping for makeup and pyrotechnics, and the snake, and guillotines, and fake blood, and all that stuff from the classic Alice Cooper Show.  Alice Cooper comes out in a Hawaiian-type shirt and a panama hat.  Really?  I'd say that he looked like he just stepped off the golf course but I had seen him dress more metal while playing golf.  I know this was the kind-of mainstream Hey Stoopid days but still.  A couple songs into his set the power to the stage goes out for like 40 minutes.  Eventually, they get it working again and Alice does to some boring skit where he electrocutes a female photographer but it all seems phoned in.  I think Alice's total playing time was 30 minutes, pretty sure they just skipped everything that was supposed to be played during the power outage.  It wasn't that Alice was bad, I liked the show for what it was just disappointing when you are hoping for THE SHOW and it ends up being so short due to technical glitches.

At least they showed up.
"Metal Church and Motorhead will be awesome," I tell myself over and over during the changeover.  But they didn't come on...Judas Priest came on.  I might not no much but I know that Alice Cooper could have played after Judas Priest but there is no way that Metal Church would be playing after Judas Priest.  Did I mention that I didn't like Judas Priest...actually at this time it wasn't even dislike, it was closer to hate.  We found a roadie and confirmed our fears...Metal Church and Motorhead were not going to be playing but he didn't know why.  We hung out for a little bit and told the bad news to a couple girls we had been talking to during the break.  They were not happy either, but they didn't believe us 100% and stayed through the Judas Priest set hoping we were wrong.  Steve and I were ready to go as soon as Judas Priest finished Breaking the Law (one of the few songs that I halfway liked, but liked because it was silly).  It was barely even 8pm and we were headed home.  That was not metal, not metal at all.

Fuck you, you MTV whore
wannabe...I am embarrassed
for you.
Fuck you too.
Disappointing on so many levels.  We saw more down time than actual concert. I half-convinced myself that maybe Motorhead and Metal Church guys were really sick and couldn't play...they must have had a good reason, right? The next night, I flipped on Headbanger's Ball and they were showing film from a movie premier or a MTV party or something the night before.  I don't remember the exacts because I was shocked at who I saw attending.  That's right Lemmy from Motorhead...and although I didn't specifically see them, I assume the Metal Church guys.  I just felt betrayed.  These were the guys that I paid to see but they thought they could skip the show to attend some stupid MTV function.  It was one of the first times as a fan that I felt stupid for being a fan.  In this operation there was very little rock and/or became known in my mind as Operation Suck and I felt a little bitter every time I wore the t-shirt.  With the two days off work, two trips to Cedar Rapids and back, tickets, and t-shirt...this has to be one of the most expensive worst concerts ever.   PS - Lemmy & Metal Church, you each owe me $6 for your share of the t-shirt and $4 for your share of the ticket.

*These are off the top of my head, I am sure that I could go through my stubs and find more.  I don't think I left out any major suck-fests though.


Dan said...

I doubt Lemmy would miss a show just to attend a premier.

This whole tour was a complete disaster plagued by poor ticket sales, cancellations and re-routing. It's more likely the bill was trimmed down to save money as the band missed a whole slew of dates

Other than that, enjoyed the report, this is the tour that time forgot.

Anonymous said...

You suck as a human being because you like Dangerous Toys and not Judas Priest.

No offense, I'm not a troll. :) But really...a crappy hair band that disappeared fast but not fast enough compared to the Metal Gods...really, the ones that actually inspired Slayer and Anthrax that you mentioned and so many more...really!!!!!

Oh well, it's a diverse world I guess.


John O'Daly said...

Saw that show at NJ Meadowlands. Not one single complaint.

Hogenmogen said...

Sorry about your shitty experience. I saw them in the NY area, I forget if it was NJ Meadowlands or some arena on Long Island. Great show. We got a free cassette after the show, too. I missed most of the Metal Church set (because I did NOT skip work - needed the $$). I liked Metal Church, but Dangerous Toys was a crappy hair band (saw that whole set). Glad to hear that they at least hung out a bit in the stands.

Anonymous said...

Both bands were dropped from the Florida show, as well. I found out in time and was able to get a refund. Still pissed, but not out the cash!