Meltdown

I Prevail rockin' the Pine Knob stage at Riff Fest!

With the return of SLAYER, at least for two shows this year, I thought I’d write about some of the most incredible moments I’ve experienced at concerts. Luckily for me, I’ve been to a lot through work. Concerts have always been a fun way to blow off steam and see your favorite bands. But I think, at least for me, that the pandemic cemented how much I love going to them, and also how much I love talking to the WRIF listeners and like-minded rock fans. There’s something about being there in person with people that makes it all make sense.

While talking to Sebastian Bach a few weeks ago on my Talkin’ Rock podcast, he went into a story about the best concert he’d seen. Yes, the concert was great, but it’s how it made him feel that’s the reason we go in the first place. He told me that the KISS show at Tiger Stadium in 1996 will live with him forever. “That was the most…the biggest rush of energy that I think I ever felt in my life, was when KISS hit the stage.” Of course, it was about the band, his childhood heroes, but it was more about how they, and the crowd, made him feel. “I’ll never forget that rush of emotion. and excitement, and exhilaration, of when KISS came back to hit the stage in Detroit at Tiger Stadium. That was probably the most exciting concert moment I’ve ever had in my life. Thank you, Detroit!”

I have some moments like that I’d like to share with you guys. Maybe you were at some of these shows, or maybe it will jar some memories for you.

It’s all about how it makes you feel….rock on!

  • SLAYER at rock on the range

    I believe it was in 2014 or 15. I was lucky enough to be on a scaffolding set up on the side of the stage. I was about 20 feet up. I’d never seen something so vicious. I’ve said to people in the past that it was like watching an atomic war. The energy pouring off that stage from my vantage point was unmatched. A show I’ll never forget.

  • guns N' roses at ford field

    I didn’t realize how much this show would affect me. When they took the stage it was unreal. Slash and Duff came out, followed by Axl Rose. My friend next to me gave me a giant bear hug. After not seeing them for years, it was truly a moment I never thought I’d see again.

  • metallica

    As far as I’m concerned, not many bands match up to Metallica. I’ve seen them a lot of times, but one time sticks out to me. I saw the tour with GNR in 1992. They took the stage in the sunshine ripping into “Creeping Death”. But it’s what I saw after. As I was standing backstage, Lars, Kirk, and Jason Newstead all went by me on golf carts. Shortly after, James Hetfield came walking all by himself past me. He looked like he just slayed the beast. One of the coolest moments I’ve ever witnessed. Bad Ass!

  • KISS at tiger stadium in 1996

    Not to steal too much of what Sebastian said earlier in this piece, but he’s right. This show was amazing on many levels. It was my first major show after getting to Detroit. What a welcome!

  • Watching Bob Seger soundcheck

    While broadcasting at the Palace of Auburn Hills, I was lucky enough to be there while the band did their soundcheck. As I was sitting there in an empty arena, Bob said to the rest of the band “Let’s do “Turn The Page””. I couldn’t believe I got to watch him and the band play that classic practically all by myself.

  • ozzy osbourne

    It was the first concert I’d ever been to and it did not disappoint! I’ll never forget Ozzy slowly walking down the giant staircase in the middle of the stage. He had his face buried with his arms crossed in front of his body. As the music hit, he opened his arms to reveal himself with a bat-like cape on both arms. I know I’m not describing it as well as I should, but it was an unbelievable moment for a young kid seeing his favorite musician.

    You can see that moment at about 1:45 in this video.

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