Posted in metal | music | video on November 26, 2013

by Doug Moore

US Festival

A bit of background first: unless you're well into your 40s, you probably don't remember the US Festivals. The US Fests were two huge music festivals thrown in 1982 and 1983 by Apple co-founder & kajillionaire Steve Wozniak, who pretty much paid for the whole thing out of pocket (including a whopping $1.5 million fee for Van Halen, on top of $1m for David Bowie). Though the festivals both drew massive crowds that numbered into the hundreds of thousands, Wozniak took a total bath on them and lost millions. The name is pronounced like "us" rather than like the abbreviation for United States; the name is an abbreviation for "Unite Us In Song," but don't ask me how.

Now, after 30 years, the second US Fest is seeing a concert-film treatment. The footage lineup for US Festival 1983: Days 1-3 is simultaneously timeless and hilariously '80s: U2, The Clash, Stevie Nicks, Scorpions, INXS, Men At Work, Stray Cats, Triumph, and Missing Persons all put in appearances. (Incidentally, this festival was Mick Jones's last performance with the Clash before his dismissal.) If you need evidence of the thorough '80s-ness of this event, look no further than the footage of Judas Priest playing "Breaking the Law" that we have streaming exclusively below. Exhibit A: the band members' outfits, which push the boundaries of sanity even by JP standards. Exhibit B: the fact that thousands and thousands of people are getting down to Judas Priest in the audience with nary a hint of irony or reserve. It's kind of beautiful.

US Festival 1983: Days 1-3 comes out on 12/3 via MVD and will be available to rent or download at iTunes. There are some other preview vids available online, too: U2 playing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" at Rolling Stone; Stray Cats playing "Rock This Town" at Purevolume; and the Clash playing "Should I Stay or Should I Go" at Spin. Check out the JP video along with the full tracklisting below (and keep an eye out for another on Invisible Oranges tomorrow)...

--











Video produced by Unuson
Directed by Glenn Aveni

Track Listing:
INXS - The One Thing
Divinyls - Boys in Town
English Beat - Jeanette
Stray Cats - Rock This Town
Stray Cats - Please Make Up Your Mind
Men At Work - It's A Mistake
Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now
The Clash - Should I Stay or Should I Go
Judas Priest - Breaking The Law
Judas Priest - You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Triumph - Magic Power
Triumph - Fight The Good Fight
Triumph - Lay It On The Line
Triumph - A World Of Fantasy
Scorpions - The Zoo
Scorpions - Can't Get Enough
Berlin - Sex
Quarterflash - Find Another Fool
U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
U2 - The Electric Co.
Missing Persons - Words
Stevie Nicks - Stand Back
Stevie Nicks - Outside The Rain
--

---

      

Comments (26)

Good lordy that was awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 3:14 PM

I remember having a bootleg of the U2 set...very good stuff.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 3:27 PM

I feel like either D or the Arctic Monkeys grandpa dude (who actually seems like a cool guy, as opposed to D) was at this festival.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 3:55 PM

Van Halen's set from this festival is the most perfect historical document of rock and roll excess ever captured on film. The entire band is totally hammered with David Lee Roth in particularly rare form, from the pre-show backstage interview through his interactions with the crowd during the band's set.

My personal favorite moment is when someone in the front row begins shooting DLR with a squirt gun, to which the always classy frontman responds "hey, don't be squirtin' water on me, maaan. I'mma fuck yer girlfriend, paaaal!"

Pure unadulterated genius.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 4:09 PM

Cool but hasn't this material aired a thousand times on tv from MTV back in the day right up to today on VH1 Classics? If they actually included the VH footage on this I would purchase this without hesitation. Unfortunately, per what 4:09 said, VH will never approve this show to be aired or distributed.

Posted by Umberto D | November 26, 2013 4:40 PM

But you *can* watch it on YouTube:
http://youtu.be/nY3vt-48Zzk

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 5:05 PM

have the Everymen gone on yet?

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 5:47 PM

This DVD is fucking stupid. They should have the full sets on there. The Motley Crue footage is a before Shout was released.
Search out You Tube of these full sets..not this garbage

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 8:30 PM

i have to say, i sort of wish i was alive for real rock and roll.
music is far better these days... but people just don't rock like they used to. it's very sad.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 9:19 PM

4:09--Agreed. You could add up every single one of these hipster piss-ant bands that BV shills for--Speedy Ortiz, Metz, DIIV, Parquet Courts, Swearin', blah blah fucking blah on and on and on, literally hundreds of shitty New York bands, and they don't add up to the charisma of a single short, curly hair on the golden balls of David Lee Roth...

Where the fuck did it all go wrong?

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 9:45 PM

^Old dude.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 11:19 PM

Old dude is certainly asleep right now.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2013 11:53 PM

lol@ "music is far better these days"

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 12:42 AM

Music is NOT better these days. Every genre of music is awful now. Indie pop is just a regurgitation of 80s pop. Rock has no balls. Country is watered down rock music with twang. Hiphop was ruined by the dirty south. It all sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 8:12 AM

Are we really having the 'music sucks now' argument in a thread highlighting the absolute worst of the 80s?

Save for the Clash and Stevie Nicks, every single band at that festival is a fucking joke. Triumph? Haaaa.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 9:46 AM

Yes, Anonymous 9:46, we are having that argument.
And no, you're wrong. Some of the bands were crap, but U2 were an amazing live band in the 80s before they became a parody of themselves. INXS were great as well. Judas Priest and the Scorpions were among the best metal bands around.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 10:02 AM

9:46, some of these bands are bad, there was much worse music in the 80s than this. And even some of the more mediocre bands on this bill are better than most of the crap that this website shills. Cough cough HAIM cough cough.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 10:11 AM

Judas Priest and the Scorpions were dorky as shit. And you're lying to yourself if you think U2 were ever a good band.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 10:19 AM

find me one person that plays as cleanly as Setzer. Clash=best band ever.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 11:19 AM

10:19, metal is dorky in general. Hell, the 80s were dorky in general. But if you are into metal, Judas Priest and the Scorpions were pioneers.
I am honest with myself. U2 were a great live band. Their reputation IS for being a great live band. That's how they got to be as big as they are in the first place.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 11:39 AM

11:19, good point. Setzer is highly underrated. Very talented musician.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 11:41 AM

U2 and Judas Priest are still great live bands.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 11:58 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2WvIE2kl9k

This Judas Priest show from 2012 is more fun than every Haim or Alt-J show put together.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 12:02 PM

"Save for the Clash and Stevie Nicks, every single band at that festival is a fucking joke. Triumph? Haaaa."

You are such a fucking dumb cliche "elitist" asshole who doesn't know shit about music but only what you're told to like. Let me guess, you really dig Arcade Fire, The Smiths, and Jay-Z too, you fucking cunt.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 2:07 PM

^ You forgot Kanye West.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2013 2:17 PM

people forget how great they were live too. at the arena level. 

Posted by Marley | March 3, 2014 4:41 AM

Leave a Comment