This Day in Metal: May 27th 1984 The American Rock Festival Happened
LOCATION : Timber Ridge Ski Area, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Metalhead Marv takes us back to that day in ‘84.
Sixteen Candles was just being released in theatres and Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark was on the radio.
It was a hot humid day with over 50,000 fans witnessing 7 amazing rock bands. And the best part was all these bands and it only cost $20. Though I’m sure many of the fans got in there for free.
Mötley Crüe had just released Shout at the Devil in late ‘83, Quiet Riot was still riding high off of Metal Health, Accept just released Balls to the Wall a few months before, Ratt’s Out of the Cellar was peaking on the Billboard Charts, and Ozzy Osbourne was still supporting his Bark at the Moon Tour.
Ratt opened the show at 10am. The band started off with Wanted Man followed by In Your Direction and I’m Insane. After a few more songs the band finished with the encore Round and Round.
Next Accept took the stage and belted out Fast as a Shark followed by Winners and Losers and Turn Me On. After a few more songs the band performed their classics London Leatherboys and Balls to the Wall. It's widely accepted that the band stole the festival that day.
Night Ranger was third to hit the stage playing only a brief set that included fan favourite Sister Christian.
Now it was time for Mötley Crüe to take over. Vince gets on stage and asks the audience "does everybody like to drink alcohol, let’s see all the party motherfuckers here tonight!" The band opens up with Shout at the Devil followed by Bastard and Knock Em’ Dead, Kid. After Too Young to Fall in Love and Red Hot, Mick Mars puts on one hell of a guitar show. The band comes back on stage and plays Piece of Your Action followed by the encores Looks That Kill and Live Wire. These bad boys from L.A. didn’t disappoint and the band would sell the most shirts that day.
Coming next, Quiet Riot played a phenomenal set that included hits Metal Health and Cum On Feel the Noize.
Next, legendary Ozzy Osbourne took the stage and launched into I Don’t Know, Mr. Crowley and Bark at the Moon. New guitarist Jake E. Lee was brilliant as the band went into Flying High Again and Iron Man. The band finished with the encore Crazy Train.
Canadian band Triumph finished the festival off by playing Too Much Thinking and Lay It on the Line followed by Never Surrender and Magic Power. After a few more songs, the band finished with the encore Fight the Good Fight.
Did you know… There’s actually a documentary that’s been made about this event. You can watch it below: