US Festival 1983 … The Heavy Metal Day (Heavy Metal/Hard Rock) [Concert/Review] > WATCH IT HERE <

Year: 1983
Genre: Heavy Metal
Source: YouTube

“It was the day new wave died and rock ‘n’ roll took over.”
– Vince Neil

US Festival ’83 was held at the Glen Helen Regional Park, in Devore, California, a huge natural amphitheater seated in 500 acres of rolling hills about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, near San Bernardino. It was the brainchild of, and completely funded by, one of the Co- founders of Apple, Steve Wozniak, who for the first concert had paid a $1 million fixed fee to the county, for the bulldozing and grading of the land, and the building of the temporary stage and all additional costs to the county.

The festival ran for three days with an added fourth Country Day a week later. The festival was held late May. On its first day weather was slightly cooler at 95 °F (35 °C), but air quality conditions in the region were the worst in four years. The total attendance was reported at 670,000, and on the Heavy Metal day, which was festival day two, it was an amazing 375,000.

According to eye witness accounts, people left their cars along the road and started to walk because of the ”going nowhere” traffic. The artists had to go in by helicopter.

In the end, 1600 people were treated for primarily minor injuries and there were 87 arrests. Two fatalities also occurred: one man fatally overdosed and another was beaten to death in the parking lot as the result of a drug deal gone horribly wrong. Two people were arrested in connection with the murder.

Although the festival lost money, all of the Metal Day bands would proceed to reach new commercial heights leaving little doubt as to where the direction of the mainstream now pointed. 

This is one of these event in history I could cut off my right hand arm to have been at. Ozzy and Judas Priest are 10/10, I liked Mötley Crue’s first two albums before they got to much ”hair metal”. Their set here is also good 8/10, although Vince Neils singing here doesn’t really sound perfect. Quiet Riot, Triumph and Van Halen are not really for me so I haven’t even watched these. Scorpions had very energetic live shows during the 80’s, but unfortunatly there doesn’t seem to have surfaced any source of their show from this day.

Sunday, May 29 (Heavy Metal Day)

  • Quiet Riot
  • Mötley Crüe
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Judas Priest
  • Triumph
  • Scorpions
  • Van Halen


Quiet Riot showcasing some of the band’s best songs. Opening with the track “Danger Zone” (which never made it onto the Metal Health album until added as a bonus track when it was re-released), the band then only played songs from their original Metal Health release including “Run For Cover”, “Love’s A Bitch” and “Let’s Get Crazy”. While some may wonder why Quiet Riot‘s “Cum On Feel The Noize” was played in the middle of their set, that song had yet to be released as a single when the band played the US Festival on May 29, 1983. Metal Health, reached #1 on the Billboard charts and ended up going six times platinum.

  1. Danger Zone
  2. Run for Cover
  3. Love’s a Bitch
  4. Cum On Feel the Noize
  5. Slick Black Cadillac
  6. Let’s Get Crazy
  7. Battle Axe / Guitar Solo
  8. Let’s Get Crazy
  9. Metal Health (Bang Your Head)


In May 1983, Mötley Crüe had just signed to Elektra Records, but they were in danger of getting dropped before they even released an album on the label. Who saved them? Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, who had an enormous wad of money burning a hole in his pocket.

Even if the thousands of metalheads in attendance were waiting for Van Halen, the Crüe won them over in a 45-minute set that showcased what the band was like at the exact moment they broke out from the Strip. The highlight was the future single “Looks That Kill,” which also served as a self-description for a band very aware of their image. Bassist/songwriter Nikki Sixx, who was just 26 then; despite being over six feet tall in his bare feet, he added several inches with enormous platform boots. Guitarist Mick Mars, who in later years would be a virtual statue onstage because of arthritis and spinal issues, was mobile and aggressive onstage. Vince Neil was a yowling vision of Hollywood hairspray and Kabuki makeup. And drummer Tommy Lee was the engine who ensured the band actually rocked. Less than a year after the US Festival, Shout at the Devil was certified platinum.

  1. Take Me to the Top
  2. Looks That Kill
  3. Bastard
  4. Shout at the Devil
  5. Merry-Go-Round
  6. Knock ’em Dead, Kid
  7. Piece of Your Action
  8. Live Wire
  9. Helter Skelter


By 1983 Ozzy was firing on all cylinders, he had weathered the shock of guitarist Randy Rhoads untimely passing and had found a stable replacement guitar player in Jake E Lee. He had released his first live opus, Speak Of The Devil in November 1982 and was getting a massive amount of media coverage for his off stage antics and feud with Black Sabbath, hammered in the press but adored by fans, he was (and still is) a legend.

The band is a monster, Jake on guitar, Tommy Aldridge on drums, Don Airey on keys and original bass player Bob Daisley making his return to “the family”. He had been brought back to help with the writing of what would become Bark At The Moon and this is his first time playing with Ozzy on American soil.

  1. Over the Mountain
  2. Mr. Crowley
  3. Crazy Train
  4. Suicide Solution
  5. Revelation (Mother Earth)
  6. Steal Away (The Night)
  7. Drum Solo
  8. I Don’t Know
  9. Flying High Again
  10. Fairies Wear Boots
  11. Iron Man
  12. Children of the Grave
  13. Paranoid

So far only a 48 minute version of his performance have surfaced.

20 minutes longer audio version than the video one exists.


Triumph was a staple of the late 70s/early 80s hard rock scene. Their music was loud, driving, power-chord hard rock but not quite heavy metal; their lyrics and arrangements often showed 
tendencies towards quieter, more folksy and acoustic sides.

  1. Too Much Thinking
  2. Allied Forces
  3. Lay It on the Line
  4. Never Surrender
  5. Magic Power
  6. World of Fantasy
  7. Rock & Roll Machine
  8. When the Lights Go Down
  9. Fight the Good Fight


My favourite era by the band … this is the blueprint for heavy metal. At the height of their career, after the success of the album ”Screaming for Vengeance”, they made a inspired and simply amazing performance under the heat of the California sun.

  1. The Hellion
  2. Electric Eye
  3. Riding on the Wind
  4. Heading Out to the Highway
  5. Metal Gods
  6. Breaking the Law
  7. Diamonds & Rust
  8. Victim of Changes
  9. Living After Midnight
  10. The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)
  11. Screaming for Vengeance
  12. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
  13. Hell Bent for Leather


Scorpions who had lost their lead guitar player Uli Jon Roth in the late 70’s, and replaced him with Mathias Jabs had their most successful decade in the 80’s. Albums like Blackout and Love At First Sting were full of anthems like “Blackout”, “No One Like You”, Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Still Loving You”. They were also one of the best live bands of the whole decade, always putting on an excellent show.

Sorry, no complete concert up on YouTube yet.

  1. Blackout
  2. Don’t Make No Promises (Your Body Can’t Keep)
  3. Loving You Sunday Morning
  4. Make It Real
  5. Lovedrive
  6. Coast to Coast
  7. Always Somewhere
  8. No One Like You
  9. Can’t Live Without You
  10. Holiday
  11. Another Piece of Meat
  12. Dynamite
  13. The Zoo
  14. Can’t Get Enough


Van Halen, who were paid a record-setting fee of $1.5 million dollars in order to appear. In fact, the 1984 Guinness Book of World Records had to create a new category — the highest amount paid to an act for a single performance — in order to feature them in the new edition.

The band also made the audience wait three hours before they came out, and David Lee Roth was so wasted he couldn’t remember the words to the band’s songs. According to Wozniak himself, in his memoir Woz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon, Roth was “practically falling down onstage. He was so drunk, slurring and forgetting lyrics and everything.”

  1. Romeo Delight
  2. Unchained
  3. Drum Solo
  4. The Full Bug
  5. Runnin’ With the Devil
  6. Jamie’s Cryin’
  7. So This Is Love?
  8. Little Guitars
  9. Bass Solo
  10. Dancing in the Street
  11. Somebody Get Me a Doctor
  12. Dance the Night Away
  13. Cathedral
  14. Secrets
  15. Everybody Wants Some!!
  16. Ice Cream Man
  17. Intruder
  18. Oh, Pretty Woman
  19. Eruption / Guitar Solo
  20. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
  21. Growth/ Bottoms Up!
  22. You Really Got Me
  23. Happy Trails
  24. You Really Got Me

Check out my 1970/80’s Heavy Metal Playlist on Spotify Here!
It’s recommended that you listen to it with “shuffle” so you don’t
have to listen to the same artist several tracks after each other.