Tuesday, December 3, 2013

US Festival DVD Available Today

I remember this event being a big "Meh." back in the day. It didn't look anywhere near as fun as the footage from Woodstock. Was it just me, or did the US Festival look like it was a Hodge-Podge of artists, slapped together in some semblance of a festival and presented on the unforgiving heat of a concrete parking lot.

Sure it was packed; every band under the sun was there (pun intended), but it looked miserable. And in some cases, it sounded miserable too. The most defining moment of the US Festival was the reality that metal had become an economic juggernaut that would last until Nirvana made the entire genre irrelevant a decade later.

But there were other acts present too, and now you can relive those halcyon days of Southern California decadence with a brief collection of the US Festival, featuring artists that agreed to allow their copyrights clear for this last ditch effort to market the event to the dwindling few that viewed it as the first real attempt at a star-studded concert since a ton of stinking hippies broke into Max Yasgur's farm and ate a bunch of bad hallucinogens.

The best thing about the US Festival was the fact that it was free of Wavy Gravy.

And no, that's no a typo in the track listings. Fucking Triumph gets four songs in this goddamn package.

The poop:

The US Festival (US is an acronym for "Unite Us In Song") held on Memorial Day of 1983 was a massive three-day celebration of music and culture sponsored by Steve Wozniak, formerly of Apple Computer. Wozniak financed the entire thing himself (approx. 10 million dollars), and his motivation quoted as "to throw a big party in the middle of nowhere" is quite an understatement. This festival was a follow up to 1982 Labor Day inaugural Us Festival events.

The festivals were intended to be the celebration of evolving technologies; a marriage of music, computers, television and people.

 Us Festival 1983: Days 1 - 3 includes the 3 days of New Wave, Heavy Metal and Rock in 1983 with performances from U2, the Clash, Judas Priest, Stevie Nicks, Scorpions, INXS, Men at Work, Stray Cats, Triumph, Missing Persons and more.

This includes the legendary U2 performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Clash's final performance with Mick Jones, a seminal performance for INXS in the US, and many other landmark moments in music history. It is estimated that over 670,000 fans attended.

The festivals included large air-conditioned tents featuring the US Festival Technology Exposition a dazzling display of then-cutting edge computers, software, and electronic music devices. Also making a debut were installations of "out-door rain", perforated pvc nozzles that sprayed water to fight the fierce hundred-degree heat.

The US Festival interest remains strong 30 years later in pop culture with mentions in The Simpsons, Malcom In The Middle, Dharma & Greg and other popular TV shows. US Festival 1983 is produced by Icon Television Music, Inc. and Unuson Corporation with the cooperation of Steve Wozniak. This is the only Unuson sanctioned official release of US Festival 1983 at iTunes and on DVD.

US Festival 1983 is directed by award winning filmmaker and music biographer Glenn Aveni and includes insight from Mark Goodman, one of the original VJ's that covered the Us Festival in 1983 for the newly launched MTV Channel.

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

No comments: