DVD review: U.S. Festival 1983 Days 1-3

US Festival 1983 Days 1-3

Wienerworld [Release date 27.01.14]

It’s weird how when you look back at this footage, just how young everyone looks, yet when you look in the mirror that same youthful young man looks back at you (well, maybe not).

The U.S. Festivals were two early 1980s music and culture festivals sponsored by Steve Wozniak, formerly of Apple.  The first was held Labor Day weekend in September 1982 and the second was Memorial Day weekend in May 1983.

This DVD delves into the archive footage of the latter event, digitally re-masters and restores it and captures the highlights that include The Clash’s final performance with Mick Jones and U2 performing Sunday Bloody Sunday as part of a global 3 day event attended 2 million, yes 2 million fans.  The story is told principally by Wozniak and VJ Mark Goodman (which, frankly, involves an uncomfortable amount of self-congratulation).

The highlight is undoubtedly a young mullet attired Bono, scaling the 50 foot stage gantry and belting out The Electric Co without so much as a downward glance.  Along with Sunday Bloody Sunday it’s a wow moment.  But guess what, it’s broken up by Goodman’s talking head.  A travesty.

Stevie Nicks is also captured at the height of her solo performance powers and her appearance is equally prematurely curtailed.  But despite the ‘re-mastered and restored’ claims the footage simply bolts together 3 made for TV programmes (complete with credits) without so much as a nod towards widescreen.

Yes, there’s some great performances, but this DVD has been put together on the cheap.  At best it’s of historical interest – a period of mullets, when Bono hadn’t discovered shades, when breasts jiggled naturally, and when The Edge and Rob Halford weren’t follically challenged.  And it’s nice to see some rare footage of Quarterflash (whatever happened to Rindy Ross?) but the diversity of talent on offer gets cut far too short.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley



On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)



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