Monsters of Rock Tour 1988

Main article: Monsters of Rock
Monsters of Rock Tour 1988
Tour by Van Halen and Metallica
Start date May 23, 1988
End date July 30, 1988
Legs 1
No. of shows 30
Van Halen and Metallica concert chronology

The Monsters of Rock Tour 1988 was a festival tour of the United States in 1988, headlined by hard rock band Van Halen as part of their promotion for their OU812 album. The Scorpions were a co-headliner. Opening bands included Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come. It formed the first section of the OU812 Tour, the main part of which followed immediately after Monsters of Rock 1988. As one of the many well known Monsters of Rock tours, the tour featured an impressive line-up, especially for a single day event, and proved very popular.

Being a large scale event with multiple acts, there was a long gap between many dates when the bands' gear was transported and set up.

Tour bill

Members of Van Halen, and Metallica back stage during the Monsters of Rock Tour, 1988.

The opening night of the tour in Alpine Valley was not without incident. The band Dokken had terrible sound and was subsequently booed for a lengthy amount of their set. The amphitheater at Alpine Valley had been recently sodded and before the Scorpions took the stage, fans had become impatient and started hurling chunks of the freshly laid sod into the air. It truly looked like a massive sod fight. Attendants came out and threatened to close down the venue. The scene calmed down and the showed was finished to thunderous applause.

In San Francisco's Candlestick Park a stadium-wide food fight took place aimed solely at the upper deck. Unfortunately each band played only five minutes longer than the band before them. Kingdom Come played for only 15 minutes, and the show closed with Van Halen playing only 35 minutes. This was after Van Halen held a press conference at Universal Studios, while seated in front of a giant robotic King Kong – Eddie Van Halen stated “Five bands will be playing full sets”.

In Tampa, a stadium-wide food fight took place. The show was general admission and the food fight took place between the concertgoers in the stadium stands and those on the field. Dokken also had issues with their PA system, it was broadcasting on the same frequency as Tampa International Airport's tower.

In Memphis, another food fight occurred between the audience in the stands and those on the field. Van Halen cut their set extremely short after Sammy Hagar's equipment malfunctioned. He called out to his guitar tech during the final song, "My axe be cutting out on me, Zeke." The concert was introduced by hostess Martha Quinn of MTV.

In Kansas City, the food fight continued between the lower and upper levels of Arrowhead stadium.

In Maine, the day was plagued by late afternoon moderate-to-severe thunderstorms & a near riot during a lengthy delay. The severe storm had the band Dokken playing toward the rear of the stage in an effort to try & escape the torrential downpour / lightning. The storms themselves caused a long delay post-Dokken's set, at during which the crowd started chanting "Rain or Shine, Rain or Shine". As the crowd was getting more & more agitated from the delay, the crowd was finally appraised of the situation (by a roadie or tour manager) however, the information was delivered in a very ill-advised way; arrogant, condescending, & taunting in nature to the point of the official saying "what?, do you think you're going to get your money back?" At this point the crowd started heaving chunks of the broken asphalt (which was the surface people were standing on) at the tour official, as well as the equipment on stage & the situation nearly devolved into a full-blown riot.

In New Jersey, there was also a large food fight due to people getting fed up with the extremely long wait between the Scorpions and Van Halen's set. People from the upper decks threw food, drink and trash over the railing. At the same time, about one hundred or so people jumped the wall and rushed onto the main field which led to cheers erupting through the stadium.

In Los Angeles, the power was shut off during Metallica's set because fans were aggressively rushing the stage. The members of Metallica sat on the drum riser and watched. After a short break, Metallica resumed their set. Fifteen people were arrested.[1]

Metallica's following act Dokken would come over severe ridicule from the thrash metalheads in the crowd for not matching Metallica's intensity.[2]

In Dallas, Van Halen's set was cut short by vocalist Sammy Hagar's voice problems. He promised that Van Halen would return to Dallas and play a free show. Van Halen made good on the promise three years later on December 4, 1991 when they played a free concert at Dallas Alley, a gentrified area on the northwest side of downtown Dallas where free concerts were often hosted to boost traffic for restaurants and stores in the adjacent collection of shops. This show also had a water/cup fight between the field and the stands at either end of a concession stand that was along the sidelines on the west side of the stadium.

The Houston show also had a trash/food/water fight between the field and the stands. There was also a venue issue where a barrier broke and at least one person fell to a lower level of stands landing on lower seats. EMS was forced to eject several people. The show continue as scheduled.

In Seattle the Scorpions lead singer Klaus Meine was hit in the throat by a camera thrown out of the audience. He ranted about having respect for the bands on stage for about 5 minutes, then they did one more song and left the stage. This was about 3/4 in to their full set.

While at Alpine Valley a lighting rig fell during the Scorpions set, and Sammy Hagar fell off the stage.


Typical Van Halen Setlist

  1. A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)
  2. Summer Nights
  3. There's Only One Way To Rock
  4. Panama
  5. Bass Solo
  6. Runnin With the Devil
  7. Why Can't This Be Love
  8. Mine All Mine
  9. Drum Solo
  10. You Really Got Me
  11. Sucker In A 3 Piece
  12. When It's Love
  13. Eagles Fly
  14. I Can't Drive 55
  15. Best Of Both Worlds
  16. Guitar Solo
  17. Black And Blue
  18. Ain't Talkin Bout Love
  19. Superstition
  20. Rock And Roll

Typical Scorpions Setlist

  1. Blackout
  2. Big City Nights
  3. Every Minute Every Day
  4. Rhythm Of Love
  5. Bad Boys Running Wild
  6. Make It Real
  7. Coast To Coast
  8. Still Loving You
  9. Don't Stop At The Top
  10. Can't Live Without You
  11. Coming Home
  12. The Zoo
  13. No One Like You
  14. Rock You Like A Hurricane
  15. Dynamite

Typical Dokken Setlist

  1. Tooth And Nail
  2. Just Got Lucky
  3. Burning Like A Flame
  4. Into The Fire
  5. Heaven Sent
  6. It's Not Love
  7. Guitar Solo
  8. Mr. Scary
  9. Standing At The Shadows
  10. Alone Again
  11. Turn On The Action
  12. In My Dreams

Tour dates

Date City Country Venue
May 27, 1988 East Troy, Wisconsin United States Alpine Valley Music Theatre
May 28, 1988
May 29, 1988
June 4, 1988 Miami, Florida Orange Bowl
June 5, 1988 Tampa, Florida Tampa Stadium
June 10, 1988 Washington, D.C. RFK Stadium
June 11, 1988 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania John F. Kennedy Stadium
June 12, 1988 Foxborough, Massachusetts Sullivan Stadium
June 15, 1988 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Three Rivers Stadium
June 17, 1988 Pontiac, Michigan Pontiac Silverdome
June 18, 1988
June 19, 1988 Orchard Park, New York Rich Stadium
June 22, 1988 Akron, Ohio Rubber Bowl
June 23, 1988
June 25, 1988 Oxford, Maine Oxford Plains Speedway
June 26, 1988 East Rutherford, New Jersey Giants Stadium
June 27, 1988
July 2, 1988 Houston, Texas Rice Stadium
July 3, 1988 Dallas, Texas Cotton Bowl
July 6, 1988 Indianapolis, Indiana Hoosier Dome
July 9, 1988 Memphis, Tennessee Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
July 10, 1988 Kansas City, Missouri Arrowhead Stadium
July 13, 1988 Minneapolis, Minnesota Metrodome
July 17, 1988 San Francisco, California Candlestick Park
July 20, 1988 Spokane, Washington Joe Albi Stadium
July 24, 1988 Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
July 27, 1988 Seattle, Washington Kingdome
July 30, 1988 Denver, Colorado Mile High Stadium


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