Monsters of Rock Tour 1988

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Monsters of Rock Tour 1988
Tour by Van Halen and Metallica
Start dateMay 23, 1988
End dateJuly 30, 1988
No. of shows30
Van Halen and Metallica concert chronology

The Monsters of Rock Tour 1988 was a festival tour co-headlined by Van Halen and The Scorpions. Opening bands included Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come. It formed the first section of Van Halen 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.

Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come were promoting their then-current albums OU812, Savage Amusement, Back for the Attack and Kingdom Come respectively. Metallica did not release their next album ...And Justice for All until four-and-a-half weeks after the closing of Monsters of Rock, although one of its tracks "Harvester of Sorrow" was showcased throughout the tour.

Tour bill[edit]

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


At the opening night of the tour at Alpine Valley the sound quality during Dokken's set was poor and as a result the band was booed heavily by attendees. A lighting rig fell during the Scorpions' set, and Sammy Hagar fell off the stage. 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. Attendants came out and threatened to close down the venue. The scene then calmed down and the show finished without further problem.

In San Francisco's Candlestick Park a stadium-wide food fight took place.

In Tampa, another 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. Police around the perimeter of the field were being hit with bottles and garbage and eventually had to leave the stadium. The front field was so tightly packed with fans people began to pass out due to the heat and had to be carried to the front of the crowd and pushed over the rails to safety. Staff began spraying the crowd at foot of the stage with firehoses to cool them. Dokken again encountered problems with the wireless PA system, as 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, yet another food fight occurred between the lower and upper levels of Arrowhead stadium.

The Maine show was plagued by late afternoon thunderstorms which forced Dokken to play toward the rear of the stage to escape the downpour and lightning. The storms caused another long delay after Dokken's set, during which the crowd started chanting "Rain or Shine, Rain or Shine". As the crowd became agitated, they were finally apprised of the situation by a stage announcement. However, the person making the announcement appeared arrogant and condescending, taunting the audience with statements including "what?, do you think you're going to get your money back?" At this point the crowd started throwing chunks of broken asphalt collected from the grounds at the stage, nearly resulting in a riot.

In New Jersey, a toilet was ripped from a restroom wall causing a small flood on one side of the stadium. Between the Dokken Scorpions sets, fans stole a case of frozen hot dogs from a concession stand and threw them into the audience. There was another large food fight due to fan impatience with the extremely long wait between the Scorpions and Van Halen sets. People from the upper decks threw food, beverages and trash over the railing. At the same time, approximately one hundred fans jumped the wall and rushed onto the main field which led to cheers erupting through the stadium.

In Washington, D.C. the crowd started tearing out seats at RFK and lit a huge bonfire in the middle of the field which led to a concert suspension until the fire was extinguished and the concert resumed surprisingly.

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

In Dallas, Van Halen's set was cut short by vocalist Sammy Hagar's voice problems. During the show a water/cup fight broke out 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. Hagar promised Van Halen would return to Dallas and play a free show due to the brevity of the concert. The band eventually played the free show on December 4, 1991 at Dallas Alley.

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. Despite these setbacks the show continued as scheduled.

In Seattle the Scorpions' singer Klaus Meine was hit in the throat by a camera thrown out of the audience. He became angry and ranted at the audience about respecting the bands on stage, then they played one more song and left the stage 3/4 through their full set.

Dave Grohl attended the June 10 show in Washington, D.C.. "I was a cynical pothead," he recalled in 2008. "Like, 'This is stupid. This place is so big.' It made no sense. But now I guess it does."[2]


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 In The Shadows
  10. Alone Again
  11. Turn On The Action
  12. In My Dreams

Typical Metallica Setlist

  1. Creeping Death
  2. For Whom The Bell Tolls
  3. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
  4. Harvester Of Sorrow
  5. Whiplash
  6. Fade To Black
  7. Seek & Destroy
  8. Master Of Puppets
  9. Last Caress
  10. Am I Evil?
  11. Battery

Tour dates[edit]

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


  1. ^ "15 Heavy-metal fans arrested". The Bulletin. July 25, 1988.
  2. ^ Cameron, Keith (June 2008). "Let me entertain you…". Q #263. p. 82.

External links[edit]