Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s Bram and Zach take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
For anyone that grew up in the Philadelphia area, The Spectrum was a part of their lives. Home to the Sixers and Flyers and countless concerts, there were thousands of shows there from when it opened in 1967 until last year, when Pearl Jam played the last concert there. Demolition was started on the venue yesterday, and from the looks of the clip above, won’t be completed for a few more years (love the fans booing – so Philly!). Since Bram and Zach both hail from South Jersey/Philly, instead of brawling, they’ll talk about some of the most memorable shows they’ve seen there.
Bram: The Spectrum. Wow. I’ve seen countless shows there over the course of its existence: Iron Maiden, Van Halen (well, Van Hagar), Pantera, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Judas Priest, and that’s just to name a few. I guess one of the most memorable shows I saw there was the first arena metal show I ever saw as a kid: Ratt with Bon Jovi opening. And this isn’t necessarily a show memory, but I’m actually in a video! I was there for the taping of Whitesnake’s “Now You’re Gone,” which was done during the day before their show. Also, the video for AC/DC’s “Money Talks” (which I’m not in) was also shot there. How about you Zach? What are your favorite memories?
Zach: I to have seen my fair share of shows at the Spectrum. However, stands outs for me include seeing Motley Crue during their Carnival Of Sins reunion tour and (what still is one of my favorite concerts of all time) System Of A Down, both in 2005. But in addition to seeing a lot of great concerts, the crap load of Phantom hockey games and WWE/WCW wrestling shows are also personal highlights from the Spectrum for me.
Sure, the sound wasn’t spectacular at the Spectrum, and you could easily find yourself in the crappiest of seats. But the Spectrum is the only venue I can say I saw both Ozzy Osbourne with opener Rob Zombie and Tina Turner play at within the same year (that’s right, I saw Tina Turner with my parents for my mom’s birthday. Can you say “best son ever?!”).
B: Tina Turner? Come on. Then again, I guess the closest I’ve ever had to a gay experience was when I wound up backstage there at a meet and greet for an R.E.M. show. Michael Stipe told me that Bram was a “really cool name” while staring at me intently. But I have tons of good memories, too. I also saw Ozzy there, and actually met him as well (having a job in the music industry has its perks, Michael Stipe notwithstanding). From seeing Dr. J play there with the Sixers in the ’83 playoffs to standing onstage next to Ice Cube watching Korn play on the Family Values tour, a lot of my childhood and teenage memories took place at the Spectrum. At the end of the day, it’s just an outdated venue to most, but I’ll miss the hell out of it, and I can’t think of a better sendoff than Philly sports fans booing the pathetic-looking wrecking ball.
Z: Ha, well not many people can say they got hit on by Michael Stipe, let alone at the Spectrum. If I may say, you should’ve taken up on the opportunity and become the ultimate alt rock gold digger. And go ahead, crap on me for seeing Tina Turner (a legend, mind you), but I’d be lying if I said it was a great show. The only bizarre thing from the night was seeing Turner dressed up as her character from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome while singing “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” I know what you’re saying, “really Zach? That was the only bizarre thing?”
But very true Bram, this was a great send off for the Spectrum. It’s only fitting that the same fans who pelted Santa with snow balls boo the pathetic wrecking job. I may originally be from South Jersey (which might as well be merged with Philadelphia), but I’ll always have Philly pride. And part of the reason for this is because of the great memories I have from the Spectrum.
Click the jump for a slightly more badass version of the demolition.