Re-issue: Roadrunner United - The Concert, The Booze and The Big Apple
Recently the news arrived that Roadrunner is finally releasing the DVD of the Roadrunner United concert that took place on December 15th 2005. The show featured tons of (ex) Roadrunner musicians playing in different line-ups and playing songs of the entire Roadrunner history. I won the prize to visit the concert and afterwards I wrote a report for the Roadrunner site which isn't online anymore. At that time I wasn't writing for Metalrage yet, so it hasn't been posted here before. Because of the news of the DVD I thought it would be a good occasion to bring up some memories with this report, written several days after the event. Enjoy!
I was the lucky bastard who won the prize to go on a trip of three days to see the Roadrunner United show in New York. I got to take a friend with me and together we’ve had the most amazing three days of our lives. We saw many incredible buildings, managed to totally waste ourselves with all the free booze and visited the greatest concert of all time. Read all about our trip and I hope you won’t get too jealous!
Our plane to NY left around 11 AM, we were at Schiphol airport around 8 AM and after endless waiting at the check-in we decided we should get some booze since we knew we weren’t allowed to drink ANY alcohol in the US. That was unacceptable for us so we bought a huge, nice bottle of tequila gold, without paying any taxes. Happy as we were with our little golden friend we jumped into the plane, where we almost ate ourselves to death on pizza because the stewardess seemed to like us. Together with the tequila we had a smooth flight.
We arrived at JFK
We arrived at JFK
International Airport at 2 PM and
together with two Roadrunner staff
members we grabbed a cab to our
hotel. When we arrived there we
dumped our baggage and went to
explore the city which pretty
quickly ended up in drinking some
beers at the Hard Rock Café.
Because of the recommendations
of Chimaira a week before at the
Tivoli we tried a Bud Light, with
which the barman remarkably
hadn’t any problem to sell despite
he was aware of our age, to
experience that it really sucked.
After a few heavier drinks we faced
the cold again and visited some
amazing buildings. We went to bed early that night because we were exhausted of our journey and impressions. Besides that, we had a big day waiting for us.
This was the day that it was all going to happen; the big Roadrunner United show. The pre-party would begin at 6 PM so we had a lot of time to do some sightseeing this day. We visited the Empire State Building where we had an amazing view over New York, we went to Ground Zero and saw the Statue of Liberty. After our super size menu at the McDonalds we went to the Nokia Theatre were we waited a nerve wrecking half hour for our tickets to the pre-party and the concert.
Once we were in the Nokia Theatre we walked through a mass of famous metal artists, which was really exciting but we decided that we first should get a wristband, with which you would prove that you’re 21 or over of age at the bar. With our second attempt we managed to get the wristbands and we started drinking all kind of boozes: Heineken, Jack Daniels, Jagermeister, you name it and we did it. All drinks were free and unlimited so we definitely were enjoying ourselves. Meanwhile we met and talked to many famous artists like Dave McClain, Corey Taylor, Howard Jones, Glen Benton and I could go on and on; we even had a chat with Monte Connor, it was unbelievable. Unfortunately none of the team captains were present at the pre-party.
After this great experience, the concert kicked off with Evan Seinfeld and Billy Graziadei with their Biohazard song “Punishment”. They played this song with Dino Cazares, Joey Jordison, Adam Duce and Andreas Kisser who, together with Paul Gray, primarily formed the house band this night.
The sound at the Nokia Theatre was less than I expected; I expected it to be all perfect and the best sound I’d ever heard, but it couldn’t live up to my expectations. The sound wasn’t bad or ruining the concert but it’s just that I’ve heard a better sound quality at some Dutch venues.
What I found noticeable was that I didn’t see one circle pit the entire night and none of the artists persuaded the audience to start one, while this almost always happens at shows in the Netherlands when an American band plays. At the beginning of the show, there wasn’t really a big moshpit either, maybe that was because there were a lot of young kids who weren’t really into the old classics like Obituary's “The End Complete” or King Diamond’s “Abigail”. The first eight songs were almost all older songs from bands with a long history like Deicide, Mercyful Fate and Annihilator. When Trivium’s “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr” was pulled off with Robert Flynn doing the vocals, people seemed to enjoy it more and a lot of high kicks flew around, ‘violent dancing’ I believe it’s called, which I don’t prefer over a regular mosh- or circlepit.
Only four of the songs of the total of 24 songs played this night were from the Roadrunner United All Star Sessions, which were “Tired and Lonely”, “The Rich Man”, “The Dagger” and “The End”. Although there are great songs on The All Star Sessions I think it was a good choice to mainly play classic songs, because the audience heard them more often and it’s just fantastic to see these classic songs being played by all these great artists who normally don’t play together. That’s why I really enjoyed every song of the night, it was a fantastic unique event. The songs that I especially liked were “My Last Serenade”, because both former and present Killswitch vocalists Jesse Leach and Howard Jones were singing it and “Replica” with Dino Cazares on rhythm guitar, because he hasn’t played that live since a long time. Also the solo of Jeff Waters on “The Dagger” was amazing, in fact the entire show was really amazing because on each song the combination of artists was so unique.
With “Roots Bloody Roots” the show was ended in style with a big bang, where there were like 12 artists at the same time on stage. A great song ended a great concert, it just couldn’t be better.
Although we woke up with the alcohol still in our blood we did manage to be on time for the breakfast, but we skipped the donuts and muffins this time. Around 3 PM we had to take the cab to the airport so that left us some more time do to some last sightseeing. We bought a couple of DVDs and CDs at Virgin, which is an awesome record store. Then we settled down at Central Park where we in all calm could think of all the insane things that happened the night before.
After we took a glimpse at the Rockefeller Centre and its giant Christmas tree we rushed to the airport. We arrived a bit late at the gate where a staff member told us that all economy class seats were taken, which meant that we would be flying business class! Directly after we sat down we were offered some champagne and we had a five-course dinner and of course again free and unlimited drinks! We still don’t understand how we could be so lucky. Anyway, after our relaxing flight we went home with a beautiful memory and a shitload of awesome photos. The only thing left to say is a big thanks to Roadrunner for making this possible, especially Bas Bloemendaal and Tibor Kuijs, we’ve had an amazing time!