Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #9: Pantera fans riot at Mammoth Event Center

Backbeat is counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today: A look back at when Pantera played at Mammoth Events Center in the mid '90s and fans took their fury out on the venue.

072612_pantera-001.jpg

See Also:
- Vinnie Paul on Rebel Meets Rebel
- Losing Dimebag Darrell was never part of the Damageplan
- #10: Nirvana's first post-Nevermind show here, 1991
- #11: Bob Dylan crashed in the Mile High City, 1960
- 20 Fabled moments archive

You know the situation's serious when concertgoers are ripping out urinals from the walls. That's what happened at a Pantera gig in 1997, when a packed venue of kids got restless and the result was a pissy waterworld in the men's room, broken barricades and a near-catastrophe on stage. Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo possessed an angry charisma that fueled the band's uncompromising sound, which was nihilistic and brutal, and the group had an incendiary live show to match, as evidenced by Pantera's January 30, 1997 show at the Mammoth Events Center (now the Fillmore Auditorium).


More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #10: Nirvana's first post-Nevermind show here, 1991

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when Nirvana came back to town for a show at the Gothic Theatre with Dinosaur Jr., fresh off of recording Nevermind.

061812_nirv.jpg
When the members of Nirvana left an L.A. studio in June of 1991 and came to the Gothic fresh off of having just wrapped up recording Nevermind, an album that would usher out the hair metal era and formally introduce the world to alt rock, they may not have had any idea of what they were about to do for pop music. This was the summer before "Smells Like Teen Spirit" broke, and Nirvana was a lauded but still relatively unknown act when it returned to Denver for a show at the Gothic with Jesus Lizard and Dinosaur Jr..

This was the first show after the Nevermind recording sessions. Kurt Cobain, Chris Novoselic and Dave Grohl had just been in L.A.'s Sound City Studios -- the same studio where Fleetwood Mac mixed Rumours -- for two months recording their landmark album. Recording went slowly, though the band worked eight to ten hours a day laying down tracks.

More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #11: Bob Dylan crashed in the Mile High City, 1960

061412_dylan63-001.jpg
Bob Dylan circa 1963, a few years after he hung his hat in Denver.

Did you know Bob Dylan once spent a summer in Denver as a then-unknown teenager with a fake accent, sleeping on a floors and gigging at the Satire Lounge? He was nineteen at the time. It was just a year after the young Robert Zimmerman adopted his iconic stage moniker and around the time he'd discovered folk music, Woody Guthrie and the travails and romance of hobo life. There was also the obvious Kerouac mystique. Dylan, enamored of this, yearned to shed his small-town Minnesota persona and embody a new one. What better way to do this than to hitchhike out West carrying only a guitar and a suitcase?

More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #12: Denver's "Red Elvis" comes home, 1985

061212_dreed-001.jpg
Rainer Mittelstädt
Dean Reed in Germany in 1978.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when Dean Reed (aka "Red Elvis") came back to Denver and didn't receive the warmest of welcomes.

Dean Reed was more than a Denver-born, Wheat Ridge-bred pop star. He was the self-proclaimed Red Elvis, a communist to the core whose ideals and good looks brought him more fans in the Eastern bloc than it did enemies back in the States. When he returned to Denver in 1985 after a 23-year exile, Reed appeared on a local radio show, finding a hostile audience at home and getting booted off the air. Reed was dead just a year later, thus cementing his rock-star odyssey as one of the strangest in Colorado (if not American) history.

More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music, #13: Ray Charles causes a ruckus at Red Rocks, 1962

060612_ray-charles_big-001.jpg

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when a Ray Charles concert at Red Rocks in 1962 turned into a beer-can-tossing melee.

With the passage of time, our heroes become more heroic, if docile. Exhibit A: Ray Charles. Long before he was the avuncular old gentle genius of showbiz, Charles was a touring pianist and singer playing gigs and packing venues. On one such night in 1962, a drunken mob nearly destroyed Red Rocks over the star's reportedly half-assed performance and chased his band off the stage.

More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #14: Marc Cohn gets shot in downtown Denver, 2005

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when Grammy winner Marc Cohn got shot in the head in downtown Denver during a car-jacking attempt gone awry.

060412_cohn-002.jpg
Marc Cohn might be a superhero. At least that's what you might gather from an incident he survived in Denver in 2005 in which he was shot in in the head and managed to walk out of the hospital just a day later. While winning a Grammy in 1991 as Best New Artist is a testament to his songwriting, this traumatic experience and the fact that he survived it and returned to making touring and making music is a testament to his tenacity as an individual.

More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #15: Grateful Dead's first time at Red Rocks in 1978

053112_gd_walton-001.jpg
Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Bill Walton at Red Rocks with their sons July 1978.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at the first time the Grateful Dead played at Red Rocks in 1978.

The origins of Colorado's jam band "scene" are pretty nebulous, but July 7, 1978, is probably as close to a date as you're going to find pinpointing its genesis, for that's the first time the Grateful Dead played Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and, by all accounts, it was a barn burner of a performance. Words like "legendary" and "monumental" are thrown around on internet discussion boards describing the first of a two-night stand in Morrison.

More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #16: Radiohead's gear gets jacked in 1995

053012_radiohead-002.jpg
Here's the ad that ran in Westword for the Wednesday, October 4, 1995, show, which was originally slated to take place at the Mammoth Events Center.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at the time when Radiohead had all of its gear stolen outside the Rockmada before a 1995 show at the Ogden Theatre.

Okay, so it's bad enough that Radiohead was Soul Asylum's opening act on its fall tour in 1995 -- perhaps the most upside-down bill since Hendrix opened for the Monkees in 1967 -- but, to add insult to annoyance, Radiohead's instruments were stolen the night before they played the Ogden that October. No trace of the band's gear has shown up since.

More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #17: Einsturzende Neubauten play '86 junkyard show

052512_en-02.jpg
Einstürzende Neubauten setting up for its junkyard performance in 1986.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at Einstürzende Neubauten's 1986 show in a Commerce City junkyard.

Fabled Berlin industrial rock act Einstürzende Neubauten played perhaps one of the strangest shows in Denver's history. That's a big claim, but considering the circumstances -- the secret gig in a junkyard, the painted animal bones, the flaming oil drums -- this spectacle was one that has not been easily eclipsed in the 26 years since it happened.

See Also:
#20: Beatlemania at Red Rocks
#19: Michael Jackson's secretive stay in Denver
#18: Black Flag at the Rainbow Music Hall 1984


More »

Twenty fabled moments in Denver music, #18: Black Flag at the Rainbow Music Hall 1984

052312_nh-02.jpg
The Nig-Heist on stage at the Rainbow Music Hall in 1984.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at Black Flag's 1984 show at the Rainbow Music Hall that ended with members of the opening act being arrested.

You may have heard about this one; it was notorious enough to merit a mention in Get In the Van,the 1994 memoir penned by Henry Rollins about life on the road with Black Flag: On April 25, 1984 at the Rainbow Music Hall, Nig-Heist, Black Flag's opening act, led by the band's iconic roadie Steve "Mugger" Corbin, played a, uh, stripped-down set that landed Corbin and Tom Trocolli in a Denver jail cell after the set. Almost three decades later, feelings over the whole incident are still a little raw for Corbin.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...