Oxford Plains Speedway Host 1988 Monsters of Rock Festival & almost Faces Riot

monster88tshirtOn June 25th, 1988 in Oxford, Maine, one of the largest metal tours ever was about to play it’s roll in ending large concert permits from being issued in the city. The day was shaped by a crowd of about 45,000 rock fans standing out in humid weather combined with moderate-to-severe thunderstorms. The “patient” fans waited through multiple delays in performances while wading through pond size puddles of water. A lot of concert goers by the time the Scorpions started playing had tried to leave when it started pouring and ended up sitting in the car for two hours or so.  Many rolled down the windows of their vehicles and listened to the Scorpions as they would play for about 2 minutes, lightning would strike, and there would be silence for 10 to 15 minutes before they’d come back. Some who tried to leave were told by local police that there was an accident preventing people from driving out. The next band, Dokken, played toward the rear of the stage hoping this would help them escape the same fate that the crowd had endured. After Dokken’s set, long delays caused by the storm left a frustrated and wet crowd waiting an extremely long time before Metallica hit the stage. The crowd broke out in a “Rain or Shine, Rain or Shine” chant. It was at this time that concert staff tried to “calm the situation” in a way that was taunting and came off as condescending. This resulted in the crowd becoming angry with aggression. They began breaking chunks of asphalt from the ground  and throwing it at the tour officials as well as the equipment on stage. By the time  Metallica’s set started, the crowd was soaked and freezing. People could be seen setting pizza boxes on fire to warm up. Shortly after their set, all the lights went out and the thousand or so people left waited in the cold before Van Halen
finally made it onto the stage.  Sammy Hagar took the mic and stated that he “feels really bad” and that they would “play as long as there were people still standing”. Many who attended stated that the show was the muddiest show they had been to with the exception of Woodstock 94. With all the issues that went down that day, this is a concert that left anyone who attended with loads of great stories.


(Click to view some newspaper clippings in regards to the aftermath of this concert as well as the Grateful Dead concert that followed)

The sets for this concert:

  1. Shout It Out
  2. Living Out of Touch
  3. Pushin’ Hard
  4. What Love Can Be
  5. Get It On
  6. The Shuffle
  • Scorpions
  1. Blackout
  2. Big City Nights
  3. Every Minute Every Day
  4. Rhythm of Love
  5. Bad Boys Running Wild
  6. Coast to Coast
  7. Still Loving You
  8. Make It Real
  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
  • Dokken
  1. Without Warning
  2. Tooth and Nail
  3. Just Got Lucky
  4. Burning Like a Flame
  5. Dream Warriors
  6. Standing in the Shadows
  7. Heaven Sent
  8. Mr. Scary
  9. It’s Not Love
  10. Alone Again
  11. Into the Fire
  • Metallica
  1. The Ecstasy of Gold
    (Ennio Morricone song)
  2. Creeping Death
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
  5. Whiplash
  6. Fade to Black
  7. Seek & Destroy
  8. Master of Puppets
  9. Last Caress
    (Misfits cover)
  10. Am I Evil?
    (Diamond Head cover)
  11. Battery
  •   Van Halen 
  1. A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)
  2. There’s Only One Way to Rock
    (Sammy Hagar song)
  3. Panama
  4. Runnin’ With the Devil
  5. Mine All Mine
  6. You Really Got Me
    (The Kinks cover)
  7. Sucker in a 3 Piece
  8. When It’s Love
  9. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
  10. Best of Both Worlds
  11. Black and Blue
  12. A Apolitical Blues
    (Little Feat cover)
  13. Rock and Roll
    (Led Zeppelin cover)

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