Metallica in Moscow, 1991: How was it?

What did the Monsters of Rock put on in Tushino in 1991? This article is about the first international rock festival in the history of Soviet Russia.

Metallica's performance at the Monsters of Rock Festival in Moscow in 1991: famous songs, the setting, and recollections of the participants

The music world knows many festivalsthat left a huge mark on history. The legendary Woodstock, Monterey and Live Aid will forever be remembered by music fans. However, all of these events went unnoticed in Soviet Russia, which for ideological reasons did not organize festivals.

In spite of this, underground culture, without which it is impossible to imagine a relatively "free" 1980s. The political easing had a favorable effect on the musical sphere as well: local rock clubs appeared, bands from which toured successfully, and the idea of creating their own rock festival began to creep in. The dream, as Yuri Antonov sang, is coming true, and in 1989 The Soviet public had the privilege of seeing the first international rock event with its own eyes, Moscow Music Peace FestivalThe event was attended by such famous artists as Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Bon Jovi and others.

Moscow Music Peace Festival
Moscow Music Peace Festival

But the Russian rockers didn't stop there. В 1991 Almost immediately after the upheaval of the August coup in the Tushino district of Moscow, a festival with the frightening title "Monsters of Rock".

"Monsters of Rock" - a festival that forever imprinted itself in the minds of domestic audiences

In September 1991 A landmark event in the history of Russian music occurred: the dialogue of cultures went so far that rock stars came to the Russian capital to play the world's greatest hits. Among the foreign guests at Tushino Airfield were AC/DC, Black Crowes, Pantera, and, of course, Metallica. The bands, which by the beginning of the 90s were already considered the best hard rock bands of the time, agreed to go to the USSR and play for the Soviet audience! This meant one thing: "Iron Curtain fall.

Monsters of Rock festival audience
Monsters of Rock festival audience

The grandiose performance in Tushino was the final one in the tour of the international festival «Monsters of Rock".

The festival organizers talked about the idea of holding a concert in Moscow: "Time Warner wanted to give the Soviet youth who had defended freedom and democracy a real holiday... The result was the Monsters of Rock.

Unfortunately, no one believed that "Monsters of Rock" will be a running festival. When coordinating the site, the capital's authorities were counting on a very modest amount The audience, so they didn't hesitate long to give the go-ahead for such an event.

Police at the Monsters of Rock Festival
Police at the Monsters of Rock Festival

As Boris Zosimov, one of the organizers of the project, recalled: "Almost everyone laughed at me, no one thought such a large audience would come. The actor Yuri Nikulin stood up for us when we talked to the deputy mayor of the capital, Yuri Luzhkov. He asked for permission to let the young people have fun, and I claimed there would definitely be more than 100,000 people coming!"

Literally in less than a month A large wall was built at the Tushino airfield, which became a music venue for guest performances, tons of high-quality equipment was brought to Moscow, and entry visas were quickly obtained for visiting musicians. It is interesting that usually the preparation of the same kind of festival «Monsters of Rock" In Europe, it took about six months.

Metallica enters the arena... 

A show of fire MetallicaAccording to most visitors to the festival, it was the best thing about the evening of September 28, 1991. What was so special about it? Surprisingly, as it turned out, nobody believed that such a popular band could come to the USSR at all. Fans were also amazed at the kind of sound presented Metallica to the fans. The high quality sound of the American metallers impressed people so much that they were in ecstasy.

"Metallica was the coolest, in my opinion. It was so cool, only good things come to mind..." recalls one of the visitors to the Monsters of Rock festival.

Metallica members themselves have repeatedly said that the concert in Moscow in 1991 was one of the best in the band's history. Then at the Tushino airfield they showed their new material from the Metallica album, which would later become one of the most popular records of the 90s. The Americans performed their hits: "Enter Sandman.", Seek And Destroy, "Harvester of Sorrow and others.

"Of course, we were all singing along. We also jumped and showed our goat. Real euphoria and concentrated happiness...," said one participant in the events of 1991 and editor of the post-Soviet media.

Moreover, the performance Metallica The participants' eccentric behavior on stage was also memorable: they lovingly threw picks and drumsticks into the crowd, and the guitarist Kirk Hammett even threw his rather heavy instrument at the end of the concert! Drummer Lars Ulrich, in turn, smashed his hand on the snare drum... It was a real anarchyBut this was exactly what all the young people who had gathered at the Tushino airfield wanted.

Metallica in Moscow, 1991
Metallica in Moscow, 1991

"This was the first time the Soviets had heard something like this... We were shocked that so many people had come, they had gathered on the field at this time - clearly more than a few hundred thousand, and all this at 10 a.m.! It was a great concert," recalled former Metallica bassist Jason Newstead.

The atmosphere is frightening...

"Monsters of Rock" The festival was also memorable for its organizational failure, if I may say so. The atmosphere at the festival was really horrorThere were no turnstiles, they let anyone in, and almost everyone could easily sneak in alcohol...

During the Monsters of Rock festival in Tushino, September 28, 1991

All this, of course, could not remain without negative consequences. As a result, in the media, the festival was tacitly called "Tushino Battleship"But the concert cost no casualties.

One viewer shared his impressions of the day in September 1991: "Yes, it's true that the situation was not under the control of the police. Everyone started pushing back the raging crowd, and they started fighting back and throwing bottles at them. Even the organizers urged everyone to calm down, but that didn't stop the show from taking place!"


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