Jeff Krulik’s films — Mr. Blassie Goes to Washington, Led Zeppelin Played Here, Ernest Borgnine On the Bus — show a deep love and fear, often at the same time, for pop culture.
The film itself is simple: a group of young metal fans get inordinately wasted while waiting to get in to a Judas Priest/Dokken concert at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland on May 31, 1986. Everything captured is real and that’s what makes it pure magic.
This film was a VHS bootleg fave for years until music rights issues were cleared up. Since then, follow-ups and sequels — Heavy Metal Picnic and Neil Diamond Parking Lot — have been made. But the fact that you can easily find this movie now does not dilute its magical power. The sad truth is that probably all of these kids, including the ones who wanted to have rough sex with Glenn Tipton, have all grown up and are afraid of the next wave of music that came in its wake, as well as still out partying without masks or social distancing.
I will say, a youth of metal shows proves to me that none of this is fake. I lived this life. I had a girlfriend who tried to bring a pound of weed inside a glass jar inside a show once. I burned my feet because Three Rivers Stadium’s field was so hot during Monsters of Rock — yes, Rokken with Dokken. And while I’ve never been so drunk that I don’t remember a show, I used to have a roommate that would routinely piss his pants instead of leaving the front row.
You can watch this on Tubi or YouTube.