The Big 4

A-D Gigs The Big 4

Venue: Empire Polo Club

City: Indio, CA

Set length: About 7 hours

Tonight’s Lineup:

  1. Anthrax
  2. Megadeth
  3. Slayer
  4. Metallica

Pre-show banter…
Ted and Jenny invited me to tag along with them to go see the Big 4 gig in Indio. We had backstage access and tickets that would allow us to be in the pit up front behind the barricade. My only regret is not bringing my real camera but I wasn’t sure if I’d be allowed in with it so I brought my point-n-shoot G9 Super Grain Machine. My goal wasn’t to get a ton of photos – I just wanted to watch and enjoy the show. I did snap a few pics – see below.

  • Camera: Canon G9 (aka: Super Grain Machine)
  • Flash: None.
  • Lenses: Fixed

Venue Review…
Huge, massive, not sure what else to say. The concert was held in the area where they host their sporting events, so they had lots of land for the 40,000+ Metalheads. The venue is also a place that has a really cool Rose Garden, a few places for luxury weddings, corporate events, etc. It is not just a piece of land located out in the desert.

Check out their website

Check out the crowd…


Reviews, comments, and possible putdowns for Anthrax
The band was mostly the same band as it was back in the day and they did have Joey back on vocals – kick ass! Here is their setlist from the day:

  • Caught in a Mosh
  • Got the Time (a Joe Jackson cover)
  • Madhouse
  • Among the Living
  • Antisocial (another cover by the band Trust)
  • Indians
  • Fight em til you can’t
  • AIR
  • Metal Thrashing Mad
  • I Am the Law


Reviews, comments, and possible putdowns for Megadeth
My first time seeing Megadeth was on their Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying tour when they opened for Alice Cooper in an Amphitheater setting at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The next time was on the So Far, So Good… So What? tour at the same venue – they headlined this show. They also did a signing at Tower Records (the original Vegas location on Maryland Parkway by the University) the day of the gig and I got my cassette signed by the band. Dave seemed a little fucked up and not too happy to be there but he was signing stuff for a few fans that showed up. I remember he looked up at me a growled “Hey, you got a cigarette?” I said “no, I don’t smoke” and he replied with a gravelly “FUCK, nobody smokes anymore” and I moved on down the line. That was my one and only encounter with Dave. I saw them in concert numerous times after that gig and they definitely evolved from those first three albums from here on out. By the time I saw them at the Big 4 show they had definitely “mellowed” from the old thrash days, but I suppose we all tighten up a little as we get older.

Here is Megadeth’s setlist from the day:

  • Trust
  • In My Darkest Hour
  • Hangar 18
  • Wake up Dead
  • Poison was the Cure
  • She-Wolf
  • Sweating Bullets
  • Head Crusher
  • A Tout Le Monde
  • Symphony of Destruction
  • Peace Sells… but who’s buying?
  • Holy Wars


Reviews, comments, and possible putdowns for Slayer

The sun has gone down, but it is still light out. The stage lights were now on but they weren’t really strong enough to overpower the daylight… but soon. I was perched high on stage left, right above where Kerry was warming up before he hit the stage. World Painted Blood began and the crowd went out of their minds – it was on! Have you ever seen Jim Breuer’s telling of his Big 4 experience where he talks about Slayer? No?? Here ya go.

Here is Slayer’s setlist from the day:

  • World Painted Blood
  • Hate Worldwide
  • Wat Ensemble
  • Postmortem
  • Raining Blood
  • Black Magic
  • Dead Skin Mask
  • Silent Scream
  • The Antichrist
  • Americon
  • Payback
  • Seasons in the Abyss
  • Snuff
  • South of Heaven (featuring Jeff Hanneman)
  • Angel of Death (featuring Jeff Hanneman)


Reviews, comments, and possible putdowns for Metallica

What can I say about Metallica that hasn’t already been said before? Enough said! Well, maybe a few things… My first Metallica gig was ALMOST them opening up for Ozzy at the Cal Expo in Sacramento, CA. My mom loved Ozzy so we decided to take the trip from Reno to CA’s capitol to see Ozzy at an outdoor venue… AND METALLICA WERE THE OPENERS! Yes, with Cliff!! This was in 1986 so Metallica was on their Master of Puppets tour. We drove out there, which took about 2 hours and when we got there, Ozzy had cancelled due to sickness. They told us to hold on to the tickets and Ozzy would reschedule. So, the reschedule date was set for June 18, 1986 so we made plans for that. Keep in mind folks that this was pre-cell phones, internet, etc. Everything had to be done via newspaper or making a call from your land-line. Anyway, we get out there with fingers crossed that Metallica is on the bill. We had no idea who was opening at this point – they weren’t good about at announcing these things back then. The lights dimmed, the house music faded out… The band hit the stage… Who was it?? Blue Oyster fucking Cult! Ghaaaaadamnit!!! Not that we disliked BOC, it just wasn’t Metallica. Unfortunately for BOC, you could hear the sound of disappointment initially, but eventually we all warmed up to them.

The next opportunity we got to see Metallica was before the …And Justice for All record was released at the Monsters of Rock gig in Los Angeles in 1988. Holy shit, was this an amazing show. The Day started off with Kingdom Come, who, at the time, were being compared pretty heavily to Led Zeppelin. They were… well, a decent opener for what was soon to be complete chaos. Metallica opened with Creeping Death and that is when the madness began. Byron and I had some of the worst seats in history – dead center and about 3 seats from the very top opposite the stage. Down below, on the field, the not-so-bright promoters had gates and seats on the floor, which wouldn’t hold for long. Upon hearing the first notes of Creeping Death, we saw that thousands of people were rushing the floor. Byron and I looked at each other and said “we have nothing to lose – let’s go!” Security had no choice but to give up and let people go where they wanted for the rest of the day. It got to be so intense that they had to stop Metallica mid-set so they could “retrieve” the gates and chairs from the audience. You can see some of the chaos that occurred during Metallica right here. The lineup was Kingdom Come, Metallica, Dokken, The Scorpions, and Van Halen (with Sammy Hagar). Great day!

After that gig, we caught Metallica on the same tour with Faith No More in Las Vegas, then again in Vegas on the Black Album tour, and numerous times since then on various tours.

Here is Metallica’s setlist from the Big 4 day:

  • Creeping Death
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Fuel
  • Ride the Lightning
  • Fade to Black
  • Cyanide
  • All Nightmare Long
  • Sad But True
  • Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
  • Orion
  • One
  • Master of Puppets
  • Blackened
  • Nothing Else Matters
  • Enter Sandman
  • Am I Evil (with all the other bands on stage)
  • Hit the Lights
  • Seek and Destroy

March 31, 2011

May 5, 2011

Bomb Squad

February 1, 2020

Bad Channels

February 1, 2020

Greg Edwards

April 17, 2019

Allison Chains

June 13, 2018

Ray Wylie Hubbard

August 25, 2016

The Iron Maidens

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May 30, 2015

Masters of Puppets

February 8, 2015


February 8, 2015

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