I still have a hard time believing that 1992 was 18 years ago. Hell, I just had to get a calculator out to do the math so you know it’s been a long fucking time. In 1992, many Hard Rock/Metal bands were on their way about and not far from their unstoppable demise. While some bands were about to bid everyone farewell, others would saying hello only to be welcomed with opened arms and clinched fists.
In 1992, Skid Row was experiencing some much deserved success with their 2nd album “Slave To The Grind.” “Slave To The Grind” boasted a much heavier and darker side for Skid Row and the album earned them lots of respect in the Metal community. Even Slayer guitarist Kerry King stated that “Slave To The Grind” was one of his favorite albums of 1991. The band hit the road as a support act for Guns N’ Roses in the summer of ’91 and by the end of that year they were off and headlining their own tour. For their support act, the band picked a relatively unknown Texas Heavy Metal band called Pantera and this tour was a fucking juggernaut.
I remember being so pumped that this tour was coming to Atlanta but I also remember finding it odd that it was at the Fox Theater. My first thought was, “They are going to tear this place to shreds.” I wasn’t far off from that. Pantera opened the show with “Heresy” from their “Cowboys From Hell” album and for 45 minutes managed to rip the faces off of everyone in the Fox that night. If there weren’t many Pantera fans present at the show this night, by the end of the set nearly everyone was a Pantera fan. I even bought a shirt after their set I was so impressed. They played a couple of yet to be released songs and brought the house down with a double punch of “Cemetary Gates” and “Cowboys From Hell” which solidified their place as a force to be reckoned with.
My buddies and I anxiously awaited Skid Row to take the stage. What would they open with? We were all taking bets and I called “Slave To The Grind.” The band’s intro music was “Fight For Your Right To Party” by the Beastie Boys and this had everyone going nuts. The houselights went down to a sold out Fox Theater and with a 1-2-1234 count of drummer Rob Affuso’s high hats the band was off to a roaring crowd as they kicked into “Slave To The Grind.” Skid Row sounded so heavy and the stage production was huge. It looked like a bastard child of the KISS “ALIVE II” stage with ramps, stairs, lights and pyro so intense I could feel the heat all the way up in the front row of the balcony.
The band’s set list was literally right down the middle of songs from both their self titled debut and “Slave To The Grind.” The band added some fun covers into the mix such as The Ramones classic “Psycho Therapy” but it was the Slave To The Grind material that reigned supreme. “Slave To The Grind” was such a well written and mature album. Songs like “Mudkicker”, “Quicksand Jesus” and “Wasted Time” completely overshadowed songs from the debut like “Big Guns”, “Sweet Little Sister” and even “I Remember You ” making them look as stupid as they actually are in comparison. “18 and Life” was probably the only song played from the debut that seemed to have any conviction and even hold a candle to the “Grind” material. Looking back on it now, I would much rather have had them play maybe 3 songs from the debut, and more from “Slave To The Grind” than to stretch it out to include some of those other songs.
“Monkey Business” was the last tune before the encore and it kicked so much ass as Sebastian Bach hit that scream in the beginning filling the hall to a roaring crowd. I remember that song being so sick and heavy that it was without a doubt a highlight of the show. For the encore, they came back and invited Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes to play on “Train Kept A Rollin.'” Yeah, at the time I remember being really pumped but now that I think about it. The Black Crowes? Skid Row? Turns out they shared a few shows together in the past and Rich was a fan and good friends with the band so it all worked out. “I Remember You” was forgettable at best and “Youth Gone Wild” brought the house down as it was the song that broke them in. I can’t even listen to that song now because there’s something kinda weird about hearing 40-something year old guys singing “We are the Youth Gone Wild!”
All in all this show stands as a really fun and great show that I will always hold dear. It was a great night of hard rock and Metal and my introduction to Pantera. The band these days are playing with 3/5 of the original lineup and trotting from club to club. Their arena days are far behind them but evidently, they still close every show with “Youth Gone Wild.” I wonder if anyone has the heart to tell the guys that “Youth” is also far behind them.
PANTERA SET LIST:
Mouth For War
A New Level
Primal Concrete Sledge
Cowboys From Hell
SKID ROW SET LIST
Slave to the Grind
Here I Am
Makin’ a Mess
18 and Life
Piece Of Me
Sweet Little Sister
Get the Fuck Out
Train Kept A Rollin’ (w/ Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes)
I Remember You
Youth Gone Wild