The Austin Chronicle Guide to SXSW 2017

83 US Festival: Days 1-3

'83 US Festival: Days 1-3 (MVD Visual)

Rock & Roll DVDs

'83 US Festival: Days 1-3

(Unuson/Icon/MVD Visual)

A pop-culture joke now for those who remember it at all, the 1983 US Festival assembled an ambitious undertaking. Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak threw "a big party in the middle of nowhere" (ultimately Southern California's Glen Helen Regional Park near San Bernardino), while introducing the masses to cutting-edge technologies. What's remembered here is the music – at least the New Wave, heavy metal, and rock days. Nothing from country day appears, though Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings' sets have been released previously, and R&B was ignored completely. This single DVD provides a time capsule of early-Eighties music, from the Stray Cats and Scorpions to Missing Persons and the Clash in its final performance with Mick Jones. There's also breakout blasts from burgeoning superstars INXS and U2. Nothing from David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, the Pretenders, or Van Halen, likely due to clearance issues, which might explain the four Triumph songs. Fair warning: Reminiscences from Wozniak and MTV's Mark Goodman pop up in the middle of performances.

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