THE NEW JERSEY METAL FEST
March Metal Meltdown '99
Asbury Park, NJ

It was two days buried in the pit with the most disgusting sweaty metal fans on the planet, all for the insane name of Heavy Fuckin’ Metal. It was the first of its kind, brought to you live from Asbury Park, New Jersey. Held March 12 & 13, the show hosted over 100 bands and boasted three stages including a main stage (Biohazard, Sepultura, Puya) a theater featuring the New Wave of British Metal (Riot, Raven, Anvil, Tygers of Pan Tang’s, Jess Cox) and a secondary stages for the Relapse roster and minor league bands.

The show had it’s rough moments. Heat was a big problem, there was none, even with the Porn stars. March on the Jersey shore is still relatively frigid. “It took me half way through our set to get my fingers moving,” said Puya guitarist Ramon Ortiz. “But the vibe was KILLER!,” Puya vocalist Sergio Curbelo was in his element, “Man, we’ve played all over from Puerto Rico to Canada - but to go into this with all the metal fans was spiritual.”

Puya was crowned king of the main stage while Riot reigned supreme on the theater stage. Said Riot’s Mark Reale,“We’ve got a lot to sell out there with our catalog now fully available on Metal Blade but to be honest, I’m surprised our show went off as well as it did.” Never the quiet one, Lips from Anvil chimed in, “People kept telling us metal was dead years ago...well here’s living proof that the true in heart still remain faithful.”

The festival was the brainchild of famed Milwaukee Metal Fest organizer Jack Koshick. Much like his annual midwest show, Black and Death metal were touted as the leading attractions. T-shirts hung from the walls and tables were set up for record and CD vendors. For the near 5,000 fans the weekend was a chance for many to see several of their favorite bands under the same roof. In most cases the sound was fair to good. Headliners Sepultura closed the show leaving the punters bleeding.