Excuse us as we’re just gettin’ hip to the long-running television series Rockpalast , which began in 1974 and broadcasts on station WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk). The cultural institution showcases concerts throughout various venues and musical events in Germany. And when we say concerts we mean full-on concerts, some of which we’ve compiled here for your viewing pleasure. Our line-up includes: Rick James , Funkadelic , The Police , Bob Marley , Beastie Boys , Soundgarden , Thin Fucking Lizzy , Rage Against The Machine and many more.
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE.
Rick James & The Stone City Band (1982).
As cool as it is that Rick James is ingrained in popular culture through Dave Chappelle skits, it’s even cooler to revisit him doing what originally got him famous, which is his kick-ass music. Reportedly doing their first European show ever, Rick and The Stone City Band give the Essen crowd lengthy, amped-up versions of hits like “Ghetto Life,” “Mary Jane,” “Give It To Me,” and “Super Freak.” The set moves along with sustained electricity throughout, boasting costume changes, call and responses, and backing female vocalists the Mary Jane Band (“JoJo” McDuffie, Lisa Sarna & Taborah Johnson), the precursor to the Mary Jane Girls.
(Props to starchildjr for the upload)
Some might think that witnessing Funkadelic in the mid ’80s might pale in comparison to their intergalactic superpowers on display during the previous decade, especially when you consider that for this show the Mothership is replaced by a regular ol’ construction crane, and yeah, George Clinton and the band are a bit older. But cotdamn do they roll along with a ferocious energy. Viewers will easily get absorbed in a hearty serving of “Cosmic Slop” and properly mesmerized by Michael Hampton’s soulful lead licks on “Maggot Brain.” Watch, for the funk of it.
(Props to Funkamedic for the upload)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (1985).
Here are the Red Hot Chili Peppers still in the raw stages, the funk and rap influences still prominent, their wild side never letting up for a minute. In what turns out to be a rather crazy performance, a never-still-for-a-second Anthony Kiedis gets lifted up by an unruly giant of a fan who bumrushes the stage (no really, the dude is like 10 feet tall). The band, which features RHCP’s original guitarist, the late Hillel Slovak, and Cliff Martinez on drums, is later joined by their friend and producer George Clinton for “Hollywood,” their specialized cover of the Meters’ “Africa.” They then blaze through “Blackeyed Blonde” and for the encore, the butt-naked dudes do their patented “socks on cocks” schtick during their Jimi Hendrix cover, “Fire.” (Pay close attention to Flea’s hilarious departing words as he exits the stage: “Thank you for the tomato!”).
(Props to stipemate for the upload)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions (1978).
The perspiration lets you know it’s real. Can’t see nobody frontin’ on this sweaty Elvis Costello and The Attractions studio performance in Cologne as the boys give it their all for 45 glorious minutes. For lack of better words, this rendition of “The Beat” is fuckin’ awesome and the group brings the heat for “No Action,” “Lipstick Vogue, ” and “Pump It Up.”
(Props to sieteveintep for the upload)
The Police (1980).
Playing with the tenacity of a punk band, The Police tear into their catalog of early hits for a Hamburg show that includes “Walking on the Moon,” “Can’t Stand Losing You,” the reggae tinged “So Lonely,” “Message in a Bottle” and, of course, their smash “Roxanne.” The trio’s brilliant sound is tight as hell and it’s hard not to be blown away by Stewart Copeland’s drumming prowess.
(Props to Stephen Sayad for the upload)
Bob Marley & The Wailers ft. The I-Threes (1980).
Clocking in at just two minutes under a two full hours, this concert in Dortmund also includes the opening act, The I-Threes (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths). The entire show is a spirited experience (out of all the performances collected in our list, the otherwise reserved German crowd is probably the most livest here). Even in a video flashback, one can easily understand what a true legend Bob Marley was, as his presence pulls you in. (Clichéd as it might sound, you may even feel as though you’re there in the arena.) As a bonus, the multiple camera work is on point. So are The Wailers, who sound outstanding. The hits – “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Jammin’,” “No Woman No Cry” and “Get Up Stand Up” – are, of course, all represented well.
(Props to nekardj for the upload)
Thin Lizzy (1981).
Are you ready to rock? Because if you’re not, you’re gonna get run the fuck over by Thin Lizzy, who are very ready to rock your face off during this open air festival appearance in Loreley. Blowing up the spot with real fireball explosions (as well as a pre-THX Sound megablast), the band wastes no time getting down. Lead singer/bassist Phil Lynott (R.I.P.) is a commanding presence as he leads his Irish buddies through “Jailbreak,” “Trouble Boys,” “The Boys Are Back in Town,” and many more rockin’ good times. This is what rock ‘n’ roll used to be like.
(Props to arisrory for the upload)
Beastie Boys (1998).
Okay, first things first. This footage appears to be broken up into two parts, out of order, since the finale with fireworks ends up happening about halfway through the video. (If we understood German we could probably figure it out easier – knew there’d be a cost to pay for blowing off those foreign language courses in high school…) Anyways, all of that is not important. What is is that the Beastie Boys flow like fluid, baby, in a late ’90s performance at Lorelei that sees them seamlessly switch styles up like it was nothin’, goin’ from pure hip-hop to punk to instrumental funk and back with no problems whatsoever. It’s a loose set, with some gaps that are nevertheless fun to hear as the late MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock (backed by Mixmaster Mike and Money Mark) decide what to play next. The setlist reps their repertoire well, featuring everything from “Root Down,” “Egg Raid on Mojo” and “So What’cha Want” to “3 MC’s & 1 DJ,” “New Style” and “Sabotage.” (They even sneak in “Big Shot,” a Billy Joel cover).
(Props to fatejd for the upload)
Smashing Pumpkins (1996).
How good is this concert? Well, not even a naked man randomly finding his way onto the stage can stop the bone-crunching Smashing Pumpkins machine in Düsseldorf. Corgan and friends rip “Today,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “Disarm,” “Cherub Rock” (peace, Chubb Rock), and “1979” (just to name a few) with smashing results.
(Props to Guillaume DEBLOCK for the upload)
Sonic Youth (1996).
Sonic Youth are one of those bands that can rock a crazily different setlist night to night. For this Düsseldorf show, in which they divvy up vocal duties nicely, the bulk of the songs come from their Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (1994) and Washing Machine (1995) albums, but open up with the eternal “Teen Age Riot” (1988). “Bull in the Heather,” “Sugar Kane” from Goo (1990) and the 20-minute “The Diamond Sea” are amongst the stellar selections played for the enthralled German audience. (Feedback definitely included.)
(Props to Imbalance666 for the upload)
Soundgarden are those dudes. Badmotorfinger is still the joint. This concert is before that album came out, though. (It takes place about a month after the death of Andrew Wood, the lead singer of Mother Love Bone.) At this point, the band was already ill, but they were sorta still more rooted in that traditional rock sound. They definitely bring the crunchy power chords via Kim Thayil’s guitar magic, and Chris Cornell has full on capacity of his booming lungs and vocal chords. Enjoy the heavy-heavy “Flower,” the “controversial” “Hands All Over,” and the various crowd shots of the inquisitive German heavy rock enthusiasts getting a taste of grunge before it went mainstream.
(Props to TenaciousBasterd for the upload)
Rage Against The Machine (2000).
If you’re a Rage Against The Machine fan, this is all you need to know:
2. Guerilla Radio
3. People Of The Sun
4. Calm Like A Bomb
5. Bullet In The Head
6. The Ghost Of Tom Joad
7. Sleep Now In The Fire
8. Born Of A Broken Man
9. No Shelter
10. Know Your Enemy
11. War Within A Breath
12. Bulls On Parade
14. Killing In The Name
(Props to Thiago da Silva Teixeira for the upload)
Tonight’s part of Kraftwerk will be played by Pink Floyd.
(Props to Henry Owings for the upload)