GIG REWIND – Sepultura 1st September, 1994 @ Fremantle Passenger Terminal, WA

We continue our Cavalera build up to the shows this September as the brothers, Max and Igor unite to play Sepultura’s album, Roots in it’s entireity, with a look back to one of the most talked about gigs of all time on the west coast of Australia.

Were you there?

Fremantle Passenger Terminal, WA
September 1st, 1994
Supports: Allegiance, Sacred Reich
Thursday September 1, 1994 still lives long in the memory of any Western Australian heavy metal fan. The fact that almost 23 years on this gig is still spoken of is testament to what a bizarre and blissful incursion of metal the people of Perth witnessed that night. Bring up this conversation with any 35+ year old metal head in Perth and one of the first conversations they will ask you is, “Where you there when Sepultura played the Fremantle Passenger Terminal”?

I reiterate, it was 23 years ago!

It’s like a badge of honour for those lucky enough to have wedged themselves into the venue that fateful night.  It was the day Brazilian metal titans Sepultura strolled into town, riding high on the back of their new album, Chaos A.D, front man, Max Cavalera now firmly entrenched as a heavy metal icon and despite the grunge scene dominating the airwaves and record stores at the time there was always a place for metal. Thrash had come to town and the metal heads of Perth were ready.

The Fremantle Passenger Terminal was the destination for the start of this Australian tour, at the time an almost industrial length holding yard with makeshift stage, makeshift bars, makeshift entry and exit points and well, you get the picture. 4500 people rocked up, turning the gentile surroundings of the Fremantle harbour and its holdings into a sweaty heaving mosh pit of thousands drenched in blood, sweat and beers head banging to one of the most brutal metal bands of the 90s.

Adding to the anticipation of this particular show were the stellar support slots, featuring local legends of the time, Allegiance and the international thrash band, Sacred Reich, themselves touring their newest album, Independent, a groove metal thrash wall of sound that is still massively underrated to this very day. Of course the music was phenomenal but we’ve all attended gigs where that was the case. The sound was exceptional, again, not the first time that was achieved. The sheer hype and myth and legend of this show adds to all of these factors but also the stories. For instance, the mystery punter that climbed a 20 foot steel pole and plunged 20 metres with a ‘thud’ onto the ground. The insane mosh pit that stretched back the length of the venue and yielded several times to a tsunami of pit waves that had an unforgiving thirst to weed out the weakest.

We tracked down Paul Taylor, a bouncer working this gig at front of stage who still recalls the night as, “the most brutal, unrelenting mosh pit we had seen”. Adding, “Bodies kept coming over the barrier. I lost a tooth. There was blood, beer, piss, it was ruthless. We earnt our money that night and it cost my boss another $1500 for the tooth repair.”

Allegiance bass player, David Harrison recalls the gig fondly, “Yes I remember meeting them all (Sepultura) including Gloria Cavalera and Max’s son who was just a little kid with big ear muffs (Zyon Cavalera, now drummer for Soulfly). The crowd went nuts for all the bands. We were like the opening band and the place was packed, some good stamina for that crowd!”

Tony Campo, lead guitarist of Allegiance recalls the show, “I remember me and Andreas (Kisser) smoking a mountain of weed in a storeroom before I had to go on. Of course after that I don’t remember much…oh except piles of bodies getting carried backstage over the punter barriers from the pit.”

Sacred Reich‘s, front man, Phil Rind doesn’t specifically remember the Fremantle show (it is 23 years ago!) but recalls the entire tour as intense, “I don’t have any specific memories of the show. It was a long time ago. I do remember it being the first show of the Australia Tour though and general impression was all of the shows were fantastic. What we saw of the country (not much) was beautiful. The fans, promoters and people in general were great and fun. We had toured with Sepultura in Europe and the U.S. and Gloria (Cavalera) managed both bands at the time so we were pretty close. We had a wonderful time. The fans were crazy and that always makes for great shows.”

Whilst trying to recall the night with fellow fans from 1994, I reached out on the Bring Back Allegiance Facebook page and the response was overwhelming. Over 3500 views and hundreds of comments from fans who remember the night as vividly as myself. Check out just a few random Facebook comments below to get an insight into the chaos of the night….

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This dodgy cut out review from Perth’s, X-Press magazine with writer, Tony Fisher sums up the night perfectly, “If Pantera beat this, it’ll be a miracle.” Pantera went pretty close in 1994 but let themselves down with a far beyond drunken show in 1996 that dented their aura in these parts, but that’s for another article one day.

Who still proudly wears one of these shirts from this tour?

So, were you there? Did the guy break any bones from that 20 metre stage dive? We would love to know.

In the meantime, DO NOT FUCK AROUND. The Cavalera brothers are here again, this September to play Sepultura’s ROOTS. As Max would say, “Let’s destroy this fuckin’ place”!!!!!

Tour details here 

Written by @plugga73

Revisit Max Cavalera‘s co-hosting on Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall right here



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About Plugga73 (370 Articles)
Writing, reviewing, interviewing, exploring new and old heavy music. From punk to grunge to hardcore to death metal to thrash and everything in between. I've been writing in the music industry now for several years including the websites LOUD, SF Media, Tone Deaf, The Metal Review and AMNplify. I'll be the one talking about bands from the 90s all the time..... Hit me up on twitter @Plugga73

3 Comments on GIG REWIND – Sepultura 1st September, 1994 @ Fremantle Passenger Terminal, WA

  1. Forgot to mention – I love the cutting of the old review. (I still have Hot Metal mags etc from the 80s onward. Reading some of those old reviews for LPs and shows I went to is great to look back on).

  2. What a great idea for an article! I was obviously not there, being on the other side of the country and all, but I too have started cataloging my gigs. Great memories. I think this feature might actually connect the most and bring in a lot of fans. 🙂 I will certainly be reading these – reminiscing on old gigs = awesome. This one sounded like one hell of a show – so many extra tales from the fans. Great article.

  3. I was there and did broken bones too, well ripped ligaments in my knee after a guy in his steel caps landed on it at the end of Sep set!
    Somehow after that I end up back stage meeting quickly all four members and signing my shirt and everyone telling me I need to go to emergency ward because my knee had became the size of a football, the manger of the venue or someone like that gave me free tickets to Beasties Boys/Helmet in a month or two time to go but not in an ambulance because it would cost to much so used a cab to Freo hospital and then called a friend on a pay phone because mobiles didn’t exist then at 1 or 2 am because I wasn’t suppose to walk on it.
    I should write a blog about it all really! Cheers!

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