Well, fine readers, time has come to present the last show of this series, with the very last live Betrayal concert, although they didn’t know that at the time. This show was during a challenging time for the band, with the horrible memory of the Arizona accident still weighing heavily on their hearts and minds, along with the elation of recently returning from headline the God’s Pleasure Festival in Utrecht, Holland.
There is a version of this show already on YouTube (like 12th Generation!), but what we are happy to present you is a much lower generation copy, taken from the original Hi-8 tape that was shot on the balcony by Chris Ackerman’s girlfriend at the time, who has now been his wife for almost 30 years. In addition, they have added some extra before and after footage to make this even more special.
For the last several years, Betrayal members Chris Ackerman, Bob McCue, Jeff Mason, and Brian Muese have been in contact to share stories and ignite memories. With the recent passing of Matt Maners, they have in contact more regularly. Chris shared with me that he were elated in the last several weeks, because of this series of videos to finally be reconnected with bassist Jeff Lain, and we are honored to have him begin, presenting their memories of this last show…
This show took place on a Friday night before Halloween in 1993. We had just released The Passing and were special guests for Tourniquet, and it was really cool to share the stage with them. It was a huge event at Wilson Theater and was one of those shows that was kind of a big deal.
My boss at my day job was not going to let me off work, so I missed the ride up and the sound check with the rest of the band. I left work and made a beeline to Burbank Airport, where I took a small plane to some little Podunk airport in Fresno. There were like six passengers on the plane, including me.
I was picked up by a courier and shuttled immediately to the venue. It kind of felt surreal. I felt like a rock star in some stupid way, and yet I felt like it was my job to put everything I had into my team to help move one square forward. I think that’s how we all felt. We were committed to one another. We were committed to our fans. We were committed to Betrayal. We were committed to spreading the Word of God.
When we went on stage, we had a terrific show. The crowd was amazing. The pit was awesome. I had so much fun with everyone. I remember jumping into the crowd with my bass and getting floated around for a bit before getting lifted back to the stage. I remember also being in the pit while playing, which was super fun. Chris was in there too, singing his ass off and interacting with everyone. The crowd was so into the whole show.
In the middle of it all, Bob had a catastrophic amp failure. We continued playing, and I’m not sure the fans even noticed. Chris did an amazing job of being a front man and carrying the crowd. Mason was pummeling the drums, and Marcus was wailing away on his ax. We were in a groove. The crew rolled up one of Tourniquet’s amps and got Bob plugged into that, so we were back to a five-some toward the end of the next song.
Truth be told we were actually a 6-piece that night. J.R. Montgomery from Seventh Seal was running our samples from the side of the stage that night. He keyed the siren at the end of Whispers of Chaos in the wrong place. We all kind of freaked out for a split second, and then laughed, as he played it off by hitting the siren button repeatedly, over and over and over again. For whatever reason, it kind of worked. J.R. made it a fun mistake, and the looks on our faces in this video is priceless! I think the crowd even understood and laughed with us. It was a great moment for us. We were firing on all cylinders.
During our encore, we played Children of the Grave, by Black Sabbath. We had never played a cover song EVER for any of our shows. This would be the first time. The crowd went absolutely nuts. We really nailed it. It felt different playing someone else’s music, yet strangely comfortable. We had prepared. The lights faded, and the show was over.
Little did any of us know at the time that we ourselves were truly the “children of the grave” that night, and Betrayal would never play again live together. I’ve always looked back at that song and that moment and thought it was kind of prophetic.
Wicked’s End opened the concert with us in the middle, and I remember it being an awesome show. What many people didn’t know is that this was to be my last show with Betrayal. J.R. Montgomery was triggering samples for us off stage and if the band had continued, he already had been selected as my replacement in Betrayal. Funny how it ended up being the last for everyone. I treasured my time with the band and am so happy this great copy is now available for you all to enjoy.
Ahhh, the last one. Here we go. We went through so much together as a band, it is sometimes challenging me to watch this one, this show representing the end of the road. Quite a few remembrances with this night.
The first thing is how to me Renouncement, Ichabod and The Fallen Deceived are ruined by the vocals. Not by me, but whomever was running the sound that night. Marcus and I went up to the person during soundcheck and said, “on these three songs, put a slight distortion on my vocals”. While on stage through the monitors all sounded great, not realizing this guy had cranked it all the up to full “death metal” to the audience. Lame.
It’s also never sat right with me that we didn’t close with “Plead the Blood”, our Mission Statement. Of course, we had no idea this would be the last time we’d be on stage together. Instead we closed with our one and only cover of Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave”.
In band practice, we had first toyed with the idea of performing “The Wizard” with different lyrics. Marcus wrote a great set of words about a missionary going through a town preaching the gospel. We ran through it a few times, but in the end abandoned it (I still have a recording of it in my “Betrayal” memorabilia) to go with a straightforward cover of “Children of the Grave”.
Months after this show, as Marcus and I were having discussions on the third Betrayal album, before I left, he and I talked about doing a cover of Saxon’s “The Eagle has Landed” which would have been awesome, as we both loved that song.
Looking back, I am so happy my eventual wife Leeann had chosen to bring her dad’s new camera out to to document our trip (her and I continued on to Santa Cruz to stay with my brother), and she ended up filming the show. I still laugh when I remember a band member telling her, “Make sure you film everyone, not just your boyfriend.” This is easily the best footage of any of our shows and she got everyone and everything, including the killer Pit that night! But the best is at the end of this video, the whole reason why we did what we did…
Is this the end of the story, who knows? As we conclude this series, Chris shared with me there are other shows that exist, including a San Luis Obispo Show (with The Crucified and Precious Death), The Whiskey a Go-Go, and video shot in the studio during the recording of “The Passing”. He cannot tell me if they will ever see the light of day, only time will tell. This has been a wonderful series of “The Lost Betrayal Tapes” and we thank Chris Ackerman, Marcus N. Colon, Jeff Lain, Matt Maners (RIP), Brian Meuse, Bob McCue and Jeff Mason for the wonderful music and memories.
Please enjoy this great video of some legendary classic Betrayal!
- Carnival of Madness
- The Invitation
- More Faith Than Me
- Race of Hypocrisy
- Whispers of Chaos
- The Usurper
- Forest of Horrors
- The Fallen Deceived
- Children of the Grave