Monsters are invading Patchogue — the musical kind. Four tribute bands are taking on the personas of Metallica, Dokken, the Scorpions and Van Halen for a Sept. 29 concert at the Patchogue Theatre marking the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Monsters of Rock Festival at Giants Stadium.
“We are looking to give people a true essence of that day. I’m really hoping it will be nostalgic,” says organizer Mark Trojanoski. “It’s always a good thing when music can bring back a good feeling and a cool memory.”
Here are the bands on the bill in the order they will appear on stage:
When it comes to building a Metallica-themed set list, Damage Inc. goes old school.
“We mainly focus on the first four albums,” says drummer Rob Ferreira, 49, of South Setauket. “We are going to give them all the classics: ‘Creeping Death,’ ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ ‘Master of Puppets,’ ‘One,’ ‘Battery’ and ‘Seek and Destroy.’ ”
Lead singer-bassist Bob Von Hammer is a dead ringer for Metallica frontman James Hetfield, and the band collectively delivers a high-octane show.
“We get the place erupting into screams with the occasional mosh pit,” says Ferreira. “This is the closest thing to seeing Metallica live.”
APPEARING 8 p.m.
Growing up, guitarist Mark Mataban, 44, of Centereach used to stay up late to catch “The Power Hour” on UHF channel 68, where he discovered the video for Dokken’s “Just Got Lucky.”
“I saw George Lynch was standing on top of a volcano doing a guitar solo. He was just ripping it up,” says Mataban. “That was it for me. The next day I bought their album ‘Tooth & Nail’ and wore it out.”
As a tribute to his guitar hero, Mataban put together Mr. Scary and has kept it going for 19 years, regularly playing gigs at 89 North in Patchogue, Revolution Music Hall in Amityville and the Village Pub in Lindenhurst.
The band focuses on Dokken’s early popular hits like “Dream Warriors,” “Alone Again” and, of course, “Mr. Scary.” But Mataban promises, “We have some surprises up our sleeves for this show.”
APPEARING 8:45 p.m.
Although the Scorpions have been around since the late ‘60s, Blackout likes to zero in on the band’s high time, 1978-1990.
“The Scorpions are a powerful band that’s full of energy,” says Trojanoski, who plays guitar. “They have an eclectic array of writing. There are so many songs people can relate to because of their massive radio play over the years.”
Expect to hear hits like “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Rhythm of Love,” “Big City Nights” and “No One Like You.” However, the band doesn’t try to physically evoke them.
“We dress appropriately,” says Trojanoski. “It’s more of a tattered and torn rock and roll look. We stay away from spandex.”
APPEARING 9:30 p.m.
William Kelly, 41, of West Islip was playing in a heavy metal cover band, Stainless Leather, when he realized that switching over to a tribute band would help build up his fan base.
“Nobody was doing the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen catalog,” says Kelly. “These are great songs that never get to be heard. We figured why not give it a shot?”
Since the real Van Halen has gone back to its original lead singer, David Lee Roth, the Hagar hits are ignored, therefore creating a void for fans.
“People come up and thank us for playing these songs live,” says Kelly. “The whole place goes crazy because it’s been so long since they’ve heard them.”
Songs like “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Dreams,” “Best of Both Worlds,” “When It’s Love” and “Finish What Ya Started” are familiar ‘80s anthems that get the crowd going.
Kelly adds, “These songs are timeless and never get outdated.”
APPEARING 10:30 p.m.
“MONSTERS OF ROCK” 30th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at Patchogue Theatre, 71 E. Main St. in Patchogue
INFO 631-207-1313, patchoguetheatre.org