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American Nightmare – European tour fall 2001 – The Video

In the fall of 2001 American Nightmare (for anyone, for whatever reason, not in the known later known as Give Up The Ghost) came over to Europe for the first time. I would have loved to tell you about the amazing shows here and how excited I was etc, but I wasn’t there. I catched on later.

Luckily the trip was documented though. Davy S. tagged along as a roadie and filmed it all (maybe with Emiel Laurant‘s camera?). After the trip he turned it into a VHS tape that he was selling. You might have heard about this tape, you might even have ordered it and if you were even more lucky you actually received the tape (I’m not going to dig into the stories about people ordering the tape and never receiving it). As far as I know only 50 tapes were made (mine says #13/50 – 1st run), but maybe more runs were made. If you have any more info, details or good stories, please share em in the comments!

American Nightmare VHS tape

American Nightmare VHS tape

So what’s on the 2 hour long(!) tape? A van “fight” between American Nightmare & Reaching Forward, footage of American Nightmare playing Leeuwarden (NL), Götheborg (SWE), Linköping (SWE), Hoyerswerda (GER), Vienna (AUS), Dortmund (GER) and Arnhem (NL – Good to see the Goudvishal again). Oh and there’s some special van decoration going on as well somewhere in the middle of the tape.

Almost 10 years later, I thought it was about time more people got to see this tape, so I dusted off my VCR, hooked it up to my PC and digitized it for SWNK. And here it is, enjoy!

Note: If you want to spread the word about this video, please be as classy as we think you are and do not link to the video on Youtube directly but send people to this page. It’s appreciated!

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  1. Pim said on 2011-07-18

    Don’t be afraid. Let’s talk about this video. Those van wars were pretty cool haha.

    Johan, any memories to share from that tour?

    Oh and Rold already made a topic about the show @ the Gloppe in the forum – [url][/url]

  2. Johan Reflections said on 2011-07-19

    As you might know, my memories are that of someone with Alzheimer (well almost). What I remember most are indeed also the van wars. It got to a point where it was absolutely both hilarious as well as ridiculous. How about two vans filled with crazy guys stopping before trafficlights in the middle of a city. All of a sudden two guys jump out of the van in the front and throwing yoghurt, soda, apples and actually everything they could find on the windscreen from the other van. Can you imagine the looks of pedestrians waiting on the sidewalks?

    And I don’t even want to go in too much details about Josh, when stopping at a gasstation, asking for a bag at the counter, before going to the bathroom… He had plans with that number 2…..

    The popularity, or maybe ‘hype’ surrounding American Nightmare was unreal. I can’t recall kids being SO incredibly stoked about a new hardcore band. And I think for good reason. Because of this video I played “year one” and “background music” back to back again and damn that band was SO good. They brought something new to ( the let’s face it: quite limited spectrum in) hardcore. I think Wes Eishold’s lyrics just were different. More in-depth… The whole imagery of their artwork.. and then the zipped up hoodies! haha. I can’t recall anyone having those back then. AN did ‘m and all of a sudden everyone was selling those. There was no band that left such an impact to me in the early 2000’s as American Nightmare.

    Oh… one little thing comes up… September 11, 2001. The day two planes flew into the twin towers. We had to go to the printer picking up a ton of posters with big and bold all over it written in a rather ghoulish font: American Nightmare.

    Yes. We did explain.

  3. robin john said on 2011-07-19

    i was lucky to get one from mister D. himself, but Johan has it now cause he didn`t had one. That is in a way pretty weird coz all the tapes where copied with his VCR.

  4. Daniel said on 2011-07-19

    It was a very nice show in the gloppe i don’t which bands were also played. I though i remember degradation cos i bought the release 7″ with the bin laden can suck it front. But it was the long roadtrip worth from zoetermeer to Leeuwarden. I was in the car with the beer and i remember we where listin to the stokes. The line by the merch with al the germans (the first time i saw that) that i will never forget fuckin awesome was that. The show in arnhem was also a blast.

  5. Pim said on 2011-07-19

    Johan: For someone with Alzheimer, that was a pretty good read 😉

    Robin: Hahaha, man there’s probably a lot of stories to be told about those tapes, but I decided to not include them 🙂 I’ve got mine from Jigs by the way!

    • Daniel said on 2011-07-19

      you lucky bastard. i can hit myself for my hit that i not buy merch of american nightmare that night

  6. Thijs Hoebers said on 2011-07-19

    I remember a long road trip with Niels (shettie), Mark Stroeken and Willem-jan Insult from Horst towards the cold Leeuwarden…

    I remember being late and missing out Reckoning Force but just in time for Degradation or Reaching x Forward…nothing big happened till American Nightmare came on stage!
    the place was packed and fucking hot but exploded within a few seconds! one of the things I remember was Erik Tilburg wearing a Willem 2 shirt … the rest of the show is a blur!
    After the show I went downstairs and bumped into a exhausted and enthousiastic Josh, who couldn’t believe that the first show of the tour was such an energetic in crowd participation…

    Another memory from that first euro show is the chaos at the merch table…tour shirts, purple tour vinyl and the carry on cd! Germans everywhere and buying everything in large quantities…but fuck it! it was a great show…went to the Arnhem show to at the end of the tour and somehow the shows from American Nightmare in Arnhem were always fucking intense even under their new name: Give up the Ghost!

  7. Pim said on 2011-07-19

    I think I only saw them as Give Up The Ghost.

    Once in Willem Twee in Den Bosch (with Razor Crusade). David (TH), don’t you have an interview from that show or something? 🙂

    And probably twice in Arnhem. All shows were great, especially the ones @ de Goudvishal. As cliché as it may sound, intense is probably the best description for those shows. There’s footage of those shows on the Idiotbox DVD, part II I think?

    Anyway, I also remember everyone talking about them being really bad on the last tour, they had a guitarplayer less or something? I don’t remember the specifics anymore. I do know they blew me away.

    • Thijs Hoebers said on 2011-07-19

      i have also a dvd with the whole show under their give up the ghost name in arnhem

      • Pim said on 2011-07-19

        Hook me up Thijs!

        • Thijs Hoebers said on 2011-07-19

          I’ll make a copy out of it

          Dax also has a insted interview on video from their reunion tour…maybe interresting for your zine

        • Pim said on 2011-07-19

          Digging into Mila’s archive would be pretty cool 😉

    • Daniël said on 2012-03-31

      I remember that show, was on Queensday I think?

  8. Rob van den Nieuwenhuizen said on 2011-07-19

    I visited a lot of the AN/GUTG shows back then and bought the tape from Davy but I don’t own a VCR anymore so I’m really siked you digitized it Pim! Thanks!

  9. Sjarm said on 2011-07-19

    About to watch this for the 1st time ever.

    • Pim said on 2011-07-19

      For real? That’s strange haha. Looking forward to see what you have to say about it, after watching it for the first time after all those years.

  10. Nab said on 2011-07-19

    way to start the new version on SWNK! Thank you so much for uploading this! I love both AN and Reaching Forward!

  11. Staffan Snitting said on 2011-07-19

    I sort of hooked up with the girl I would hang with for six years at the show in Gothenburg. The same girl later fucked up my AN-zip hood that I bought that night, by letting it get caught in her bike’s chain (she had not asked if she could borrow it).

    Awesome show. A friend commented today that there were so many people at the merch table afterwards that he had to hand me money over peoples’ shoulders because he couldn’t get through.

  12. Frido said on 2011-07-19

    That first show in De Gloppe. It was pretty cool to see the band just after the show. I walked outside and saw the band totally full with adreline, realizing and enjoying what just happened on stage like mentioned before. Something great was about to go on. It was also this show that I bought the Some Girls demo tape. Went there with my nephew. Too bad this show didn’t change his view on music, though it was such a memorable show. Saw them many times and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the energy that was unleashed.

  13. The Uglystick said on 2011-07-21

    Couple of weeks before their European tour, Johan/Reflections records asked me if Lou/Asice and me would be into doing the very first AN show. Being stoked beyond belief about this request, we were into this idea obviously. My memories got kinda blurry, but as soon as I find time, I’ll try to post fragments of what I still remember about that show in Leeuwarden and the complete crazyness that captured the kids from Holland, Belgium and Germany.

  14. Pim said on 2011-07-22

    Pretty cool to read all your memories on these shows, looking forward to a longer post by you Ronald (Uglystick)!

  15. xroldx said on 2011-07-22

    Who was the drummer on this tour? I kind of remember American Nightmare coming on tour with the drummer of Count Me Out but I think that was on their second European tour.

    Also weren’t there plans for Ries Doms (Product X, Reaching Forward, Vitamin X etc) to drum for American Nightmar

  16. Johan Reflections said on 2011-07-23

    Drummers name was Derrick. Can’t tell in what other bands he played, but he was basically hired for this tour. Ex-heroin addict. “Don’t borrow him any money, you’ll never get it back. and he IS gonna ask you!” … haha. Second tour was indeed wityh Colin from Count Me Out. And then also a tour with Alex (Shelter) who is probably the best one of them all.

  17. Jigs said on 2011-07-24

    I got this tape directly from Davy, who has always been cool to me. But I have no vcr anymore so all my tapes were given away or sold. I had been sleeping on AN when their first ep came out, but when the second ep was just released I witnessed an amazing show in CBGB’s .. they really blew me away. I remember that Jesse standhard played bass for them at that show. The first show in Europe was in Leeuwarden and it seemed that just everybody was there. Lots of belgian and german kids. Everybody was just so excited.. you could feel it in the air. Great show…
    Question to all of you.. was there a band after AN that had such an impact? where everybody talked about weeks before the tour?

    • Thijs Hoebers said on 2011-07-25

      guess not! I don’t think there has been a band after AN that had such an impact

      well perhaps dead stop but in a different way

    • Rob van den Nieuwenhuizen said on 2011-07-25

      Not as big of an impact but Hope Con were pretty popular around that same time as well.

      But those AN shows were amazing! One of the most intense live bands in hardcore punk that I’ve ever seen probably.

  18. quitwhileyoureahead said on 2011-08-28

    If any of the three of you want to sell this tape, I’ll pay well.

  19. Sjarm said on 2011-10-24

    Finally got around to watching this. I just look really young, which I was. It just makes me feel old and amazed at how young we were when we started touring bands.

    Selling an AN – I Saved Latin size M and GUTG – Rollergirl size S. Hit me up on here if interested.

  20. simple said on 2011-11-24


    Personally the first AN tour was the anti-climax of what hardcore would have to offer for the years to come. It gave me an inside into a well-oiled machine, American Nightmare the band, and showed me how you would have to run a band to take it to the next level. Play anywhere, for any money at any circumstances and make sure you don’t bullshit around or waste any time. Ow yeah and don’t forget to have a good time, as it may be over before you know it. AN for me was so much more matured than any other band I had dealt with on a personal level before.

    Back to the video. I am not bitter about anything other than sucking at making this video not what I had pictured it to be. At the time DIY video material was still a bit of a novice thing, and I had defenitely been inspired by the 108 tour video that Reflections had released a year or so before – I simply lacked the skills and the equipment, plus I was shit at the logistics involved. The story itself haunted me for some years, getting to a point where people related me buying a house to this particular video drama. The latter still puts a smile on my face.

    So yeah, I defenitely failed to deliver there, and given the online and social features available now, it could have been a great document for years to come. Nevertheless I still have the full 4 hours of raw on a DVD and during my last move from London to the UK country side, I watched it all over again. The original tapes were sent to Emiel (NTB). It all brings back some great memories. The van fights stand out of course, but the shows themselves were so intense; so raw and without any compromise. The band played for the kids, not giving a shit about the colour of their sneakers, the age of their schism shirts, or the amount of tour pressings gathered at that point. It almost felt that AN had this a certain survival instinct for the ‘now’, knowing that the next big thing was waiting around the corner. The coming and going of bands in the years to follow is imho proof of all that.

    Every show has a story, and some are in the ‘what goes on tour, stays on tour’ caterogy; I’d say especially the show in Austria is in that catergory – that was just surreal for a 23-year old like myself. The biggest blur to me is Germany, simply because I felt the band played too many shows there, and at the end of the day it felt like the German kids were just following the AN tour caravan to become best buddies. It did however create some good opportunities to pave the road for some of the KYE shows we would play in 2002. I do remember the show in Germany where Patrick K. from True Blue made a blunt statement to his audience being and then being taken the complete wrong way by some kids, relaying it to Wes as if he had been made fun of. In a nutshell, all Patrick K. was saying is that he was surprised that kids would show up for an American band, but were not interested in a line-up with only German bands. Good point, but it did cause a bit of a drama behind the stage. Nevertheless, the show was still great! German kids just got on my nerves.

    There were some weird shows as well. The one that stands out for me is the third (?) show in Fredericia, where AN played in this heavily subsidised venue – which now hosts a variety of bands – but was great simply because its facilities alone. The crowd was very nu-metal (no problem with that) and they didn’t quite connect with the band. It was however great to have a fresh shower, to have a decent breakfast and to stock up on food that would be thrown between the vans at a speed of 100km/h.

    I think the one to credit for making this tour possible is Suzanne from Reflections. She took on a great deal of responsibilitylanding the band in Europe and making the tour schedule a big success.

    I haven’t check the spelling of my post.

    Take care