Rock Shows at the Concertgebouw

UPDATED 7/28/09, 8:23 pm:
Corrected date of 10cc/Rory Gallagher concert (H/T commenter Milo, publisher of the Gallagher tribute site Shadowplays).

I’ve been focusing on music here lately. For this post I exercised my memory cells in order to compile a list of the rock shows — that is, concerts — by “name” acts that I’ve attended over the years.

The list below is in pretty close to chronological order, but almost all the dates are approximate. Headliners are listed first for shows with multiple acts.

By the way, the title of this post is based on a line in the Paul McCartney and Wings song “Rock Show” — “If There’s Rock Show at The Concertgebouw …”. The Het Concertgebouw is a concert hall in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The list:

Chicago Spectrum Philadelphia 1972
5th Dimension
Bill Withers
Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles 1972
Yes Spectrum Philadelphia 1973
J. Geils Band Warner Theater Wilmington, DE 1973
Doobie Brothers Spectrum Philadelphia 1975
Rory Gallagher
Tower Theater Upper Darby, PA 12/5/75
Tom Waits Irvine Auditorium Philadelphia 1976-78
Dave Mason Irvine Auditorium Philadelphia 1976-78
Elvis Costello & the Attractions Tower Theater Upper Darby, PA 1976-78
Beach Boys Spectrum Philadelphia 1978
Stevie Wonder Spectrum Philadelphia 1986
other revival acts
Mann Music Center Philadelphia 1987
Paul McCartney Veterans Stadium Philadelphia 1996
Karla Bonoff some park near Norristown, PA 2000
James Taylor Hersheypark Stadium Hershey, PA 2006

Some notes:

  • I prepped for the Chicago show by listening many times to their quadruple live album At Carnegie Hall, Vols. 1-4, also known as Chicago IV, also released in 1972. It’s possible I saw Chicago twice at the Spectrum. I really don’t remember for sure. Once I think.
  • The Hollywood Bowl is a spectacular venue — at least it was back in 1972 — with a storied history. When Bill Withers sang his classic “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which was a hit at the time, he sang the repeated lyric “I know” maybe twice as many times as the 26 it’s repeated in the studio version. I was in LA on a “teen tour” with a few dozen other teens, almost all of them Jewish. That was some group. I’ll have to reminisce about that experience here sometime. It’s fun to try to remember the itinerary: The 37-day tour originated in New York. We flew to Denver, then traveled by bus to Yellowstone National Park, Salt Lake City, Reno, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, LA, Vegas, Phoenix, El Paso, Abilene, Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans. Then we flew back to New York.
  • My favorite show was J. Geils — a phenomenal live act. The future Mrs. QC attended this show with me and our mutual friend Jay G. During the show I spurned her advances. Did she get the last laugh? 🙂
  • I attended the Doobie Brothers show alone. 😦
  • Jennifer Warnes, at the time climbing the pop chart with “Right Time of the Night” was opening act for either Tom Waits or Dave Mason at Irvine. I don’t remember which. To be honest I’m not even 100% certain I saw Tom Waits live.
  • I didn’t have any interest in the act opening for 10cc at the Tower — blues guitarist Rory Gallagher is about as far across the rock spectrum from 10cc as you can get. I’ve never heard of a more mismatched bill. The power went out on 10cc during “Une Nuit a Paris”.
  • When the Monkees came on to the Mann stage, they started playing the Monkees theme song. All of the sudden Mrs. QC and I and the rest of the audience heard “Hey hey were th’, hey hey were th’, hey hey were th’, hey hey were th’ …”. Obviously they were lip syncing and the source recording got stuck in a loop at the beginning of the first chorus. Very funny. I don’t recall the opening acts at this show. There were at least two. I think one may have been the Grass Roots.
  • Our seats for the McCartney show were on the field at the Vet. Mrs. QC and I stood on our seats for the entire show. The highlight was “Live and Let Die” — great pyrotechnics.
  • Mrs. QC and I arrived at the James Taylor show in Hershey very late due to heavy traffic, We didn’t see any of the show. We heard at most half of it while standing under an umbrella outside the stadium gate rather than sit in our seats in the stadium where umbrellas weren’t allowed. Not a fun night. The tickets were an anniversary gift to Mrs. QC that I guess one could say backfired.

Maybe Mrs. QC will add any I might have missed. I just hope she doesn’t tell about the “Famous 56” WFIL-sponsored festival-style show I said I would attend but then did not.

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9 comments so far

  1. JD Watt on

    Did we do YES (1973) together? Must have.

  2. QC on

    @JD Watt:
    Gah! I meant to note in the original post that I sat behind the stage at that Yes concert. Does that ring a bell? Even if not, we probably did go to that one together. I’m positive we went to see Chicago together. You drove.

  3. JD Watt on

    Yep- that was US! Even sitting behind the band, it was a fantastic show. In fact, sitting behind probably elevated our appreciation.

    The Chicago show was my second, having gone in March 1971 99th grade) with Michael MacIntyre and his sister, Debbie (yes, the one who got caught up in the big murder scandal) who drove us. We had side seats, dead center, purchased last minute through Bag-And-Baggage (no TicketMaster in those days) as tickets were being held, but never purchased.

    MY first show EVER was Sly And The Family Stone. I kid you not. 1970. I couldn’t possibly chronicle the rest as you have done. You were always a little OCD with that kind of organization! LOL.

    Thanks for the memories.

  4. JD Watt on

    My LAST show was James Taylor at Old Dominion University. Went with my son, Dillard (IV) who’s a big fan, and his uncle – also a big fan. AS always, JT was great.

  5. QC on

    @JD Watt:
    That Yes show was excellent. If I remember correctly, we had a good view of Rick Wakeman and his keyboards so I spent most of the show watching him play.

    I knew at least one in our circle saw Chicago multiple times.

    Bag and Baggage — heh. That brings back memories.

    Sly & the Family Stone? Wow! Where was that?

    Glad to hear you actually saw James Taylor perform.

    Letting the OCD remark pass. Wasn’t there a guy in our circle who kept having to check to see if they left the car headlights on?

  6. milo on

    I actually have the review of the 10cc & Rory Gallagher concert at the Tower Theatre. It was December ’75 and the reviewer gave Rory high marks and panned 10cc even though he called them one of the best studio bands ever. You’re right, the bands were of different worlds. I preferred the Rory World myself.

  7. QC on

    You preferred the Rory World? That sounds like an understatement, being you have a Rory Gallagher tribute site. 🙂

    That’s pretty funny about the review. I’d be interested in seeing it.

    Thanks for the comment and thanks for helping me date the concert. I’ll correct the date in the post when I get a chance.

  8. milo on

    Yes, I’m devoted Rory follower. The date was December 5, 1975. Just send me an email address and I’ll send you a copy of the review. Milo

  9. QC on

    Done. The post is updated, by the way. Thanks again.

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