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Venues where YOU have attended a concert?

Lee Marshall

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These venues can either be in existance now...or long since departed/demolished. Anywhere...anytime... Let's do it one at a time...talk about the place a little......... Is/was it a good place? How's the sound? Sight-lines...

I'll start with 'Massey Hall in Toronto'. Some of the BEST accoustics in the world. Ancient. Small. Intimate. Terrific. I saw Brian Wilson there...The Beach Boys... the Turtles...Lighthouse...Crowbar... Savoy Brown... Perth County Conspiracy...Valdy... loads of folks over a 36 year span.

MC'd a few shows there too.

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JB'S-Kent,Ohio.....Raspberries, James Gang........very intimate!!

Chesterland Hulabaloo....Cyrus Erie ,Raspberries...terrible!

Mentor Hulabaloo......VERY small club-ish accoustics!

Cleveland Agora...All major acts before they made it...fantastic!

Whiskey A-GO-GO.....like the Agora...good lights!

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My all-time favorite venue was only used for concerts from around August 67 to January 68 - the Ambassador Theater in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood in DC. The owners of the old movie theater removed all of the seats, erected a stage up front, painted the interior with day-glo and black-light paint, got an incredible light show for the place, and turned it into the Fillmore of DC for those 5 months or so. It also had fantastic acoustics.

During this time, I saw shows featuring Jimi Hendrix (right after "Are You Experienced" came out in the UK) with another 200 or so people (which, BTW, has since risen to about 20,000 or so Washingtonians who claimed to have seen him play there - and he did 3 shows there that week), John Lee Hooker, the James Cotton Blues Band (filling in for an ailing Paul Butterfield), The Paupers (featuring future Lighthouse founder Skip Prokop on drums), the Strawberry Alarm Clock, and Moby Grape, and just missed seeing The Doors' DC debut there. I had tickets to see The Hollies and Procol Harum for Feb. 68, when the place went out of business.

Another notable venue at the time, that's still standing - DAR Constitution Hall, which is great for classical music, bad sound for rock & roll! I saw Herman's Hermits there with unknown opening act The Who in '66....and The Kinks shortly after. The highlight of the Kinks' show was Ray & Dave getting in a fist fight during the encore, with Dave kicking over most of Mick Avory's drum kit, then leaving the stage....at which point Ray shrugged his shoulders and left as well....

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Another memorable venue in the suburbs of DC - the Alexandria Roller Rink in Alexandria, VA, just up the GW Parkway from Reagan Natl Airport. It was a totally filthy, dirty dump of a place, but they booked some great acts there! I saw The Yardbirds (Beck in late '65, Page in late '66), with opening act The British Walkers the first show, featuring unknown guitarist Roy Buchanan (who, even then was about as good as Beck!), Spirit, Blood Sweat & Tears (was expecting to see ex-Blues Project member Al Kooper fronting the band, as the 2nd BS&T album wasn't out yet...saw a very early D.C.Thomas show instead), and a double bill of The Jeff Beck Group ("Truth" had just come out) and Big Brother & The Holding Company.

I don't recall when the Roller Rink shut down, but The Sex Pistols were planning to play a show there during their '78 American tour which got delayed due to visa problems...so it was one of the venues that got cancelled.

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The old Cinesphere at Ontario Place was an awesome venue. A huge circular stage surrounded by seats which in turn were surrounded by grassy hills. 12,000 could and would join together to enjoy a show...as the stage ever-so-slowly turned 360 degrees...and would do so for as long as the concert lasted. spin

I saw Lighthouse there. I MC'd Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis there. Also MC'd Dennis Brown and Maxi Priest there. Caught the Monkees, The Grass Roots, Herman's Hermits, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap as well. Plenty more. A special place...the main area was covered...the hills were under the stars. Wonderful spot that is no more. frown

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My First Concert - Aug 1971...the matinee show at Madison Square Garden - The Concert For Bangla Desh. Not many people know that the evening show sold out so quickly..they added a matinee. My older brother took me and I fear at age 12 I didn't appreciate the moment. The Garden truly rocks n rolls.....which may or may not be a good thing...especially in the upper level blue seats.

Fast forward to Springsteen "Born To Run" tour at Wembley Stadium London. Great show........typical stadium acoustics.

I even admit I saw Wham at Royal Albert Hall London(what we do for love, or lust, or love....I don't know) Sorry they woke me up before they go go-ed.

Kenny Rankin at The Bitter End NYC near NYU (I think that's what it was called)...awesome intimate show, flawless vocals.

But let's REALLY fast forward to a little place in Mid-Manhattan called BB King's. I saw some group called Raspberries on a Sunday night in '05. The sound was incredible, full, powerful, clean and crisp. Sitting at a table stagefront with Paul Sidoti and Wally Bryson churning it out in front of my wife, a table full of strangers/friends and myself...I couldn't have witnessed anything better. What an Anniversary weekend for Bonnie & me.


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JFK Stadium in Philly, and other outside venues. I love the feel of an outdoor concert, with everyone on blankets and lawn chairs, listening to the music, enjoying each other, and smoking who knows what!! And don't forget tickets costing 4 to 8 bucks for several top bands.

It brings me back to the seventies, cool!! smile

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Lee - I saw David Byrne at Massey Hall in Toronto. But it's not that small?

Did you ever see a gig at the Cameron House? A friend of mine lived nearby and we stopped by one night. I think the name of the band was the Nancy Sinatras; it was apparently an all-lesbian band and my recollection is that they played nothing else but Blondie and Nancy Sinatra covers. Their version of "One Way or Another" was pretty good. It was bizarre, but the crowd was just as strange.

My most unusual concert experience was seeing Paul Simon play in Budapest during his 1991 tour. He played an old outdoor stadium (Nepstadion?) and it cost about $5. It was mostly general admission and I was worried about being miles from the stage because I arrived only 1 hour before showtime. But I guess Hungarians weren't used to GA shows, as I was in the 10th row from the stage, front and centre. Not bad for a place that held about 60,000 (and was quite full by showtime).

I was travelling alone - there is nothing more surreal than being surrounded by 10s of 1000s of Hungarians...and you're listening to Paul Simon play Brazilian-influenced music. I discovered later that Paul Simon's ancestors were Hungarian. And the concert was great, by the way. The sun set over the stadium and it was quite moving.

I had a chance to see Sting two days later in Vienna, but (probably rightly) decided that I already had a untoppable concert experience.

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Madison Square Garden was always a favorite. I especially remember Led Zep and Elton John there.

Avery Fisher Hall (the Arista One Year Anniversary Concert/Party comes to mind)

Veterans Stadium in Philly (Mc Cartney).

That was amazing!

Cleveland HOB holds a special place in my heart because of the Raspberries first reunion concert.

I loved seeing them in Central Park (Sheeps Meadow) in New York City.

And I so miss The Bottom Line, where Eric did his New York solo debut. I LOVED that!

Perhaps the most memorable was Harry Chapin's backyard--on Huntington Bay in New York. FANTASTIC!

smile --Darlene

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The Chicago House of Blues. It has some great accoustics and lighting. Well to be truthful seeing the Berries in one of their best concerts of the reunion was just wonderful!

I also saw Paul McCartney at the United Center in Chicago. That was a huge venue but Sir Paul made is so worthwhile.

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Hi Pierre...Massey Hall Seats about 2800 with 3 levels. Pretty small. Most seats quite close to the stage.

You want small? I saw 'Lunch at Allens'...that is Ian Thomas, Murray Mclauchlan, Marc Jordan and Cindy Church...at the Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville last summer. 300 floor seats and 108 up in the balcony. New theatre. Very good sound. Great show. 100% intimate.

This Saturday I'm going to see The Fab 4 at the Classic Theatre in Cobalt. Capacity? 260.

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I prefer a small club to any of the bigger places. I thought the HOB in Cleveland was great. It had great sound, and plenty of room for standing in front of the stage. I really didn't like the tables in front of the stage at BB Kings. What a waste of space.


TLA - Philly (old theater with no seats)

Troc - Philly (old burlesque house - Marshall Crenshaw called it "a swell dump."

The Art Museum - DC (it was a great place)

9:30 Club - DC (just feels like rock n roll)

Big Mans - Red Bank (I know it closed years ago, but it was a great place to see a show)

and finally... The Empire Rock Room in N.E. Philly. Another sweaty rock and roll bar.

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Early - I believe you mean The Wax Museum in DC, no? That was a great club!

Other personal faves, mostly clubs -

Trocadero, Khyber - Philly

BB Kings - Memphis

Bowery Ballroom, Southpaw, Acme Underground,

Coney Island High (RIP) - NYC

Cafe DuNord, Thee Parkside - San Francisco

Saxon Pub, Antones - Austin

Double Down Saloon - Las Vegas

Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland

930 Club (both old and new), Birchmere, Bayou (RIP), Cellar Door (RIP), Iota - DC

Ottobar, 8 x 10 - Baltimore

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I have seen hundeds of acts...the best shows were at the Cleveland Agora...I was lucky to have been around Cleveland in the 70s...the club is intimate and is accoustics were great. EVERYONE played there in the late 70s-early 80s.

Two concerts that REALLY stick out...

Ricky Nelson at The After Dark nightclub in Mentor Oh...Small venue ..GREAT show...Got to meet Ricky who was a great guy at was still mindbogglingly handsome. RIP.

The Hollies at the Front Row Theatre...it's no longer there but was a place that held 1500-1800 hundred...this was the 81 reunion tour they were in great voice...Graham was back. When the show started they all ran down the aisles to the stage which slowly revolved. Obviously my favorite concert ever.

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Most of the places I've seen concerts are not really major venues any more... I can't recall the name of the place in Ft. Lauderdale where I saw Eric (with the Ringo band) but that was the best probably because it was Eric.

I saw Jimmy Buffet in the Gator Bowl in Orlando... along with The Little River Band and Atlanta Rhythm Section (I think...) back in '77...

Also saw Blood Sweat & Tears at the old Jai Alai Fronton in Daytona Beach, LeBlanc & Carr at Peabody Auditorium in DB also in '77... and Rare Earth there in '75 or '76, I can't recall for sure...

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Worst venue for a concert: L.A. Coliseum (Raspberries). They needed more firepower for that place, but I guess the overdubs weren't born, yet wink .

Best large venue around L.A.: Tie between the Greek Theatre and the Universal Amphitheater (before they put the lid on).

Best small venue in L.A.: House of Blues (Raspberries). Close second- The Roxy (Eric). Kirk.

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