The Local Concert Venues of My Connecticut Classic Rock Youth
Sitting around during these stay-at-home days gives a person a lot of time to listen to music and reminisce, especially about live concerts, since we won’t be attending any live shows any time soon.
The other day, as I was listening to a live bootleg of a Yes concert from 1978, I got to thinking about all the names and places from my Connecticut concert-going youth that are no more.
- I saw Aerosmith at Colt Park in Hartford in 1978. I think it was one of the last live concerts in the park before the neighborhood complained so much about the noise that city leaders banned live rock concerts.
- The Pinecrest Country Club in Shelton, Connecticut, was the site of an epic outdoor Santana concert I saw in 1980. The Pinecrest closed in 2005, was torn down and is now a condo complex.
- I can’t begin to tell you how many concerts I saw at the New Haven Coliseum. Name a band that we play on i95 and there is a good chance I saw them in New Haven between 1977 and 1987. The Coliseum was imploded in 2007.
- The Hartford Civic Center was the site of my very first rock Concert – Emerson, Lake & Palmer in July 1977. This was during the “Works” tour, when EL&P toured with a full symphony orchestra. By the time EL&P got to Hartford, however, they were running out of money and had to get rid of the orchestra. I think it was a better show as a result. About six months after that show, on January 18, 1978, you might remember that the Civic Center roof collapsed after a particularly heavy snow storm. It reopened two years later. Today, it still stands as the XL Center, a site of many concerts to this day.
- Here’s a name that may not immediately come to mind: The Kool Jazz Festival. I attended a few times in the early 80s when it was held in Saratoga, New York. It long ago moved back to its original city and retains its original name: The Newport (RI) Jazz Festival.
- And who remembers the Ticketron office on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel? Many of us spent the night sleeping on the sidewalk to be the first in line for concert tickets when they went on sale at 10:00am. I still remember the Bethel police stopping by, making sure we were all right, and then moving on, knowing full well that we would be skipping school that morning to get Rush tickets for about $10.00 per seat.
It was indeed a simpler time.
What concert venues do you remember? Give me a ring some time when I’m on the air and we’ll chat.