The 10 Greatest Summer Concerts I Never Saw
Well, kids, summer has arrived. If you have ever noticed, all the good concerts seem to come during the summer -- with May being more like a pre-show.
My parents, when I was younger, took me to many concerts at some of these venues, mainly Contemporary Christian concerts. I myself had only been to the Sam Houston Coliseum twice, once for Steve Camp when I was five and lastly, a concert with Margaret Becker and the late Rich Mullins at age seven.
As for Hofheinz Pavillion, I went there once and that was when I graduated from the University of Houston in 2010. I have also been to the old Summit twice, both times were for the Handels Young Messiah tour back in 1992 and 1995.
Some of the best ones that I went to were in the summer. I can clearly remember as a child going to Joyfest at the Southern Star Ampitheater at Astroworld back in 1994 and twice in 1997 -- once to see Jars of Clay and another time to see Point of Grace -- my version of Wilson Phillips and the Spice Girls.
In more recent years, I have attended other summer concerts such as Wilson Phillips in Galveston, Stevie Nicks's In Your Dreams tour in August 2011,and Journey with Cheap Trick and Heart back in July 2008, both at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion.
However, I still wonder what it would have been like to be at some of the more legendary concert tours that have either come through Houston or elsewhere.
Ahhhh...the motherlode of all concerts. This concert made history like no other. With a lineup that included the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who, Country Joe and the Fish, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, and countless others -- who wouldn't want to be at this festival?
The US Festival in San Bernadino, Calif., September 3-5, 1982/May 28-30, June 4, 1983
The US Festival had one of the greatest lineups in music history next to Woodstock '69. The first half, which took place over Labor Day weekend, featured such acts as The B-52's, Oingo Boingo (Oscar-winning composer Danny Elfman's old band), Eddie Money, The Kinks, Pat Benatar, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Police, Fleetwood Mac and Talking Heads.
The second half, which took place over a Memorial Day weekend, featured such acts as the Divinyls, Missing Persons, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Van Halen, U2, Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, and the Pretenders.
It was a festival that was both financed and planned by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack. In many ways, from what I know about this festival, it was a little like Summerfest. Either way, it would have been fun to be there in person.
Texxas Jam had a revolving lineup that included the likes of Sammy Hagar, the late Bob Welch, Fleetwood Mac, Styx -- who decided to perform their rock opera Kilroy Was Here, much to everyone's dismay -- Heart, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Aerosmith, Head East, Fleetwood Mac, and plenty more. For any hard rocker (or even a KLOL listener), this would be like the dream lineup from heaven.
Heart at Astroworld's Southern Star Ampitheater, August 16, 1985: I must admit, I miss Astroworld. I miss the fact that you could go and ride the rides and then catch a concert and either sit on the lawn or pay a little money and, from what I remember, sit wherever you wanted in the seats.
For Heart in 1985, I would have paid the extra cash. I would have loved to hear Ann and Nancy blow away the crowd with hits as "If Looks Could Kill," "Never," and "Nothin' At All" from their self-titled comeback album as well as such classics as "Dreamboat Annie," "Cook With Fire," and "Barracuda."
If you ask me, the Sam Houston Coliseum was one of the more historic music venues in Houston; all of the legendary acts such as the Beatles and many others came to this venue. This particular event was hosted by KILT before it turned into a country station. Not only would it have been cool to have seen George, John, Paul and Ringo back in their heyday, but to see them at a pretty interesting venue like this place.
Madonna's "The Virgin Tour" at Hofheinz Pavillion, May 4, 1985
For me, this would be an act of rebellion because I know that in more conservative Christian circles, Madonna is considered taboo, as in never to be listened to even if she does put out a 'clean' record. If I were a teenager back then, I would have definitely snuck out to see this tour.
However, this is classic Madonna at her best because it seems like nowadays she doesn't perform her classic hits such as "Gambler," "Dress You Up," "Like a Virgin," and plenty more. I wish she would perform those songs.
Though the video above was shot in Detroit, it still gives us a pretty good feel of what it would have been like to be at that concert.
If you have ever seen the original Blues Brothers sketch on Saturday Night Live or even the film from 1980, you know that Jake (played by the late John Belushi) and Elwood (played by Dan Ackroyd) are one rather funny musical duo that, as a blues act, are pretty talented.
I wonder if they did that whole bit where they amend the line that Elwood says during "Everybody Needs Somebody" that "we would especially like to welcome all the representatives of Texas law enforcement community that have chosen to join us here at Hofheinz Pavillion at this time" as part of the act. That would be really funny.
Monterey Pop Festival in Monterey, Calif., June 16-18, 1968
Ahh....the grandmother of all music festivals. The lineup included such acts as the Mamas and the Papas, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix and plenty more.
Okay everyone sing along: "Don't say that you love me!/ Just tell me that you want me!/ TUSK!" A friend of mine once told me that she would rather want me to see Fleetwood Mac as they used to be back in the '70s and '80s. If I had a time machine, I would want to go back in time and see this concert just to hear such classics as "Tusk," "Sisters of the Moon," "Blue Letter," "You Make Lovin' Fun," and the ever-enchanting "The Chain."
I have been lucky enough to see two of the current lineup of Fleetwood Mac live: Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. I hope they do tour next year as I have heard announced. However, this would be a Fleetwood Mac concert I would love to see from the past because this was when Christine McVie was in the band. She wrote such songs as "Songbird," "World Turning," "You Make Loving Fun" and plenty others. Sadly, McVie quit the band shortly after the band reunited to make 1997's The Dance.
The Who at Hofheinz Pavillion, June 20, 1970
I have it on good knowledge that my father was probably at this concert - I think. He was a big fan of the Who when he was a teenager. Who could blame him? He has good taste. Albums such as Who's Next and Live at Leeds are nothing short of classics. One of the big merits of seeing this concert would be the fact that I would have been able to see the original lineup: Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, John Entwistle and Pete Townshend. Sadly, Moon overdosed on methadone in 1978 and Entwistle died of a heart attack in June 2002.
If you have any fun summer concert memories, please feel free to share below. I would love to hear them.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.