I have been going through this rock & roll trip down memory lane with this blog. It started with the vinyl records I found in a box and than last week with the posters. I actually found one more box from my younger days and this one had a ton of concert ticket stubs from over the years. I also found a couple concert T’s and a couple programs as well. I still can’t believe I kept all this stuff, but I am glad I did.
Going to a concert nowadays, they don’t give you a physical ticket anymore. If they do, they charge you for it. Nope, tickets are on your phone and get scanned in or you print it out on your printer. Not the same as those dot matrix printers from the old days.
You also used to stand in line for tickets. You had to arrive an hour or two before the tickets went on sale whether it was hot, cold, raining or snowing. We did it each and every time we wanted to go see a show. And we loved it! Now you go online from the comfort of you home…not the same.
Whether you want to or not, I am going to take you on a journey of my musical concert experiences…at least most of them because I think I am missing quite a few ticket stubs.
Our journey begins back around 1983. I was only 14 years old. My parents finally agreed to let me go to a concert, but I had to go with my sister…REALLY!!! Actually, it was okay. My sister and I have been to many concerts together and even went to one 2 years ago some 3o+ years later.
The first concert was on July 26, 1983 at the Omni in Atlanta, GA. The tickets were only $11.50. Wow!! I had to do some digging, but the opening act was a duo called The Sparks. I don’t remember anything about them. I do remember there were a ton of women there and being a male at 14, that was a good thing!! I also remember that the show was great and I have been a fan of his ever since. It was a great first concert! Thanks sis!
Just a few months later I was able to go see one of my favorite bands on the first of many concerts. It was Kiss. The concert was a gift for my birthday and I think it was from my brother who is a huge Kiss fan as well. My birthday is on Christmas, and the concert was on December 26th. It was a very nice surprise. The opening acts were Pat Travers and the band Axe. The tour was the Lick It Up tour and was also at the Omni. The stage was still the Tank stage from the Creatures of the Night Tour. It was pretty cool. The lead guitarist at the time was Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr was on drums. I am glad I got to see that line up. Vinnie was fired after this tour.
The next concert was on November 20th, 1984 at the Atlanta Civic Center. The group was The Fixx in support of Phantoms which was their follow-up to their successful album Reach the Beach. I went with a friend of mine from high school. I don’t remember the opening act so guess that means they weren’t much.
On January 9th, 1985, brought me to my 2nd Kiss back at the Omni. The opening act was Krokus and they were great. The tour was for the Animalize Tour and the lead guitarist on this on was supposed to be Mark St. John, but he was fired in December. Bruce Kulick took over duties for the remainder of the tour and for years later. I hate I didn’t get to see Mark. He is the only Kiss guitarist I have not seen live. I still have the Tour Program from that show and it still had Mark St. John throughout since they didn’t have time to change them up.
I started 1985 with a Kiss concert so I had to end it with a Kiss concert. This one was on December 31, 1985 and where else, but at the Omni. This show was for the Asylum Tour. The opening act for this show was Black n Blue. Same line-up as the earlier show so nothing really new. I had to get another program…of course.
1986 was a dry year as I don’t have any tickets for the year, but I am sure I remember some concerts at Six Flags during the summer. The next show was on March 10, 1987 and would be a very busy concert year. The first show was Ratt. Ticket prices have since climbed to $15.50. The opening act was Poison so it was billed as the Ratt Poison Tour. Both bands were huge at the time and it was a great show.
Just 2 weeks later on March 24, 1987, it was back to the Omni to see Bon Jovi and their opening act Cinderella. Bon Jovi was massive and there were 2 shows and we caught the 2nd one. They were still touring in support of the Slippery When Wet album. I still have a tour T-shirt from the show. Needless to say, it doesn’t fit anymore.
On July 12, 1987 (for $16), we saw Night Ranger and The Outfield together at the Fabulous Fox Theater. It is a beautiful theater and an Atlanta landmark. The concert itself was amazing. Night Ranger was spot on with their blistering guitars. The Outfield was also wonderful and I did not appreciate them at the time. Now I am actually a fan of the band.
I still have 2 more concerts for 1987. The next was quite memorable as it was Motley Crue. The opening act was a new up & coming band called Guns N Roses. The price of the tickets was now $17.50. Guns N Roses came out and they were great; however, about 2 or 3 songs in, Axl Rose decided that this fan in the front row was being a little obnoxious so he jumped off the stage and got in a fight with the guy. This caused the show to stop and naturally, he was arrested. To make matters worse, Motley Crue came out late because they were pissed or something, not sure. Then they cut their show short as a result. They played a little over an hour. However, they sounded awesome and did put on a great show. It is a show I won’t ever forget.
To end the year, I got to see the first of 3 shows I would see over the next year with my favorite band, Def Leppard. The first show was on December 18, 1987. They were touring for the Hysteria album and this was towards the beginning of their incredibly long tour. The stage setup was their very famous “In the Round” stage. The stage sat in the center of the arena and they were surrounded by their fans. They used to get to the stage by hiding in large laundry bins and they were rolled out to the stage. The opening act was Tesla! These guys were on fire that night as well. Two great acts and one great show.
Now we are in 1988 and it is February 10. This show was back to another of my favorite bands, Kiss. They were now touring for the Crazy Nights album. The show was less pyrotechnics and more of a rock show. Gene did spit fire though. The opening act, if I remember correctly, was the one and only Ted Nugent. For me, this was a dream come true as I hadn’t seen him before and I was not disappointed. He is a mad man.
Now as we get later into 1988, I want to see Def Leppard again. At the time, they were not coming back to Atlanta, so we went to the closest city they were going which was Chattanooga, TN. On September 15, we drove an hour and half there and back to see another spectacular show. The opening act this time was Queensryche. It was the show that made me go back and listen to their latest album, Operation: Mindcrime. One of my all time favorite albums. The show was well worth the drive.
Of course, after we bought the Chattanooga tickets, they announced another Atlanta show for October 7, 1988 at the Omni. The ticket price was now $18.50 and I didn’t know if I wanted to pay for another show. The local radio station, Power 99, was having a contest for free tickets. I don’t remember the contest, but most likely it was if you hear a certain song or just call when they tell you to and be a certain # caller, you win. Guess what, I was that caller and I won two tickets. I believe I took my sister. Queensryche was still the opening act. And another great show.
On November 5th, 1988, it was off to the Fabulous Fox again to see Stryper in support of their album In God We Trust. The Fox tickets are cheaper than the Omni as their price was only $15.75. Sadly, I can’t remember the opening act, but I know it was a known band at the time.
There were 2 other shows in the 80’s I saw that I am completely embarrassed to say that I saw this person in concert. Going to these shows were not my first choice. It was only out of the need for a friend. The girl he was dating wanted to go and he didn’t want to be the only male their. So, as a good friend I sucked it up and went to support my friend. Those shows were on July 17th, 1988 and November 15, 1989. The concert was for Debbie Gibson. That is right…Debbie Gibson. Please, don’t shame me. And what makes it worse is that one of the shows was filmed for a video release and from what I understand is that you can see us in the audience. We were in the 3rd row so I don’t doubt that statement. I have never seen it. The horror!!
Since I have gone on and on about the concerts, I will end it here for the 80’s concerts. I will post next about the 90’s to today. I hope you enjoyed the look back at my concert experiences.