Concerts and Shows

I was sitting around with a few friends recently and we were reminiscing about concerts we had seen over the years. After a while, we were grabbing pen and paper and scribbling lists. Having done that, I thought it might be fun to document it here and then add to it as I hopefully get to see more shows in the future. Having spent some time wracking my brain, this is the best list I could come up with, although I am sure I am missing a few... A little internet searching has helped narrow down some long forgotten approximate dates based on albums being toured for at the time...

In roughly chronological (reverse) order...if you want to start at the beginning, go to the bottom and read your way up...


  • Spongebob the Musical - January 28 at the Palace Theater. Julia's Christmas present was for the family to go see the original Broadway cast of the recently opened (and critically acclaimed) new musical. It was really entertaining.

  • School of Rock - September 30 at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway. Julia's birthday present. I wasn't expecting much, but this wa surprisingly good, and would definitely go in the "worth the money" category.
  • Moody Blues - July 15 at the Mann Music Center. Touring for the 50th anniversary of the Days of Future Passed album. Set 1 was a greatest hits assortment, and set 2 was the entire DOFP album, including all the orchestral fill. Encore was Question and Seesaw. Justin's voice at age 70 was great.
  • James Taylor, with Bonnie Raitt - July 9 at the Wells Fargo Center. An hour of Bonnie Raitt followed by 1:45 of JT, with some cross over. Excellent show, and 7 years after the first time we had seen JT (2010 with Carole King on the Troubadour tour).
  • Australian Pink Floyd - August 5 at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby PA. A world class and world famous tribute band. I went in with modest expectations and came away from the experience very impressed.
  • The Carl Palmer Band - June 6 at the World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware. Tremendous show, with seats in the 4th row, slightly left of center stage. Amazing drum work and good stories and banter between songs. An art rock throwback to my teen years.
  • Something Rotten - March 24 at the St James Theater on Broadway. Absolutely hilarious. Competitors of Shakespeare create the first musical.
  • An American in Paris - September 26 at the Palace theater on Broadway. You have to like ballet for this one, but very good.
  • Wicked - September 26 at the Gershwin theater on Broadway. Phenomenal. One of my favorite musical theater experiences.
  • Chick Corea and Bela Fleck - September 25 at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ. A concert selected by my brother in law, and an unexpected treat. Virtuoso performances on piano and banjo.
  • Denis DiBlasio - April 24 at the local high school. Jazz sax player DiBlasio performed with the student jazz band, and was tremendous. Digging into YouTube after the concert turned up all sorts of videos of him with the Maynard Ferguson band in the 1980's.
  • Sing Off Live Tour - February 28 at the Grand Opera in Wilmington. A great night of a cappella music from several of the best recent acts from the show.
  • Mary Poppins - December 23 at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.
  • Aladdin - September 27 at the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway. The original cast. Fabulous!
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band - June 11 at the Sun Center in Aston PA. A 1,500 seat lawn show very close to home. Great show for their most recent album, Made Up Mind.
  • Justin Hayward (of the Moody Blues) - Solo tour for Spirits of the Western Sky, May 20 at the World Cafe Live at the Queen. Opening act guitarist Mike Dawes. Virtually an identical show to what we saw last August in the same venue.
  • Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour (Cirque de Soleil) - March 26 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. OK, maybe not technically a concert, but it kinda was.
  • Stomp! - February 22 at the DuPont Theater in Wilmington. OK, a stage show and not a concert really, but a show centered on percussion, so...
  • The Musical Box; Selling England by the Pound - January 18 at the Grand Opera in Wilmington. A Genesis tribute band recreating a 1974 tour show in its entirety.
  • Lion King - October 26 at the Minskoff Theater. Julia's birthday gift. A wonderful extravaganza. Highly highly recommended.
  • Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills and Nash) - September 28 at the Grand Opera in Wilmington.
  • Justin Hayward (of the Moody Blues) - Solo tour for Spirits of the Western Sky, August 5 at the World Cafe Live at the Queen. Opening act guitarist Mike Dawes.
  • The Eagles - July 17 at the Wells Fargo Center for The History of the Eagles tour.
  • The Moody Blues - November 30 at Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City.
  • Asia - October 20 at the Keswick Theater touring for the XXX album (relax, it's just a Roman numeral). This is the second time I saw them, 29 years after the first time...
  • Rush - October 12 at the Wells Fargo Center for the Clockwork Angels tour. This is the third time I have seen them.
  • Willie Nelson - May 6 at the Keswick Theater. An American treasure.
  • Eric Johnson - January 7 at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville. Opening act guitarist Andy Hall.
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band - August 18 at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. Opening act Steve Earle and the Dukes and Duchesses featuring Allison Moorer.
  • James Taylor and Carole King - June 10 at the Wells Fargo Center for the Troubador reunion tour.
  • Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits, back in the day)- May 7 at the Tower Theater. Opening act Pieta Brown with Bo Ramsey.
  • Rush - 2009/2010 - A second show of the Snakes and Arrows tour on a different (later) leg. This show was at the waterfront place in awful dirty place with horrible sound that I will never go back to.
The 2000's
  • October 31, 2009 - The Spectrum, scene of many of my early concerts, closes officially, having been replaced by the bigger, newer, nicer Corestates Center (also known as "the House that Eric Lindros built"). It would be dismantled between November 2010 and May 2011. It is now a parking lot across the street from the parking lot where Veteran's Stadium used to be...
  • Mark Knopfler - Summer 2008 at the Mann Music Center.
  • Rush - 2007/2008 - The first of two Rush shows I would see on the Snakes and Arrows tour. Wells Fargo Center.
  • The Dixie Chicks - probably 2006/2007 at the Wells Fargo Center (or whatever it was called then), touring for the Taking the Long Way album (released May 2006). It can't have been any earlier than this because I distinctly remember the song Not Ready to Make Nice, and the whole story about their political troubles based on their anti-war, anti-George Bush comments in 2003. What is currently called the Wells Fargo Center (where the Philadelphia Flyers and Seventy-Sixers play) has changed names a bunch of times as name-sponsor banks have merged. It started as the Corestates Center when it opened in the late 1990's, replacing the Spectrum, and has subsequently been the First Union Center, the Wachovia Center, and now Wells Fargo. Opening act was Anna Nalick. Or maybe I am confusing shows, but I know we saw Anna Nalick as the opening act for somebody, and timing-wise this is the only late 2000's show that would fit...
  • The Moody Blues - several more, including a 4th row seat at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, and a show at the Borgata, also in AC.
The 1990's
  • Billy Joel and Elton John - July 1994 at Veteran's Stadium on the "Piano Men" tour (the first one).
  • Eric Clapton - Either August 14 or 15, 1990 at the Spectrum touring for the Journeyman album (which was released in 1989). Opening act Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.
  • The Moody Blues - several more, including a Tower Theater show touring for Keys of the Kingdom (released 1991)... It also would have been the late 1980's or more probably early 1990's that I saw them at the Valley Forge Music Fair. The VFMF is a long-gone little arena (3,000 seat capacity per the Wikipedia link, closing in 1996) that was off route 202 near the King of Prussia Mall, and only did shows in the round. It was kind of bizarre watching a show with the stage periodically spinning in slow circles. First you see the front, then the side, then the back, then the other side, then the front again, and again..and again...
The 1980's
  • Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - October 28 or 29, 1986. Spectrum. Most likely touring for the Like a Rock album (released 1986). With Frankie Miller.
  • Dire Straits - 1985/86 at the Mann Music Center touring for the Brothers in Arms album (released 1985). The first of three times I have seen Mark Knopfler - this with Dire Straits and twice much more recently on solo tours (2008 and 2010).
  • The Moody Blues - several other times, touring for both The Present (1983) and The Other Side of Life (1986) albums. Shows would have been another Spectrum show (10/10/86 with The Fixx) and I think two different Mann Music Center outdoor summer shows, as they were popular enough back then to fill an indoor arena in the colder weather and then the Mann Music Center outdoors in the summer, often on different legs of the same tour.
  • Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band - 1984/85 touring for the Born in the USA album. At Veterans Stadium.
  • Yes - April 30, 1984 (senior year) touring for the 90125 album at the Spectrum (released November 1983). This was the incarnation of Yes with Trevor Rabin on guitar instead of Steve Howe, a favorite of mine, so as it turns out I have seen Steve Howe twice live, but both with Asia and neither with Yes. 
  • Genesis - November 25-27, 1983 (senior year) touring for the Genesis album (released 1983). Spectrum.
  • The Moody Blues - October 21, 1983 touring for The Present at the old Spectrum. Opening act Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble. This would have been the first of about a dozen times I have seen them.
  • Asia - August 27, 1983 at the Spectrum touring for the Alpha album. Had to be prior to October 1983 when John Wetton was forced out of the band (because I saw Wetton and not Greg Lake). Opening act Chris de Burgh, who I didn't know at the time but loved.
  • Kansas - August 13, 1982, after my sophomore year in high school, on the first tour after lead singer Steve Walsh left the band and was replaced by John Elefante (thanks Wikipedia). Spectrum. Opening act was Survivor.
  • Van Halen - 1981/82/83 touring for either Fair Warning (1981) or Diver Down (1982), I'm not sure which (but it was before the 1984 album with "Jump" etc). I think this was my first rock concert. I remember thinking two things: (1) This is really cool!! I'm at a concert!!, and (2) they sound a little bit rough live. I remember Eddie as being spectacular, and the "roughness" wasn't so much that they weren't playing well, but this was my first experience with loud live music (John Denver being many things, but loud was not one of them...).
  • John Denver - 1980/81 (probably June 22, 1980). My first concert ever. I always liked John Denver (even though that wasn't the slightest bit cool), and my Dad took me to see him at the Spectrum. What a great memory. Thanks Dad.
Lots and lots of good memories in this list...

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