The 10 Greatest Summer Concerts I Never Saw

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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.

Woodstock '69

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.

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11 comments
DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Neil Ford and the Fanatics, Five Americans, a few other groups, and Jefferson Airplane. 1968? Something like that. Sam Houston Coliseum, of course. 

WMS
WMS

Much the same lineup as Woodstock at Texas International Pop Festival, August 1969, Lewisville. Led Zep, BB King, Canned Heat, Rotary Connection, Grand Funk, James Cotton, Chicago Transit Authority, Herbie Mann, Santana, Delaney and Bonnie, Nazz, Spirit, Ten Years AfterSly and Family Stone, Sam and Dave, Janis Joplin, Tony Joe White. Along with Atlanta Pop, the "other" Woodstocks of the summer of '69.

Break
Break

I remember being in Jr. High when the Who concert was.  The big buzz was that THE WHO were having dinner at the home of one of the students homes.  The funny part is, it was true.

Christinalynn
Christinalynn

kinda like a friend of mine back in middle school: her parents are pastors at the church Beyonce and Kelly Rowland attended. True story!

basshole
basshole

Memorable Houston summer shows I've seen:  The Who at the Dome with Stevie Ray Vaughan opening, 1989. Bob Dylan backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Souther Star, 1986.  Those '93 and '94 Lollapaloozas were good but hot, but I missed '92, which was a better lineup, and the tour skipped Houston in '91. A few festivals aside, the single best summer show experience I've had was Monsters of Rock at Donington in '91. AC/DC, Metallica, Motley Crue, Queensryche, and the Black Crowes.

Christinalynn
Christinalynn

bob dylan backed by tom petty and the heartbreakers - I would pay big bucks to see that!

Christina Hildebrand
Christina Hildebrand

nice! I would not mind seeing Van Halen. Sadly I have only seen one band in Galveston and that was Wilson Phillips June 2012. That one was at the Grand 1894 Operahouse. (If you ever get the opportunity to go, please do so - you won't be disappointed!) One of the interesting things I remember seeing there was not only the decor but the marker of where the water hit during Ike. It was 6 feet of water or more. I'm 5'5. I wanted to take a picture of me under it. After that me and a friend got to meet them. They were nice. But one big concert that stands out to me from the rock world was the first time I saw Heart. They came with Journey and Cheap Trick. It was at the Woodlands in 2007 in July - 2 months before Ike hit and basically destroyed that place until it was rebuilt. Me and a friend from college (who was a music - voice, like opera, major - big classic rock fan) came along with me and we got lawn seats because that's all I could afford. Heart opened their set with "Wild Child" and then did stuff like "Magic Man," "Barracuda," etc. My MOM got a little jealous of us because, as it turns out, she loves Journey but isn't a big Heart fan. I wasn't a big Journey fan but I love Heart. Now I love both.  One of the more memorable ones that I probably mention above was when I was 7 my parents took me to see this christian artist (which is what I grew up on) named Rich Mullins with Margaret Becker. Rich Mullins is kinda like Bob Dylan albeit with a mandolin and a dulcimer. Margaret Becker - think Janis Joplin meets Poison. Anyways it was at the sam houston coliseum. I remember it being a kinda trashy place. However, the concert was fun, but dang she was loud. This was in 1993. Sadly Mullins died in 1997 - he was playing around with some atvs and apparently was hit by an 18-wheeler. Now they are making an independent film about his life.

Jarod Frank
Jarod Frank

I was so ready to put Mötley Crüe's Theatre of Pain tour on here when they filmed part of the "Home Sweet Home" video at The Summit, but upon further review, the show happened in October. I think I'm remembering when we bought tickets in June of 1985 at the Astrodome on the way to Astroworld. I remember a couple of shows on the beach in Galveston. One was Vixen and the other was KISS. The Vixen one was miserable as it was so hot. And with the KISS one in 1990, they only played 35 minutes and the sound faded in and out because of the wind. We waited probably 3 hours for them to come on sitting through a super long set by a local cover band. Then when KISS finally came on, it was great, until we realized they were only going to play 7 songs. Then the crowd got pissed and started throwing stuff at the stage. The Monsters of Rock Tour in 1988 with Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken, Metallica, and Kingdom Come at Rice Stadium is probably my most memorable summer concert. The metal and plastic benches at Rice were SOOOO hot. We ended up moving up higher just to sit on the wooden benches instead. The PA cut off on Dokken, and Kingdom Come was terrible. Seeing Metallica on their first tour after Cliff died was cool, and my first Van Halen experience didn't disappoint.

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