(Above: Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis, backstage in Madison, 1982.)
In a previous post, we started going through the Setlist.fm concert listings for the Dane County Coliseum, the big arena in my town, Madison, Wisconsin. Because Setlist.fm is a wiki, it’s only as good as the recollections of its users, so if there are errors of omission or commission in this list, don’t be surprised. We have already covered 1967 through 1977. On we go with 1978 and beyond.
1/24/78: Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker
1/29/78: Rush, Pat Travers, and Jay Ferguson
2/22/78: Dr. Hook and Sha Na Na
3/1/78: Foghat and Starz
—Starz: one of the ultimate opening acts of the late 70s. (See also: Mahogany Rush.)
4/20/78: John Denver
4/21/78: Bob Seger and the Sweet
—At this moment in history, with Seger a couple of weeks away from releasing Stranger in Town and the Sweet on the radio with “Love Is Like Oxygen,” this is a damn fine bill.
4/28 or 5/28/78 (multiple dates given): REO Speedwagon
7/8/78: Bruce Springsteen
7/23/78: Beach Boys
7/28/78: Alice Cooper
—This was the show with the spaceship; the opening act was Trickster, labelmates of ELO on Jet Records, who sucked mightily.
9/15/78: Cheap Trick and Eddie Money
10/16/78: Neil Young
11/1/78: Bob Dylan
11/5/78: Moody Blues
11/28/78: Bruce Springsteen
—That’s two Springsteen shows in Madison in about four months. The economics of touring were vastly different then.
12/2/78: Ted Nugent
12/3/78: Grateful Dead
12/12/78: Bob Seger
—Sweet mama look at that lineup from Thanksgiving to Christmas 1978. Given what concert tickets cost then, you could have seen them all for what–$75?
1/26/79: Marshall Tucker and Firefall
2/4/79: Grateful Dead
2/14/79: Alice Cooper
3/something/79: Billy Joel
—Although it’s not shown at Setlist.fm, I know we saw Billy Joel at the Coliseum at about this time.
4/11/79: Head East
4/20/79: Jethro Tull
5/8/79: AC/DC and UFO
6/9/79: Eric Clapton
7/25/79: Bee Gees and the Sweet Inspirations
—A friend of mine took his Bee Gees-obsessed younger sister to this show and said it was the loudest thing he’d ever experienced.
8/20/79: Van Halen
8/24/79: Styx and New England
9/16/79: the Kinks and John Cougar
9/26/79: Kiss and Judas Priest
9/30/79: REO Speedwagon
10/10/79: Blue Oyster Cult and Rainbow
11/7/79: Molly Hatchet and the Outlaws
11/11/79: Bob Marley
—I was at this show, and I think I’ve said here before that of all the concerts I’ve ever been to, it’s the one I am the most glad to have seen.
12/5/79: Jefferson Starship
3/3/80: ZZ Top and Head East
—Also appearing: Starcastle, who were everywhere back in the day.
4/20/80: Rush and .38 Special
4/27/80: Cheap Trick
5/11/80: Fleetwood Mac
6/5/80: John Denver
6/13/80: Ted Nugent, Scorpions, and Def Leppard
6/26/80: Jackson Browne
8/20/80: Joan Armatrading
9/4/80: Elton John
—At which Elton pitched an onstage fit over technical problems with his piano. While he was staying at Madison’s Edgewater Hotel, he took a turn at the piano bar.
9/14/80: AC/DC and Blackfoot
10/9/80: Charlie Daniels Band
11/13/80: Beach Boys and Off Broadway
2/2/81: Bruce Springsteen
—In 1981, I was a Springsteen fanatic, so it’s a mystery why I didn’t go to this show.
3/13/81: Eric Clapton
4/24/81: Rainbow and Pat Travers
7/12/81: Van Halen
8/5/81: ZZ Top
8/31/81: Little River Band
10/18/81: Bob Dylan
10/21/81: Def Leppard and Blackfoot
11/5/81: Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, and Whitford St. Holmes
—The latter was Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent’s band plus a couple of other dudes.
12/3/81: Grateful Dead
1/11/82: Rod Stewart
1/23/82: Ozzy Osbourne
2/18/82: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins
—Not shown at Setlist.fm, but the picture at the top of this post proves it happened.
2/27/82: Marshall Tucker
3/11 or 3/12/82: Black Sabbath and Wrabit
—Wrabit was a Canadian band in the mold of Styx, with its logo supposedly designed by Warner Brothers cartoon auteur Chuck Jones.
6/17/82: John Denver
8/11/82: Van Halen and After the Fire
9/13/82: REO Speedwagon and Survivor
10/10/82: Rush and Rory Gallagher
11/10/82: Crosby Stills & Nash
11/18/82: Pat Benatar
And that’s where I’m gonna leave it. Those amongst the readership with memories of any of these shows—or any not listed here—please chime in.