Robert Plant: 7/1/1985

So if you are paying attention, you will notice that the date on the stub and the date of this show do not match up. That’s because, even though this was an indoor concert, it was postponed due to rain. If you grew up in South Florida in the 70s and 80s, you would remember the barn of a venue that was the infamous Hollywood Sportatorium, which was such a shithole that when it rained, water threatened to pour down on the stage.

The Sportatorium roof was infamous for occasionally leaking over the stage (and performers) or the audience during heavy rainfalls. Robert Plant postponed a 1985 concert for one day due to leaks in the roof, and remarked to the crowd the following night, “This is the first gig I’ve ever done that was rained out inside the building.”

(Source: Wikipedia)

We had driven out to Pembroke Pines on the Sunday, since we hadn’t heard the news about the postponement, and we were turned away along with a bunch of other concertgoers (read Sun Sentinel article about cancellation). Thankfully, there were no conflicts preventing us from returning the following night. Since this was my first time seeing Robert Plant, I would have been devastated if I had to return my ticket.

Anyway, the next day, we made the trek (again) out to the Sport-hole, and this time we were treated to an awesome performance by Plant. He was touring in support of the Shaken and Stirred album, but he also included a short Honeydrippers set, which was very cool. I was slightly disappointed that he didn’t play any Zeppelin tunes on this tour, but I guess he was trying to establish himself apart from his past. I can respect that, but it would have been cool to toss in one or two songs. But the quality of what he did play certainly made up for it, and I would see Plant perform Zep stuff at future shows, particularly when he performed with Jimmy Page.

Here’s the setlist—there was good rockin’ at midnight!

Setlist

Robert Plant

  • In the Mood
  • Pledge Pin
  • Pink and Black
  • Little by Little
  • Burning Down One Side
  • Too Loud
  • Thru’ With the Two Step
  • Other Arms
  • Messin’ With the Mekon
  • Slow Dancer

Honeydrippers

  • Rockin’ at Midnight
  • Young Boy Blues
  • Sea of Love
  • (Every Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone

Robert Plant

  • Like I’ve Never Been Gone
  • Easily Lead

Encore:

  • Big Log

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: 9/10/1985

Springsteen on the Born in the U.S.A. tour. He was definitely one of the top touring acts in 1985. I had not seen Bruce but had heard about his epic concerts, so I figured I had to go and check him out. He lived up to the hype, that’s for sure.

I went to this show with my concert buddy Jim. He drove, and we parked in some sketchy lot near the Miami Orange Bowl, then made our way to the stadium. At this time, I was already losing interest in stadium shows. Shitty acoustics, too many people, risk of bad weather, there are myriad reasons to avoid stadium shows. But there was no other place that could hold the crowd that Springsteen would draw, so the Orange Bowl it was. At least we had decent seats.

Not surprising, he opened the show with “Born in the U.S.A.” It was a great anthem song to kick things off, and I was kind of glad he got it out of the way early. Not that it is a bad song, it was just way overplayed on the radio in those days. Then he tore right into “Badlands,” which was cool.

Miami in September can be brutally hot, and Bruce is known to sweat a lot during his performances. Anyway, the band had tubing set up on the stage that blasted a steady stream of cool air onto the musicians. I was somewhat impressed with this, and assumed that they were enjoying some air conditioning while still playing outside.

As was expected, the band played a long time (I want to say it was about 4 hours). They did two solid sets, and an encore that was so long, it was essentially a third set in my opinion. I have to say, after seeing Bruce live, I had a whole new level of appreciation for him as a musician. The man can rock. Period.

After the show, Jim and I started looking for the car. Unfortunately, we had forgotten where we parked, and as we wandered the dark and seedy streets of downtown Miami in the 80’s, I was somewhat concerned. But thankfully, we had no issues, and after almost an hour, we stumbled upon the lot where Jim’s car was parked.

Here is the setlist.

Set 1:

  • Born in the U.S.A.
  • Badlands
  • Out in the Street
  • Johnny 99
  • Seeds
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town
  • The River
  • Working on the Highway
  • Trapped
  • Darlington County
  • Glory Days
  • The Promised Land
  • My Hometown
  • Thunder Road

Set 2:

  • Cover Me
  • Dancing in the Dark
  • Hungry Heart
  • Cadillac Ranch
  • No Surrender
  • I’m on Fire
  • Pink Cadillac
  • Bobby Jean

Encore:

  • Can’t Help Falling in Love
  • Born to Run
  • Ramrod
  • Twist and Shout
  • Do You Love Me?
  • Stand on It

AC/DC: 3/18/2001

After I heard that the great Malcolm Young passed away at the age of 64, I figured I needed to shuffle through the pile of stubs and locate an AC/DC stub (I’ve seen them several times). As fate would have it, I came upon the stub from the last time I saw the band, which was in 2001 on the Stiff Upper Lip tour.

I went to this show with my friend Jim, who was a die-hard AC/DC fan. We went to the National Car Rental Center which was in the Fort Lauderdale area. It was your typical arena.

Honestly, I was expecting a mediocre show, some old dudes wheezing through a set, trying to recapture their earlier energy—but I was pleasantly surprised. The band exploded on stage and ripped right into “You Shook Me” and just kept tearing it up for the entire show. I kept worrying that Angus was going to hurt himself as he flung himself around the stage, but he was like the rock and roll Energizer Bunny… he just kept going and going and going…

The band played all the standard hits, and broke out some unusual tunes which I really got into, particularly “Shot Down in Flames” and “Get it Hot.” Even my die-hard buddy was impressed when they played those.

I can still picture Malcolm at this show, hair hanging over his face, steadfast and pounding out the relentless rhythm amid the rock and roll chaos. Rock on, Malcolm, and thanks for all the kick-ass music.

Here is the setlist from the show.

  • You Shook Me All Night Long
  • Stiff Upper Lip
  • Shot Down in Flames
  • Thunderstruck
  • Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be
  • Hard as a Rock
  • Shoot to Thrill
  • Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution
  • Sin City
  • Bad Boy Boogie
  • Hells Bells
  • Get It Hot
  • The Jack
  • Back in Black
  • Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  • Highway to Hell
  • Whole Lotta Rosie
  • Let There Be Rock
  • T.N.T.
  • For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

The Monkees: 7/6/1986

Monkees_7-6-86

This was a fun all-day concert. This was The Monkees’ 20th Anniversary Tour which featured Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork (Michael Nesmith did not join them for this tour). In addition to The Monkees, there were four other bands on the bill: The Turtles, Herman’s Hermits, The Grass Roots, and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.

I went with my girlfriend Ruth and we had a great time. The opening bands were fun and definitely stirred the nostalgia. The one that stands out the most in my memory, though, is The Turtles. They were out of control. Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman were dressed in outrageous costumes, cursing into the microphones, grabbing themselves, starting a song and then saying “F**k that!” and going into something else. Most of the crowd was kind of dumb-struck, but I found it very entertaining.

Finally, The Monkees came onstage, walking out as the theme song from the television show played. They played a long set that included every hit I could possibly think of. They sounded great and genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves on stage. We danced and sang along. It was exactly what I envisioned a Monkees concert to be like.

After the show, Ruth and I hung around in the parking lot for a while. I had this spinning prism disk that attracted many of the consciousness-altered people from the concert, who stood around staring into the swirling vortex of color. It was pretty entertaining, but after a while, we packed it in and headed home.

Thanks to the internet, I was able to find the setlist from the show. Here it is.

Setlist:

Last Train to Clarksville
A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You
(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
Cuddly Toy
Goin’ Down
I Wanna Be Free
Your Auntie Grizelda
She
Cripple Creek
For Pete’s Sake
That Was Then, This Is Now
Shades of Gray
Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
No Time
Daydream Believer
Zilch / Randy Scouse Git
I’ll Love You Forever
MGBGT
Valleri
I’m a Believer

Encore:

Listen to the Band
Pleasant Valley Sunday