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The Lakeland Civic Center

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A great website lists all the rock concerts at the Lakeland Civic Center from 1974 to 1992.  Here are the concerts I attended during the period from 1977 to 1979.  I was there for a ton of concerts after that, but these are the one's I attended in my formative years (15 to 17).  I still live 79 miles from the parking lot.  The first time I went, my buddy Bob's parents took us.  I could make it in an hour and fifteen minutes pretty easily.  Here are the shows I attended.  I was a junior in high school in 1979.  

Kiss and Uriah Heep on December 12th, 1976

Kansas and Styx on February 12th, 1977

I missed Queen and Thin Lizzy (with Gary Moore) on February 20th.  I had the flu!!!

I saw Blue Oyster Cult,  the Atlanta Rhythm Section, and  Rick Derringner on March 4th 1977

I saw the Doobie Brothers and Pablo Cruise (my dad was the guitar player from Pablo Cruise's doctor and it was my first backstage experience) on November 5th, 1977

Styx and UFO were on December 3rd, 1977.  My life changed that night.  His name is Michael Schenker.  God...

January 29th, 1978 was Ted Nugent and Golden Earring.  I had no idea who the band that cancelled was.  They were called the Scorpions.

April 21st, 1978 was Blue Oyster Cult and Be Bop Deluxe.  That Bill Nelson guy was unbelievable.  They sounded great.  Did I mention the Claire Brothers before?

May 18th that year was the first time I saw Aerosmith.  They played with Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush.  Frank was one of the best live players I ever saw.  Jimmy Crespo had replaced Joe that year I think.

Alice Cooper with "The Sweet" and Eddie Money played July 8th, 1978.  I just remember that I was so stoned I don't remember anything about that concert after Eddie played.  Jimmy Lyon was so good.

October 8th, 1978 was one of the greatest concerts ever.  Foreigner and The Cars.  I think that was Double Vision and the first Cars tour.  

November 4th, 1978 was Queen, Kansas and Mahogany Rush.  It was the Queen on News of the World.  Point of No Return for Kansas.

1979 was a blur.  I was playing every weekend and took in some great concerts in Lakeland, when I wasn't playing.

January 7th, 1979 was Boston and Sammy Hagar.  The only time I saw Boston.  The sound was terrible. Not Claire Brothers.

March 13th and 14th was Styx and The Babys.  I went both nights.

July 6th was Bad Company and Carillo.  Frank Carillo was incredible.  I bought his first two albums and saw him again in Daytona Beach the following year.  This was the Desolation Angels tour and I took a buddy for his 17th birthday to the show in Jacksonville the night after Lakeland.  The encore was Burning Sky in Lakeland and a reprise of Bad Company in Jacksonville which was the song they opened up with both nights.  Bad Company was one of the greatest bands I've ever seen.  Paul is the best singer, other than Freddie, I've ever seen live.

September 2nd, 1979 was Ian Hunter and  Blue Oyster Cult.  The only time I saw Mick Ronson live.  Ian blew BOC away.  Tommy M. with the Hamer Standard.

November 3rd, 1979 was Jethro Tull and UK.  UK were really very good and the mix was fantastic.  I remember because I was on the mixing riser with with Roy Clair and his brother..  He was really big on UK.  Said they were the next big thing.  Tull was killer.  Barre was exceptional.  Stormwatch is one of my favorite albums.   They opened with "Something's On the Move".  Give it a listen.

November 17th, 1979 was REO Speedwagon and Pat Travers.  I've seen Pat dozens of times.  He's always great.  Crash and Burn wasn't out yet, but he played the songs from that album.  REO were really good.

December 15th was Foreigner and Blackfoot.  Head Games was great, but that Medlocke guy was like seeing Ronnie VZ.  And I never did.

I'll get around to the concerts in 1980 and beyond.

What a great website.    






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Damn...  those are some good shows. 

i was born in ‘78. A decade too late I think...

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I was there with you for most of those concerts. A lot of times a group of us from the hood would walk up there. They usually had tickets. I had to crash the gate to many of them. 

The Babies were with Alice Cooper, Eddie Money wasn't on the bill and was a surprise. I didn't like him. They way oversold tickets for that concert and everyone, including us were sitting on the stairs. 

Kiss and Uriah Sleep was my first concert. That's the concert Ace got zapped by a million volts when his strings (untrimmed on the headstock) touched the rail of the metal stairs they were standing on in the opening song, "Detroit Rock City." Gene and Paul came down to front stage, Ace stayed behind them up there. When it came time for Ace' solo he wasn't there as the roadies took him back stage unbeknownst to Paul and Gene. I remember Paul looking around for Ace and he winged the solo and ended the song. The house lights came up and we stood there (we were on the floor near the stage) for around 20 minutes. Then someone came out and said that Ace was getting all juiced up and the concert would continue. 

I've seen BOC so many times I can't recall them all. I suppose they played here so much since several members live(d) here. 

Link to the website? @The Shark

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My first show was Carillo/Bad Company (7/10) at the MS Gulf Coast Coliseum, also on the Desolation Angel's tour.  From then on my list is probably very similar to the OPs though all the dates are several days before or after.  My concert heavy years started in '79 and really only went to '85 which was 13-19 years old but I put together a pretty decent list over the span.

I saw several of these bands more than once during that time, but this is the first time for each, in order:  Kiss, The Eagles, UFO, The Babys, Journey, ZZ Top, Doobie Brothers, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Blue Oyster Cult, Molly Hatchet, 38 Special, Spider, The Cold, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, Billy Sqiuer, Foreigner, Little River Band, Foghat, After the Fire, Axe, Aldo Nova, Queen, Heart, The Who, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osborne, Plasmatics, Triumph, Jon Butcher Axis, Krokus, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Riot, Vandenberg, Girlschool, Saga, Quiet Riot, Autograph, Great White, Accept, Sparks, Billy Idol, Rick Springfield, The Police, Dokken, Dio, W.A.S.P., Iron Maiden, Ratt, Bon Jovi, and Rough Cutt.

The only shows I saw outside of MS over that time were a Day of Rock and Roll at the Superdome (REO, Nugent, Heart, Foghat), the Rolling Stones (also in the Superdome) and Peter Frampton (Mobile, AL.).

I'm 54 now and have seen fewer shows after my 20th birthday than I did before.


Edited by cynic
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Great stuff here!  Oh the memories...  My first show was Kiss and the opener was a band called Detective in 1977 at McNichols Arena in Denver (their Love Gun tour).  I was 12 at the time and my buddies mom took us to see them, and saw them again in Nov '79 on the Dynasty tour at the same venue.  My first outdoor concert was Sunday #1 at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO (CU campus) in July 1980 and comprised of Bill Bruford Band opening (was supposed to be April Wine but drummer had broken his arm/leg, can't recall), Sammy Hagar (I was 15 and he blew me away!), Blackfoot, REO Speedwagon, and headlining was Cheap Trick.  I was a huge CT fan then and still am...  Seen them 30+ times over the years in all kinds of different venues. 

Some concert highlights for me was seeing U2 on the Joshua Tree tour in 1987 where concert was filmed for "Rattle & Hum", and I got the pleasure of working on the video crew on the Def Leppard Hysteria tour where they filmed "In The Round In Your Face" in Feb. 1988 (you all know the videos for "Pour Some Sugar On Me", "Armageddon It", etc.).  That was filmed in Denver and I got to hang out with the band for 2 days while working on the crew.  They couldn't have been better guys and so personable too.  I was 22 at the time and Phil Collen showed me his whole guitar collection (his cool Jacksons like the Bela Legosi one and his brand new at the time PC1 archtop, as well as a rare early Jackson Kelly), and Rick Allen took me up on the stage to show me how his drum set worked since it was basically his first full tour since his accident.  I'll never forget him pointing below the stage and telling me it was like "Caligula" down there when band members took breaks for others solos...  He said they didn't allow any girls that wouldn't get naked down there for their "entertainment"!  I still have my video shoot documents and backstage passes and got everyone in the band to sign them other than Rick Savage.  I had dinner the second night sitting next to Steve Clark (RIP) and Barry Fey (RIP) of Feyline Productions.  What an incredible weekend that was, and every time I see those old videos I have flashbacks!!!

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Looks like the last concert I saw at the Lakeland Civic Center was Judas Priest, with Megadeath and Testament. That was December 19, 1990. The Civic Center used to be one of the premier concert venues because they were one of the few that could hold 8500 seats and I believe including standing room, 10k. It turns out that I've seen several opening acts I don't remember at all. 

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18 hours ago, Ting Ho Dung said:

It turns out that I've seen several opening acts I don't remember at all. 

I was thinking about that as I scanned the list.  That's my concert attendance heyday too, extending until roughly 1990, and I saw some of the same bands, if sometimes on different tours or with different openers.  I know I saw New England and Louisiana's Le Roux back when Boston and Kansas were big and everyone wanted to name their band after a place.  I saw the Bodeans open for U2.  All I remember are the names.

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I lived in Venice FL for much of the 70s and my older brother attended many of those Lakeland shows with you guys....in 1978 we moved back to Delaware and I started attending concerts regularly at the Philly Spectrum.

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I lived in Pensacola, Florida.  Some of those concerts went through Mobile Alabama and I saw them there.

Kansas and Styx on February 12th, 1977 was a slo-gin night.  We got fucken wasted.  A great night to start, not so much at the end.  we still talk about this one.

I didn't learn about Be Bop Deluxe until a year or so later.  Would have loved to see that show.

The other shows you list seem different in Mobile but it may be that I didn't go.

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2 hours ago, Jakeboy said:

I lived in Venice FL for much of the 70s and my older brother attended many of those Lakeland shows with you guys....in 1978 we moved back to Delaware and I started attending concerts regularly at the Philly Spectrum.

Oh, the Spectrum.  My buddy tells me that it was a great sounding arena.  Thoughts?

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Lol. The Spectrum was such a hole. I saw a slew of concerts there and only 4 bands managed good sound in that concrete mess:

Cheap Trick, Bruce and the E Street Band, Van Halen, and Black Sabbath. Sabs were the best sound wise. LOUD but o so clear.

Springsteen was a close second. His FOH has always been killer. Great memories there even if the sound was usually bad.

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12 hours ago, Len said:

https://www.rockshowvideos.com/rocksuperbowlshome.html .. Went to some of the Rock Superbowls ... They were great

Except for the one where Pat had to substitute for Ozzy.  Pat told me that they called him early in the afternoon on the day of the plane crash to see if he could "fill in".  UFO and Pat were great that day.  Bryan Adams was the sleeper.  His buddy and guitar player Keith Scott had the best guitar sound I've ever heard in a huge stadium venue.  Foreigner was fantastic.  My favorite Superbowl.  I think God wanted it that way.  I'd seen Randy at the Peabody Auditorium with Def Leppard a few months earlier.  His death loomed.  A great concert, but the crowd was subdued.  


Edited by The Shark
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