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10 biggest stadium shows of rock era in Buffalo

We are not strangers to major rock gigs in Buffalo.

But for a long time, it seemed that our glory days as a destination for stadium-filling bands and artists had gone the way of the 8-Track tape, the cassette and  finally, the CD. Huge shows that filled what was then known as Rich Stadium were commonplace in the '70s and '80s, but by the mid-'90s, had moved into the realm of nostalgia.

However, with the Rolling Stones including Buffalo as part of this summer’s Zip Code tour [read Ben Siegel's review], the recent announcement of the first Stevie Wonder show in Buffalo since the glory days of the '70s, and most prominently, today’s announcement of Paul McCartney’s first-ever Buffalo appearance in October, perhaps those good old days are about to become great new days.

[Read Jeff Miers' column about what these top-notch bookings portend for Buffalo's future]

Here, ordered by date, is a look back at some of the biggest stadium and arena shows in our history.

July 6, 1974:

Eric Clapton, the Band in Rich Stadium

The first-ever show at Rich.

Eric Clapton, performing above on July 9, 2004, at HSBC Arena, christened Ralph Wilson Stadium's concert stage. (Buffalo News file photo)

Eric Clapton, performing above on July 9, 2004, at HSBC Arena, christened Ralph Wilson Stadium's concert stage almost exactly 30 years earlier. (Buffalo News file photo)

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Aug. 8, 1975:

The Rolling Stones, Bobby Womack, the Outlaws at Rich Stadium

72,000 fans flocked to this one, setting the first attendance record at still young Rich Stadium.

Mick Jagger performs at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Rolling Stones in 1975. (Buffalo News file photo)

Mick Jagger performs at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Rolling Stones in 1975. (Buffalo News file photo)

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Aug. 20, 1977:

Yes, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, J. Geils Band in Rich Stadium

These kinds of richly diverse multi-act bills have sadly become a thing of the past.

Bob Seger, performing above on April 9, 2011, in HSBC Arena, was one of the early major rock shows in Buffalo's history. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

Bob Seger, performing above on April 9, 2011, in HSBC Arena, was one of the early major rock shows in Buffalo's history. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

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July 4, 1978:

The Rolling Stones, Journey in Rich Stadium

Stones return, and introduce a hot young band as their opener.

Journey singer Steve Augeri (right) and guitarist Neal Schon play the HSBC Arena on July 15, 2003. After forming in 1973, Journey's first major stadium show in WNY came in 1979 with the Rolling Stones. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)

Journey singer Steve Augeri (right) and guitarist Neal Schon play the HSBC Arena on July 15, 2003. After forming in 1973, Journey's first major stadium show in WNY came in 1979 with the Rolling Stones. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)

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Nov. 28, 1978:

Queen in Buffalo Memorial Auditorium

Arena rock bombast at the old Aud, with Queen at its peak.

Queen slayed Buffalo in its prime in the late-1970s, with Freddie Mercury at the helm. (Getty Images)

Queen slayed Buffalo in its prime in the late-1970s, with Freddie Mercury at the helm. (Getty Images)

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Sept. 26, 1982:

The Who, The Clash in Rich Stadium

A slice of history as the old punks passed the torch to the young punks.

An image from Rich Stadium in 1982, when The Who and The Clash performed. (Buffalo News file photo)

An image from Rich Stadium in 1982, when The Who and The Clash performed. (Buffalo News file photo)

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July 4, 1986:

Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Tom Petty at Rich Stadium

Continuing the Dead’s 4th of July in Buffalo tradition, with the added bonus of Dylan and Petty.

Bob Dylan, on stage in 1979, a few years before one of his massive Buffalo shows. (Baron Wolman)

Bob Dylan, on stage in 1979, a few years before one of his massive Buffalo shows. (Baron Wolman)

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July 4, 1989:

The Grateful Dead, 10,000 Maniacs at Rich Stadium

“I’m Uncle Sam, that’s who I am, been hidin’ out in a rock ‘n’ roll band…”

The Grateful Dead performs in Rich Stadium in 1990. (Buffalo News file photo)

The Grateful Dead performs in Rich Stadium in 1990. (Buffalo News file photo)

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July 25, 1992:

Guns N’ Roses, Metallica in Rich Stadium

The Monsters of Rock Tour was one of the hottest tickets of the year, and we got a date.

Guns 'N' Roses singer Axl Rose (right) performs in Rotterdam on June 4, 2012. (Paul Bergen/GettyImages)

Guns 'N' Roses singer Axl Rose (right) performs in Rotterdam on June 4, 2012. Buffalo was lucky enough to host one of the Monsters of Rock Tour shows in 1992. (Paul Bergen/GettyImages)

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Nov. 22, 2009:

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in HSBC Arena

Springsteen and band played the full “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ,” during what turned out to be Clarence Clemons’ last-ever performance.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing in Buffalo in 2009. It turned out to be saxophone player Clarence Clemons' last show. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing in Buffalo's HSBC Arena in 2009. It turned out to be saxophone player Clarence Clemons' last show. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

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