As the local concert scene continues to grow and morph, it’s become increasingly easy to forget about our old friend, the dearly departed Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
Jeff Miers remembers the old Memorial Auditorium in a series of posts proving the Aud wasn't just a hockey arena – it was an electric church. Here are even more of the top concerts the Aud hosted.
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- Jeff Miers: The Aud wasn’t just a hockey arena – it was an electric church
- Gallery: Music through the years at the Aud
- Atmosphere of concerts at the Aud was 'something truly magical'
- Memorable concerts held at the Aud in the 1970s
- Memorable concerts held at the Aud in the 1980s and '90s
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Elvis Presley, April 1, 1957: A young, vibrant and vital Elvis rolled into the Aud on April Fools' Day in 1957, but the King wasn't foolin' around, offering a set that commenced with "Heartbreak Hotel," concluded with "Hound Dog," and was bolstered by the only Buffalo appearance of his original band, which included legendary guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. All of that for a whopping $2 ticket price. Presley would return to the Aud on April 5, 1972, and June 25, 1976.
Black Sabbath and the James Gang, Feb. 20, 1974: The mighty Sabbath hit town in support of its "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" album and offered a set heavy on material from that record. This was the band's second Aud performance, following a Nov. 5, 1972, headlining show. The band would return, following the departure of original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and the arrival of his replacement, Ronnie James Dio, on Dec. 1, 1981.
Frank Sinatra, Oct. 4, 1974: Sinatra was on his "The Main Event" tour when he played to a full house at the Aud. He opened with "The Lady Is a Tramp," and proceeded through a 90-minute set that included jazz-age classics ("I've Got You Under My Skin"), maudlin pop hits ("Send in the Clowns") and the dramatic ballads he'd become increasingly associated with ("My Way") as he made his way through the September of his touring years. Sinatra would return to the Aud on Oct. 8, 1976, and May 8, 1982.
David Bowie, Nov. 8, 1974: Bowie arrived for his first Buffalo play with the uber-theatrical "Diamond Dogs" floor show in tow. He opened the show with "Memory of a Free Festival," and performed 16 songs culled largely from "Diamond Dogs" and "The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars." Legend has it many young Buffalo musicians-in-the-making decided to form bands after witnessing this historic concert.
Boston and Cheap Trick, April 29, 1977: A double-booking for the ages. Boston was at the tail end of its tour for its 1976 multiplatinum self-titled debut. Cheap Trick was about to ascend to headlining status itself. This was as good as power-pop would ever get. Boston returned to the Aud on Aug. 20, 1978, and again Oct. 31, 1987.
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Sept. 5, 6 and 7, 1980: Riding high on the success of his hit-filled "Against the Wind" album, Seger and his Silver Bullet Band sold out three consecutive nights at the Aud, and cemented a relationship with Buffalo that would endure through his January 2019 stop at KeyBank Center on the "Roll Me Away: The Farewell" tour.
The Goo Goo Dolls, Bush and No Doubt, April 13, 1996: For one group of hometown heroes, the chance to perform in the arena where they had grown up watching their idols perform created an indelible memory. “We played one of the last shows there,” Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac said via text. “It was like a dream, standing on that stage looking out onto the very same seats where I saw the Kinks, Kiss, ELP, the Who, Genesis and so many others. Man, I could go on and on. ... I remember my grandmother got to see me play that show. She passed shortly thereafter, and I was so glad she got to experience that childhood dream with me and become a part of that memory forever.”
AC/DC, Aug. 3, 1996: The Australian hard rock legends performed at the Aud six times between 1978 and 1996. This was the last show in the building. It kicked off with the electrified boogie of "Back in Black," and concluded, more than appropriately, with AC/DC's on-stage canons blasting a "21-gun salute" at the conclusion of final encore "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)." And then, the Aud took a final curtain call.