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Major Concerts at the DECC: 1966 to 2010

Since the subject has come up a few times, most recently on the “Duluth Rock Facts” post, I figured it was time to start a definitive list of major concerts at the DECC Arena and Auditorium, which of course includes the era when they were the Duluth Arena and Duluth Auditorium. (The auditorium is called Symphony Hall these days).

As usual with lists on PDD, it starts with whatever springs to mind (and in this case whatever ticket stubs are laying around) and grows from there. (With a tip of the hat to the News Tribune Attic for tracking down some of the 1980s/90s stuff after my Metallica post on PDD in 2009.)

Recommend additions in the comments, or point out if you have missing dates or opening acts.

The Beach Boys — August 13, 1966
The Supremes — 1967
Paul Revere and the Raiders — 1967
Three Dog Night
Linda Ronstadt
Grand Funk Railroad
Rare Earth
Chicago
Lawrence Welk
Shawn Phillips
Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat and Black Oak Arkansas
Blue Oyster Cult, Rush and Ozone Grater & the Moon Rock Band — May 23, 1966

Buck Owens, Don Rich and the Buckaroos, etc. — June 19, 1971
Credence Clearwater Revival — May 7, 1972
Johnny Cash with the Carter Family, Tennessee Three and Carl Perkins — May 21, 1972
Dr. John, Kiss and Raspberries — Nov. 3, 1974
Elvis Presley — Oct. 16, 1976
Hall & Oates and Funky Kings — Nov. 2, 1976
Kiss and Uriah Heep — Jan. 18, 1977
Elvis Presley — April 29, 1977
Harry Chapin — Oct. 1, 1977

Sha Na Na and Darryl Rhoades & the Hahavishnu Orchestra — March 5, 1978
Gordon Lightfoot — March 11, 1978

Ronnie Milsap, Rex Allen Jr. and Dotsy — May 14, 1978

The Kendalls, David Houston, Gene Watson, Tom T. Hall, etc. — Oct. 7, 1978
Emerson Lake and Palmer — Nov. 7, 1977
Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty — March 12, 1978
Montrose, Journey and Van Halen — March 29, 1978

REO Speedwagon and the Babys — April 30, 1978
Kiss and Judas Priest — Oct. 6, 1978
Harry Chapin — May 11, 1979
Edgar Winter Group and Montrose
Cheap Trick and the Romantics — July 19, 1979
The Platters, the Shirelles, Freddie Cannon and Danny & the Juniors — Sept. 22, 1979

Van Halen with Screams — Sept. 25, 1979
Doc Watson — Oct. 5, 1979
Kiss and Judas Priest — Oct. 6, 1979
John Denver
The Beach Boys — July 1980
Waylon Jennings — June 8, 1980
Molly Hatchett and Michael Schenker Group — Dec. 1980
Barry Manilow
Ozzy Osbourne and Starfighters — Jan. 17, 1982
Loverboy and Quarterflash — Feb. 15, 1982
B.B. King — Sept. 26, 1982
Pat Benatar — Nov. 16, 1982
The Charlie Daniels Band — Nov. 21, 1982
Judas Priest — Jan. 30, 1983
Hall & Oates — April 19, 1983
Sammy Hagar — April 29, 1983
The Oak Ridge Boys with Lacy J. Dalton — July 17, 1983
Loverboy and Quiet Riot — July 27, 1983
The Tubes and the Romantics — Oct. 8, 1983
Huey Lewis & the News
Ozzy Osbourne and Ratt — April 22, 1984
38 Special and Eddie Money — June 22, 1984
Sammy Hagar and Krokus — Oct. 7, 1984
Kiss — March 13, 1985
Bryan Adams and Kim Mitchell — July 19, 1985
Krokus and Dokken — 1985
Motley Crue and Autograph — Nov. 5, 1985
Kiss and King Kobra — March 15, 1986
Loverboy and the Hooters — March 30, 1986
Robert Palmer and Bourgeois Tagg — May 1986
Starship — Aug. 12, 1986
The Monkees — Nov. 8, 1986

David Lee Roth and Tesla — Feb. 7, 1987
Bryan Adams and the Hooters — July 26, 1987
Whitesnake — Dec. 11, 1987
INXS and Steel Pulse — May 18, 1988
Poison and Britny Fox — Nov. 6, 1988
Stryper and White Lion
Metallica and the Cult — June 8, 1989
Cinderella, Winger and Bulletboys — July 12, 1989
George Thorogood and Zen Identity — Aug. 6, 1989
Motley Crue and Faster Pussycat — March 11, 1990
Kiss, Slaughter and Faster Pussycat — May 27, 1990
Randy Travis
Bad Company and Damn Yankees — Feb. 27, 1991
Warrant, Trixter and Firehouse — Jun. 2, 1991
ZZ Top — Aug. 21, 1991
Metallica — Nov. 9, 1991
Skid Row and Love/Hate — May 24, 1992
M.C. Hammer
Tesla and Firehouse — Aug. 11, 1992
Def Leppard — Nov. 14, 1992
Damn Yankees — Dec. 9, 1992
Queensryche and Suicidal Tendencies
Billy Ray Cyrus
Alan Jackson
Brooks & Dunn
The Moody Blues and Duluth Symphony — March 9, 1994
Indigo Girls — May 12, 1995
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill — Dec. 29, 1995
James Brown
The BoDeans
Soul Asylum and Honeydogs — Sept. 4, 1996
Melissa Etheridge — Sept. 30, 1996
Starship and the Outfield — 1996
Hootie and the Blowfish and They Might Be Giants — Nov. 3, 1996
Big Head Todd and the Monsters — March 10, 1997
Collective Soul — July 16, 1997
B. B. King — Nov. 11, 1997
Sammy Hagar — Nov. 23, 1997
Violent Femmes — Feb. 28, 1998
Megadeth, Sevendust and Monstermagnet — June 21, 1998
Yanni
Aerosmith — Nov. 13, 1998
Bob Dylan — Oct. 22, 1998
Motley Crue and Nobody — Nov. 25, 1998
Jonny Lang — Feb. 20, 1999
Lyle Lovett — March 16, 1999
Collective Soul — April 13, 1999
Def Leppard — Aug. 7, 1999
Ani DiFranco, Gillian Welch and Greg Brown — March 10, 2000
Indigo Girls — June 25, 2000
“Weird Al” Yankovic — Oct. 16, 2000
Alison Krauss & Union Station — Nov. 19, 2000
Steve Earle & the Dukes with Stacey Earle — Feb. 26, 2001
Violent Femmes and Harmony Riley — April 28, 2001
Ani DiFranco — June 23, 2001
Kenny Chesney — Sept. 18, 2002
Rod Stewart — Nov. 12, 2001
Snoop Dogg — Dec. 4, 2002
Incubus — 2002
James Taylor — 2003
The Newsboys
Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett — Aug. 26, 2002
Jewel — 2002
Poison — 2002
Anne Murray — 2002
Gordon Lightfoot — 2002
REO Speedwagon and Styx — 2002
Tori Amos — March 30, 2003
Tom Petty — July 9, 2003
The Eagles — May 16, 2004
Kid Rock — Aug 19, 2004
Cher — Nov.17, 2004
Nickelback — Jan. 30, 2006
Wilco and the Black-eyed Snakes — July 2, 2006
James Taylor — Aug. 8, 2006
Goo Goo Dolls — Feb 25, 2007
Shawn Colvin — May 4, 2007
“Weird Al” Yankovic — June 24, 2007
Davy Jones — Feb. 7, 2009
Wilco — Feb. 19, 2010
Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper — May 12, 2010

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46 Comment(s)

  1. Here is Barbara Reyelts interviewing the Moody Blues when they played with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra on March 9, 1994.

    Starship with The Outfield played the Arena in 1996, and Krokus with Dokken in 1985

    Slim Jimmy M | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  2. Willie Nelson played in the auditorium a couple years ago.

    jayinduluth | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  3. There was a Richard Marx show in the ’90s (or late ’80s?).

    Also, I think it’s worth noting that They Might be Giants was the opening act for Hootie.

    ms dean | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  4. Michael Damien performed in the Auditorium with “special guest” Johnny Depp sometime in the fall of 1989 I believe. I do not remember who opened. I also seem to recall that Tesla played the Arena with Warrant and Firehouse sometime in ’89 or ’90. Rob Zombie also played Pioneer Hall a few years before the 2010 show. Finally, Gordon Lightfoot has played the Auditorium twice more since 2002.

    waferdog | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Deep Purple and Nazareth played the Arena in the 1970s.

    llinmpls | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  6. Dug out my vast collection of ticket stubs and found these, which don’t appear to have been mentioned yet. Starship Aug. 12, 1986. The Monkees Nov. 8, 1986. Warrant,Trixter and Firehouse Jun. 2, 1991. Skid Row with Love/Hate May 24, 1992. Kid Rock Aug 19, 2004. Cher Nov.17, 2004. Nickelback Jan. 30, 2006. Goo Goo Dolls Feb 25, 2007. Cheryl Crow May 9, 2011.

    Rij | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  7. Forgot to mention that after the arena show, the guys from Warrant, Trixter and Firehouse showed up at the Pacific Club in Superior and and TOTALLY ROCKED!!

    Rij | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  8. Waylon Jennings Arena 6/8/80
    Molly Hatchett/Michael Schenker Group Arena Dec 1980
    Reel Big Fish Tap Room 4/5/02
    Urge Overkill Norshor 11/26/04
    Robert Palmer/Bourgeois Tagg 5/86 Auditorium
    Zen Identity opened for Thorogood in 89
    The Romantics opened for Cheap Trick in 79 and the Tubes in 83
    Steel pulse opened for INXS in 88
    King Kobra opened for Kiss in 86
    Honeydogs opened for Soul Asylum in 96

    Drab T-Shirt | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  9. Hole opened for Nine Inch Nail at one point, I don’t know if they made it to Duluth, in fact, I don’t see any Grunge era acts on the bill? Soundgarden should’ve played the Norshore. But OMF, what a major cock block of hair metal acts though! I don’t know how I got through the 80′s. Guess I should be thankful I did. CCR played somewhere around the DECC in summer of ’69. I shit you not. I’ll get the exact date from my neighbor as soon as I am able. I think the Doors played as well, Alice Cooper probably, a whole slew of bands that predated ’76. And by that, I don’t mean in a sexual predator way, but then again…

    Herzog | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  10. Collective Soul came twice to the Auditorium around ’96 and ’99

    jj | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  11. I saw ted Nugent at least three times at the DECC in the 1970′s. I’ll dig for ticket stubs for other missing show. My first show was Black Oak Arkansas and Ted Nugent circa 1976 (pretty cool to a 5th grader back then).

    Swan | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  12. Now that I’m home with my ticket stubs…

    According to my ticket, the 1998 Aerosmith show happened on May 3.

    The Tori Amos show was on March 30, not the 31st.

    The Hootie show was on Nov. 3

    Lyle Lovett, March 16, 1999
    Collective Soul, July 16, 1997
    Big Head Todd and the Monsters, March 10, 1997
    Indigo Girls, May 12, 1995

    And apparently I was at that ZZ Top show in ’91, though I have no memory of it.

    ms dean | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  13. My first concert ever was the Kiss Dynasty Tour at the DECC, October 1978. John Cougar opened up for them. I remember him getting booed off the stage. Pretty cool for a sixth grader…

    woody | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  14. If anyone has any, I’d be interested in purchasing old hard rock/metal posters from any of these shows.

    Duluthanasia | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  15. Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett was Aug. 26, 2002

    ms dean | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  16. Harry Chapin played the Auditorium twice; Oct 1, 1977 and May 11, 1979

    Also, that Hall And Oates show at the Arena was April 19, 1983.

    Slim Jimmy M | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  17. Aerosmith was originally scheduled to play on May 3, 1998, but Steven Tyler was injured during a show a few days earlier and needed surgery, so the Duluth show was postponed until Nov. 13 — Friday the 13th, as a matter of fact.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 28, 2012 | New Comment
  18. MC Hammer played at the DECC in the summer of 1992. I’m sure of that, because the Skid Row concert in May was my first and MC Hammer went down a couple of months later (August maybe? I know it was before school started…).

    markjoberg | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  19. August 1, 2007 -- Queens of the Stone Age

    They actually named their tour the “Duluth Tour” that year and were focusing on cities similar to this one in size. I interviewed Dean Fertita, who was in QOTSA, Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather about the tour and he said it was his favorite tour.

    The show poster that was created was sent to Duluth, GA and never arrived in time for the concert. I found one on Ebay a few years ago for $25 from the artist who saved a few.


    Here is a link to a clearer picture of the poster.

    Andrew Olson | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  20. Here is the show poster from the Wilco show. It is really amazing to see up close.

    This is a link to a site where you can still purchase it for $25 if any of you are interested.

    Andrew Olson | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  21. One of the, if not the last official Giljunko show, was opening for Mike Watt and the Secondmen at the NorShor sometime in 2003. A year or two later when I was playing with The Black Labels, we opened for the Skatalites in the main room of the NorShor. Good times. They’re no Skid Row, but it was pretty damn cool. I couldn’t find posters for either show, so if anybody has any I would love to seem them. Also, please confirm dates for either show. The only record I have of the Mike Watt show is a picture of me and Mike on the couch at the Shaky Ray.

    Touchdown | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  22. Doobie Brothers pre 1980
    Rick Springfield with Till Tuesday but Till Tuesday cancelled
    Bryan Adams
    Scorpions

    jj | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  23. Oh, and sorry. I meant to post that Mike Watt/Skatalites info in the Rock Facts thread…this is about DECC shows.

    Touchdown | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  24. I can’t give exact dates but here’s what I remember:

    1967
    The Supremes (I worked at the Arena and Diana Ross asked me where the ladies’ room was -- called me sweetie).
    Paul Revere and the Raiders.

    1971-74
    Creedence Clearwater Revival (I think Tony Joe White opened)
    Three Dog Night, two or three times
    Johnny Cash
    Linda Ronstadt
    Grand Funk Railroad
    Rare Earth
    Chicago
    Lawrence Welk (I was shooting for WDIO)
    Shawn Phillips

    markryan | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  25. Not sure if this qualifies as “major” or not, but White Lion opened for Stryper at the DECC sometime in 1989. Not so sure it shouldn’t have been the other way around…

    GuyStunning | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  26. Eric Clapton was supposed to play here in 1982, but cancelled due to a medical emergency.

    Also, not music, but I do remember going to see Bob Hope with my parents.

    mnbeerdrinker | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  27. The Beach Boys played the first major concert at the DECC on August 13, 1966. They also came back there in July 1980.

    Tom | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  28. Davy Jones died this morning. He performed at the DECC on Feb. 7, 2009.

    Barrett Chase | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  29. Argent -’70s
    Redbone- opening for ? -’70s
    Climax Blues Band -’70s
    Maybe Savoy Brown. So long ago.The false memories may be creeping in.

    DaVe | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  30. Randy Travis performed in the Arena, Fall of 1990 I think. Don’t recall who opened.

    Rita | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  31. ’75 or ’76 was a bill with Foghat, Black Oak Arkansas and the headliner was Blue Oyster Cult. I remember because of an awesome section in Don’t Fear the Reaper where everybody in BOC grabbed a guitar to play the same part in unison. My 16-year-old brain was blown!

    TimK | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  32. A friend of mine told me he saw that Beach Boys show in 1966 and that The Who was the opening act. Don’t know if I believe him. Can anyone confirm?

    Rij | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  33. Confirmed on the Beach Boys with cover band being The Who. I was there! Also in 1966 or 1967, Peter and Gordon were there and Herman’s Hermits. I also saw the Byrds and the Ventures but that was at the Curling Club a year or two before the Arena opened.

    jj | Feb 29, 2012 | New Comment
  34. TimK-
    Were there multiple Blue Oyster Cult shows? I have this rock poster that shows a ’76 date in Duluth with Rush:
    http://www.perfectduluthday.com/2010/09/23/old-duluth-rock-showsposters/

    todobrillante | Mar 1, 2012 | New Comment
  35. Yes- I believe they played a couple of times. The show I saw must’ve been ’75 (now that I think about it).

    TimK | Mar 1, 2012 | New Comment
  36. More ticket stubs…

    Jonny Lang, Feb. 20, 1999
    Collective Soul, April 13, 1999

    ms dean | Mar 1, 2012 | New Comment
  37. Ani DiFranco came back on September 16, 2009 with opening act Gregory Alan Isakov. They played in the Harbor View Room, I think.

    ms dean | Mar 2, 2012 | New Comment
  38. Yep. The DiFranco show was originally supposed to be in the auditorium, but she requested about a week before the show that it be moved to the Harborside Ballroom. Apparently she likes to play smaller rooms and the auditorium wasn’t going to sell out.

    Paul Lundgren | Mar 2, 2012 | New Comment
  39. Crosby, Stills, and Nash don’t remember the year though.

    jj | Mar 12, 2012 | New Comment
  40. I have some concert memories from the 1980s and ’90s. To Waferdog: The ‘Johnny Depp” at the Michael Damian show turned out to be an imposter. We were all fooled at the time, and I’ve talked to Michael about it since then, and always had a good laugh. Also, I don’t remember that the MC Hammer show ever happened. I recall that one was scheduled, tickets went on sale, etc., but then the show was cancelled, ostensibly because his stage was too big to fit the DECC … but we figured it was because of a lack of ticket sales. My memory about that may be faulty, though. Are we including comedy shows, too? Because I also remember Jay Leno and Gallagher (separately) playing the DECC auditorium.

    JohnMichaels | Mar 28, 2012 | New Comment
  41. Alice Cooper definitely played around ’71 or ’72, my neighbor, who just wandered by serendipitously was able to clarify. His brother’s friend’s dad had access to a hearse, and loaned it out to the band… pictures are in some shoebox in Duluth.

    Herzog | Mar 28, 2012 | New Comment
  42. Gallagher was indeed at the auditorium. I don’t remember the year (if I had to guess I would say 1990) but I know for sure that it was on a Halloween, October 31st.

    Another recent show to add to the list: Korn on May 13, 2009.

    Danny | Mar 28, 2012 | New Comment
  43. Gallagher and George Carlin performed in the auditorium a couple of times. Louie Anderson, Steven Wright, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld … there have been a bunch of comics at the DECC. It should probably be a separate list.

    Paul Lundgren | Mar 28, 2012 | New Comment
  44. That Queensryche/Suicidal show was 89 or 90…

    princelumber | Mar 31, 2012 | New Comment
  45. Here are photos from Ken Kalligher’s MySpace page of Van Halen in Duluth, which Kalligher notes are circa 1979 and “taken w/ a Pentax ME 35mm.”

    And there’s even a Scorpions shot.

    Paul Lundgren | Apr 6, 2012 | New Comment
  46. Emerson Lake and Palmer November 7, 1977

    antique | May 4, 2012 | New Comment

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