Rocking and rolling in the lecture (2023)

November 10, 2022

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (1)(Illustration University of Rochester / Michael Osadciw)

Music giants from Simon & Garfunkel, Ray Charles and The Grateful Dead to Bonnie Raitt and Bruce Springsteen performed at the legendary Rochester Elementary School.

Since opening in 1930 on the River Campus of the University of Rochester, the Louis Alexander Lecture has been home to more than 30 American student athletes and one national champion: the 1990-91 Yellowjackets men's basketball team.

In 2016 he was elected one of theTop 125 Baloncesto-Arenenin the country to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, an impressive achievement considering there are over 300 Division I men's programs.

The Lecture has also hosted famous speakers such as Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, Maya Angelou and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. George Carlin and the Smothers Brothers performed there as comedians.

But Palestra was also a concert mecca, hosting some of the biggest names in modern music history. Soloists such as Ray Charles, Judy Collins and Billy Joel. Duos like Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates. And groups like Temptations, Grateful Dead and Ramones.

"The Palestra was just a big concert hall," says Jeffrey Newcorn '73, '77 (SMD), who overhauled several shows for thecampus hours, the university's student newspaper, as a student. "It was big enough to do a big show, but also intimate. We loved it."

Here are some of the famous - and not-yet-famous - musical acts that have performed at Palestra.

(Photos provided by University Archives unless otherwise noted)


October 22, 1959

The Kingston Trio helped start a folk revival in the late 1950s, hitting #1 in 1958 with "Tom Dooley". On October 22, 1959, the trio of Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane played a sold-out Lecture, their catchy tunes backed by a new $500 sound system paid for and contributed by the Social and Traditions Committee, to eliminate echoes. and distortions. throughout the building.

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (2)Ray Charles

November 8, 1963

That concert, two weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy, was the Social and Traditional Committee's most expensive to date, costing $5,000 (about $47,000 in today's dollars), and tickets sold for less than $500. 3. The arena was full and the committee made a profit of $900. Nicknamed "The Genius" for combining blues, jazz, rhythm and blues and gospel music, Charles told committee co-chairman Hayward Paul '64 that liked the "warm, enthusiastic and collected" audience. He returned to Palestra on November 3, 1966 for another sold-out show, supported by the girl group Raelets.

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (3)Simon e Garfunkel

5. April 1968

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performed to a packed arena the day after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. They opened with "Mrs. Robinson" from the hit moviethe graduate, which had been released just three months earlier. More hits followed - "The Sound of Silence"America”, “Feelin' Groovy” and more, and the duo scored two encores. "If you can get a standing ovation after each song, then that feat is done," he wrote.campus hoursRevisor Jan Zuckerman '71.

judy collins

February 29, 1968

Judy Collins' appearance on the Lecture came after the Tet Offensive, a major turning point in the Vietnam War, when a growing segment of the American public believed they had been misled about the length and human cost of the war. The folk singer sang about 20 numbers, including an anti-war song called "La Colombe", which Collins said was "dedicated to the boy who was turning 18, like many other boys whose birthdays are coming up". The somber opening text sets the tone:

Why are all these bugles crying?
Drilled for young men squads
kill and be killed
Did you wait on this train?

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (4)Dionne Warwick

October 10, 1968

Although Warwick did a beautiful version of "One Hand, One Heart".west side history, which transitioned into What the World Needs Now Is Love.campus hoursCritic Ray Singer found her performance "disappointing", writing that Warwick "tried but her voice was strained and occasionally cracked". However, Singer noted that Warwick shined when she sang "Always Something There to Remind Me".

(Video) Rocking and Rolling 2s - Live with Baz! - Thurs 5th May

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (5)Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

November 1, 1968

The agile Detroit quartet wowed the crowd with hits like "Tracks of My Tears", "I Second That Emotion" and "Ooo Baby Baby". But it was their rendition of "The Look of Love", the first time they played the Burt Bacherach number live, that drew the loudest applause. Numerous photos from the concert were taken by three photographers for possible use in the group's next album (sadly, Rochester missed the cut).

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (6)Blood, sweat, tears

February 20, 1969

The blues rock band played on the popular stageEd-Sullivan-Showthe previous week and had recently released the albumBlood, sweat, tears, with hits like "You've Made Me So Happy" and "Spinning Wheel". The recording reached No. 1 on the charts and won Album of the Year at the 1970 Grammy Awards. Six months later, the band enjoyed headlining status at the legendary Woodstock music festival.

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (7)

Peter, Paul and Mary

April 11, 1969

The legendary folk trio gave a masterful performance, singing hits like "If I Had a Hammer", "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Puff the Magic Dragon". As Daniel Smirlock wrote in '72campus hours, "They put on a show so fun and upbeat, and yet so different from most shows today, that it suddenly became 1960 instead of 1969."

The show opened what the newspaper described as a "miracle weekend" for the students, with an aspiring comedian performing the following night at the Auditorium Theater in downtown Rochester. The comedian was Bill Cosby.

(Photo provided by Scott Brande '72)

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (8)BB King

September 19, 1970

On a hot Saturday night, more than 3,500 people attended, perhaps the largest Palestra meeting yet, and the indoor heat forced King to take a 10-minute break. The blues legend dedicated "Please Accept My Love" to his late friend Jimi Hendrix, whose untimely death occurred the day before. Hendrix, said King, "made a lot of us very happy while he was alive". "It looked like the gym floor was being abused like 750,000 basketball games," he said.campus hourswritten.

the grateful dead

November 20, 1970

in what is possiblemost unforgettable concertIn the report by Palestra, The Grateful Dead shook the building with a show that lasted until 3:30 am. m. and fans clamored for more. After the second set, it was announced that "a few friends from town" had joined the party. Jefferson Airplane, like The Dead, a San Francisco Bay Area band, had played at the Community War Memorial two miles away. After the end of the show, guitarists Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady discovered that The Dead were still playing and went to Palestra.

Freelance photographer Peter Corrigan recalls a "buzz in the crowd" after the dead sang "Casey Jones".

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (9)

From left: Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Jorma Kaukonen and Bob Weir as members of the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane Jam at the 1970 Lecture. ( / Peter Corrigan)

"Casady could be seen behind the Dead amplifiers, and when he was noticed by some in the crowd, Phil Lesh (Dead guitarist) started playing the opening bass line to 'White Rabbit,'" recalls Corrigan. “Jorma went onstage with his guitar, tuned something and then they started an amazing jam. It was an unforgettable night.”

Kaukonen and Casady perform a few songs with The Dead, including "It's All Over Now" and "Reelin' and Rockin", to an enthusiastic crowd.

"It was amazing," said Jeffrey Newcorn '73, '77M (MD), now a psychiatrist in Greenwich, Connecticut, who reviewed the show for thecampus hours. "I was a dead monster, and there they were, right on campus! It was phenomenal. And then the members of the plane did this? The jam session was fantastic, just a great time."

(Video) Rocking and Rolling Numbers Words and Actions

So incredible, in fact, thatRolling Stonethe magazine calledthe ninth largest traffic jamat a Grateful Dead concert.

The dead returned 11 months later, on October 26, 1971. The fans waited three hours in front of Palestra and were presented with atwo and a half hour show.

reo Speedwagon

December 1, 1972

Blues/rock band Canned Heat headlined, but it was a fledgling group from Illinois, added to the bill just two days earlier, that stole the show. Long before it became a permanent fixture on the Billboard charts with hits like "Can't Fight This Feeling", "Time For Me To Fly" and "Keep On Loving You", REO astonished the public of Palestra con lo That was.campus hoursCritic Michael Dinhofer called it "good old fashioned rock 'n' roll". Dinhofer noted that the band "lived up to every song they played with their feet on the ground".

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (10)David Mason

October 6, 1973

The former Traffic frontman played at a half-empty lecture hall. "What a waste!" wrote Vincent Frank oncampus hours. "You've missed out on seeing one of rock's most underrated artists perform an evening of some of the best music you'll ever want to hear."

Frank predicted that Rochester students would regret the decision.

"Dave Mason won't have much to play before the gyms are half full," he wrote. "Not when he's still doing good performances."

Frank was right. At age 76, Mason remains a popular touring act and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

the temptations

March 31, 1974

The Temptations had just won Favorite Soul/R&B Group at the American Music Awards six weeks earlier. The performance, sponsored by the Black Students' Union, featured The Temptations backed by a Motown rhythm section and a nine-piece concert band and included what thecampus hourshe called it "a brief but intense collection of about 15 of their greatest hits", including "Can't Get Next To You", "Get Ready", "The Way You Do The Things You Do" and "My Girl".

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (11)Peter FramptonBruce SpringsteenBilly Joel

February to November 1976

There could be no better year for concerts at the Palestra than 1976, when three rising superstars performed in the space of nine months.

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (12)

Read the full story from The Campus Times, 1979

Peter Frampton played to 3,000 sold-out audiences on February 7, 1976, just one month later.Frampton comes to life!was published. It would be the biggest selling album of the year with hits like "Show Me The Way", "Baby I Love Your Way" and "Do You Feel Like I Do?"

Frampton took the stage in a yellow suit and looked "like a skinny Roger Daltrey", according to thecampus hoursReview and held for almost three hours. "Frampton presented the most electrifying rock performance the Palestra has seen in years," said thecampus hoursI wrote.

Two months later, on April 17, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band rocked the arena with another two-and-a-half hour show. In a blue suit, the bearded Springsteen, dubbed "a 26-year-old rock 'n' roll poet from New Jersey" by the student newspaper, gave an energetic performance on songs like "Thunder Road", "Growin' Up", and "Born. Run".

"Bruce Springsteen turned the Lecture into a sweaty rock theater on Saturday night," he said.campus hoursI wrote.

The 1976 trifecta ended on November 7, when a rising star from the Bronx named Billy Joel played to 2,000 fans, a big crowd, but 500 for barely sold out tickets. The concert cost the UR Concert Committee $12,500 and $5,200 went to Joel and his band. The remainder was used for production, advertising and lighting. Tickets cost R$3.50 for students and R$4.50 for the general public. Joel sang "Angry Young Man", "Piano Man" and "New York State of Mind", among others, and had the crowd laughing with an impersonation of Jimmy Carter, who had been elected President of the United States just five days earlier. .

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"Last night at the Palestra, Mr. Joel played and sang with a fury and confidence few artists could match," wrote Brian Kelly in thecampus hours. "After his fourth encore, Joel shook as many hands as he could and took a deep bow before leaving his seat."

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (13)bonnie raitt

March 2, 1977

Raitt got Rochester talking with a 15-song show that included two encores and a preview of their first hit: a cover of "Runaway", the song made famous by Del Shannon in 1961. The song was included on Raitt's sixth album, Raitt,sweet forgiveness, which was released a month after his concert at Palestra.

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (14)the problems

December 8, 1977;April 28, 1990

The English group was one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and their song "You Really Got Me" reached No. 1 in 1964. The band, fronted by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, played the Lecture in late 1977. for Dandelion Weekend in 1990.

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (15)halle y oates

November 8, 1980

The popular duo opened their Saturday night show with a rarity, John Oates on lead vocals, for "How Does It Feel To Be Back," which reached No. 30 on the Billboard charts earlier in the year. More hits followed, including "Rich Girl", "She's Gone" and "Sara Smile".campus hoursCritic John Swanson found the concert "quite entertaining", but noted that "many people thought the $7.50 ticket price was too high".


April 13, 1983

The alternative rock band scored chart hits with "Losing My Religion", "Everybody Hurts" and "It's the End of the World As We Know It". But in 1983 they were just a group of three struggling to win.

RAPID EYE MOVEMENT. opened for The English Beat, who fused Latin music, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock as part of Dandelion Weekend. Thecampus hoursReviews were not kind: "Its biggest shortcoming seemed to be a vocalist (Michael Stipe) who was difficult to understand in the first place, and pseudo-esoteric lyrics like 'Gardening At Night' in the second."

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (16)10,000 maniacs, violent women, the Fleshtones

February 16, 1985

It was a new wave invasion with three bands entertaining an audience of nearly 1,900. The Fleshtones were the biggest "crowd favorites".campus hoursCritic Chris Bourne, who correctly predicted that the dismal opener, 10,000 Maniacs, had the brightest future. "(Leading singer) Natalie Merchant has great stage talent and is generally enjoyable to watch," wrote Bourne. Four 10,000 Maniacs albums reached the US Top 50, and their 1989 hit "These Are Days" reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart.

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The Ramones

April 12, 1986

The New York punk rock band played a loud and energetic show to nearly 2,000 fans. Many slam danced, jumped in the air and ran hard towards other fans. The keynote was given by the opening band Los Mosquitos, who emerged from "manhole covers" on the floor of the Palestra. "Creatures of all colors, shapes and sizes emerged," said thecampus hours. "Some had crests, others had chains, some had their hair lifted in the air by mysterious devices."

Rocking and rolling in the lecture (17)the bracelets

March 31, 1989

With hits like "Manic Monday" and "Walk Like an Egyptian," the all-female band performed to a crowd that included hundreds of screaming teenagers. "Thanks for a beautiful spring night, Rochester!" guitarist Vicki Peterson shouted on a chilly night. "We're not really used to it being from Southern California, but we'll do our best to heat things up."

The next day, April 1, "Eternal Flame" became the number one pop song in America. Six months later, the Bangles disbanded.

(Video) Rocking and Rolling 3s- Live with Baz! - Mon 9th May

Not just the gym

Although most of the University of Rochester concerts have been held at the Palestra, other famous acts have performed at various University venues.

Perhaps none was more memorable than March 16, 1968, when the legendaryJim Morrison and the Doorsperformed at the Eastman Theater, tickets from $2.25. The opening act was Rising StarLinda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies, which brought the song "Different Drum" to number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart a year earlier. Footage of the Doors performance appears briefly in Bob Neuwirth's unreleased commercial.don't touch the floor, and a photo from the concert was later used for an advertisement for acoustic amplifiers.

On April 21, 1969, just six days after performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London,Janis Joplinplayed by Eastman - 18 months before his untimely death at the age of 27.Steppenwolf(1969),James Taylor(1970) and Country LegendJohnny Cash(1993) also starred in Eastman.

Strong Auditorium has hosted its share of acts, including blues legends.muddy water(1967), longtime guitarist for the E Street Bandnils lofgren(1976) and folk rock singer-songwriterAni DiFranco(1994).

The Douglass Dining Hall isn't known as a concert venue, but around 200 "phishheads" attended a performance byIdentity thefton April 20, 1991. The Vermont band was one of the first musical groups to share files on the Internet to increase its fan base andRolling StoneThe magazine called them "the greatest band of the '90s".

Goo Goo Puppen

October 7, 1995

The alternative band from Buffalo arrived at Palestra a month after the release of the single Name. That song reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and remains one of their biggest hits. The albumA boy named Goowas released seven months earlier and was certified double platinum (two million copies sold) by the end of the year.


March 29, 1997

Beck David Hansen, known simply as "Beck", headlined a three-act set that began with Atari Teenage Riot taking the stage at 8pm. "and he didn't stop cursing or screaming for half an hour",campus hoursCritic Otis Hart wrote in 97.

They were followed by The Cardigans, who appearedLate Night with David Lettermanthe last night. They sang their popular song "Lovefood" (Love me, love me, say you'll love me). At 10 pm. m., Beck took the stage just a month after winning a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance. "Beck was amazing," says Anne-Marie Algier '16W (EdD), vice dean of studies at the university. “He was walking through the crowd in a sweatshirt when Atari was playing Teenage Riot and nobody knew he was there. Going backstage, he said: 'These people deserve a great show and I'm going to give them everything I've got!' ".

Hart wrote, "Beck gave perhaps the best show UR has ever put on." Algiers agrees. "It was the best-sounding show in this room," he says. "Beck brought his own soundboard and it was excellent."

Lifehouse, Michelle Branch, A Chamada

September 23, 2001

Just 12 days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a trio of up-and-coming artists played at Palestra. Lifehouse had a major hit with "Hanging By A Moment", which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Top 100 in June. "Everywhere" by Branch climbed the charts, peaking at number 12 on the Billboard Top 100 in November. The music video won the Viewer's Choice Award at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.


October 1, 2011

The talented singer, songwriter, science fiction writer and actress came to Palestra just one year after winning the MTV Video Music Award. She has received eight Grammy Award nominations and won the 2015 Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award.

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