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“...Waterbury was a great place to go to see a concert because it was kinda far away. We lived in Guilford, on the shoreline [nearly an hour from Waterbury]. Waterbury was like, you know, Detroit to us.

“It was at the Palace Theater. I went to see Frank Zappa there, I saw Steely Dan. The Palace Theater in Waterbury was a cool place. It was like [Detroit’s] Cobo Hall in Connecticut, and there were the coolest-looking girls up there; they all looked like they were in The Runaways. And that was really cool. The Palace would get the bands that, you know, were not monstrous yet, weren’t so big that they’d have to be in a coliseum. And it was cool because you didn’t know who you were gonna see. Well, you know, one time we got tickets to see Mott the Hoople, and a band that we never heard of was opening for them: Queen.”

Jamie McGann, on the blog Please Kill Me

 

Jeff Beck

YOUTUBE LINKS:

THE JEFF BECK GROUP "PALACE THEATRE,WATERBURY,CONN,USA MAY 17TH 1972"

Jeff Beck Group- Palace Theatre, Waterbury, Ct 5/17/72

 

Boston

PERFORMANCE: Dec. 17, 1976 

“At the time there was no hotter band  every song on that album was a hit. The show was short, but it was great to see them live.”

Joe Mitchell, music fan and Connecticut native

 

Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue

PERFORMANCE: Nov. 11, 1975

The 1975 Palace concert featured Dylan’s caravan of Rolling Thunder Revue musicians: Baez, who performed harmony on several of Dylan’s songs; Roger McGuinn, of the Byrds, who also sang that night on “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door;” folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott; and a backing band that included legendary musicians T-Bone Burnett and Mick Ronson, known now for their prolific careers as performers, songwriters and producers. Ronson was the glam-rocker who worked on David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” released in 1972.

This performance -- on the 11th stop on the tour on the 11th day of the 11th month -- is mentioned in several musical history books, as well as on film.

The film “Renaldo & Clara,” written by Dylan and Sam Shephard, features a performance of “The Water is Wide” by Dylan and folk icon Joan Baez filmed in Waterbury.

Writer Larry “Ratso” Sloman documented the tour in his 1978 book “On the Road with Bob Dylan.” On stage in Waterbury, Dylan dedicated the song “Sara” to Sloman:

“We wanna do this for Larry, our favorite reporter, who’s out there somewhere, he tells it like it is,” Dylan said.

Rolling Stone writer Nat Hentoff was in attendance that 1975 Waterbury night, which he chronicled in a long article about the tour. He describes the performance and the Palace as “an old rococo movie theater that reminded me of Depression nights as a boy when we would go to just such a place to feel good anyhow and come home with some dishes besides. No dishes this time, but the most mellow feelings I’ve had from a concert since the Duke Ellington band on an exceptionally good night. The kicks were from the genuine mutual grooving of the music makers; but it was Dylan, as shaper of the thunder, who was responsible for lifting the audience and keeping it gliding.”

Kellie Lambert, Republican-American

YOUTUBE LINKS:

Bob Dylan live, Sara, Waterbury 1975

 

Fleetwood Mac

PERFORMANCE: April 6, 1972

Fleetwood Mac played the Palace on a triple bill with Savoy Brown and Long John Baldry. The show was billed as British blues -- Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham hadn't joined Fleetwood Mac yet to give them their noted pop rock sound.

 

Jerry Garcia Band

YOUTUBE LINKS:

Jerry Garcia Band 11-23-77 Gomorrah/ Reuben and Cerise: Palace Theater, waterbury

Jerry Garcia Band - 11/23/77 Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT

 

Grateful Dead

YOUTUBE LINKS:

Grateful Dead - China Cat Sunflower_I Know You Rider 9-23-72

Grateful Dead 9/23/1972

 

Kansas

PERFORMANCE: March 16, 1977

“They had one hit song and opened with it. Everyone jumped to their feet, but what were they going to play for the next two hours? They blew the roof off. An amazing show.”

Terry Corcoran, music fan from Prospect, CT

“They were headlining. So we went, waited in line all day, ended up in the 4th row and they were putting on a phenomenal show. Last song, ‘Cheyenne Anthem’ -- they are playing the last minute of the show, lights dim down and very slowly, lights come up on the stage, and there were instruments on stage and no band and music playing. That’s how they ended their shows on that tour. Then they came out and played encore… I couldn’t figure out how they left the stage and the music kept playing… I got a bootleg copy of the concert a few years ago and you can hear where the band cut out and a recording started. It was so crazy to hear, from 1977 to 2015, I didn’t know until I got that bootleg and figure out how they did it.”

Joe Mitchell, music fan and Connecticut native

Band line-up included Steve Walsh, Kerry Livgren, Robby Steinhardt, Rich Williams, Dave Hope, Phil Ehart.

Setlist:

Carry On Waywood Son
Icarus – Borne on Wings of Steel
Down The Road
Mysteries and Mayhem
Lamplight Symphony
The Wall
Lonely Wind
Miracles Out of Nowhere
Guitar Solo
Child of Innocence
Drum Solo
Magnum Opus
Belexes (encore #1)
Song for America (encore #2)
Violin Solo (encore #2)
Cheyenne Anthem (encore #2)

*source: setlist.fm


PERFORMANCE:
Feb. 21, 1976

Kansas opens for Foghat

“I had never heard of them. Kansas was so phenomenal -- they didn’t have any hits yet, but they blew Foghat off the stage. Next day I went to store to buy a Kansas album because they were so good.”

Joe Mitchell, music fan and Connecticut native

 

Kiss

PERFORMANCE: Dec. 18, 1975

When Kiss played the Palace in 1975, it was the glam rock band’s first show in the state. The band was touring to support its first live album “Alive!” which featured the song “Rock and Roll All Night.”

"When I talked to them after the show, they were a little upset over the fact that the show had to be cut short due to a water main break in the theatre. they also said that they had never seen such a great audience as Waterbury. Paul told me that they really get movin' after the first couple hours, but that we didn't get to see how they could get any better than what they put out."

Phil Mark, Big Daddy's Concert Review

Band line-up included Paul Stanley (vocals/guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals/bass), Peter Criss (drums/vocals), Ace Frehley (lead guitar/backing vocals)

Setlist:

Deuce
Strutter
C’mon and Love Me
Hotter Than Hell
Firehouse
She
Ace Frehley Guitar Solo
Ladies In Waiting
Nothin’ To Lose
Gene Simmons Bass Solo
100,000 Years
Peter Criss Drum Solo
Black Diamond
Cold Gin (encore)
Rock and Roll All Nite (encore)

*Source: setlist.fm

 

Lynyrd Skynyrd

PERFORMANCE: Sept. 7, 1974

“There was one place in Waterbury, CT, I'll never forget it. We had our first bus. Somebody had left the break off, the bus had careened through the parking lot, over a sports car, through the gas station and lodged into the bank. I thought that was hilarious and that was I'm sure on purpose. O.K. so I'm a hypocrite, so I thought some of the destruction was funny.”

Guitarist Ed King, in the documentary "If I Leave Here Tomorrow"


The Rossington-Collins Band featured Lynyrd Skynyrd's bassist Leon Wilkeson. In an interview to preview the band's Aug. 22, 1980 show at the Palace, Wilkeson recalled the bus accident:

"Wilkeson is still smarting from a newspaper article written at the time of the last Skynyrd appearance in Waterbury. The band's bus sufferred a brake failure and rammed into another car. Wilkeson said in an article that the band made 'a bigger hit' with that accident than they did at the concert.

"I hope to make them eat that article while we're in Waterbury," he said. "Actually, I think we already have."

During his freshman year of high school in 1976, Timothy O'Neil was a "runner" for the Lynyrd Skynyrd show. He was summoned to clean up water from a cooler that was leaking in the band's dressing room. The band called him out, telling him he wasn't supposed to be in the room.

"I went to witness one of the greatest bands of all time, with Ronnie Van Zant singing barefoot the entire show.”

O'Neill used to sneak his high school friends in the back door.

Joe Mitchell has vivid memories of the Lynyrd Skynyrd show.

“They did a song that night, new song about a smell -- and it ends up being the song ‘That Smell.’ And I always remember them playing Freebird… They had a catwalk. I remember being able to reach out and practically touched him.”

Mitchell was also at the Rossington-Collins Band show in 1980.

“They played ‘Freebird.’ They put a hat on the microphone stand and there was no vocals. That was a ‘chills’ moment.”

 

Pink Floyd

PERFORMANCE: March 18, 1973

YOUTUBE LINK:

Pink Floyd Live at the Palace Theater 3 18 73 Obscurity 01 Obscured by Clouds

Tickets for the “Dark Side of the Moon” tour were $6. Band line-up featured David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright.

Setlist:

Obscured by Clouds
When You’re In
Childhood’s End
Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun
Careful With That Axe, Eugene
Echoes
Breathe
On The Run
Time
Breathe (reprise)
The Great Gig In The Sky
Money
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Brain Damage
Eclipse
One of These Days (encore)

* source: setlist.fm


Queen

Prior to one of the band’s Waterbury performances, vocalist Freddie Mercury requested that a cream film be used to cover the spotlight. He was self-conscious of his prominent front teeth and he thought the film would soften the harsh spotlight.


PERFORMANCE:
May 4, 1974

YOUTUBE LINKS:

Queen - Live In Waterbury 04-05-1974 (2 Source Merge)

Queen live at the palace theater, Waterbury Connecticut USA 1974


PERFORMANCE:
Jan. 27, 1976

The performance was in support of "A Night at the Opera," and is noted for being the first time Queen ever performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" live in America.

Tickets were $6.50. The band line-up featured: John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor.

Setlist:

Procession
Bohemian Rhapsody
Ogre Battle
Sweet Lady
White Queen (As It Began)
Flick of the Wrist
Bohemian Rhapsody
Killer Queen
The March of the Black Queen
Bring Back That Leroy Brown
Brighton Rock
Son and Daughter
The Prophet’s Song
Stone Cold Crazy
Doing All Right
Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon
Keep Yourself Alive
Liar
In The Lap of the Gods… Revisited
Now I’m Here – Encore
Big Spender (Cy Coleman cover) – Encore
Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley cover) – Encore
God Save The Queen (Traditional cover) – Encore

*source: setlist.fm

 

Ramones

PERFORMANCE: July 11, 1975

“So we drove up to Waterbury, and I saw what I thought were the roadies on the stage at the Palace, you know? We didn’t know who they were. We didn’t know who would open the show for Johnny Winter. Usually it would be someone like Michael Bolton, you know – he was Michael Bolotin back then, local New Haven boy who had a band back then called Blackjack, and he would get a lot of opening slots at concerts. Whoever opened that concert was not, you know, the ones we came to see or probably heard of.

And we saw what we thought were these roadies putting up the equipment. And then, they [the Ramones] plugged in and played. They weren’t announced; they just got up and played. You know, it’s funny because it was a long time ago, but it stuck with me for so long. They tore, they ripped into the songs kinda one after another. I don’t think they played more than four or five songs before people were booing and screaming and throwing beer bottles.”

Jamie McGann, on the blog Please Kill Me

 

Lou Reed

PERFORMANCE: Oct. 11, 1974

"Outside the Lou Reed concert held recently at the Palace theater in Waterbury, a dude was arrested for pushing counterfeit tickets. According to authorities, it appears that this was not a local operation, but part of a counterfeiting ring which has already peddled over $1 million in bogus tickets to major East Coast gigs."

Ed "Big Daddy" Meehan Jr, The Beat Goes On column in The Meriden Journal, Oct. 21, 1974

 

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

PERFORMANCE: Aug. 21, 1976

The performance was part of the “Born to Run” tour. Tickets were $7.

Setlist:

Night
Rendezvous
Spirit In The Night
It’s My Life (The Animals cover)
Thunder Road
She’s The One
Born To Run
Something In The Night
Backstreets
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with The Miami Horns)
Jungleland
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – Encore
Raise Your Gand (Eddie Floyd cover / with The Miami Horns) – Encore
You Can't Sit Down (Phil Upchurch Combo cover / with The Miami Horns) – Encore

*source: setlist.fm

 

Johnny Winter

YOUTUBE LINKS:

Johnny Winter- Palace Theater, Waterbury, Conn. April, 1973

Palace Theater, Waterbury, Conn.

 

Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention

PERFORMANCE: Nov. 1, 1972

“Frank did play the Palace in 1972 (November 1st to be exact), which was with the Petit Wazoo mini-orchestra. There’s no tape of that show available to collectors, but the version of the song “Imaginary Diseases” from that show is on the official Imaginary Diseases album – this is the only Waterbury track to be officially released.”

Scott Parker, Waterbury resident and author of several books on Frank Zappa


PERFORMANCE:
Oct. 28, 1974

“Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention began this tour at the Palace before a packed house. Confusion lingers over the correct date of this performance, as an extant ticket stub has a printed date of October 29th, which itself has been crossed out and stamped with, reportedly, a new date of November 28th.Having seen both this and a different ticket stub, I can confirm that the November 28th date is a mis-stamping of the correct date of October 28th.

“A review of the show in the local Yale Daily News newspaper confirms the correct date—October 28th.

“In any case, twelve minutes of precious, very good-quality audience tape from this gig recently found its way into the hands of collectors. This fragmentary tape gives us the band’s probable first performance of the “Yellow Snow” suite, first heard on the 1973 spring/summer tour and later recorded for the Apostrophe (‘) album. As the performance kicks off with “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow”, it is obvious that the band is still finding its footing with the difficult, odd timing of the vamp. They manage to put it across reasonably well, especially in the passages where they have something to bite down on. The overall arrangement is very similar to the album version, give or take a couple of vocal asides from Frank Zappa.”

Scott Parker, Waterbury resident and author of several books on Frank Zappa

 
PERFORMANCE:
Oct. 29, 1975

YOUTUBE LINKS:

Frank Zappa - Packard Goose, Palace Theatre, Waterbury, CT, October 29, 1975 (late show)

Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention played two shows this night: an “early” show and “late” show. Zappa introduced the band for the early show:

“Good evening ladies and gents, welcome to the Mothers Of Invention Waterbury, Connecticut extravaganza 1975, which features -- for your dancing and listening pleasure -- Napoleon Murphy Brock on tenor sax and lead vocals. The dynamic André Lewis on keyboards and thing that he blows in the middle of the show, little skinny Terry Ted Bozzio on drums, Roy Ralph Moleman Guacamole de Managua Estrada on bass. And yours truly, Cecil Kellaway on guitar.”

 

ZZ Top

PERFORMANCE: April 24, 1977 

“That was my first time seeing them, they were getting big but not huge at the time. They put on a show that was unbelievable -- might have been one of the loudest concerts I’ve ever seen.”

Joe Mitchell, music fan and Connecticut native

The Waterbury