Rock acts you got to see on the skids

in relation to the above thread, any good stories about bands that were once huge that you got to see in well, less than a major stadium concert?

I remember seeing Dio, who used to sell out the Philadelphia Spectrum in the early 80s, playing in front of 600 fans at the Silo in Reading PA. Never got to see them, but there is this nightclub in Allentown where washed up bands play. Both Eddie Money and both Wang Chung played there in front of like 100 people. I did see Dokken and Great White, who could probably sell out a mid sized rock hall in the 80s, there, in front of about 700 fans.

I saw the Beach Boys in a free concert at Nassau Community College in the late 60s. There were only about 100 people there. I only went because I was visiting my cousins and they lived on campus.

Later, nostalgia kicked in and the Beach Boys filled arenas, but they were considered washed up when I saw them.

There was a concert at the fairgrounds near Athens GA that was billed as “a carful for $10,” meaning stick as many people into a car and they’ll all get in for $10. Two of the acts that played that day were Nazareth and Bad Company. Not exactly stadium fillers in their heyday, but still they are “name” bands.

Oh, and the 56th incarnation of Lynyrd Skynyrd is currently on tour.

I saw a Flock of Seagulls in 1992. This was way after they had their hit and way before 80s retro was cool.

They played in front of 11 people, and the group I was with was 5 of them.

Does America at the Reisterstown Spring Fest count? I think it does. They rode through the state playing venues with no name.

Kip Winger played at a bar in downtown Kalamazoo a few years back. :slight_smile:

When I was in Baton Rouge, I had the chance to see Foreigner at the “Shuck’n’Jive” which was a place you could hear live music and eat raw oysters.

I passed.

Last year, I was supposed to see Paul Dianno (sp?), the original singer from Iron Maiden. Only 4 people showed up, and the band never bothered to play. The club just closed for the night about an hour after it opened.

I just saw the Vince Neil / Ratt / Slaughter / Vixen tour, and they only sold 2500 tickets out of a 9000 seat venue.

I saw Nuclear Assault in 1991 at a sold out club that held about 800 people. In 93 they came back to the same club and didn’t have 50 people in the place for a free show. Most of the people that were there were for the opening local band.

I saw Foreigner and 38 Special play at my university’s homecoming concert in '91. It rained, so the concert was moved indoors to the cafeteria, which held about 300 people. A couple of years later, Starship and Cheap Trick played homecoming. This time the stage was outdoors, but the turnout was about the same. Kinda sad, really.

As a general rule, any band that plays at the Marion Popcorn Festival is having a rough time of it. This weekend I’m going to see Kool & the Gang.

Here in Austin, there’s a nightclub called the Back Room, and it’s a place smart people have learned to avoid, whenever they advertise a famous (or, more accurately, once-famous) band.

I was foolish enough to go there to see “Asia,” a band I’d liked in college. As it turned out, only ONE of the original members was still in the band, and it wasn’t a member that anybody cared about! No Carl Palmer, no Steve Howe, no John Wetton… just keyboard player Geoff Downes and three guys who were probably in diapers when the first Asia album came out.

I now realize that, by the time a once-popular band is forced to play at joints like the Back Room, they’re unlikely to have retained their original lineup. More likely, their 4th drummer or 3rd bass player has legal rights to the band’s name, and is touring with a cast of unknowns.

I saw J. Geils Blues Time play at a local high school (in Orange, MA if you’re curious) auditorium that was far from sold out. Quite a far cry from the J. Geils Band’s peak, eh? Heh… They still rocked, though.

Let’s see…

Survivor in 1995 - they played at a little bar in a place you’ve never heard of: Newkirk, Oklahoma. Garth Brooks used to play there once in a while way back when, but I never saw him then.

REO Speedwagon and Styx in 2000 - They played an outdoor venue and sold quite a few tix, but it wasn’t shoulder to shoulder. Great show.

Rick Springfield in 1999 and 2000 - The man puts on one hell of a live show, and the ladies are still crazy about him. But not me. No. I’d never go ga-ga over a guy old enough to be my father. (yeah, right…) :stuck_out_tongue:

Tesla in 2001 - They played a bar in OKC during their reunion tour this year. Seems that they didn’t expect the kind of response they got. They played small venues and sold out every single show they did. God, that was an EXCELLENT show. (One of my favorite groups.) Rumor has it they’re planning to go back out on the road soon and play larger venues. WOO HOO! :smiley:

I haven’t seen bands on the skids in person, but I did see a billboard ad for R.E.O. Speedwagon at a county fair in rural eastern PA just this past weekend. Playing with Ted Nugent.

I saw Duran Duran for free during a daytime Summerfest type thing in the summer of 1994 or 1995. This was after their '80’s superstardom and before their recent comeback. They were awful I used to love Duran Duran in the '80’s and I was literally so embarrassed for them I had to avert my eyes.

I think Human League played that day too, but I didn’t see them.

Vinnie, this summer we saw Wang Chung at the riverside park in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They opened for the Fixx. I thought it had to be quite a comedown for all those involved.

I saw John Kay & Steppenwolf in the late 70’s in Waco at a crappy little bar that used to be a Vet’s office. He snorted a large line off one of the speakers and did a doob someone handed him from the audience. They might have been on the skids but they sure got that house rocking.

Back when I was a teenager, REO Speedwagon was popular. I remember they would sell out the Met Center. This year they played for free in my hometown’s (Stillwater, MN) summer hoo-doo, Lumberjack Days. I didn’t make it back to see them, but it struck me as funny…

I saw Tesla at the same place I saw Vince Neil, and Tesla easily had 7000 people in the place. I would love to see Tesla in a club setting.

There was a little band called The Rolling Stones that I saw at the Meadowlands c. 1997. Pathetic.