Friday, June 10, 2011


I keep telling folks that weren't around 30 or 40 years ago what amazing concerts showed up on the VA Tech campus back then.  So yesterday I decided to spend a few hours looking through the Tech Yearbooks from 1970 through 1979 and here is a list of the "big name" acts that made it to little ol' Blacksburg in that decade alone  -

America                                                     John Mayall
Ann Wilson (Heart)                                  Johnny Rivers
Atlanta Rhythm Section                          Kris Kristofferson
Billy Preston                                              Leon Russell
Black Oak Arkansas                                 Lighthouse
Blue Oyster Cult                                       Linda Ronstadt
Bob Welsh                                                  Little Anthony
Canned Heat                                             Little Feat
Chairman of the Board                            Livingston Taylor
Chicago                                                      Neil Diamond
Chuck Mangione                                       Nils Lofgren
Dave Mason                                              Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Dennis Yost and the Classics Four       Pablo Cruise
Doc Severinson                                        Poco
Don McLean                                              Pure Prairie League
Doobie Brothers                                      Rita Coolidge
Elvin Bishop                                             Roberta Flack
George Benson                                       Robin Trower
Goose Creek Symphony                        Seals & Crofts
Grateful Dead                                          Sha Na Na
Iron Butterfly                                          Stephen Stills
Isaac Hayes                                            The Association
Jethro Tull                                                The Buckinghams
Jimmy Buffet                                           The James Gang

So, which of these did YOU see?


  1. I think it was 71 or 72, Chicago was at the coliseum, what a great night. I grew up in Blacksburg and saw all the changes.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Chuck! It WAS a great concert.

  3. Bruce Springsteen played the same night Nils Lofgren did Nils was off campus and Springsteen played Burris Hall. What a good night in Blacksburg.

  4. The Doobie Brothers actually opened for Loggins and Messina in 1973. Jim Croce was to have been the opener of the three performers, but was killed in a plane crash prior to the concert. The lighting tower stage left toppled over during the Loggins and Messina set - no harm done and the show went on.

    Also saw Grand Funk Railroad ~ 1970 tour supporting their Grand Funk (red album).

  5. That GFRR red album was my first one by them, right after seeing them at the Hampton Roads Coliseum. Did you see the "Band Box" posting on this blog with the Grand Funk concert being advertised?

  6. The Allman Brothers were there and stayed at the Marriott.

  7. Andrew Gold opened and played with Linda Ronstadt.

  8. Pretty certain I recall seeing Pink Floyd there. Saw Captain Beefheart as a backup; not sure who was the headliner. I was at the Poco concert and Jethro Tull also.

  9. I saw Chicago, the Association, Neil Diamond, the Beach Boys, Billy Preston, Jethro Tull, Captain Beefheart (who I also forget who he opened for), Robbin Thompson off campus. But the very best were Poco and Bruce Springsteen. The one I regret missing was Elvis Costello.

  10. Jane - I was a huge Poco fan. Do you remember that during the concert in the basketball coliseum they stopped the show and turned on the lights, trying to get the frenzied crowd OFF the court and back into their seats?

  11. I probably saw over half of these, but Johnny Winters was fantastic. Great concert. One I didn't see on here that I'm pretty sure I saw was Greg Allman.

  12. Up to about 1968 VT concerts were mostly the Four Seasons, Beachboys, and suchlike. Then suddenly, rock bands became the norm around campus and over at Radford, and suddenly more and more big names came to town.

  13. Billy Joel also played a free concert at Burress I believe. Piano Man had just come out. Missed it though. Also remember seeing Leo Kotke.

  14. Wow! An impressive list. I remember going to quite a few of those concerts. I remember hitchhiking from C-burg on more than one occasion to get there.

  15. Yes, I recall Pink Floyd too. I think Little Feet played twice, once in Burris Hall. Another great act in Burris was the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans. And occasionally there was some good talent appearing at Squires Student Union, like John Hartford.

    When Leo Kottke appeared he was drunk as a skunk but still played well. I heard after the concert he thought he was in Podunk so didn't take the gig seriously. He was shocked at the huge turnout & big welcome.

    Great Times!

  16. I remember seeing George Thorogood and the Nighthawks more than once in Blacksburg, probably at 117 South Main. John Hartford and the Dillards also appeared.

    Pink Floyd toured the US heavily in the late 60s and through the 70s. Their tour dates are well documented. I have yet to see a date listed for Blacksburg. When would that have been?

  17. My memory tells me that when Poco was there, America opened for them. Not long later, America came back as the lead. Great shows, including John Mayall that was a real surprise.

  18. The Freshman Orientation concert at VT in September of 1969 was a surprise for the incoming freshmen. The curtain went up and Chicago played for almost two hours. I remember well the Grand Funk Railroad concert at the field house in April of amazing show.

  19. You missed the Grassroots at ring dance 1975

  20. I was lucky enough to see Chicago twice; once in Burruss Hall and a few years later at the Coliseum. Unfortunately I can't remember which years and would appreciate some help with that. I saw them at Wolf Trap this past Labor day weekend (actually Thursday night) and they were fantastic. Four of the originals played and they were as good as ever...just like Paul McCartney.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. i was at Tech 78-82 and remember seeing Pablo Cruise in 78; later i saw John Prine and Steve Goodman, The Beach Boys, Red Rider (Tom Cochrane's band) of those i can remember. my brother-in-law remembers seeing Bruce Springsteen in the mid-70's when he was there

  23. Cheech & Chong at Burris Hall in 1976

  24. I saw John Prine at the little place called Town Hall (I think). It must have been 1977? It’s on Draper Road. He was pretty plastered on stage by himself. I love his music and have seen him a few times since.