I’m a huge fan of outdoor concerts. I have a photo album dedicated to ticket stubs of concerts I have seen in the past 20ish years and it is mostly comprised of outdoor shows. I took a break for a few years but returned with a vengeance in 2015 & 2016 when Ken and I saw Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash, Whodini, Bootsy Collins, The Time, P-Funk, Big Daddy Kane, the Sugarhill Gang, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Chic, and the masta Joe Walsh. Very fun times! This year we’ve seen En Vogue & Bell, Biv Devoe with plans to see Chic & E W & F again and The Family Stone! Last night, I saw an 80s rewind concert. I won’t name the groups but instead will name the songs and see if you can guess:
- Walkin’ on Sunshine
- Everytime You Go Away
- Melt With You
- Mirror in the Bathroom
- Safety Dance
- Things Can Only Get Better
The show far exceeded my expectations and there was even this guy:
He kept talking to us about getting our e meters read? I don’t know but we each gave him $5,000. Ha ha just kidding! That was 1986 Tom Cruise. I knew he was weird but of course no one listened to me.
I decided to look up concerts in Ann Arbor’s past and it’s not often that you hit something awesome right out of the gate but I did this time!
Right? Apparently our first “rock concerts” were held in West Park and drew thousands of young people “and almost as many critics”. The crowd control, parking, and other issues were led by a group called the “Psychedelic Rangers” (mid-teens to mid-20s folks) who handle the “hot and dirty work.” The article says that the rock concerts moved to less populated areas and the criticism decreased. Of course, the rumor that these were havens for drugs and drug pushers popped up–and maybe they were, I don’t know. But the newspaper pointed out that many misconceptions about the concerts were made by people who never actually attended. Plus, they announced from the stage that drug pushers would be told to leave and not come back. The paper also complimented Ann Arbor for being one of the few cities who could host such events without “incident”–crediting the Rangers and the Community Parks programs–and also Ann Arbor itself (a city where many “new traditions” have been established throughout its history).
I didn’t catch the year on this article and I would have thought it written in the 1950s. Dude, it was 1971! June 27, 1971 (possibly around the time I was being conceived, btw, getting ready to depart the BeforeLife and hopefully able to peek in on my future adopted hometown)! 46 years later, we still rock.