First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

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By Greg

What was your first or most memorable Santa Barbara Bowl concert?



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sbmizzou Apr 12, 2022 12:21 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

My first concert at the bowl was Men at Work. Oddly enough, had backstage passes because my neighbor's dad was in management at the bowl in the early 80s.

I think my best summer of music at the bowl was possible 1987. I remember it being INXS, The Cure, and another band that summer, though the Bowl's calendar does list it the way I remember it. I just remember it was a great summer.

My best concert memory is Oingo Boingo. I remember getting ticked in the pit. I remember feeling lucky to get them as I just showed up to buy them and were surprised tickets in the pit were available. Right when the concert started, we moved up to the front (as we had second row pit). It was great.

Last memory was when Midnight Oil opened up for someone. It was before they made big. They had one super fan in the crowd that was jamming on the lawn. Lol...he wouldn't sit hustled him out. This was also in the 80s.

a-1649793270 Apr 12, 2022 12:54 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

I didn't expect a whole lot from this concert 5ish years back, but definitely most memorable song I've ever heard/seen at the bowl: Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. Never seen that place go so wild (and I've been to a ton of concerts there!), it was an awesome experience and the singer even commented on it.

Babycakes Apr 12, 2022 01:32 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

Little Emo. 1972 or 1973. They were the opening act (I think) for Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, and headliner Paul Butterfield. As you entered The Bowl that day, there were boxes and boxes of red apples being given away for free. At the end of their act, the members of Little Emo gently tossed their apples out into the audience....wrong thing to do. LOTS of audience members immediately started throwing (and I mean reeeeeeeeelly throwing) their apples back at the band. They got pummeled! The equipment and instruments were hit....I mean it was pretty incredible.

SBREADER Apr 12, 2022 01:54 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

I am way older than all you. First concert Vanilla Fudge '68. Most memorable??? Tough question. Contenders? Bob Marley! The Clash with English Beat! Santana about 28 times! recently HER spectacular! Because he is still doing it and I really like him my favorite is Jack White with his old band White Stripes!

dukemunson Apr 12, 2022 02:58 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

So many great concerts at the bowl...Pearl Jam in 2003 though is my most memorable. Chris Cornell joined them for them a handful of Temple of the Dog songs, and in the course of over 2.5 hours so did Jack Johnson and John was epic!!

SBSand Apr 12, 2022 05:04 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

Kenny Loggins was first when I was 9 and with my dad and Loggins & Messina again as an adult with my mother the year before she died was pretty spectacular as well. Seen a lot of great music at the Bowl!

ParvoPup Apr 12, 2022 06:20 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

My first concert at the Bowl was Carlos Santana - it was a requirement to live in the county at the time. My most memorable was taking my daughter to see No Doubt for her first concert.

a-1649813895 Apr 12, 2022 06:38 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

Bryan Ferry in the early ‘80s during his Avalon tour. We drove down from Cal Poly, saw the show, spent the night sleeping on our car in the parking lot at La Cumbre Plaze, went to Red Rock, then drove home to SLO. Good times. My most memorable moment was lying in bed on the Westside listening to David Bowie sing “wam bam thank you ma’am” wafting across town during his last visit.

RockwellBAD2 Apr 12, 2022 09:47 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

Great question and an even better thread of comments. Don’t hate me but… the BEST concert I saw (with great people) was Donna Summer around 2008, about four years before she passed in 2012. We had seats about 6 rows from the stage. One of the best parts of her concert was when she explained the meaning of “someone left the cake out in the rain” from the song “MacArthur Park”. I finally had an answer, straight from one of the many artists that sang it. She was a likable, engaging, and personable performer. One of my best memories.

Channelfog Apr 13, 2022 07:02 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

First bowl concert: Kinks. Favorite: Bob Marley (I don't think he opened his eyes the whole show!) or Joni Mitchel. Worst was Santana and Otmar Leibert (they seemed to be feuding).
First concert not @ Bowl, Eagles w/ surprise guest Jackson Browne, @ Rob Gym 1974. I framed the concert poster.

David B Apr 13, 2022 07:49 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

First: Loggins and Messina, April 1976. Mom drove me and my brothers. Thrilled to be seeing Jim Messina at the Maverick Saloon this weekend... I think the music we get hooked on in our teenage years stays our favorite for life.

Most memorable (sorry, Jim) Jesus Chris Superstar Sept 1976. The cast from the movie. At the end the spotlights swung around and Ted Neeley as Jesus was reborn, standing at the top of the highest seats, shining in white robe. Wow.

Happy to be back in SB, but... who are all these bands I've never heard of at the Bowl????? Guess I'm old.

Steve_O Apr 13, 2022 08:10 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

We have been fortunate to have so many greats come through the Bowl. Page and Plant, Huey Lewis/Chicago, Ringo and his band, Steve Miller, Petty, Frampton, Aretha, Godsmack...these are very memorable for me as OUTSTANDING shows of the 100+ I have been to. But oddly maybe the best two shows of all for me were seeing Joe Cocker open for Steve Miller, and the Black Crowes just after they finished touring with Jimmy Page. I don't even have one of their albums...but sometimes things just line up perfectly. Your mood, the weather, the may be the best show I have EVER seen. Go figure!

Gladys Kravitz Apr 13, 2022 08:31 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

The Talking Heads 'Stop Making Sense' show stood out most for me, among many other great shows (Paul Simon, Wilco, Jack White...). I lost the most hearing when I went on the side of the stage and stood in front of the speaker column during a Santana show.

a-1649873172 Apr 13, 2022 11:06 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

As an aside, it's not a concert at the Bowl seen in person, but on YouTube, Katy Perry's concert at the Bowl was much better than the same concert tour performed in LA and other venues. Playing to a hometown maybe does improve the performance.

Seabird Apr 13, 2022 09:11 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

Eh, Katy Perry is over-production making up for under-performance. She's not really "home town." I believe she attended H.S. here for exactly one year. Her elderly parents di live here, and are full on right wing evangelists. Odd bunch.

dukemunson Apr 13, 2022 11:39 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

That Tool concert was epic...I couldn't hear that well for like a week afterwards! First concert for me was Morrissey. The cool thing about the bowl, is such a cool venue and spot that even shows that aren't that great are still really fun nights out! So glad live music is back...pumped for Smashing Pumpkins in May!!!!

Gimli Apr 13, 2022 11:59 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

For me my first concert at the SBCB was in 1974, I saw The Jefferson Starship with Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Paul Kantner and Papa John Creach on violin. I was 18. But I will add a few others that I saw in concert at the SBCB: Jackson Browne, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Bob Weir Band, Boz Skaggs, The Band (in 1976), The Kinks (twice), Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The Clash, The English Beat, Bob Dylan, Moody Blues (Twice), Roxy Music (opening band was The Stranglers, one of my many favorite British bands. May keyboardist Dave Greenfield Rest In Peace), B.B. King and George Thorogood (same night), Bryan Ferry in 2014 and in 2017.

Suzi805 Apr 13, 2022 01:03 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

My very first "concert" at the bowl was in the early 1980s and it was Robin Williams Stand up comedy show. It was the beginning of his popularity with the show Mork from Ork. I was 11 years old and went with my mother. We laughed so hard we cried, stomach muscles ached all the next day. An unforgettable experience, he was very naughty but hilariously manic and each joke landed harder than the next. The second most memorable show was UB40 in August 1985 just after my 15th bday. It was the first time I took LSD, I had pit seats with my bff and we partied hard, the opening act was a band called Midnight Oil from Australia and the lead singer was quite the character, my first time dropping L had me laughing hysterically, they almost stopped the show and kicked me out because I was laughing uncontrollably as I "peaked". Unforgettable because UB40 rocked the bowl that summer night. I had the best time, made it home safe. My third favorite show was when I won tickets to see the Beastie Boys from a guy who had pit seats but couldn't make it, he ran an ad on Craigslist asking people to write an essay about how they deserve the tickets, he chose mine and overnight shipped the tickets. At the time, I was going through hell with chronic low back pain and sciatica, I wrote about how hard it was trying to manage all the responsibilities I had, raising my kids, working, and trying to accept the fact that I had this "disability" and my life wouldn't be the same... Anyways, I believe that was August 2008. I had just had my umpteenth spinal injection for pain management and I was hell-bent on going to the show. 3rd-row seats right smack in the middle, I was on my feet the entire time, dancing and partying as we do in "the pit". This time no LSD but I did have some good pain killers and weed. :P another very memorable show was Duran Duran, I don't even recall what year but it was within the last 15 years or so. The SB Bowl is a very special place and goes hand and hand with all the other great memories of growing up in SB during the glorious 70s & 80s here.

BigDD8 Apr 13, 2022 01:30 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

Sept 9, 2000: My first and also most memorable outing to the SB Bowl. I was already a big fan of Boney James, and the plus was getting to see/hear the inimitable Ray Charles perform. Boney James definitely did not disappoint—he had the audience movin’ and groovin’ to his music. The disappointment was the audience when Ray took the stage; this must have been close to the end of his illustrious career. Midway through his set, people started standing up … and leaving!!! It was dark by then and you could see their silhouettes moving toward the exit. The only relief was that Mr. Charles couldn’t see the disrespect. I wanted to cry.

100572P Apr 13, 2022 02:05 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

UB40, Beastie Boys, Incubus/Deftones, Bush/No Doubt, Depeche Mode, Stone Temple Pilots (Scotts last show) I mean who can pick? Alanis was better at the Arlington but still great at the Bowl.

CPlocal Apr 13, 2022 04:14 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

The best? The concerts in the 70's - Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King, Loggins & Messina, back in the day when you could bring a blanket and a cooler, enjoy the music and those around you, and didn't have to listen to people screaming or singing during the entire concert. Cell phones weren't invented then, and people actually watched the concert (imagine that) instead of having a cell phone in their face. Do I sound old or what? :)

Channelfog Apr 14, 2022 04:21 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

CPLOCAL- Agreed! At Bowie concert a jerk was standing up yelling into his phone, "I'm at the bowl seeing David Bowie.", calling all his friends... Sometimes I miss payphones and dimes.

catwrangler Apr 13, 2022 04:38 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

I believe my first concert was Bryan Ferry in the 80s. My friend and I were in high school and everyone else was a loved up, smoked up, wined up couple.

My older sister's concert was Rick Springfield. I got to sit in the car with my parents until it was over and we could take them home.

Then I had the good luck of being neighbors with a music/concert reviewer and when his GF was unavailable then I got to go for free. Special Beat, Ziggy Marley, INXS, and more but I have forgotten.

Now concerts are way out of my budget.

tlachiquero Apr 13, 2022 06:36 PM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

I remember Midnight Oil, too. Not at all sure who the headliner was - Peter Tosh maybe?
Best were Ali Akbar Khan, Jefferson Starship and, at the top, Bob Marley. The Marley concert is on YouTube.

4358ed Apr 14, 2022 10:34 AM
First or Most Memorable Santa Barbara Bowl Concert?

Excellent question! We've lived here more than 30 years and have seen at least 50 shows at the Bowl. We've also been lucky enough to travel the world and see many live shows and concerts. The Bowl is easily one the best outdoor venues in the country. That said - my first SB Bowl experience was 1992 and seeing the Black Crowes in the pit. Most memorable was KJEE summer round up 2014 with my oldest son. His first Bowl concert. Good times.

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