When I look at a list of all the shows I have seen, sorted by venue, it is immediately clear that this venue wins. As of mid-2016, I have seen 59 shows here. This is not surprising, given that I was employed here for three summers while I was attending SDSU. Greatest job I've ever had. Mostly ushering, sometimes "security"--always fun. I worked here during the summers of 1985, 1986, and 1987 (the year I graduated--the first time). And it was such an eclectic mix of artists. Amazing.

For those I considered very special concerts, I took the night off and bought tickets so that I could enjoy the show without interruption. I did that for Sting, Eurythmics, Culture Club, and the amazing Nina Hagen (lowest turnout, best show). Since I worked at most of these, there are no ticket stubs to show. And because there are so many, I've added an alpha index. Enjoy!

These shows are listed alphabetically, rather than chronologically.

 

A-C         D-F          G-I          J-L          M-O          P-R          S-U          V-X          Y-Z

Show: Adam Ant

Date: October 1985

Comments:

 

Show: Ashford & Simpson

Date: August 2, 1985

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Show: Anita Baker

Date: September 11-12, 1987

Comments:

 

Show: George Benson

Date: September 28, 1985

Comments:

 

Show: George Benson and Kenny G.

Date: June 13, 1987

Comments:

 

Show: Big Country

Date: August 14, 1986

Comments:

 

Show: Jimmy Buffett

Date: July 31, 1985

Comments: Okay, so I was not a Jimmy Buffett fan. Not that I disliked him--just never bought any of his music, and would never have purchased a ticket to see him in concert. The three Jimmy Buffett shows were some of the BEST shows to work, because the crowd was so INTO the music. Parrot Heads Rule.

 

Show: Jimmy Buffett

Date: August 5, 1986

Comments: See above.

 

Show: Jimmy Buffett

Date: August 6, 1986

Comments: See above.

 

Show: David Copperfield

Date: August 9, 1986

Comments:

 

Show: Elvis Costello

Date: April 18, 1987

Comments: Loved the wheel of fortune for picking songs to perform. Love his voice. "Alison" is one of my favorite songs.

 

Show: Culture Club

Date: August 19, 1985

Seating: Section BB / Row P / Seat 34

Comments: This was vintage Culture Club. Before the heroin decline. "Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon."

 

 

Show: The Cure

Date: November 10, 1985

Comments: I love this band so much. I just saw them again in 2016; 31 years later, and still amazing.

 

Show: The Cure

Date: July 23, 1986

Comments: See above.

 

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Show: Dire Straits

Date: September 7, 1985

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Show: Echo & The Bunnymen

Date: October 3, 1987

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Show: Eurythmics

Date: August 11, 1986

Seating: Section BB / Row C / Seat 20

Comments: Flawless. Annie at her wildest. She entered the stage by descending on a giant zipper that opened a curtain to reveal Dave and the band on stage. Duane and I went with a couple of lesbian friends, and at one point Annie took off the see-through white blouse and performed the rest of the show in her black bra--I thought our friends were going to pass out.

 

 

Show: Michael Franks

Date: August 1, 1986

Comments:

 

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Show: Kenny G. and George Benson

Date: June 13, 1987

Comments:

 

Show: Godunov and the Stars

Date: July 7, 1982

Seating: Section CC / Row J / Seat 25

Comments: This was the first show I saw at OAT--before I began working there.

 

Show: Nina Hagen

Date: August 26, 1985

Seating: We were able to sit wherever we wanted to, so sparse was the crowd.

Comments: The OAT seats over 4500 people, and I think just under 800 seats were filled for this concert. It was amazing. She had headlights in her bra, a screaming bat face over her vagina, and she was FEARLESS as a performer. Awesomeness.

 

Show: Don Henley and Katrina & The Waves

Date: September 1, 1985

Comments:

 

Show: Bruce Hornsby

Date: April 12, 1987

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Show: INXS

Date:September 5, 1986

Comments: Awww, Michael. So sad. Great concert. Saw them again after watching the show Rock Star INXS, the band's search for a new lead singer. We really liked J.D. Fortune on the show--the concert was just so-so.

 

Show: Joe Jackson

Date: August 26, 1989

Seating: Section BB / Row M / Seat 18

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Show: Al Jarreau

Date: August 11, 1985

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Show: Howard Jones

Date: May 16, 1987

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Show: Katrina & The Waves and Don Henley

Date: September 1, 1985

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Show: The Kinks

Date: August 22, 1985

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Show: Julian Lennon

Date: July 24, 1986

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Show: Kenny Loggins

Date: October 12, 1985

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Show: Kenny Loggins

Date: August 8, 1986

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Show: Manhattan Transfer

Date: July 20, 1986

Comments:

 

Show: Idina Menzel

Date: August 8, 2015

Seating: Section D / Row F / Seat 2

Comments: Kind of a hilarious show. She was amazing, of course...but 40 % of the audience was made up of little girls in blue dresses with their parents, 40% was gay men and other big musical theatre geeks (like Randy and me), and then some undefined 20% of curious onlookers. She addressed it all brilliantly by the occasional profane outburst, wailing aloud that she didn't know how she ended up as some Disney princess, and then by singing a balls-out version of Radiohead's "Creep"--replete with floor writhing--before dusting herself off and arching her back to become the beloved singer of "Frozen," bringing all the little girls (and boys--she was adamant about that--go Idina!) down front to sing along with her. Fab.

 

Show: Moody Blues

Date: August 31, 1986

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Show: Gary Morris

Date: June 27, 1986

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Show: New Order

Date: October 31, 1986

Comments: Gawd I love this group.

 

Show: Oingo Boingo

Date: October 25, 1985

Comments: Oingo Boingo shows were SO much fun! Great music. Had to dance, even while working. Danny Elfman is a genius!

 

Show: Oingo Boingo

Date: July 18, 1986

Comments: See above.

 

Show: Oingo Boingo

Date: July 19, 1986

Comments: See above.

 

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Show: Robert Palmer

Date: July 22, 1986

Comments:

 

Show: Phranc and Violent Femmes

Date: April 26, 1986

Comments: Phranc was a revelation. Bulldyke songs despite what anyone thought of her. Army boots and all.

 

Show: Pointer Sisters

Date: October 19, 1984

Comments: I think I attended this one with Duane, Chris, Edward, Kevin, and Randy. A limo was possibly involved.

 

Show: Power Station

Date: July 24, 1985

Comments:

 

Show: Psychedelic Furs

Date: September 6, 1986

Comments: Great band!

 

Show: Psychedelic Furs

Date: May 22, 1987

Comments:

 

Show: R.E.M.

Date: July 26, 1985

Comments: Awesome.

 

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Show: Simple Minds

Date: April 19, 1986

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Show: Siouxsie and the Banshees

Date: June 13, 1986

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Show: Siouxsie and the Banshees

Date: August 8, 1987

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Show: The Smiths

Date: August 29, 1986

Comments: I can die happy knowing that I saw The Smiths in concert. A beautiful, depressing, glorious concert.

 

Show: Spyro Gyra

Date: August 16, 1986

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Show: Steppenwolf

Date: August 7, 1986

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Show: Sting

Date: August 13, 1985

Seating: Section DD / Row K / Seats 61, 63

Comments:

 

 

Show: True Colors Tour

Artists: Margaret Cho; The Dresden Dolls; Erasure; Deborah Harry; Cyndi Lauper; Amanda Palmer.

Date: June 27, 2007

Comments: Great show!

 

Show: UB-40

Date: August 8, 1985

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Show: UB-40

Date: September 19, 1986

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Show: Stevie Ray Vaughn

Date: July 31, 1986

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Show: Violent Femmes and Phranc

Date: April 26, 1986

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Show: Andreas Vollenweider

Date: October 3, 1986

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Show: Paul Young

Date: September 6, 1985

Comments:


Here are some of the materials I received as an employee at the SDSU Open Air Theatre: