RBD Breaks Record
Mexican pop group RBD set a record for the highest paid attendance for a Latin concert in the U.S. with 63,101 fans at the Coliseum.
Ye with special guest Drake
Kanye West, along with special guest Drake, hosted the “Save Larry Hoover” Benefit at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in December, 2021. The concert was in hopes of freeing Larry Hoover, a former Gangster Disciples leader who was serving time in a federal supermax prison. Money raised from the concert was donated to nonprofits focused on prison reform.Hoover was serving 200 years for murder, and the nature of his case was complex as a result of his scale of influence and previous attempts to appeal. Kanye West appealed to former president Donald Trump to help Hoover.
The concert, which took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, drew fans from far and wide to see two of the biggest names in music performing together. West performed many of his old hits, while Drake performed newer music from Certified Lover Boy. The show was ultimately a huge hit, with fans screaming and cheering throughout the show.
The Grateful Dead
On June 1st, 1991 The Grateful Dead hosted a concert at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The event was opened by Johnny Clegg and Savuka, starting at 1 p.m. The crowd in the Coliseum ended up being about half capacity, with nearly 50,000 tickets sold. Still, it was one of the top 5 highest grossing shows of 1991.
Sound technician Dan Healy spent weeks studying the Coliseum before The Grateful Dead performed in order to figure out the best location for the band’s speaker towers in order to make sure there were “no bad seats.” Some fans were apprehensive about the reserved seating style of the Coliseum, in contrast with the usual festival seating for The Grateful Dead. However, much thought went into the show, including nude torso sculptures by Robert Graham to assure the authenticity of the show.
The Rolling Stones ‘Steel Wheels’ Tour with Guns N Roses and Living Colour
The Rolling Stones “Steel Wheels” Tour launched across North America in 1989, promoting the “Steel Wheels” album. It later went to Japan and Europe. This was the band’s last live tour with their original member Bill Wyman, who played on the bass guitar.
The opening acts on the tour consisted of Living Colour, Dan reed Network, Guns N Roses and Guns. In interviews with the L.A. Times, Guns N Roses credited much of their inspiration and learning to The Rolling Stones. The tour was a giant success, making lots of money and filling arenas across the world. It was a return to glory for The Rolling Stones, who had previously been on a seven year hiatus. For four shows in October, The Rolling Stones performed at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The crowd was an estimated 95,000, raging from teens to older groupies of The Rolling Stones.
‘Monsters of Rock’ Tour featuring: Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken, Metallica and Kingdom Come
Van Halen’s “Monsters of Rock” Tour took place in 1988, visiting 23 cities from May to July. The shows consisted of 9 hours of performances from the top rock bands of the era, including Metallica, the Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come. Writers from the L.A. Times called the lineup “one of the most ambitious concert packages ever mounted.” The hard rock and heavy metal music festival originally took place annually in Castle Donington, England for 16 years. The performances spread to other locations across Europe, North America, South America and the Soviet Union.
1988 was the only year that the “Monsters of Rock” tour took place in the United States. Nearly 77,000 concert goers attended the Monsters of Rock tour at the Los Angeles Coliseum. However, during Metallica’s performance a riot nearly broke out as people tried to crush towards the front, ending in a dozen arrests and a “handful” of injuries.
Pink Floyd ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ Tour
On April 15, Pink Floyd performed at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, drawing in an audience of over 56,000 concert-goers. “A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour,” consisted of two back-to-back tours spanning from September 1987 to August 1988, followed by a shorter tour from May to July of 1989. This was their first tour since 1981, as well as the first tour without original bassist Roger Waters.
There was originally doubt about whether or not the tour would continue, particularly because of Waters’ departure. Upon initial announcement of the tour, Waters threatened legal action against marketing any promoters promoting the show as “Pink Floyd.” The band reached a settlement with Waters, and the tour made over 135 million dollars worldwide, making it the highest grossing tour of the 80s.
U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour
In support of their iconic 1987 album The Joshua Tree, U2 set out on The Joshua Tree Tour across North America and Europe. The tour quickly became the event of the year, starting off in indoor arenas in April and rapidly growing into outdoor stadiums by September.
The first leg of the tour included five sold-out nights at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on April 17-22, 1987, performing to over 74,000 people. U2 returned to Los Angeles on the third leg of the tour with two sold-out concerts at the Coliseum performing to over 132,000 fans, marking the highest grossing stop of the whole tour.
Before the second show on November 18, U2 pranked the audience by dressing in disguise as their own support act, a country and western band called The Dalton Brothers.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Born in the USA Tour
The Born in the USA Tour was Bruce Springsteen’s most successful tour to date, supporting his iconic album ‘Born in the USA.’ The tour included performances in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. It was also the first to feature the future wife of Springsteen, Patti Scialfa.
The tour grossed nearly 90 million dollars and the namesake album was inside the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart for the entirety of the tour. The final four shows of the tour, September 27, 29, 30 & October 2, were held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where they performed crowd-tested classics and premiered new songs like Edwin Starr’s “War.” The cumulative attendance was of the four sold-out Coliseum shows was 322,900.
The Who ‘Tour 1982’ Concert
The Who Tour 1982 took place to support their “It’s Hard” album. Although the band had two warm up shows in Birmingham, the tour was otherwise entirely in the United States and Canada. This was their last tour with their drummer, Kenney Jones. The band also announced it as their final tour, however they ended up reuniting and going on tour again several years later.
On Friday, October 29th The Who performed at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The opener was The Clash, touring off their most successful album. The crowd amassed roughly 95,000 concert goers and people who attended remember the concert going particularly wild over songs like “Love Reign O’er Me” and “Behind Blue Eyes.”
Summer Blowout with Journey, Black Sabbath and Cheap Trick
On July 26th, 1980, the Summer Blowout festival was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The performers included Black Sabbath, Journey, Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet, Babys and Russia. Over 75,000 concert goers packed the Coliseum, as temperatures reached 100 degrees. Tickets sold for just over twelve dollars.
The event was published by Billboard that week for being the top box office stadium/festival concert, making nearly one million dollars in gross receipts. The Coliseum has been known for hosting big names concerts, and this Summer Blowout Festival is another example of the Coliseum hosting some of the biggest names in music, with the festival featuring some of the biggest rock stars of the 70s and 80s.
The Rolling Stones with Prince
On October 9 & 11, 1981, The Rolling Stones performed at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with opening support from Prince. At the time, Prince wasn’t well-known but Mick Jagger was a fan of his early work and invited him to open the show. Less than four songs into their set, the crowd of 94,000 promptly booed Prince and his band off stage, likely because his music and fashion was much different than taste of The Rolling Stones’ audience.
Following the poor treatment, Prince flew back to Minneapolis, set on not returning to the stage. However Jagger and his manager convinced him to come back for night two. Prince and his band received similar treatment on October 11, but finished their five-song set, closing with “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?”
The Rolling Stones 1981 American Tour took over massive stadiums and venues across the country. The band was promoting ‘Tattoo You’ and was the highest grossing tour of the year. The band received over 51 million dollars in ticket sales and had roughly two million attendees over the span of their concerts.
Roger Waters’ ‘The Wall’ Concert
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters performed ‘The Wall’ in its entirety for the first time since 1990 in front of a crowd of nearly 42,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The band had also rocked the former Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena back in 1980.
Guns N’ Roses/Metallica
Metallica kicked off the first show of their World Wired Tour yesterday in South Korea, and it got us to thinking about all the times they performed at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum over their incredible career.
In fact, 2017 marks the Coliseum’s 25th Anniversary of hosting both Metallica & Guns N’ Roses on a co-headlining tour, on September 27, 1992.
Other performances by Metallica at the Coliseum:
July 24, 1988: Van Halen’s Monsters of Rock Tour, which also included Scorpions, Dokken, and Kingdom Come.
July 15, 2000: Summer Sanitarium Tour, also featuring Korn, Kid Rock, Powerman 5000, and System of a Down.
August 9, 2003: Summer Sanitarium Tour, with supporting acts Linkin Park, Mudvayne, Deftones and Limp Bizkit.
CaliFFornia World Music Festival
The CaliFFornia World Music Festival took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on April 7th and 8th, 1979. The lineup was jam-packed with an impressive amount of rock stars from the 70s, including performers such as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Van Halen, and Ted Nugent. The night was emceed by popular comedy duo Cheech & Chong.
The event was filled with all kinds of entertainment, including food, rides, games, a record shop, a movie theater and skateboarding exhibitions. Tickets were sold for either $15 or $25, and over 45,000 people attended the festival.
Music Sound Funk Festival
With an attendance of 42,771, the Music Sound Funk Festival lasted 11 hours, with a line-up consisting of some of the all- time greats, including: Parliament Funkadelic, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Rick James, The Isley Brothers, Rufus with Chaka Khan, The Brothers Johnson, and Rose Royce.
Wattstax ’72 Benefit Concert
Touted as the “Black Woodstock”, Wattstax brought in over 100,000 local attendees and celebrated African American culture, unity and pride within the community, which at the time was recovering from the violent Watts riots that had taken place six years earlier.
The benefit concert featured important civil rights leaders within the community, including Jesse Jackson, and performances by top recording artists, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Kim Weston, Rufus Thomas and The Soul Children.