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Here are some comments on the shows from those who were there! Some were submitted directly, some found on other web sites. If any of the original authors would like to add to this or receive credit please contact us.


Anyone else who would like to share a review or add a comment, please feel free to. ---> I Was There!
Civic Center Reviews
Copyright © 2010 Region Rock Memories
           1979      Blue Oyster Cult Supporting Acts unknown
In the mid and late 70s I was young, single, and had a good job. Living near Chicago I had the opportunity to see almost every major act that was on tour. I guess that probably doesn't surprise anyone, but there were also a lot of times that the huge national acts would perform at smaller venues in Indiana.

Some of these, particularly the ones held at the Hammond Civic Center in Hammond, IN, allowed fans the opportunity to see the bands up close and personal. The stage at the Civic Center was only about 2 feet off the ground. We would usually go in big groups of 6-12 of us, mostly guys, but often take girlfriends. We'd get there early and stake out are position in front of the stage. I'm talking right in FRONT of the stage. When the bands came out, the front man would be no more than 4-6 feet in front of us. We would actually smoke joints and blow the smoke into the singers' faces. I swear this is true. I think we may have at times passed one right up onto the stage, but hazy memories here. Like a lot of things I've seen and done, I wonder myself if I imagined this part.

The Hammond Civic Center is a large cavernous building with a really low stage. It was more like attending a party with the band then actually being in the audience. This place seldom seems concerts anymore. Now it's mostly pro-wrestling, boxing, ultimate fighting tourneys, and circuses. With it's high ceilings they can even have trapeze and high-wire acts. I really doubt if the acoustics are the best, but don't know for sure due to the sheer volume those rock bands belted out.

My memories of seeing Blue Oyster Cult seem to be limited. Maybe it had something to do with all those teeny tiny orange microdots or funny looking little pieces of paper we always consumed about an hour or two before the show. At any rate, at the time these shows were awesome. Nothing else matched the experience. The lasers were amazing. I remember lasers coming off the stage. I'm thinking maybe they fanned out from behind the drums. I also recall seeing them either shooting out of the guitar, or maybe just reflecting off of it.

There were mirror balls hanging from ceiling, don't remember how many, but several... at least 3 or 4. There must have been other mirrors mounted around the auditorium, because once the lasers were all going full tilt, and the mirror balls spinning, they would be reflected around over and over, multiplying the effect. If you can, imagine thousands of beams of light going back and forth every which way. The building of course was smoke filled. This let you be able to see all the beams. The thing that stands out most in my memory is what happened when these reflected beams intersected each other. Where two or more beams intersected, you would get a floating spot of color that was a combination of the those colors.

As the show progressed more lasers were introduced. Creating the effect of being in a snowstorm. The "snow" was every color of the rainbow! Never saw anything like it and doubt if I ever will again. You also would sometimes get a laser right in the eye, which I guess is dangerous?! For those who never experienced a laser up close, when you get one shined at your eye you see a spot of colored light which seems to have lots of little black spots in it. These spots would swirl around too, it seemed to me like you were looking at something alive under a microscope.

The other thing I remember vividly was the first time I ever saw the Godzilla mask. All of a sudden the drummer had a mask on. Honestly it looked like an alligator head to me, not sure it was Godzilla-like at all. At later shows maybe it was. They put some strobes on the drummer and he went nuts, while the crowd went wild.

~ bocfan
                                                                                                                                                                                     
          3-30-86               KISS w King Kobra
Some Hammond pastors and city officials are unhappy with the decision to allow the rock group Kiss to use the Hammond Civic Center for a concert on Easter.
"A concert on Easter Sunday by a group of that nature is offensive," said Jon DeGuilio, president of the city council. "Kiss goes beyond being a rock group. They promote satanic beliefs and violence and violate everything that Easter Sunday stands for."
However, Kiss "never has and never will" espouse satanism, said promoter Jan Pearson of Star Tickets in Chicago.


~ Chicago Sun-Times
            2006        Los Cordobas Supporting Acts unknown
This was a concert filmed in 2006 at the famed Hammond Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana. Because of the age of the building there was no air, and it was about 102 degrees inside. But it was a great show by a great band.

~ W F Hayden
           12-14-74               Mountain w Montrose, Jo Jo Gunne
I did remember going to see Montrose (Sammy Hagar) and Mountain (Lesley West) at the Hammond Civic Center.  Me and Joe Sabato and couple of other people I don't remember who, went up there but we were real late in getting there.  By the time we got there you couldn't tell that a concert was going on because outside it was deserted.  We were bummed because we figured we couldn't get in but we saw someone on the corner so we stopped and asked what was going on.  He said they were sold out and that they had, had a small riot earlier (I think he was pulling our chain) but he said he could get us in for $5.50 for backstage passes.  At the time we thought we hit the jackpot, since the standard price was $5.50 for general admission, so we took him up on the offer.  Where we got took was that, "Yes we got in backstage" (behind the stage - suck-ass seats) plus his partner on the inside took our tickets back from us once we were inside (apparently to re-sell).   But I had fun and it was a good concert.  Unfortunately, because we were so late we missed most of Montrose, only got to hear 3 songs but we did get to hear Bad Motorscooter and Rock Candy their two big songs.  Plus we got to hear Lesley West (Mountain) go crazy on his guitar hooked to his Echo-Plex, that was awesome.  This was about 1974 Montrose was the opener for Mountain.

~ Rinie
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            03-24-78                 Angel w the Jam

It was some time in  either 1977 or 1978. I remember me and a couple of friends got on a Hammond city bus in the robertsdale section of hammond headed towards the Hammond Civic Center. We had just smoked a couple of j's, so we were feeling good.

I used to take the bus all the time but my friends never did, so when we got on they just went to the back and sat down without paying, so i did the same.  Eventually the bus driver yelled at us to either pay or leave, so then we got up and paid. It was kind of a cool/cold day if I remember right.

The one thing I noticed when we got there was, that instead of everybody waiting outside in line in front of the building, they had us line up in the back. So we waited probably about 3 hours or so. I remember when they opened the doors there was a rush to get in and some female got her head stuck up against one of the doors windows. She was yelling and stuff and finally from all the pushing, she busted the window with her head. I don't know if she got hurt or not, all I was concerned about was getting inside and getting a good spot on the floor close to the stage.

Mission accomplished, we were about 3 people from the stage just slightly to the right of center stage. The first band to come on was a London punk band called The Jam. They played maybe 20 minutes or so. I thought they sucked. Now I was really getting excited cause Frank Marino was the next one to go on. I don't know if I would have went to see Angel had he not been scheduled to perform. They started setting out his and the bands gear. they brought out this huge board with all kind of pedals on it, it was pretty wild all the pedals that were on it.  After what seemed like forever, the made an announcement that he would not be performing after all. What a %$%##  drag!!!!!

So after they reset everything the lights went out and on stage were a bunch of square clear box like things. I think there was 5 sets of them, and 1 by 1 they would take the boxes and put them on top of each other and then it would light up around the edges, and then  POOF!!! a band member would be inside. That was pretty cool. 

I thought they were pretty good live, a lot heavier sounding than on their cds. Greg Guiffria, the keyboardist had this one key board in the shape of a guitar that he strapped on and played like it was a guitar. At one point in the show Punky Meadows, the guitar player went back stage and brought out a full glass of Heinikin beer wish he used to play some slide guitar on. Then after he was done, he took a small sip and gently tossed the still near full bottle into the audience.  By this time i had worked my way up to the very front of the stage. I was so close i could see the hair spray on his hair.  I thought the bass player was kinda faggy in his mannerisms and stuff, but i really liked the drummer, and the singer had a really good stage presence to him.

All in all a very good show, a lot better that I thought it would be. So now they came out to get their applause and all, and as they were out there this big black box that had the Angel logo on it lowered from atop. Then 1 by 1 each band member got inside, and as they did, i could see them gettting in and then like walking down steps to get under the stage. When they were all in,  the box rose and the Angel logo spun around faster and faster and then POOF!!!  (again) lol,  the box opened up and they were all gone.. As they would say it was a "HELLUVA"  show. Glad I went cause they rocked!!

~ dirtyodd
          03-24-78               Angel w the Jam

The Jam was one of the original 'punk' bands from England. The crowd HATED them and threw all kinds of shit at them during their short set. Although I was pleasantly surprized they were there at all. Punk rock was popular in Chicago but not in Hammond !!

The Angel show was typical over the top 1970's excess...kinda took away from the fact their music sucked........they appeared 'magically' in those plastic phone booth contraptions
.

~ downloaded1
           02-11-77                 Rush w Max Webster or Pat Travers(?)
I saw Rush and the "other guy" on 2-11-77, who was Max Webster, I was 15, my friends Mom took us, skipped school, got there early, stood on the stairs,was the first few people there,  was the only door used, and was almost crushed to death when they opened the one door. (camera was ripped from my neck, but I managed to stand up, and not be a stat in the Hammond Times and beyond. This was my first concert, second was Kiss  Chicago Stadium, which I have a drum stick from that show..confetti is long gone along with the stub.
Thanks for the memories,

~ Joe M
           12-14-74              Mountain w Montrose, Jo Jo Gunne
Rock Fans Stage Riot

HAMMOND - Two thousand angry rock fans rebelled boisterously at Hammond’s Civic Center Saturday night when they could not get in for a concert.

The 2,000 were $5.50 ticket holders to the concert featuring Mountain, Jo Jo Gunne and Montrose. The center already was filled by 7,000 other rock fans.

Four people were arrested and 30 extra police officers were called out when the fans stormed Civic Center doors facing Sohl Street.

Doors opened at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for the 8 p.m. concert, but the center was quickly filled beyond capacity.

Police inside the center barricaded doors with tables to prevent the “outsiders” from getting inside.

Police threw two canisters of tear gas into the crowd and called the fire department for help in hosing down the angry fans.

Fire department hoses never arrived.

The crowd showered police with rocks and bottles. One rock rioter broke through the barricades, grabbed a policeman’s gun, and ran down a center hallway. He was caught and arrested.

When extra police arrived, it took 15 minutes for them to get through the crowd and to the doors.

Police suffered minor injuries in the confrontation.

Among those arrested were youths identified as David Culver, 18, Hammond; Peter J. Ainsworth, 18, Calumet City; Mark R. Mango, 18, Tinley Park, and James Sullivan, 25, Chicago.

Things were not “cool” among those who got inside the center, either.

While the disturbance went on outside, ambulances came to the center four times to handle drug overdoses among the crowd.

Police said they confiscated large quantities of drugs and alcohol as people entered. They estimated they only got 5 percent of all such substances brought to the center by patrons.

No one was available to explain how the concert was so oversold.

Civic Center spokesmen said they only rented the hall and had 100 tickets for sale there.

~ submitted by Tim S
           12-14-74              Mountain w Montrose, Jo Jo Gunne
Q. What happened to the Mountain and Jo Jo Gunne concert that was supposed to have taken place on Dec. 14 at the Hammond Civic Center? Police were there with tear gas and the youths were turned away. My son doesn’t know what exactly happened because he never got in. Does that mean he’s out $12? Were the performers even there?    D. T., Burbank

A. The promoters oversold the gig, according to the Hammond Civic Center, stranding approximately 1,000-1,500 rocksters. Police were called when the restless crowd began kicking in windows and doors while the show went on inside, where there were more injuries (4 drug overdoses) than outside. One of the entrepreneurs later appeared on a Hammond radio station, giving listeners the following address to write for refunds: Downs Productions, Cary Towers, 204 Spring St., Cary, Ill. 60013. And don’t send in the actual ticket.
~ submitted by Tim S
           11-23-74                Epitaph w Zaza Pitts, Bazoomey Loomey (sp?)

The end of November witnessed the launching of a series of free or cheapie concerts co-produced by Hegewisch Discount and Triad 106 - Our way of saying thanks for your support over the years. This first concert brought to the stage of Hammond Civic Center, three fine groups and a crowd in excess of 4 thousand.

After a warm introduction by Richie of Hegewisch, Behzoomney Loodeaz, a Chicago foursome of whom you may have read in last month’s Chicago Music Scene, got things going with a forceful presentation of original material which more than announced what the audience had in store.

Zazu took it from there with a performance that evoked a great response. They gave us a good idea of what their album will sound like, soon to be released on Wooden Nickel, a Chicago based record company.

After a docile beginning that we knew was merely a tease, Epitaph, Germany’s outstanding rock band, delivered. It was a show that provided both gut level satisfaction, as well as, soaring cerebral exploration. Working thru old and new compositions, Epitaph displayed the versatility and competence that has made them one of Europe’s most respected bands.

Panser provided dynamics on drums, while vocal duties were handled by Cliff Jackson, who does most of the composing, and Bernie Kolbe their talented bass player with Klause Walz charged the air, the same dazzling guitar work that is heard on their first U.S. release Outside the Law. The combinations of their talents proved a fine finish to an enjoyable evening. Thanks to all!

~ submitted by Tim S

Xrock 103.9
Night Rock
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Midwest Beat Magazine
Northwoods
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The Venue
Blue Oyster Cult Official Site
Black Betty Chicago
           12-14-74              Mountain w Montrose, Jo Jo Gunne
Saw Mountain, Montrose and Jo Jo Gunne there back in the fall of 1974. Don't remember much except it was so crowded, you could lift your feet off the ground and still be standing cause. Everybody was squeezed in there shoulder to shoulder. And Ronnie Montrose was phenominal. So was Corky Lange's drum solo.
I was front row center for that one, squished against the stage! Even got some decent pix. There was actually a riot that night! They sold about 9,000 tix for a place that holds about 5,000! D'oh! I still have the news article about it. I went out the rear exit after the show and didn't know about the riot til I read about it!

~ Tim S
          03-24-78               Angel w the Jam
They played a month later near the end of March 1978 at the Hammond Civic Center in Indiana. Mahogany Rush was supposed to open for them but they cancelled so a punk band called The Jamm opened instead. People were hurling cups and things at them (The Jamm) onstage.

~ Jetdreams65
           12-14-74              Mountain w Montrose, Jo Jo Gunne
I remember the riot. They were breaking windows and the place got a little tear gas added in. We were further back from you, but not much. I remember Space Station #5 more than anything.

~ Addison dad
      01-01-60?            Chuck Berry w Bobby Freeman, Rivieras, Ideals, Blue Angels, more
WE STARTED OUT AS A 3 PIECE POLKA BAND. KENNY ON ACCORDION -JOHN ON SAX AND BOB ON DRUMS. WHEN WE ADDED THE GUITAR AND SINGER KENNY STARTED PLAYING ORGAN AND BASS GUITAR.

WE CHANGED OUR NAME TO THE BLUE ANGELS AND ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. I'M NOT SURE WHO THOUGHT OF THE BLUE HAIR. WE SOMETIMES CHANGED OUTFITS EVERY SET. WE PLAYED EVERY VFW, AMERICAN LEGION,  LIONS CLUB EVERY HALL BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD A CROWD. WE PLAYED AT LEAST 5 NIGHTS A WEEK--NIGHT CLUBS--TEEN DANCES--CONCERTS- WEDDINGS.

WE WERE THE HOUSE BAND AT MADURAS DANCE LAND IN WHITING INDIANA. IT WAS A HUGE PLACE WITH A STAGE ON BOTH ENDS. ALL OF THE TOP ACTS IN THE COUNTRY CAME THERE TO PLAY. WE MET A LOT OF FAMOUS GROUPS THIS WAY.

THE KINGSMEN OF LOUIE LOUIE FAME WOULD EVEN COME TO VISIT US WHEN THEY CAME TO TOWN. THEY SHOWED UP ONE NIGHT AT MIDWAY BALLROOM IN CEDAR LAKE INDIANA WHILE WE WERE ON STAGE. WE TALKED THEM INTO PLAYING A SONG-- THE CROWD THOUGHT WE WERE KIDDING - BOY WERE THEY SURPRISED!

ONE NIGHT WE PLAYED A BIG CONCERT AT THE HAMMOND CIVIC CENTER-- 10,000 PEOPLE--CHUCK BERRY AND BOBBY FREEMAN WERE THE BIG DRAWS. THE RIVIERAS-- CALIFORNIA SUN FAME- WERE SUPPOSED TO BACK CHUCK UP-- WE CAME OUT FIRST AND BLEW THE CROWD AWAY. CHUCK WENT RIGHT TO THE PROMOTER AND SAID I WANT THOSE GUYS TO BACK ME UP- FORGET THE RIVIERAS! WE DID --CHUCK LOVED IT-- WE LOVED IT - AND HISTORY WAS MADE. THE RIVIERAS -- THEY WERE FROM GARY INDIANA-- WERE NOT HAPPY CAMPERS AND DID NOT TALK TO US MUCH THAT NIGHT.

SPEAKING OF GARY-- ONE NIGHT WE WERE PLAYING A VFW IN HAMMOND WHEN THIS FAMILY OF 5 LITTLE BLACK BOYS AND THEIR FATHER SHOWED. THEY PLAYED DURING ONE OF OUR BREAKS. THEY WERE FANTASTIC. I PATTED LITTLE MICHAEL ON THE HEAD AND SAID, YOU KIDS ARE GOING TO BE FAMOUS SOME DAY. BOY --WHAT A MOUTH FULL-- THAT WAS THE LAST TIME I SAW THE JACKSON 5 LIVE!

NOT VERY MANY BANDS WANTED TO PLAY ON THE SAME STAGE WITH US-- MORE THAN ONCE. WE PLAYED JAMES BROWN-- CHUCK BERRY- OTIS REDDING-- BO DIDDLEY-- RAY CHARLES- KINKS -- BEATLES- SAM AND DAVE- WELL YOU GET THE IDEA-- LOTS OF ROCK AND ROLL AND BLUES. ALL OF OUR RECORDS WERE ORIGINAL EXCEPT FOR SHAKE A TAIL FEATHER. WE DID TRY TO GET ON THE TED MACK AMATEUR HOUR ONCE-- WHILE WE WERE PLAYING FOR HIM--MOST OF THE GROUPS WAITING IN THE HALL FOR THEIR TURN-- PACKED UP AND LEFT. TED SAID WE WERE TO GOOD TO PLAY ON THE SHOW AND SENT US HOME.

~ John Puskas of the Blue Angels, a Hammond based band from the 60s
          3-30-86               KISS w King Kobra
King Kobra was the opening band. It was a band formed by Carmen Appice. KISS pyro reportedly broke windows in the building and the music rattled houses nearby. Its only rock n roll.

~ DCBLACKDIAMOND
          03-24-78               Angel w the Jam
I'm having trouble putting into words what it was like at that time at the Hammond Civic Center. That's the main thing I want to convey.

It was really special. Some kick ass bands came through there. When was the last time a great band came to Hammond for a concert before the Venue was built or the summer fest? There were always 3 or 4 band on the bill. Maybe 5 bucks. Good times.

Angel was a great band. Maybe a bit too theatrical, but that's how it was done in the mid 70's. They were loud, talented, and always put on a good show. You always got your moneys worth with them.

What you're seeing in the first few pictures posted is part of their stage production. They incorporated some illusions from a magic act. At the begining of their set, three boxes were on the stage. A roadie would stack three boxes, one on top of the other, then the box doors would open and a member of the band would appear. Then the stage hand would take them apart, re-stack them, and another member would appear.

At the end of the show, they would all be enclosed in a good size box, it would levitate over the stage, then open with an explosion and the band would disappear. Pretty slick considering the audience was only a foot or two away.

The opening act, The Jam, was booed off stage and had beer cans thrown at them.
They really shouldn't have been on the bill. It would have been like The New Kids on the Block
opening for Metallica today.

~ guitarron3
           01-17-76            Ted Nugent w Rory Gallagher, Artful Dodger
I checked the Hammond Civic Center and saw listed my first real concert. I didn't remember the date at all just that it was before I could drive. Was Ted Nugent with Rory Gallagher and Artful Dodger on 1/17/76. I remembered that it was cold out and hot as hell inside that place.

Think Artful Dodger was the opening and he wasn't very well received. Matter of fact, I remember someone throwing a bottle at him, lights went out, he yelled FUCK YOU!!!, lights went back on and he went back to singing.

Seems that Rory was good. I wasn't that crazy about Nugent. I just wanted to go to a show. Not sure what ever became of the ticket stub.

~ Greg H