B List: Memorable Giants Stadium Concerts

9. Bruce Springsteen – August 30, 2003

The Boss always threw down at his “home venue.” As part of The Rising Tour in 2003, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played ten shows at Giants Stadium including a barn-burner on 8/30/03 that featured a gorgeous Thunder Road which was dedicated to a 9/11 victim, uber-rare takes on Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart and Pretty Flamingo plus a Emmylou Harris sit-in.

8. Almost Summer – June 25, 1978

Giants Stadium opened in 1978, but the first concert at the venue didn’t occur until two years later on 6/25/78. Billed as Almost Summer, the first concert ever at Giants Stadium featured The Beach Boys, Steve Miller Band, Pablo Cruise, and Stanky Brown. The afternoon started with a showing of the Beach Boy concert film Almost Summer and continued with a full day of music.

7. Aerosmith / Deep Purple / Guns N’ Roses -August 16, 1988

Just before GN’R broke out, the L.A. rockers opened for Aerosmith and Deep Purple on a warm summer 1988 night at Giants Stadium. GN’R stole the show on most of the Permanent Vacation tour stops and this show was no exception. The video for Paradise City was filmed at this gig and at the previous night’s gig.

6. The Jacksons – July 29, 1984

In 1984, Michael Jackson was the biggest pop star in the world. That summer he teamed up with his brothers for the highly lucrative Jackson Victory Tour including a few stops at Giants Stadium. I was only seven years old, but my mother – god bless her – took me to see the King of Pop for what would be my first of thousands of concerts. MJ killed it this night and his brothers weren’t half bad either.

5. Pink Floyd – July 18, 1994

On 7/18/94, Giants Stadium hosted Pink Floyd’s last-ever concert in North America as part of the Division Bell Tour. As part of the show, the rock legends performed Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety along with a slew of their greatest hits plus some fodder from The Division Bell. There has never been a visual spectacle at Giants Stadium like there was when Pink Floyd came to East Rutherford with their array of lasers, props and lights.

4. Monsters of Rock – July 26, 1988

The Monsters of Rock touring festival featured a headlining set by Van Halen plus shorter sets from the likes of Scorpion, Metallica and Dokken. Giants Stadium was filled to the brim with metal heads during the tour’s only stop in the New York City area.

3. Live Earth – July 7, 2007

Al Gore put together a massive multi-city event in the Summer of 2007 called Live Earth to draw attention to the environment. The Police headlined the Giants Stadium part of the show with a set that included Kanye West and John Mayer sitting in on Message In A Bottle. Other performers at Giants Stadium that day included Fall Out Boy, Roger Waters, Bon Jovi and Ludacris.

2. Bruce Springsteen – September 1, 1985

The Boss and his band rocked Giants Stadium six times during the Born In The U.S.A. tour including this memorable performance that was the second concert I ever attended. I’ve never seen the joint as loud as it was that evening as Springsteen’s loyal fans hung on every note. What blew my mind was his version of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, which was about the last thing my eight-year-old self was expecting pre-Labor Day.

1. Amnesty International – June 15, 1986

A six-city traveling festival was put together in 1986 to benefit Amnesty International called Conspiracy of Hope that featured a legendary lineup of U2, The Police, Peter Gabriel, Bryan Adams, Lou Reed, the Neville Brothers and Joan Baez. The last show of the tour – and the last show The Police would play until 2007 – took place at Giants Stadium.  Among the dozens of special moments at that show was the members of The Police handing their instruments to the members of U2 as if to say “now it’s your turn to the best band in the world.”

Do you have any Giants Stadium memories you’d like to share?

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20 Responses

  1. I saw something at the GD/Dylan show on 7-12-87 that I will never forget. I was in the lower level hallway during the Dylan/Dead portion & I saw a dead head scoop up a cup full of awful brown “hallway” water & he launched it on 4 or 5 “yellow jackets” a k a Meadowlands security. He then turned & ran into a bathroom. The guards went in after him & pulled the wrong guy out. Myself & a few others argued on his behalf, but to no avail. That guy was removed, & unfortunately, not gently!

  2. The 7/9/89 Dead show is vastly underrated. The China Rider is up there with Alpine later that tour. Powerful Jack Straw and the best of the handful of Built to Lasts.

    And Bob sings the wrong words to Shakedown right on top of Jerry.

  3. I remember one in the late seventies. Poco, Todd Rundgren & Utopia, the Outlaws and Boston. It was rainy for the Poco set and flat out poured like a cow pissing on a flat rock during Todd’s set. Rundgren told the crowd that he was told that, due to the rain, the show was over when they were done playing. He then said they would play till the rain ended. After a 2.5 hour set, the clouds broke open and the sun shone through the Outlaws and Boston’s epic sets. Fireworks marked the end of the show around 12:30 am (started at noon). Good times.

    1. Tony, I remember that concert fondly. I still recall that sun breaking through and blazing down during GG&HT. Awesome. All the guys were there for the Outlaws and we all left when they finished. All the chicks said “But Boston is next” We all said screw Boston. We also had a hell of a time getting Rundgren off the stage

  4. The 9-2-78 second set has one of the finest Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountains ever performed but is otherwise mostly a sloppy mess – but that S > F is a must hear for Dead fans.

    I agree that the ’89 show is underrated, lost behind the Philly and Buffalo shows.

    That’s a gnarly ’87 story. Glad that wasn’t me. I was there and spun off my ass so it could just as easily have been.

  5. Ein Freund hat mir deinen Webblog gerade empfohlen und dann hatte ich gedacht schaue ich doch einmal vorbei. Und ich muss sagen er gefaellt mir sehr gut, ich denke er koennte zu meinen Stamm Blogs dazu kommen bei denen ich regelmaeßigoft vorbei schaue.

  6. Why is the June 17, 1991 a memorable show?
    Bruce Hornsby doesn’t even know the words.

    Although it did sound good, most of the 90’s Grateful Dead, I’m trying to forget.
    There were plenty of 1980’s shows with Brent at Giants Stadium that were amazing…

  7. I will never forget June 25th 1978. Almost summer was the first Major Concert I ever went to. I was 18 years old. Most the members of my softball team and I went there.
    It was my final summer living on the east coast.
    If anybody is still out there from SUPS 917 Broadway, give me a holler.We may not have had a great softball team that year but you guys were the best partiers I have ever met in my life. Simon, Walter ,Jerry, I wish I can remember all your names. I miss you guys.

  8. My very first concert ever was Almost Summer on 6/25/78. I was 18 and my best friend took me who has since passed. After the show, I bought every Stevie Miller cassette I could find and played them in my car non-stop! I still have my white visor from that event. Such memories.

    1. Hey Bob, that is amazing. We are both the same age and this was both our first concert. So we can both relate to the kind of memorable experience it was. Every time I hear the Steve Miller Band on the radio I get a rush of energy and a flashback of that great day. I can never forget sitting on the grass in mid field, seeing and hearing the powerful sounds coming from what I remember a HUGE tower of speakers. i am sorry to hear of your best friend’s passing.

  9. I was just past my 14th B day for Steve Miller n BB… first show good vibrations and beautiful girls… still smile on SM. Saw Bruce every night on USA tour and opening of Rising plus the stones voodoo lounge and the great Amenisty … except Yoko

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