Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Speaking of The Coliseum…

Without question, The Coliseum at Richfield was one of my favorite concert venues growing up.  When it was announced that it would close, to be replaced by Gund Arena, I was very unhappy (to put it mildly).  To close down a legendary venue that was barely 20 years old, and call it outdated, it was obvious that there were politics involved that had nothing to do with the age of The Coliseum.

Adding additional insult, the building sat vacant for several years before the eventual demolition finally came around.

The video above really is an amazing document of the final moments of The Coliseum.  While it's sad to watch the destruction of a much-loved part of my youth, there are some amazing shots of the inside that bring back good memories.  I saw a number of shows there, including my first Springsteen show in 1992, ZZ Top and the Black Crowes in 1990 (and ZZ Top again in 1994), two Bryan Adams shows in 1992 and 1994 (the 1994 gig featured a guest appearance from Brian Setzer), and so many more.  I had tickets for a Deep Purple show that was canceled, and ticketholders had the option of a refund, or they could use the ticket to see Winger (the originally scheduled opening act) at the Akron Agora.  I took the refund.

What are some of your favorite show memories from the Coliseum?

Here's a great article by Cleveland Frowns that covers the history of The Coliseum at Richfield very nicely.  There also is now a Facebook group where you can read and share additional memories!

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  • Stereo Dictator

    You know if it's old school, I'm in.

    The Coliseum brings back many memories of great concerts and sporting events. Among the best were Kiss in 76, Led Zeppelin in 77, Ian Hunter in 79, Queen in 79, Springsteen on New Year's Eve 79/80, Bowie in 83 and Aerosmith a few times, once right after Joe Perry left.

    I also remember seeing a guy puke all over the concourse and the stairway at a Foreigner show, and a fight break out over a girl at the Mellencamp show in 94 with folding chairs flying about five rows in front of the stage.

    The worst was the parking lot. Everyone funneled from a huge prairie of cars into about three lanes on either side of this huge building on to a two-lane road.

    Now the former site is a prairie. It was a lot of fun while it lasted.

  • saggy

    i know what i HATED: when my mom made me go to Disney on Ice with my her and my sister. I saw Madonna and Billy Joel there in the 80's, and I think I saw Lionel Richie there, too.

    Aside from the music, my favorite Coliseum moment was when the old Cleveland Force beat the Minnesota Strikers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to secure their first trip ever to the Championship. Ahhhhh, youth…

  • Sean

    Good memories of the Coliseum! I saw Van Halen 5150 tour with Bachman Turner Overdrive opening! That must have been around 1985(?) *and I was only 13* It was amazing. Good memories of Metallica for the Black Album (1991?) and another fun concert was the Nelson Brothers, Skid Row, and Cinderella (can't remember the date at all).

  • Matt

    Sean – I would have loved to have seen that VH 5150 tour! I forgot that Bachman-Turner Overdrive was the opener….kind of an odd opener!

    The Nelson/Skid Row/Cinderella gig would have been fun as well. I'm guessing that Skid Row was the headliner?

  • Sean

    Twas truly amazing! I road to the old coliseum with my next door neighbor in her 1980 Cordoba and looking back on the memory, it was really something else. I didn't know who BTO was at the time but really received an education and bought up some tapes with their well known hits (You ain't seen Nothing yet!) after the show. And looking back on it, it was a strange opener (in retrospect), but it really worked. What I really remember about Van Halen was the incredible solos by the individual band members. Eddie was amazing and put on a solo that seemed to last a half an hour and did amazing things with his guitar, I swear he did all types of animal impressions with his guitar LOL! Horses and elephants roarings..hard to explain:-). I was playing bass at the time and the bassist's solo was great too. And the drum solo…I'll never forget, after some time of playing through his solo, Alex then started tapping one after the other slowly and then got going so fast with both sticks that the stuccato tapping became one sound, kinda like a hum of one sound cause he was tapping so fast…again, words escape me.
    The Nelson/Skid Row/Cinderella was fun! And it was Cinderella who was the headliner. I remember being surprised that Skid Row was the middle act. I still can't remember the year…for some reason I'm thinking it was 89 or 90 (?) Might even have been 91… Never the less, it was a great time and a great memory.

  • AB

    Saw my first concert ever at the Coliseum: David Lee Roth on the Eat 'Em and Smile Tour, followed by scores of shows over the next few years. But here's some memories from Bowie's Sound + Vision Tour stop in Richfield, circa 1990…….

  • AB

    Saw my first concert ever at the Coliseum: David Lee Roth on the Eat 'Em and Smile Tour, followed by scores of shows over the next few years. But here's some memories from Bowie's Sound + Vision Tour stop in Richfield, circa 1990…….