Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. The Most Complete Listing of Shows from the 60s thru the 90s

Posted 29 Jul 2010 in 70s, Music + TV News

 

Ah the Aragon Ballroom. This is a fun listing for the old Rock ‘n’ Rollers that visit the Cool Album of the Day site. Here’s a list of just about ever show that was held at the Aragon Ballroom in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.  If you went there, have fun looking thru this list.  Look for the shows that you saw. Feel ‘bummed’ about the ones you missed. Be angry about the ones that you would have checked out but you didn’t know about, until now.

I’ve combined different listings to form this list. I’ve even contacted band members and did poster research to find others. It’s the best list on the ‘net!

If you were never at the Aragon (it’s still up and running by the way.) it’s still fun to see the shows that were held at the 4500 capacity ‘brawl-room.’  In the old days that would put strung-together folding chairs on the floor. I think they just pack them in now.

Tell us your tales about the Aragon Ballroom below!

VIEW BY DECADE60s // 70s // 80s // 90s 

 

The 70s

Make sure you click on all four decades to view all four pages.
  • April 10, 1970: Pink Floyd / Rotary Connection / Mason Proffit
  • May 1, 1970 Al Kooper / The Byrds / Bangor Flying Circus/ Second City Cast / One Man’s Family
  • May 8, 1970 The Rascals /Charlie Mussel White SRC / Truth / Bod Rudwick
  • May 15, 1970 Delanie & Bonnie & Friends /The Flying Burrito Brothers / White Lightning / Jessie
  • May 22, 1970 Mountain / Bob Seger System / Litter
  • June 5, 1970 Jethro Tull / Sha-Na-Na
  • June 12 & 13, 1970 Country Joe and the Fish / Shocking Blue / Pacific Gas & Electric / Amoby Dukes/Ambergris
  • June 19, 1970 Traffic with Stevie Winwood /  Bloomsbury People /Edmonds & Curley / Bob Rudnick
  • June 26, 1970: Ten Years After / BB King / Brownsville Station / Mott The Hoople
  • July 3, 1970 It’s a Beautiful Day /Aum/ Rare Bird / ( Grateful Dead Cancelled, border issues)
  • July 4, 1970 It’s a Beautiful Day /Aum/ Rare Bird / ( Grateful Dead Cancelled, border issues)
  • July 10, 1970: Grand Funk / Litter / Brian Auger and the Trinity / Four Days and a Night
  • August 25, 1972: The Kinks / Foghat / Dr. Hook and His Medicine Show / Flash
  • June 23, 1972: It’s A Beautiful Day / Spirit (Blue Oyster Cult  on bill but cancelled)
  • September 30, 1972: Chuck Berry
  • November 3, 1972: Mahavishnu Orchestra / Siegal-Schwall Blues Band
  • January 19, 1973: Badfinger / Raspberries / Amazing Blondel
  • April 6, 1973:  Cauctus /Brownsville Station /Catfish-Hodge / Jr.Lace
  • April 13th, 1973:  Hookfoot /Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes /Armadillo
  • April 20, 1973: Genesis / Heartsfield
  • April 27th, 1973: Country Joe
  • May 11, 1973: Freddie King / If
  • May 18, 1973: Cold Blood / Joy of Cooking
  • May 25, 1973: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band / Heartsfield
  • June 1, 1973 Michael Bloomfield / Siegal Schwall / (and an unconfirmed) Little Feat
  • June 14, 1973 Lee Michaels
  • June 15, 1973: Iggy & The Stooges / Blue Ash / Detroit with Mitch Ryder
  • July 23, 1973: Leslie West / Mitch Ryder / Dungeon Butter
  • July 27, 1973: Mott The Hoople / REO Speedwagon / Joe Walsh with Barnstorm
  • October 12, 1973: ZZ Top / Fleetwood Mac / Nazareth
  • December 15, 1973 Mountain
  • December 28, 1973 Quicksilver
  • January 20, 1974 Wishborne Ash
  • March 22, 1974 Sly & The Family Stone
  • April 26, 1974 Eagles / Marshall Tucker
  • May 17, 1974 Blue Oyster Cult / Aerosmith / Sharks
  • May 24, 1974 Bachman Turner Overdrive / Climax Blues Band / Fresh Start 
  • June 21, 1974 Lynyrd Skynyrd /Charlie Daniels /REO Speedwagon / Locamotive GT
  • July 21, 1974 Mountain
  • August 23, 1974 Electric Flag
  • September 20, 1974 Mountain / Bill Quateman / Stampeders
  • September 27, 1974 Quicksilver /Roy Woods Wizard
  • October 18, 1974 Aerosmith
  • October 26,1974: Blues versus Blues show with Rufus Thomas /Johnny Taylor /Willie Dixon / Mack Simmons / Screaming Jay Hawkins /Jimmy Reed
  • November 1, 1974 Lou Reed / Montrose / String Driven Thing
  • November 8, 1974 T-Rex / KISS/ Hydra / UFO
  • November 15, 1974 Rory Gallagher /Wet Willie/ Rush
  • November 29, 1974 Blue Oyster Cult / Manfred Mann /Sensational Alex Harvey Band
  • December 6, 1974 Marshall Tucker Band
  • December 28, 1974 Wishbone Ash /Eric Burdon /Camel
  • January 24, 1975 Spirit /Iron Butterfly
  • February 21, 1975 KISS /James Gang
  • March 8, 1975 Queen / Kansas /  Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush
  • March 14, 1975 Wet Willie
  • March 28, 1975 Aerosmith/Rush
  • April 4, 1975 Nektar
  • April 19, 1975 Kraftwerk /Greenslade
  • April 25, 1975 Wishbone Ash
  • May 9, 1975 Leslie West
  • May 16, 1975 Lou Reed
  • May 23, 1975 Lynyrd Skynyrd/Climax Blues Band/ Atlantis
  • June 28, 1975 Spirit / Kansas / Hydra
  • July 13, 1975 Joe Walsh
  • August 29, 1975 Steppenwolf
  • October 10, 1975 J. Geils Band
  • October 19, 1975 Savoy Brown /Baby
  • November 14, 1975 Marshall Tucke Band
  • November 22, 1975 KISS
  • November 28, 1975 Black Oak Arkansas/ Foghat/ Montrose
  • November 29, 1975 Black Oak Arkansas /Foghat/ Montrose
  • November 30, 1975 Black Oak Arkansas/ Foghat/ Montrose
  • December 13, 1975 Kinks/ Little Feat/ Cockney Rebel
  • December 15. 1975 Ted Nugent & The Amboy Dukes / Mountain / Heartsfield
  • December 26, 1975 Blue Oyster Cult / Rush / Artful Dodger
  • December 27, 1975 Ted Nugent /Iron Butterfly/ Artful Dodger
  • January 16, 1976 Rory Gallagher/ Kansas / Babys
  • January 23, 1976 Blue Oyster Cult / Bob Seger / Point Blank
  • January 30, 1976 Sweet / Artful Dodger
  • February 22, 1976 Peter Frampton/ Gary Wright
  • March 19, 1976 Johnny Winter
  • April 9, 1976 Joe Cocker
  • April 21, 1976 Thin Lizzy
  • April 22, 1976 Santana
  • April 23, 1976 Santana
  • May 13, 1976 Foghat
  • May 14, 1976 Foghat / UFO
  • May 15, 1976 Foghat / UFO
  • June 4, 1976 Nazareth / Thin Lizzy / Ian Gillian
  • June 12, 1976 Marshall Tucker Band
  • June 25, 1976 Blackmore’s Rainbow / Heart/ Mahogany Rush/  LA Jets.
  • August 6, 1976 Spirit
  • September 24, 1976 Blue Oyster Cult,/Rick Derringer/ Tommy Bolin
  • November 5, 1976 Rory Gallagher /Toots & Maytals
  • November 20, 1976 Kansas /James Gang /Ambrosia
  • December 10, 1976 Patti Smith /Sparks/ Budgie
  • December 17, 1976 Black Oak Arkansas /REO Speedwagon /D’Thumbs
  • February 18, 1977 Santana /Tower of Power
  • February 19, 1977 Santana /Tower of Power
  • February 25, 1977 Journey /Heartsfield /Mr. Big
  • March 11, 1977 Marshall Tucker Band /Buckacre
  • March 19, 1977 Charlie Daniels Band /Winter Brothers
  • March 25, 1977 Angels /Starz /Runaways
  • April 1, 1977 Tangerine Dream
  • April 29, 1977 Outlaws /Steve Gibbons
  • May 13, 1977 Uriah Heep /Starz /Dictators
  • May 20, 1977 Rush /Max Webster
  • May 21, 1977 Rush /Max Webster
  • June 17, 1977 Atlanta Rhythnm Section /Heartsfield /Frankie Miller
  • June 25, 1977 Kinks /Pierce Arrow /Widowmaker
  • July 1, 1977 Vsop John Klemmer /Mahogany Rush /Dictators
  • July 8, 1977 Billion $ Babies /UFO /Charlie
  • September 9, 1977 Outlaws /Commander Cody
  • October 22, 1977 Iggy Pop /Ramones /Leslie West
  • November 11, 1977 Wishborne Ash /Nils Lofgren /Brand X
  • November 18, 1977 Charlie Daniels Band /Sanford-Townsend /Stillwater
  • November 25, 1977 Ramones /Eddie & Hot Rods /Skafish
  • December 3, 1977 Golden Earring /Rex /Legs Diamon
  • January 6, 1978 Rush /April Wine
  • January 7, 1978 Rush /April Wine
  • January 8, 1978 Rush /April Wine
  • January 20, 1978 Ramones /Diodes /Runaways
  • February 24, 1978 Angel /Godz
  • March 3, 1978 Journey /Ronnie Montrose /Van Halen
  • March 10, 1978 Tubes /Pat Travers /Horslips
  • March 17, 1978 Nazareth /Sammy Hagar /Head East
  • March 23, 1978 Aerosmith /Street
  • March 24, 1978 Outlaws /Sea Level /Grinderswitch
  • March 31, 1978 Little Feat /John Hall
  • April 14, 1978 Atlanta Rhythm Section /Wet Willie /Crack The Sky
  • April 21, 1978 Elvis Costello /Mink De Ville /Nick Lowe
  • June 3, 1978 Mahogany Rush /Fotomaker
  • September 8, 1978 U.K. /Starcastle
  • September 22, 1978 Thin Lizzy //AC/DC //Dictators
  • October 8, 1978 P. Funk Brides
  • October 20, 1978 Triumph /Trooper /Kevin Borich
  • October 22, 1978 Willie Nelson /Asleep At Wheel /Ray Hubbard
  • November 27, 1978 Ted Nugent /Chilliwack
  • November 28, 1978 Ted Nugent /Chilliwack
  • November 29, 1978 Ted Nugent /Chilliwack
  • December 2, 1978 Outlaws /Pat Travers /Richard T. Bear
  • January 27, 1979 J. Geils Band /S. Side Johnny
  • February 24, 1979 Ramones /Godz /F. Poodles
  • March 10, 1979 Elvis Costello /Rubinoos
  • March 23, 1979 Nazareth /Tantrum
  • March 24, 1979 Angel /TKO
  • April 26, 1979 Van Halen /Robert Fleishman
  • May 18, 1979 Journey /Blackfoot
  • May 19, 1979 Journey /Blackfoot
  • May 20, 1979 Journey /Blackfoot
  • June 8, 1979 Patti Smith /Rendezvous Band
  • July 13, 1979 Devo
  • July 20, 1979 Triumph /Morningstar
  • August 2, 1979 Cars /Nick Glider
  • August 3, 1979 Cars /Nick Glider
  • September 14, 1979 Clash /Bo Diddley /Undertones
  • October 19, 1979 AC/DC //Pat Travers
  • October 26, 1979 Talking Heads
  • November 2, 1979 Outlaws /Molly Hatchet /Point Blank
  • November 3, 1979 Outlaws /Molly Hatchet /Point Blank
  • November 16, 1979 Scorpions /Sammy Hagar
  • November 23, 1979 Tom Petty /F. Poodles
  • December 1, 1979 Jefferson Starship

VIEW BY DECADE60s // 70s // 80s // 90s 

Posted by Larry Carta

37 Comments

  1. Jack Skalon (03 Aug 2011, 23:01)
    Reply

    Great site.
    In the 70′s I was the drummer in a Chicago band named ‘Jerico’. The date escapes me, but we opened up for Baker/Gurvitz Army and Golden Earring at the Aragon. Being a drummer and opening for one of my heroes was something I’ll never forget.
    Again, thanks for a great site. It brings back a lot of memories.
    Thanks,
    Jack Skalon

    • crosscatch (26 Jan 2013, 17:52)
      Reply

      I went to that show and that was painfully loud!
      I do remember BGA coming unglued at some point and somehow, they pulled it back together and finished strong. I haven’t seen a band do that as well.

      We missed Jerico. I do recall the place had more space than usual, probably contributing to the uncomfortable loudness.

  2. coachmaddog (05 Sep 2011, 13:20)
    Reply

    Holy Cow, Larry! I was just sitting down to write my latest review for your site and I stumbled on this. My first show ever was at the Aragon on October 10, 1975. J. Geils Band headlined and were great, but my friends and I were there to see UFO. I was so excited that I listened to my UFO albums endlessly in the days leading up to this monumental event. We arrived early and spent half the day waiting out in the alley talking tunes and watching people pass these funny smelling cigarettes back and forth. The doors opened and we made the mad dash up the stairs to the seats and anxiously waited for the 1st band, Hammersmith, to come on. UFO was amazing and about an hour that I will never forget. J. Geils was great and really knew how to work their crowd. This date really got me hooked.
    I saw many shows there and even spent my senior prom night there (Uriah Heep, Starz ,and the Dictators). I know that I had a better time than the prommies and I didn’t even get laid. There was a chair fight that night, though. This is a great list that I will be devouring later.

    Jim McCabe

    • crosscatch (26 Jan 2013, 23:20)
      Reply

      You are so right. UFO was in top form. They were terrific. I tried to watch J. Geils. They were good and knew how to work the crowd and Peter Wolf is a great entertainer. I was drained after UFO and went home a couple of songs into J. Geils.

  3. matsellah (23 Jan 2012, 2:48)
    Reply

    I’d gone to get tickets to see UFO and Cheap Trick at the Hammond Civic Center (Dec ’77) and saw an advert at the box office for a concert The Loop was sponsoring that night at the Aragon. My very first concert and it was Legs Diamond, T-Rex and Golden Earring, all for buck-98. Saw the UFO/CT show about a week later. Many, many shows since then (and many at The Brawlroom), but that’s how it all began.

  4. lakevubud (31 Mar 2012, 2:34)
    Reply

    I went there alot in 72-73 and I remember seeing Richie Havens, T Rex and Lou Reed but I don’t see them on your list.

  5. Terry Nelson (01 Jun 2012, 2:08)
    Reply

    Why won”t this site let me post my comments.

    • Larry Carta (01 Jun 2012, 11:41)
      Reply

      This is the first one that I saw Terry. Also the first time I’ve heard of a problem. Try again and let me know if it’s working. Like I said, this one went through so I hope all is well. Thanks, Larry

  6. Mike Bennett (05 Jun 2012, 7:06)
    Reply

    Awesome list. One correction — the middle act on the Dec. 10, 1976 Patti Smith show is Sparks not Sparkle. I once saw a bootleg t-shirt for that show with poorly rendered drawings of Patti Smith and Russell Mael of Sparks on the front — couldn’t tell which was which. Another great bootleg shirt was for the Beasty Boys outside the Beastie Boys/Fishbone/Murphy’s Law show in the ’80s.

  7. Icky (14 Jun 2012, 8:01)
    Reply

    Lou Reed – Nov 74 – opening acts were Hall & Oates (!) – and Dr. John (right place wrong time)

    • george (01 Dec 2013, 13:35)
      Reply

      I was there, just talking ab out it on Velvet Underground facebook page. Did you see the guy pushing people out of their chairs sayinig “Anybody wanna fight me?” Then a whole gang of little guys jumped him and whooped his ars. Someone else threw a chair out of the balcony and miraculously didn’t hit anyone. Great concert. I saw Rush there too and people were booing them and throwing firecrackers at them.

  8. crosscatch (26 Jan 2013, 17:56)
    Reply

    I’m pretty sure Eric Carmen played there for two nights, billed with Badfinger. I remember the reviewer in the Trib suggesting the Carmen was watching Badfinger and wishing they had a rhythm section like that.

    EC would’ve been touring his first solo album.

  9. crosscatch (26 Jan 2013, 23:16)
    Reply

    July 23, 1973: Leslie West / Mitch Ryder / Dungeon Butter

    I do believe it was Leslie West and the Wild West Show featuring Mitch Ryder. I have no recollection of Dungeon Butter.

  10. Steve rynders (01 Feb 2013, 12:11)
    Reply

    What a great site – thank you! I cherish the memories of my teenage years at The Gon!

    Just a little filler: The opening band for Sweet on 1/30/76 was The Artful Dodger.

    For the Nazareth show on 6/4/76 the opening bands were Thin Lizzy and Ian Gillan – what a show!

    The opening bands for Blackmore’s Rainbow on 6/25/76 were Heart ( definitely) and I’m pretty sure The Runaways and one other band, possibly Angel.

    • Larry Carta (01 Feb 2013, 13:28)
      Reply

      Thanks for your input Steve. I’ll adjust things.

  11. Tim Shockley (23 Feb 2013, 17:03)
    Reply

    Incorrect about that Rainbow ’76 show. I was there, have photos and wrote down the openers that night. Openers were Heart, Mahogany Rush, & LA Jets. One band to many, but I digress…

    • Larry Carta (24 Feb 2013, 11:33)
      Reply

      That’s what it says…:) well, now it does at least! Thanks for the update.

  12. gordo (28 Apr 2013, 10:35)
    Reply

    I seem to remember the “Guitar Feedback Contest of the World” !! featuring Ted Nugent, Mike Pinera and a 3rd guitarist. Twas my first time at the Aragon probably 1973

  13. Dynamic Dave (28 Apr 2013, 14:10)
    Reply

    Larry, I worked for Jam Productions in the late 70′s and early 80′s at the Aragon and Park West mostly. Still have many backstage passes from these Aragon Shows. How about setting up a “BACKSTAGE” area on your site so we can scan the actual stage passes and have a collage of them on a special page for “Backstage Only” Whadayathink?

  14. eddie lee (09 May 2013, 18:18)
    Reply

    The Runaways were there but did not play.Cherie Currie was sick at the hotel.

  15. eddie lee (10 May 2013, 13:19)
    Reply

    Heart & Blackmore’s Rainbow.I know for sure as I worked for Jam and that light up rainbow was 2 pieces & a bitch to get out of the building. The other girls were there but Cherie was not.

  16. jack (26 Jun 2013, 19:53)
    Reply

    New York Dolls and Bonnie Koloc……….some time in the 70′s…1970 to 76

  17. Flippy (26 Jun 2013, 20:45)
    Reply

    Saw Little Feat at the Aragon in 78, was the best LF show I ever saw (and I saw them many, many times including at the Warner in DC) and one of the coolest venues ever!

  18. jack (24 Sep 2013, 19:17)
    Reply

    Savoy Brown and Crow , early 70′s

  19. jack (24 Sep 2013, 19:23)
    Reply

    and there was a show with ELO who cancelled……CLimax Blues played instead?

  20. Ken (05 Nov 2013, 19:37)
    Reply

    I saw Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band play the Aragon around 1975. Trapeze and Sail Cat were also on the bill but that show isn’t listed. Nice site, however!

  21. Debbie (06 Nov 2013, 23:15)
    Reply

    Wow! I went to many amazing shows at the Aragon. The Ramones, Devo, Clash, Elvis Costello, Pattie Smith , Pretenders all great. I can remember when the Plasmatics did their show there and Wendy O Williams blew up a car on stage and I could see part of the ceiling of the Aragon fall down. Great times.

  22. Beverly (16 Nov 2013, 23:47)
    Reply

    I was at one of the Black Oak Arkansas concerts in ’75 and during the show, part of the old stage decoration fell onto the stage! pretty weird.

  23. jack (18 Feb 2014, 19:24)
    Reply

    Feb. 21, 1975 Man was on that bill too…..and who was in James gang that night?…Wish we could get more of the openers on some of the dates

  24. Oso Ursus (20 Apr 2014, 10:00)
    Reply

    Does anybody else remember A triple Bill show with (in order of appearance) 38 Special, The Babys & Molly Hatchet? Southern rock band 38 special opened, did their thing (Rock-In-Into-The Night) & the heavy drinkin’ crowd went nuts. After about 40 minutes of set up for the 2nd band, the Babys (with John Waite), the lights came up revealing a LARGE gong and out they came dressed in what looked like satin jumpsuits with scarves. They started playing and the crowd immediately began booing and throwing things on stage. I THINK there was some poster give away that night and most of them ended up on stage, along with a few empty Jack Daniels bottles. 1/2 way through the second song the stage lights were turned off to take away the visual targets the Babys had become. John Waite got on mic in the dark and said “We’ll come back when you grow up Chicago”. 45 more minutes of set-up and Molly Hatchet took the stage and the crowd was happy again! Looking back I wish I could have seen John Waite Live that night, but that being said, WHAT was the show Booker THINKING that night? That mixing of 2 Southern Rock bands with a British Pop band in between wasn’t the best idea ever for sure. FUN night though!

  25. Dave Anderson (17 Jun 2014, 21:45)
    Reply

    4/21/1978 – It should be Mink De Ville.

  26. Jeff H. (18 Jun 2014, 13:26)
    Reply

    I can fill in a few dates opening acts- I’ve kept a written log of all I’ve seen since 1973:
    5/24/74- Climax Blues Band, Fresh Start opened for BTO
    9/20/74- Bill Quateman, Stampeders opened for Mountain
    5/16/75- Montrose, String-Driven Thing opened for Lou Reed
    5/23/75- Climax Blues Band was 2nd on the bill
    6/28/75- Kansas,Hydra opened for Spirit
    1/16/76- Baby was 3rd on the bill
    Hope this helps!

  27. Terry Nelson (12 Dec 2014, 8:48)
    Reply

    The list doesn’t go back far enough to have the first show I saw there on it. It was the Yardbirds and I believe it was the winter of 1965-66. The Rave-up LP had just been released.



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