Earth, Wind, and Fire is performing at the Colgate at 200 Years Kickoff Weekend celebration. What was the best concert or performance you ever attended on campus?Back to Your Stories
I think the best concert musically that I attended at Colgate was Chuck Mangione. My memory may be flawed here. But I think he may have been booked before his "Feels So Good" album broke big. By the time he came to Colgate, it was huge!(Yes, we had albums back then. And cassette tapes too I think! 🙂) Help me out people. Was it in the gym?
But my favorite concert personally was a group named Orleans. They were a local group as I recall from NY state.
At the time I was dating a nice guy at Colgate, also from upstate NY. He was a bit shy and did not enjoy dancing at parties. A concert was definitely a place for listening to music and NOT dancing; at least as far as he was concerned. (Yes, I was a bit wistful about that.)
When the band's well known song "Dance with Me" began, a few "radical" couples began to dance. I'm surprised there weren't more. Suddenly my date, took my hand and led me to some open space, where we danced the entire song. It was completely out of character for him and I appreciated his romantic gesture.
We stopped seeing each other awhile later. But I'll always have that dance.
My freshman year, I was playing music by a 70's duo called Aztec Two-Step in my dorm room when my next-door neighbor Scott knocked on my door and asked me, "Hey, this isn't Aztec Two-Step, is it?" Scott's parents had introduced him to their music (as my parents had done for me) - we were probably the only two freshmen who had heard of them, and we happened to be living next door to each other. Somehow, we got it in our heads that we would invite Aztec Two-Step to Colgate, and we managed to convince the student council to approve funds to pay to host it at the old Barge Canal coffee shop. I'll never forget e-mailing them and getting a response back that said, "Far out. We haven't played Colgate since '77!"
One night that winter, we packed the Barge full with students, professors, and members of the Hamilton community, some of whom had brought old Aztec Two-Step records for the band to sign. The music was great, but I just remember being struck by this hidden affinity that my professors, my classmates, and I all shared for this band that I thought nobody else knew.
Having experienced Colgate both as a student and a staff member, I've had the pleasure of seeing many performances on campus over the years. Big, party acts like Avicii and the Roots at Spring Party Weekend, and smaller and more intimate acts at venues like The Palace Theater and Donovan's Pub. I think my favorite concert was seeing the Goo Goo Dolls at Spring Party Weekend in 2013. They performed at a time that didn't necessarily thrill students — they were a bit past their prime — but the music was all very familiar and fun to me and many in the crowd!
Beyond the fact that the music was very nostalgic for me — hearkening back to my middle school and high school days listening to the radio while doing homework in my bedroom — the concert stood out to me as an occasion when almost all the facets of the Colgate community really came together in a very natural way. Staff and faculty, who on almost any other occasion would not have dreamed of attending a Spring Party Weekend event, congregated at the edges of crowd in Sanford Field House, softly singing along with a whole host of familiar tunes.
With its widespread appeal over a long period of time, the music of the Goo Goo Dolls managed to inspire one of the most inclusive moments of celebration I've witnessed on campus.