The Greatest Stadium Rock In The 80s And 90s

Here are the list of the greatest Stadium Rock that occured between 1980 to 1999

Here are the list of the greatest Stadium Rock that occured between 1980 to 1999

The Police, Shea Stadium, 18th August 1983
This was the biggest concert in Shea Stadium after the Beatles’ performance in 1965. Not only was the stadium seat, the playing field also filled up with fanatic fans of the band. More than 65,000 tickets sold out within very short time. At that time the band had already taken advantage of technology by using bigger sound system and huge video screens. The songs differed greatly from songs usually played for stadium rock audiences. The music was lighter, not

aggressive, not stomping and cleverer. It changed radically people’s perception of stadium rock

Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA Tour 1984/1985
Started in Minnesota on 29th June 1984 and ended in Los Angeles in October 1985, Springsteen played out to sold out stadium sized venues around the world. Born in the USA Tour was made to support Born in the USA album that had maintained number 1 position in the Billboard 200 during the entire duration of the tour. Playing to tens of thousand audiences at a time, it was Springsteen’s most successful tour to date. The concerts really showed his capability in controlling crowd and bring vast audience together into a massive sing-along package.

Dire Straits, Brother in Arm Tour, 1985-1986
Following the massive success of the album, the tour covered 248 shows in over 100 cities in 23 countries including 21 consecutive appearances in the UK in December 1985. In two-year span, the tour sold three million tickets around the world. The Tour began in Split, Croatia on April 1985 and ended in Sydney Australia on April 1986.

Live Aid, Wembley Stadium, London & JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, 13 July 1985
Broadcast live on TV and radio to more than 1.5 billion viewer in 160 countries, Live Aid was the biggest single rock event in history. The show brought together world’s biggest rock and pop stars. Among those great artists are The Who, Dire Straits, U2, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organized this show to raise money for Ethiopian’s famine relief. The performance began at Wembley Stadium, London and continued in JFK Stadium, Philadelphia for 16 hours non-stop. The event raised more than $280 million and set trend for huge charity gigs.

David Bowie, Glass Spider

Tour, 1987
The tour started in 1987 in Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam in support of the album Never Let Me Down. The show was seen by three million people. Five dancers appeared on stage. Besides dancing, Bowie and the dancers performed dialogue in the middle of the song, giving it a theatrical effect. The band also wore more than one set specially designed costumes. It was the first show in history that combined rock with choreography and theatre.

Rolling Stone, Steel Wheels Tour, 1989-1990
The Steel Wheels Tour changed people’s perception of Stadium Rock concert as cheap entertainment. First time in rock concert history, the ticket was expensive. Started in Philadelphia to promote the Steel Wheel album, the show was extravagant with futuristic colossal stage designed partly by Mick Jagger. It was a huge success financially, taking almost $100 million in US and Canada. In 1990 the show moved to Japan in February and Europe in May.

U2, Zoo TV Tour, 1992/93
U2’s first stadium performance was in the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 during which the band played numerous stadium and arena shows. The show was a success with tickets sold out all around the world. U2 played second stadium tour, the Zoo TV Tour, few years later and this was a huge success. Zoo TV Tour is the most memorable U2 stadium rock performance.This ambitious tour which began in Florida in 1992 showcased extravagant play of lights, hundreds of video screens bombarding the audiences with images and subliminal messages and satellite TV links. In short, this futuristic show was a multimedia event with the full use of technology where the video is the centre of multi sensory experience. Zoo TV tour revolutionized the way media technology manifested itself in live music performance. This is the show that had everything: technology, charismatic band and beautiful songs

After Zoo TV, U2 had two other tour concerts, the Elevation Tour and Vertigo Tour. Differ from the Zoo TV, these two events were scaled down and performed in smaller arenas with more intimate stage design. This year, U2 tried to reinvent stadium rock by playing 360 Tour with around 100 planned shows from June 2009 throughout 2010.


Article Written By Yovita Siswati

Yovita Siswati is a blogger at

Last updated on 26-07-2016 256 0

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