The Battle Of The Bands
Battle Of The Bands - The World Series Of Rock
Back in my day, "The Battle Of The Bands" was called "The World Series Of Rock." August 23, 1975 I was among tens of thousands of people to attend one such event at The Cleveland Stadium.
The World Series Of Rock were all day events and if you were going to the show, it was a twelve hour day. Seating was somewhat open, and one had to get to the stadium early to claim their ground for the best view.
The bands in battle that hot August day were Rod Stewart & The Faces, Uriah Heep, Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, and Mahogany Rush. That many bands in one venue always pumps up rivalry, and in each band's performance you could tell that each was power-driving their performances to be remembered. They not only wanted to be remembered by their audience, but by their peers, as well.
Each band was excellent nailing their performances, jamming, and stepping up their game. But the two outstanding performers that day were Aerosmith and Rod Stewart & The Faces. Aerosmith's performance of "Seasons Of Wither" wooed the crowded stadium, "Easy Livin" by Uriah Heap had the crowd standing and waving and singing along. Everyone was stomping to the tune of "Radar Love" by Blue Oystercult, and the air guitarists in the crowd were following Mahogany Rush.
It was getting late and some people were wearing out, passed out, partied out, and leaving before the last band played. The crowd that was there was starting to get restless. When the lights finally went down, so did Rod Stewart and The Faces. Within the first few notes of the first song, people who were leaving the stadium started to return.
This guy 'Rod Stewart' didn't just have a band called 'The Faces', he brought out the big guns for this battle. He had what appeared to be an orchestra suspended over him facing that worn out crowd. It was marvelous - the show, the music, the crowd - tens of thousands of all standing on their feet clapping, and cheering, dancing with the music, and wanting encore after encore. And I was there, and I was one of them. Stewart & The Faces were consummate professionals, stepped up their game and brought down the house.
That was my first and only Battle Of The Bands in that type of venue, but I left that stadium with something special. For less than ten dollars I witnessed a lot of incredible musicians in their youth give the performances of their lifetime never again to be repeated.
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© 2014 Tonie Cook