It’s a clear summer evening on a Friday in 1967. You hear your friend’s Thunderbird pull up in the drive, grab two crisp dollar bills, and holler to your parents that you are headed out for the night. The two of you cruise down Salvio Street as Paul McCartney sings a dancing tune through the speakers. A line has already begun to form at the doors as you pull into the lot outside. Tonight, you’re catching a show at the Concord Coliseum.
The summer of 1967, fondly known as the Summer of Love, brought thousands of people to California – particularly to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. While the masses convened in The City, East Bay had its fair share of shows to boast. Concord had two hot spots for concerts – the Concord Coliseum, which opened in August of 1967 and hosted shows for about a year, and the Concord Armory, which still stands on Willow Pass Road. It’s rumored that shows took place at either location every Friday and Saturday night for teens and young adults, but few remaining concert posters leave room for local’s memories to fill the gaps.
On June 15, 2017, Concord will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Summer of Love with a day full of groovy tunes, hippie-history and lots of love at Todos Santos Plaza. Back-to-back concerts will feature Purple Haze, the highly-acclaimed Hendrix tribute band hailing from San Francisco, and The Rave-Ups, a highly-esteemed American rock band that has been jamming since 1979. The shows begin at 6:00 pm sharp! Be there, be groovy or be square.