Did You Know These 35 Bands Played at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Back in their Saddle once again, Aerosmith takes the stage at Fenway Park tomorrow night, marking the first time in months that Red Sox fans get to cheer for some hits.
It seems like the Sox ownership group wants people to believe they are the innovators of concerts at Fenway Park, “beginning” back in 2003 when Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band took the field just ahead of the Sox’s own glory days.
But The Boss is hardly the first notable musical act to perform with the Green Monster as his backdrop.
There was indeed a long gap between major concerts at Fenway – 30 years, to be exact – but what’s somehow buried in history is the impressive group of legendary artists to play Fenway Park before “Sweet Caroline” sing-alongs were a staple of Sox games (I don’t see Ted Williams or Jim Rice joining in there).
According to Setlist.fm (an absolute must for music diehards), the first concert at Fenway Park took place in 1959, and featured the legendary Ray Charles. Charles would return to Fenway in 1973 when it hosted the Newport Jazz Festival. The lineup was pretty stacked, as legends Stevie Wonder and B.B. King also took the stage during the one-day even in late July (Charles would return in 2003 to perform “America the Beautiful” on baseball’s Opening Day).
In recent years, the Red Sox have also been known to “welcome” other sporting events, such as the NHL’s Winter Classic and college football (after once serving as permanent host to the then-Boston Patriots). But again, this is actually nothing new at Fenway Park.
According to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, college football was played at Fenway as far back as 1916. In fact, legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully got his first big break calling a college game from the roof of Fenway in 1948.
Meanwhile, boxing first took place at Fenway Park back in 1920, while in 1969, the great Bruno Sammartino defended the WWWF championship against local legend Killer Kowalski in front of 17,000 fans, per Legends of Pro Wrestling. With Survivor Series a rapid sellout at the Garden this year, could we see SummerSlam at Fenway one of these years (at least then, it would make some sense when Kane chokeslams Pete Rose)?