Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Springfield Symphony Hall, 34 Court Street, Springfield, MA

Capacity 2611

The Springfield Municipal Complex was dedicated by President William Howard Taft in December 1913. In his dedication, Taft praised the three buildings as "one of the most distinctive civic centers in the nation, and indeed, the world."
Originally known as "The Auditorium," Symphony Hall is renowned as much for its "perfect acoustics" as it is for its Greek Revival architecture. It is part of the architecturally significant Springfield Municipal Group, and sits beside an ornate, 300 foot tall Italianate Campanile, which, in turn, is located next to Springfield's Greek Revival City Hall. The Municipal Complex's architecture is a notable example of the City Beautiful style made popular by Daniel Burnham, an architect from Chicago, Illinois, in the early 20th century.

Initially it seated over 1,000 more people; however, it has been renovated several times to meet modern seating standards - and modern body sizes - and thus lost seats. The Auditorium was renamed Symphony Hall during the 1940s, after it became the main performance venue for the progressive Springfield Symphony Orchestra. It is also home to Broadway-style theatre, children’s programming, internationally-recognized speakers, as well as numerous concerts and performances.(1)

It was no trick, just a big treat when British rock gods Led Zeppelin performed in downtown Springfield on Halloween night in 1969. Sponsored by the Narragansett Brewing Co., Led Zeppelin performed at Symphony Hall, then known as Springfield Municipal Auditorium. The concert took place nearly three years before the opening of the Springfield Civic Center. Taj Mahal, from Springfield, was the opening act but he didn't show up.(1)(2) The rumor was they got booed that night and Robert Plant told everyone that they would never play in Springfield again, and as we know they never did.(2)
Janis Joplin played the Auditoriium on November 26, 1969, according to her concert web site.

While it still retains its old style theater feel, today’s concert goers will feel right at home with the latest in acoustic enhancements and comfortable seating.
Springfield Symphony Hall was rededicated in 1980 and underwent an extensive renovation in the fall of 2004.
Symphony Hall is managed by Springfield Performing Arts Development Corporation and is a recognized not-for-profit theatre. SPADC also manages CityStage in downtown Springfield.
In 2012, known as Mass Mutual Center.

Jerry performed here on
11/12/81 Jerry Garcia Band

2.)^Kelly, Rav, Forgotten concerts:, 2012-05-12, http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2012/05/forgotten_concerts_led_zeppeli.html

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