What's the BEST concert you've ever seen at the Utica Aud?

That was the topic of discussion recently over on the We Grew Up in Utica NY! Facebook group. The original post, inviting members to reminisce about their favorite shows, gained a ton of traction, with 171 reactions and 330 comments, as of this writing.

We're going to do a deep dive on some of the responses and add further detail thanks to the website Concert Archives:


Black Sabbath via Facebook
Black Sabbath via Facebook

Multiple people remembered Black Sabbath and Van Halen playing the Aud. One user pointed out that Van Halen was great, but Ozzy may have been on the sauce that night:

Van Halen opening for Black Sabbath. They played perfect and I got to see eddy do eruption from about 40 feet away. They were amazing, but can’t say the same for sabbath.
They were terrible.
Ozzy was bombed up haha, he was terrible.

For Black Sabbath, it marked the final full tour with Ozzy Osbourne until the group reunited in 1997 for a series of Ozzfest dates.


Martha Howland and Steven Russo both mentioned the fantastic Grateful Dead show from 1981. Here was the setlist:

  • Shakedown Street
  • Minglewood Blues
  • They Love Each Other
  • El Paso
  • Jack-a-Roe
  • Cassidy
  • High Time
  • Little Red Rooster
  • Althea
  • The Music Never Stopped
  • Cold Rain and Snow
  • Samson and Delilah
  • It Must Have Been the Roses
  • Estimated Prophet
  • Eyes of the World
  • Drums
  • Space
  • Lost Sailor
  • Saint of Circumstance
  • Wharf Rat
  • Sugar Magnolia
  • Don't Ease Me In

Unbelievably, there's a YouTube recording of this entire concert. Check it out:


The Boss rocked the Aud on November 14, 1978, and Uticans Jeanette St. Mary and Vinnie Salerno remember it fondly:

Best show ever!

Setlist from Bruce Springsteen at the Aud:

  • Rave On!
  • Badlands
  • Streets of Fire
  • Spirit in the Night
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town
  • Factory
  • The Promised Land
  • Prove It All Night
  • Racing in the Street
  • Thunder Road
  • Jungleland
  • High School Confidential
  • Fire
  • Candy's Room
  • Because the Night
  • Point Blank
  • Mona / She's the One / Gloria
  • Backstreets
  • Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
  • Born to Run
  • Louie Louie
  • Detroit Medley
  • Quarter to Three

JAMES BROWN • 1968-69(ish)

James Brown via Facebook
James Brown via Facebook

Users Ronnie Walker, Ken Robinson, Fred Collins, Dennis Engram, Rose Capraro Foley and others mentioned "The Godfather of Soul" James Brown as a memorable performance. Unfortunately, we were not able to find any information on the setlists of these shows.


Utica residents highlighted several other favorite acts, including Cheap Trick, Santana, ELO, Billy Ray Cyrus and Alice Cooper. To do a complete roundup of these shows could fill an entire book.

Check out the original Facebook thread here, and see if your favorite made the list!

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