On This Day in History


On this date in history, 4/27/1980, I saw Rush and .38 Special at Market Square Arena. This was one of the stranger combinations in terms of musical styles, but it was a fantastic show all the same.

I had just seen Rush a little less than a year and a half prior to this and in that time they had released  Permanent Waves. This album was the one featuring “The Spirit Of Radio” and “Freewill” and began a trend towards shorter songs. There were still a couple of long ones, but they didn’t take up a whole side of the album, so it counts as a pretty major change for the Canadian trio.


All facets of the live show were in full growth mode…better lighting, better sound, more songs to choose from; but the consistency and commitment to excellence remained a hallmark of all the Rush shows I ever attended. Geddy, Alex and Neil were all simply killing it on their respective instruments and playing together as a unit with a razor focus.

$_35The opening set by the talented .38 Special was loaded with their fiery southern rock and full of great songs that are still played on classic rock stations all these years later. On paper it was a weird band to open for Rush, but in the arena it all came down to songs and performance, and both bands delivered plenty of highlights.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

Rush – Exit Stage Left 1980



38 Special Live  1980


On This Day in History

On this date in history, the band Roadmaster received the key to Kokomo, Indiana during their show at Havens Auditorium on the IU Kokomo campus.
The year was 1980 and I was a senior in high school. I happened to be the co-editor of my school newspaper, The Husky Voice, and somehow I convinced our advisor to let me do a cover story on this show to spotlight the concert and also showcase some local bands who were playing at that time.
Basically, this was my first attempt at rock journalism, so to be revisiting this event all these years later is pretty special to me.
Roadmaster was from Indianapolis and were signed to Mercury Records. They put out several completely excellent albums (yes, vinyl albums!) in the mid ’70’s and added one more in 1982 before the band was dropped from the label.
The bass player (Toby Myers) joined John Mellencamp’s band from there and was with the Hoosier Star for a major portion of his biggest success.
Many Indiana fans expected Roadmaster to break big, considering they had all the ingredients that bands like Foreigner and Journey had…soaring lead vocals from a charismatic front man, a scorching lead guitarist, a keyboard player who provided arena ready chord progressions and could solo for days, and a stomping rhythm section. Their songs were definitely memorable, too…their song “Sweet Music” was an anthem that had hit potential for certain.

Roadmaster – Sweet Music


I don’t know if their label just couldn’t promote them enough, or if they just had that small market luck, but they were a band that Indiana was proud of.
When they came to Kokomo in 1980, it was a big enough deal that our mayor attended and presented them with the key to the city. That was an amazing thing to witness as an aspiring musician…inspiration for days!
The local band Buffalo played a great opening set, too. A proud night in Kokomo rock history, and a proud event in my journalistic career.
Written By Braddon S. Williams

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