For over 33 years I have maintained a journal I call “The Arena Chronicle.” Sports, concerts, special events and an assortment of crazy and interesting happenings are in this rolling observation. The year 2013 has some very good entries.
The year started out with a great performance by Eric Clapton in March and a few days later, the Frank Erwin Center was the host site for a thrilling NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Round Tournament that drew fans from all across the country to Austin.
April brought us a sold-out Bon Jovi concert followed by the UT Fashion Show and Canadian super group RUSH a few days later. We’ve hosted the UT Fashion Show for several years now and it has blossomed into an international event that garners attention from one fashion capital to the next. Our presentation of RUSH was extra special since Austin marked the beginning of their Clockwork Angels Tour. The band and production crew rehearsed here for several days prior to the show, which gave us the opportunity to extend our Texas hospitality a bit longer than usual. We wrapped up the month with a professional boxing event produced by the great George Foreman and his sons-George and George.
May of this year just might have been the most spectacular month in our 36 year history. Besides the annual individual University of Texas college commencement ceremonies, we also hosted the St. Edward’s commencement and Austin Community College ceremonies. In addition, we were very pleased to host the underground phenomenon known as Rodriguez at The Theatre at the Frank Erwin Center. The highlight of the month, however, had to be the sold-out Taylor Swift concert followed by two fan-packed nights of the legendary Sir Paul McCartney. Over 40 tractor-trailers worth of gear were loaded in and out of the Frank Erwin Center during that run. Plus nearly 40,000 fans!
In July, the building was plunged into the darkness known as the Black Sabbath concert. Ozzy and the crew rocked the Frank Erwin Center to our very bones. Our show was one of the first shows on the tour and it was great to see a lot of old friends on the Sabbath production crew.
September’s highlight was an Austin stop on Luis Miguel “The Hits Tour.” Ours was the last date on the tour and it was a night to remember.
Our year concluded with entertainment for the whole family. John Mayer and WWE filled the big house, Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure is a huge hit and Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocked us two times in one day for another perfect rocking ending to the year.
Looking ahead at 2014, this upcoming year promises more live entertainment and more thrilling entries for “The Arena Chronicle.” From all of us here at the Frank Erwin Center, we wish you well in the New Year. See you soon!
-John Graham, Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director
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