Thursday, 23 Mar 2023

Frank Erwin Center Superlatives: A Walk Through History

By Courtney Birk

While walking around the Frank Erwin Center, some of you might have noticed the 211 framed photos on the walls of our concourse and mezzanine. We gathered some of our most memorable photos and showcased them for the first time on our 30th anniversary back in 2007. The photos were later updated for our 35th anniversary in 2012 and continue to be updated to ensure we cover the wide variety of entertainment we house each year. To highlight 40 years of history we created our very own Frank Erwin Center superlative awards from the photos on our concourse!

Most Likely To Awaken Your Inner Child

Sesame Street Live, 2001
Section 49
Nothing says childhood like a performance from Elmo and the gang! Sesame Street has been in our hearts and minds since 1969 and as one of our longest running shows with their most recent visit just last year on March 24-16, 2017.
Best Pose
Roger Waters, 2012
Section 32

We don’t mean to point fingers, but our Best Pose award goes to Roger Waters, co-founder of the band, Pink Floyd. Did you know the double album “The Wall” was written almost entirely by Waters and is largely based on his life story? The Wall sold over 23 million RIAA certified units in the US as of 2013 and is one of the top three best-selling albums of all time in America, according to RIAA.

Most Missed

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, 2002
 Section 44

Our hearts are breaking for our Most Missed spot, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. We hoped he’s learned to fly into the great wide open. Petty will always be remembered on our walls. We are so fortunate to have spent Petty’s 40th anniversary and ours together during his recent performance here on May 2, 2017.

Most Iconic Outfit

Cher, 2002
Section 45

This photo of Cher sparkling up our stage in 2002 screams class. It only seemed right that we give the Goddess of Pop our Most Iconic Outfit award.

Longest Relationship

Harlem Globetrotters, 2005
 Section 45

Our love began on Feb. 8, 1979,  when the Harlem Globetrotters first played at the Frank Erwin Center before an audience of 15,877 people. Our relationship continues to be one for the books. The Globies visited us most recently on Jan. 26, 2018.

Most Passionate

Marvin Gaye, 1983
Section 48

We’ve seen a lot over the past 40 years, but one thing’s for sure; Marvin Gaye’s got passion. Gaye landed his first single “Let Your Conscious Be Your Guide” in May 1961 and continued to be a major RNB influence through the 70’s and 80’s.

Most Likely To Keep Austin Weird  

Willie Nelson, 2005
Section 48

Texas’ own Willie Nelson keeps our walls as weird as our beloved city. Musician, actor and activist, Nelson came to lend a hand at Neighbors in Need: Austin’s Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert and once again for Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas: A Benefit Concert for Hurricane Harvey Relief.

Most Outdated Outfit

Neil Diamond, 1984
Section 45-46

There is such a thing as too many sequins, but I guess we can make an exception for the man with 38 songs in the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. There’s no doubt Neil Diamond is a legend, he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. But still, we can’t help but giggle 34 years later at this unforgettable blue sequined top.

  Best Close Up

KISS, 2000
Section 20-21

Paul Daniel “Ace” Frehley, co-founder and former lead guitarist for the band KISS steals our Best Close Up award. We got up close and personal with Guitar World’s 14th Greatest Metal Guitarist of All Time.

Best Action Shot

Kathleen and Kristen Nash Longhorn Women’s Basketball, 2011
Section 42

The Frank Erwin Center has been home to The University of Texas at Austin Men and Women’s basketball teams since November 28, 1978. This incredible action shot is just one of many on our walls.

Most Likely To Return

Monster Jam, 2014
Section 30

The action-packed 4-wheel motorsport returns to our house for the 5th consecutive year on Saturday, April 21 at 7pm and Sunday, April 22 at 2pm.

At your next visit, come take a walk around the concourse and see these memorable photos for yourself. Visit to get your tickets for an upcoming event at the Frank Erwin Center. The event you attend might just make Frank Erwin Center history and end up immortalized on our walls!

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