Fred Flashbacks #6 – Famous Musicians in Fredonia

With Spectrum’s annual spring concert coming up this weekend, I wanted to do a special edition of Fred Flashbacks. I dug through tons of old newspapers to see who else has played here in Fredonia. Here’s what I found, in chronological order:


April 28th, 1976 – The Charlie Daniels Band



March 18th, 1980 – Preservation Hall Jazz Band



April 24th, 1982 – Asia



April 11th, 1986 – Ramones



Unfortunately, there were no closeup shots of the Ramones. But there were some closeups of the opening band, The Splat Cats:



You’d think they would’ve included some better shots of the headlining act. The cutline does state that the photo of the Ramones was a “secret aerial spy photo”, so maybe the photographers weren’t able to get up close for the Ramones.


April 8th, 1990 – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam // Rob Base





To be completely honest, I had never heard of either of these musicians before writing this blog post. I just really like the photos. These were all taken by Dan Perez de la Garza.

Apparently Lisa Lisa & Rob Base didn’t appeal to everyone, so an alternative concert was held the same night, featuring Nerve Circus. The Leader’s photo editor at the time, Chris Saganich, took this awesome photo:



April 2nd, 1995 – Buffalo Tom


I couldn’t find any coverage of Buffalo Tom’s concert in The Leader.

But I did come across something else interesting! The Doors‘ drummer John Densmore came to Fredonia the same week to give a lecture on the band’s legacy.


Here’s the full article if you’re interested. (click to enlarge images)


April 27th, 2002 – Dropkick Murphys // Reel Big Fish


According to this article, Dropkick Murphys made an appearance in Fredonia.

…or at least they were SUPPOSED to make an appearance.


This article states that Dropkick Murphys’ lead singer became ill, and they had to cancel last minute. Luckily, Reel Big Fish was able to “save Fred Fest from drowning”.


Anyone that’s ever seen Reel Big Fish knows how fun their shows are. I’ve seen them three times and that’s always been the case. Look at all those wild & crazy kids having fun with them on stage!


April 3rd, 2008 – Cartel


I felt a massive rush of nostalgia as soon as I spotted this. Used to be a huge Cartel fan back in the day.

It looks like everyone was having a grand ol’ time! Except for that guy in the bottom left corner.


April 13th, 2011 – Cali Swag District


Who else remembers when this was a thing?

Cali Swag District stopped by Fredonia to give an informative lecture on how to properly do “the Dougie”. They performed during BSU’s annual fashion show.


April 28th, 2012 – Lupe Fiasco







These are all of the books I had to dig through to make this blog post possible.



These are all of the books that I didn’t get a chance to dig through. With that being said, I definitely missed a bunch of other great artists that have performed in Fredonia.

But at least they’ll always be in the archives: documented & waiting to be discovered by someone else!

All photos courtesy of Daniel A. Reed Library, Archives & Special Collections, State University of New York at Fredonia.

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