Phish came to play at the college's Hawkins Auditorium on December 4, 1991. The show was enthusiastically reviewed by Cardinal Points.
The Pretenders launched their 1987 world tour at the Plattsburgh State field house on January 14, 1987 in front of a crowd of 2500. This Cardinal Points article (1/22/1987) reviews the show.
Squeeze played for a relatively small audience at the college's field house on November 10, 1987. A Cardinal Points reviewer (November 12) found the show to be satisfactory.
By 1986, Robin Williams was a well-established star of TV, sound recordings, and films. His concert fee of $25,000 was steep by PSU standards but a bargain compared to his going rate. The Fieldhouse crowd
of 3000 was treated to Williams' unique brand of comedy featuring several improv sketches using props provided to him.
Talking Heads performed for over 3800 people at the PSUC field house on September 30, 1983. As described by Cardinal Points, the concert was "incredible".
Santana played for Plattsburgh State on April 28, 1981. Posted here is a page out of the rider.
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer played to a sold-out Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse on the night of February 2, 1978. The Cardinal Points reviewer loved the show; some students wrote letters indicating they were not so happy.
Peter Frampton played a sold-out show at Memorial Hall on November 22, 1975. "Do You Feel Like We Do" was recorded live for the album Frampton Comes Alive! The Cardinal Points reviewer outlines Frampton's musical progression (11/13/1975) and the quality of Frampton Comes Alive! (2/5/1976) A Cardinal Points advertisement (11/13/1975) for the concert is also included.
Joe Cocker played at Memorial Hall April 7, 1970 to a mostly full gym. Posted here are two letters to the editor from Cardinal Points (4/23/1970) discussing the concert. Also included is a 1999 essay on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour by J.P. Bean.
From Tim Hartnett, Librarian:
"This concert was significant on several levels. Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour was a wild affair that produced a best-selling double album and a two-hour documentary film that includes seven minutes shot in Plattsburgh. Cocker made a big splash at the Woodstock Festival the previous summer and the Mad Dogs tour began in the spring of 1970 during the height of the student anti-Vietnam War protest movement. Ironically, the film’s footage from the PSU show features the song “Give Peace a Chance.” A month later four student protesters were shot and killed by the National Guard at Ohio’s Kent State University and campuses across the country, including PSU, were closed for days.
The Cocker show marked a major turning point in PSU concerts. Guys no longer wore sport coats and sat calmly with their dates, politely applauding after each song. Instead, concerts became a party atmosphere as the Woodstock Generation consciousness emerged.
The Letters to the Editor reveal how no concert ever pleases everyone and that few people recognize the history they are living in as it occurs around them.
Also, here's an interesting tidbit [from Cardinal Points]: 'The Joe Cocker concert cost the Student Association $8,300.12. The Student Association took in $2,369.97. It sold 1254 tickets and 50 tickets were given as complimentary tickets. The Student Association definitely lost money. Jeff Selchick is sending a recommendation to the concert committee concerning the reason why the concert lost money.'"
Jethro Tull performed at Plattsburgh State's Memorial Hall November 15, 1970. A Cardinal Points writer found the show to be lackluster in a November 17 review but students responding in later letters to the editor thought otherwise.