January 24, 1973 (Wednesday)
McAlister Auditorium, Furman University
Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The first Badfinger song I remember hearing was "Baby Blue". It was one of those songs that once you hear, you're never able to get it out of your head (still can't). From there, I started listening to their other material. I thought this band had a very unique sound and never have been able to understand why some refer to them as a Beatles spin-off. I wasn't what you would call a huge fan at the time. There was so much good music on the radio then and I was listening to everything I could. Then there was the concert. I remember being particularly excited about it because bands like Badfinger didn't usually come to places like Greenville and to be able to see them in a place like McAlister Auditorium was an added treat. McAlister Auditorium is on the campus of Furman University and is usually reserved for functions such as theatre, ballet and symphony performances. It is very plush with ornate detail, large circular stairs going to the balcony, crystal chandeliers... you get the idea. It has a seating capacity of approximately 2000 people and was full the night of the show.
The opening act was "The Amazing Blondell". They came on stage dressed in tuxedos and played an excellent set which was well received. What stands out most about them was their intimacy with the audience. Next was REO Speedwagon. This band was much more rocking and intense than the music that most people associate with REO. The best word to describe their performance was LOUD. So loud in fact that about a third of the audience left during their set. During the break between bands, the seats filled back up and then Badfinger took the stage. Their performance was excellent. They were tight and their sound was superb. What stood out most was the quality of the vocals and harmonies. They seemed to really be enjoying themselves, which surprises me now after reading about the hardships they were having during this period. They connected very well with the audience and had great response. I wish I had realized at the time what a unique event this was.
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