The Water Cooler – Concord Pavilion – vs- Shoreline Ampitheatre

June 27, 2013 · 50 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

If you look at the schedules for both the Concord Pavilion and the Shoreline Ampitheatre, you can tell the Shoreline is the preferred outdoor concert venue in the Bay Area.

Why do you think the Concord Pavilion has taken a back seat to Shoreline?

Talk about it….

1 TeamUSA June 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Because it’s no longer the Concord Pavilion? It changed into the Chronicle Pavilion years back and now it’s the Sleeptrain Pavilion.

Concord Pavilion used to get Britney Spears and Beyoncé and Santana. Chronicle had pretty much nothing except Nickleback and then Sleeptrain started to get more business with the Metal/Rock scene.

2 Felino June 27, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Proximity to freeway.

3 Clayanon June 27, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Inept management of the Concord Pavilion not to mention the various name changes (it’s actual name now is Sleep Train Pavilion At Concord, unless they have changed it again).
They used to have really good performers but not In the last ten years or so (with a few exceptions). Too bad, because it’s a great place to see a show).
Lastly, although it wasn’t too horrible the last time I went there (last summer), getting OUT of the parking area is pretty awful. Not for the impatient.

4 Anon777 June 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Because Shoreline is bigger and Concord Pavilion is so far out from a freeway.

I went to Shoreline last year for the first time in years and was really disappointed in how sucky it was. The “grass” section is dirt with clumps of weeds and is so far up you cannot see the people on stage. Parking and traffic to get in/out was horrible. I will never go there again.

5 Killjoy June 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

The Shoreline is much much bigger. An artist can have one show there, and take in a lot more revenue than from the Pavilion.
It’s a shame too. I hate driving all the way to Mt. View for a concert.

6 Wasserman June 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Location. The Shoreline is located in a well populated area and is easily accessed from the freeway. The Pavillion is at the fringe of the Bay Area and a good 20 minutes from the freeway.

7 Concordian June 27, 2013 at 12:20 PM

size, location, and management… compared to Skyline that is.

large shows at the Pavilion seem to turn Ygnacio Valley road into a super long driveway/parking lot. at least… when there WERE large shows.

8 almondgirl June 27, 2013 at 12:20 PM

closer to SF
bigger
better seating options
better food and drink

9 Craig Cannon June 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I did Event Staff at Concord a Few Seasons. The Word Several Years Ago, Amongst our little group was, Shoreline Seats More Patrons. Shorelines Manager, also Oversees Concord. The Customer Base at Shoreline is Financially Better Off than this area, Larger Performers Like More Seats. The Revenue vs Concord was way higher. In Defense of Live Nation, we only had around 12,500 Useable Seating Options. That’s Small for Moderate to Large Concerts. Now this was 4 Years Ago. Nothing seems to have changed. The Only Thing is they Let Go of some People that were Friends, and had been there for 15-25 Seasons. Money Saving or what? I Can’t Say. Take into Consideration, Live Nation also has the World Cup Venue Now. Don’t expect better Concerts. Now there were Three. Temporarily. Maybe like this blog. People should Speak Up.

10 ClayDen June 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM

The only concert scheduled I would consider attending is Jazz at the Pavilion. I guess there are bigger names at Shoreline though. Shoreline is in the middle of Silicon Valley, thus there is a bigger and wealthier demographic to draw from. I believe that Shoreline is larger, so they can also draw more expensive acts. The Mountain Winery is probably the nicest concert venue though. However, since we live here, it’s pretty much the Pavilion or Wente.

11 Rob June 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM

IMHO – Shoreline is much better located to large population centers than the Pavilion is so it will be able to draw larger crowds which attracts better performers…

12 JW June 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Personally I feel that Concord is a better venue. Shoreline is weak and I can tell you horror stories about seeing shows there. I saw the Jerry Garcia Band there back in the early 90’s. The horror of seeing a large group of streaking unshaven hippies stumbling down the hilly slope still poisons my memories. However ghastly the place is, I think that they get great acts because it is in the heart of Silicon Valley surrounded by a vast group of people with money to burn. I like Concord because even a lawn seat is a decent seat.

13 Concord Guy June 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Proximity to Silicon Valley $$$.

14 JR June 27, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Because the Shoreline is halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, not halfway between Danville and Antioch.

15 CR June 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM

It has nothing to do with location. It has to do with which venue is promoted better. Pavilion is treated like the red headed step child to a bucket of crap Shoreline. The promotion department that handles the Concord needs to be fired. When you look at the concerts in the past at the pavilion, they can draw the larger artists when the go after the acts that are on tour. It keeps getting the same garbage acts up there and that’s due to poor management. Most of the bands that play there couldn’t sell out a bowling alley. The acts that have filled it in the past can still fill it. Pavilion management doesn’t go after the larger acts. The other issue they have there is their staff, most are inept at best and would rather work the shoreline. Too bad it’s turned into Grad Park because with talent and the right people running it, it could be what it used to be. As for money in the Bay Area, anyone that buys a ticket to any show anywhere has the coin to drop at a concert. The pavilion isn’t hard to get to and as for driving and sitting at the shoreline, I’d rather miss the show. It’s the armpit of the Bay Area for a concert. I would rather go to a day on the green reunion at O.co and dodge bullets then deal with shoreline.

16 BCuzItzClaycord June 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Also Shoreline doesn’t have neighbors complaining about noise if a show goes past 11pm………….Excellent concert promotion died with Bill Graham……………no BGP = lousy shows for Pavillion

17 anon666 June 27, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Shoreline sucks and I refuse to see any shows there. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the Pavillion, but it wasn’t bad.

18 isabeau June 27, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I saw that the America’s Cup Pavilion actually grabbed a bunch of concerts this summer that might have otherwise been bumped to Concord.

19 bigdaddy June 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM

hands down! Concord Pavillion! you can walk home hammied or take a 15 dolla cab ride.

20 Jim June 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

all about the money….artists and promoters are greedy…Concord Pavilion did some nneded upgrading a few years back to add seats and space and make the venue better but then Live Nation steps in and they want money and Concord Pavilion just doesn’t bring it in….seat prices have gone off the reservation not to mention the service fees PER TICKET…what a joke….and since Concord is very small and poorly promoted it will never get the really big names anymore…not when they can go to Oakland, shoreline and San Jose…Concord is like…why bother?…I can’t make any money there….it’s always and will always be about greed plain and simple.

21 RanchgirlCA June 27, 2013 at 1:23 PM

The Pavilion was a great small venue, with lots of concerts to choose from, year after year. I was a season ticket holder up until the ‘remodel’. They stated they were too small to attract big ticket concerts. The summer line up has dwindled off year after year. Just trying to get out of the parking lot after a show last year was a disaster. The people running it are clueless. Now artists want an even bigger venue or they want the smaller ones. Look at Wente ($$$$$) or The Greek in Berkeley. There were some who would do a show at the Shoreline and Pavilion one or two nights apart, now they skip right over Concord and head to the other ‘Sleeptrain’ venue in Marysville. Too bad. Another issue is the lack of a Country radio station in this part of the bay area. The Pavilion used to host a lot of country shows, that have all but died off. They play in MV, where they have station KRTY.
I loved going to concerts, but I can’t afford Wente and the Shoreline is too far away. I get my live shows at The Greek.

22 Anon June 27, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Need to increase the seating and update the facility. I love the fact it is so close but the headliners won’t play at such a small venue.

23 UpHill June 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I don’t go the “Pavillion” because I don’t want to have to hike up the hills to get to it.

It was built more like a fortress to keep foreign(eer) invaders out.

I’m not paying money to walk up hills and an endless parking lot; just to be exhausted before the show starts.

And who ever thought a sloping grass lawn was a “good idea”?

24 Incognito June 27, 2013 at 1:36 PM

How many people can say they have an entertainment venue in their back yards like we do? Not many.

It’s too bad The Concord Pavillion is not promoted better to get better entertainment.

25 Random Task June 27, 2013 at 1:47 PM

to many graduation fights in the news have steered the talent to other venues …..

26 Random Task June 27, 2013 at 1:50 PM

that and the city prob the council let homes be built right on top of it and now they have to not only keep it down but have a curfew for events …..who wants to play there unless its a day event which still the neighbors are old and not very bright for living in the pavilion back yard …..and dictate how a city venue operates ……all cons that drive away business …..

27 Brian Griffin June 27, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Also, Concord gets hammered by the mileage exclusion rule in performers contracts. its 50 or 100 miles something like that I don’t remember the exact number. Promoters book the shows a certain distance apart to draw the most patrons in each area. If they play Sac they play Shoreline, can’t play concord, its too close. Same going the other way. And the size is wrong. Enlarging it killed it. Now Its too big for small shows and too small for big shows.
I hate shoreline, the grass is 2 miles from the stage, seats are too flat, you can’t see the stage, Who wants to listen to music while looking at the back of the melon in front of you?

28 JC June 27, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I really miss going to the Pavilion – What a waste of a great space..Except for poor management, they could have ongoing good shows. Just maybe not headliners, but who cares?
For example, look at the Greek Theater on campus in Berkeley. Sure – it’s a hipper location, but they just had She and Him, along with Rodney Crowell and with Emmy Lou Harris. There are tons of smaller venues around the Bay Area that don’t get headline acts – that are admittedly closer to the center, but most are indoors and don’t have the great evening under the stars draw.
As Clayden notes, the only thing I would consider recently is the jazz series.

29 Babs June 27, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Live Nation only uses the performers it has contracts with, so you can’t expect anyone big.

The question should be, how does the city get away from Live Nation?

30 changes June 27, 2013 at 2:22 PM

have to agree with brian–something has to change.

31 Concord74 June 27, 2013 at 2:32 PM

We have lived for 20 years near the CONCORD Pavilion and have seen a steady decline. I dread the thought that our Pavilion will suffer the fate like the Dome.

The one thing that still exist because of the Pavilion is the code-50 from PG&E for brown-out/black-out protection.

32 The Mamba June 27, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Ok, I’ll come out there and jam man.

33 Spacement June 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Bill Graham built and owned the Shoreline. When Bill Graham Presents was taken over by Live Nation (they were called Clear Channel back then) ownership of the Shoreline went with the deal.

Ever since Graham built the Shoreline, the Concord Pavilion and Berkeley Greek Theatre both took a backseat to the Shoreline. I remember all the great shows I saw at both venues prior to 1985. The Greek is being booked by Another Planet Entertainment that is helmed by Bill Graham’s right hand man. Since APE took over the Greek, the Greek has finally seen the return of some quality acts.

Meanwhile the Pavilion gets the Shorelines scraps. Not because it is smaller, most acts can barely fill the Shoreline these days, but because Live Nation owns the Shoreline and makes more money from acts playing there.

Apparently APE had no interest (or so I was told) when the Live Nation contract was up for renewal with the city of Concord a few years ago. Too bad because APE would do a much better job of bringing quality acts to the Pavilion than Live Nation.

It’s sad because after the remodel of the Pavilion, at that time it housed the largest outdoor stage in California.

34 Concord Grape June 27, 2013 at 3:21 PM

I went by there a couple of weeks ago and ther must have been 10,000 cars there . Have no idea who was performing

35 Josh, Concord June 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

@29 Babs, Livenation hosts nearly all major music events in the country… the problem is livenation doesn’t want to book ppl at the pavilion

36 Elsie Davis June 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Last time I was at the pavillion I saw Journey/Def Leppard. It was awesome. However, the volume was so low, I could carry on a conversation with the person next to me without even trying to shout. At a concert like that, it should be LOUD. Some people said it was because the surrounding neighbors complain. Why do you buy a house near a concert venue and then complain about it?!?!

37 Ms.P. June 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

I remember when the concord pavillion had some of the biggest names in the biz–Stevie Wonder, Isley Brothers, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, ZZ Top, etc. It was second to none.

38 Horse'n Around June 27, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I used to love going there in the 80’s. They had lot’s of big name bands that would play there all summer long. I can remember driving by to see what band was going to be playing next, now it seems the only thing there are RV or home and garden shows.

39 annon June 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Q-Preferred by whom? A-Promoters and artists. Because Shoreline seats more. It’s all about the ‘gate’. The performers backstage area is better at Shoreline as well.

40 Mark June 27, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Concord is a far superior venue. Perhaps the bands can ask for a higher ticket price in exchange for playing a smaller venue? I would pay $25 or more EXTRA to see a good band at Concord over shoreline. Like many people, I think the Shoreline is a horrible concert venue/experience.

41 Julio-Antioch June 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Everyone here has the correct idea. Why can’t the City of Concord get the idea. Plow it and build better or just plow it.

42 Jerry June 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

The expanded and “improved” pavilion was supposed to bring in “better” acts. Instead, it has only seen a sharp decline in the number of shows there. Since most everything boils down to money, I can only assume that someone likes to keep the pavilion in red ink.

43 Ms.P. June 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

..cannot forget the Blues Brothers–they also played at the Concord Pavillion.

44 Jessie June 27, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Yes, the Blues Brothers, I was there! Those were the days they had great shows. They have had some good ones since then, but yes, mostly before 1987. They have dwindled away fast year after year. We get nobody anymore. I believe it is the promoters, management & the houses around. I think the City of Concord should step up to the plate & do something about it too.

45 Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern June 27, 2013 at 9:53 PM

ever since it was enlarged it went downhill. they had a nice thing going then someone came along and ruined it. now there’s nothing there worth seeing anymore.

46 anonares June 27, 2013 at 10:40 PM

@BABS and others. Good questions. Let us start out with the fact that there is no Concord Pavillion website. Or no Sleep Train Pavillion website either Teamusa. I want to see a graphics based website, like there used to be, showing a schedule for the venue. This is basic people. @Jerry- another good question. Thanks for the “improvements” . We used to hear the sound and experience the bands with a stage that was flexable and often was configured to extend out into the lower floor area during some of the shows. The sound was projected in more of a circular way, was easier to hear at lower levels. Now for every event the stage is 2 dimensional, flat and the sound projects from flat towers and not contained or focused like it was before the upgrade. @Spacement – thanks for the info.

47 Msk June 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM

In the day it was good..a new venue is needed. The city should step up and do something. I see more taxes.

48 Msk June 27, 2013 at 11:01 PM

In the day it was goo,,,a new venue is needed; the city needs to step up and do something. I see more taxes.

49 Msk June 27, 2013 at 11:01 PM

goo = good

50 Amy June 27, 2013 at 11:32 PM

I wish Concord Pavilion would have shows worth going to see. They are really close and I don’t think they are much smaller than Shoreline. Maybe the big names would rather be by the freeway so they can be on the road by the time the show ends while the rest of us sit in traffic for an hour or more.

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