I remember the first concert that I saw at the Erie County Field House. It was loud and there were no seats on the floor, just lots of people sitting on blankets or standing up front. I could barely see the band on stage through the haze. I was hooked!
The Erie County Fieldhouse was located at 5750 Wattsburg Road in Erie, PA, off of Route 8 near I-90. The Erie Lions played hockey there, as did the Erie Blades. When concerts came to town during hockey season, they covered the floor with sheets of wood. It was a little chilly, but no one complained. Some shows had an open floor plan and some had rows of metal chairs on the floor.
I saw a ton of shows at the Field House. Off the top of my head, the ones I remember include Mahogany Rush, Head East, Sammy Hagar, Boston, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth, Shakin' Street, April Wine, Triumph, Blackfoot and Fastway. I'll add more when I find my ticket stubs.
I worked at a record store, and we would take unsold tickets and money up to the Field House before the show. It was fun to watch them put piles of money in a counting machine. It was also fun to get free concert tickets, even if they only cost $7.75 each. We sold a lot of tickets to closed-circuit boxing matches. This was in the days before satellite TV and the Internet. We had a seating diagram that showed which tickets we had for sale, and would then cross off the seat numbers as they were sold. This was the days before Ticketron and Ticketmaster.
There was always a handful of scalpers selling bootleg t-shirts in the parking lot before and after a concert. The shirts were cheap. When you washed them a few times, they shrunk or became deformed.
Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com