Around this time in 1984 Poplar Creek Music Theater’s season closed after it’s fifth straight year of outdoor music in the northwest suburbs.
The big name for Poplar Creek that year was the famed tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, who appeared on a memorable Monday night in August. Multi-city touring was something new for Mr. Pavarotti and Hoffman Estates was chosen as the starting point for the tour. The performance was conducted with the orchestra of the Chicago Lyric Opera providing the background accompaniment. Other locations where he performed were New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles but Poplar Creek had him first! You can read more about that concert here.
There were other large, multi-piece bands who performed. Linda Ronstadt with Nelson Riddle’s orchestra, Chicago and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass provided a big sound on their respective nights.
John Denver came back after a couple of years off and did himself proud with two concerts on back to back nights. The only others who performed two nights in a row were James Taylor and Neil Diamond. Not too hard to believe, is it?
Disco was definitely gone but there were still country acts who gave big concerts. The Oak Ridge Boys, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings with Neil Young filled that part of the bill. And then there was the 1980s pop sound with Billy Idol, Go-Go’s, Cyndi Lauper and Sheena Easton.
In 1983 there were six acts who had performed every year that the theater was open. In 1984 that number was down to three. Those who were back for yet another encore performance were Jimmy Buffett (does he ever quit?), James Taylor and Willie Nelson. And all of them are still popular today!
Unfortunately, the closing act of the season was cancelled. Barbara Mandrell was set to perform on September 22 but was forced to stop her tour because of serious injuries suffered in a car accident on September 11.
How many of these concerts did you attend? What were the highlights? Were you part of the traffic jam on I-90 for Pavarotti’s concert? Fill us in on the details!
June 1 Billy Idol
June 5 & 6 John Denver
June 10 Joe Jackson
June 13 Ted Nugent
June 22 King Crimson
June 23 Jimmy Buffett
June 24 Go-Go’s
July 2 Moody Blues
July 3 Linda Rondstadt with Nelson Riddle and his orchestra
July 5 Pointer Sisters with Lee Ritenour
July 6 Everly Brothers
July 7 Huey Lewis and the News
July 12 Aerosmith
July 14 .38 Special
July 21 Kool & The Gang with special guest, KC and the Sunshine Band
July 27 The Greg Kihn Band with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul
August 1 Chicago
August 3 & 4 James Taylor and Randy Newman
August 5 Air Supply
August 6 The Cars with Wang Chung
August 7 Johnny Mathis
August 8 Ronnie James Dio with Twisted Sister
August 9 Steve Lawrence and Edyie Gorme
August 10 Oak Ridge Boys
August 11 Eurythmics with Howard Jones
August 12 Yes
August 13 Luciano Pavarotti
August 16 Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
August 17 Pretenders with Simple Minds
August 18 Paul Simon
August 20 Willie Nelson
August 21 Thompson Twins
August 22 Sheena Easton
August 24 & 25 Neil Diamond
August 28 Elvis Costello and The Attractions with Nick Lowe and his Cowboy Outfit
August 31 Rick Springfield
September 2 Billy Squier with Ratt
September 3 Waylon Jennings and Neil Young
September 14 George Benson
September 15 Herbie Handcock and Steel Pulse
September 16 Cyndi Lauper
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library