1. Don

    It’s a shame remember a few good concerts WAR

  2. Leland Raymaley 3

    My memories at the Syria Mosque are warm, fuzzy, intense and forever young

  3. edward

    The city is not better for the demise of the Mosque.
    I saw Chuck Berry there in the 50’s.
    I think Laverne Baker and Fats Domino were in that show but memory may be enlarging the experience.
    Does anyone remember the list of performers?

  4. Steve Lane

    Genesis in 1976. I still have the CD of the full show.

  5. Steve Lane

    Concert events
    Among the concert events:

    February 28, 1920: Enrico Caruso performs just 18 months before his death.
    October 5, 1924: John Philip Sousa
    Benny Goodman (1938, 1941)
    January 28, 1944: Symphony No. 1 by Leonard Bernstein had its premiere at the center.
    Louis Armstrong (three appearances, beginning in 1949)
    Charlie Parker (1950)
    January 9, 1953: World Premiere of Villa-Lobos’ Piano Concerto no. 4 with Bernardo Segall and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Heitor Villa-Lobos.
    Duke Ellington (in 1954)
    Miles Davis (1955)
    Art Blakey (several occasions, in 1955 with the Jazz Messengers)
    April 28, 1955: Horace Heidt performs at Syria Mosque and MC’s a talent competition, all for charity.
    Bill Haley and the Comets with Bo Diddley and the Drifters (1955)
    Buddy Holly (four times in 1957-1958)
    Sam Cooke
    Dionne Warwick and Solomon Burke in 1963.[6]
    Bob Dylan in 1966 and again in 1990
    The Who in 1969
    The Band in 1970 and on September 21, 1976, the concert “Next to Last Waltz”. On Thanksgiving night, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, they played their final concert. It became the Martin Scorsese documentary film The Last Waltz.
    The two-year-old Pittsburgh Ballet Theater opened its first season as a professional organization in 1970.
    Mickey Newbury in 1971
    The Allman Brothers Band in 1971
    Matthews Southern Comfort, Deep Purple and Faces July 16, 1971.
    Yes on December 16, 1971 on their The Yes Album Tour
    Carly Simon in 1972
    Pink Floyd in 1971 and 1972
    The Kinks September 1, 1972 and April 13, 1974
    Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band on October 15, 1972
    Jim Croce on February 23, 1973. Croce was scheduled to return to the Syria Mosque on October 27 that year, but he died in a plane crash on September 20.
    The New York Dolls on October 18, 1973
    The Doobie Brothers on November 15, 1973
    David Bowie in 1974
    The Carpenters in 1974[7]
    ZZ Top in 1974[7]
    The Eagles in 1974[7]
    Jesse Colin Young in 1974[7]
    Genesis in May 3, 1974 (Selling England by the Pound Tour),[7] 1975 (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Tour) and April 13, 1976 (A Trick of the Tail Tour); a recording of the April 13, 1976 show has since been widely bootlegged.
    Frank Zappa on November 6, 1974, on November 17, 1984 and on February 25, 1988 / March 8, 1988
    Van Morrison on May 21, 1974
    Bruce Springsteen on August 9, 1975.[8]
    Stephen Stills on October 25, 1975
    George Benson (1976, 1977 and 1986)
    James Brown (1976 and 1986)
    James Taylor on July 25, 1976
    Kansas on October 30, 1976, in a show that was recorded and later broadcast by 102.5 WDVE-FM
    Bob Marley (1977)
    Beatlemania (musical) in 1981, shortly after the death of John Lennon
    June 14, 1982: The inaugural Mellon Jazz Festival (among other venues).
    August 4, 1983: Count Basie’s final public concert performance.
    Dio in 1983
    Dire Straits in 1985.[9]
    Tears for Fears on June 15, 1985[10]
    Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble in 1986.
    The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1986 billed as “The Thunderbirds”.
    R.E.M. in 1985 and 1986
    The Bangles in a MTV broadcast concert 1986[11]
    New Order in 1986
    The Cure, Whitesnake and Quiet Riot in 1987
    Jimmy Page in 1988
    The Ramones in 1988
    Jane’s Addiction in 1988
    Anthrax, Exodus and Helloween in 1989 (as part of the MTV’s Headbangers Ball Tour)[12][13]
    Winger in 1989
    Jimmy Buffett on December 7, 1989
    Public Enemy, Queen Latifah and Biz Markie on February 1, 1990

  6. Jan Isherwood

    My first Concert in 6th grade- left me spellbound- it was Leonard Bernstein and the Pgh Symphony- performing The Nutcracker~ we were wayyy up in the mezzanine- I learned a new word that day- I remember what I was wearing and everything! Must’ve been ‘57, ‘58. Pity they tore it down. Seemed like a Sacred Space.

  7. Shawn Margaret Cohen

    To be 14 in 1970 and work as an usherette in the best rock venue (Civic Arena was the other) was a dream job! I saw every great rock artist or band there was that suited that venue and the acoustics were brilliant. I worked there all my high school years with my best friends so we had out black skirts and white shirt and flashlights, seat people up until the intermission so we would stand in our isles for the first act which could be just as brilliant as the next one coming on! Then we went to the office and got paid which was $10. (and you get endless coffee and cigs for that money back then!) Then we would change into our very groovy jeans and t shirts, sweaters, platform shoes or whatever was the fashion back then and get a front row seat if they were empty!! Any empty seat was ours for the taking!! I love music because I was so there witnessing it all and I am so grateful for that! I also got in to see someone I knew who was performing there in 1985 by going in the stage door…it was so cool that I could just walk in! I really miss those heady days or rock n roll and so much creative talent! Thank God it is still played everywhere, 50 years later!

  8. Renee Marshall-Richards

    Jammed with Tom Brown backpack around ’82.

  9. Steven Bennett

    I was fortunate enough to attend several events there.

  10. Joe Mitchell

    August 1987 – The Cure
    Life-changing experience!!!!!
    I’m sure the surface lot parking is better for the fabric of Pittsburgh’s cultural district than the S.M.

  11. AJay Herskowitz

    You forgot the BeeGees and Peter, Paul, and Mary.


    You can thank UPMC for ripping down that great theatre. And thank the City of Pittsburgh for letting it happen. And you can thank UPMC for placing their obnoxious letters on top the US STEEL building. I own a piece of the facade bc we sifted through the rubble for a token. Americans. Tear it down !!!!! Put up a parking lot !!!! Disgusting.

  13. Michael Ramsay

    I saw Yul Brynner there, around 1980, in “The King and I”.

  14. wayne yeager

    My sister & I saw Billy Joel at the Syria Mosque around 1974. There were only about 250 people in attendance . This was before he got big.

  15. Mary Agnew

    Living in Homestead, we could easily get a bus or streetcar to the Syria Mosque for countless performances. A good friend of mine was going to Chatham College and had to attend a Symphony performance. She asked me to go with her. We sat in the balcony, and I promptly fell asleep (sorry!). What thrilled me the most were the performances of The Messiah by the PSO and Mendelssohn Choir with my husband.

  16. KK

    Saw the ’88 Ramones show there…it was actually held in a multi-purpose room instead of the main venue. As I recall, the ceiling was very low in the room and a 6’6″ Joey on a 2′ riser didn’t leave much headroom.

  17. Cindy Burrell

    Makes me sick,thank-god some people tried in vain to stop it.all others enjoy the great talent that has passed thru,out in the parking lot.

  18. Jim Grazulis

    The beach Boys played there several times. We saw tehm in ’70 or 71. Some cuts on the Live Album released in 1973 were recorded there. And the cover photo was taken at the Mosque.

  19. Ellen Komp

    Wow, I didn’t realize how historic that place was, thanks for the memories. I too saw the Symphony there on school field trips. I recall so vividly Bette Midler walking onto the stage in 1976 and asking, “Where are we, Bagdad?”

    • Tony Dale

      I was there too! “It’s like a Ramada Inn – in Beirut! “

  20. Lance Medich

    George Benson introduced a young Whitney Houston as his opening act Summer 1985. She was amazing! I was there to see George Benson but left a huge fan of the soon to be superstar.

  21. Randy Ricci

    Saw a lot of shows already listed here, but one excellent show was Jefferson Starship in “75” . Also The King & I in the early 80’s.

  22. H-fly

    Vanilla Ice and Riff in 91 I believe was the last concert there

  23. Bruce Baker

    For the Genesis concert we borrowed outrageous costumes from the IUP theatre department. Those poor old ladies withe flashlights couldn’t figure what was happening

  24. Henry Blyth

    I cannot remember the Dates, but I think I saw Carole King perform there, as well as, Joni Mitchell with Tom Scott’s L.A Express. After this concert, my wife and I went to Sonny Daye’s Stage Door to meet friends, and who should walk in but Tom Scott and his crew. They jammed with Spider Rondinelli and Eric Kloss till closing. A night to remember, always!

  25. Alex Work

    What a Grand old building, with so much history and great memories. I remember it in my childhood!

  26. Audrey Hois

    My husband was hired as principal trumpet in the PSO. I spent many hours at concerts and have many recordings Also was in the chorus of Boris Goudanov with George London saw Toscanini with Birgit Nielsen

  27. 3/16/2020

    In ‘78 or ‘79, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman did a tour of the play The Odd Couple at the Syria Mosque. The that was the only time I was there & I was way up in the nosebleed seats.

  28. Richard Diilio

    Wonderful memories during Med school of walking from the Ruskin Apartments in Sunday’s to take in Pgh Symphony concerts with William Steinberg conducting in the early 1970s. Great, intimate venue

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