Who wants to go in on Alpine Valley?
Who wants to go in on Alpine Valley? (Photo: Stan Johnson Co.)

Greatest Alpine Valley shows of all time

Earlier this week, it was announced that Alpine Valley Music Theatre, a large outdoor concert venue in East Troy, is for sale.

My first thought was that I wanted to buy it. However, considering I probably can’t scrape up the $8.4 million – which is the asking price – I moved onto a second thought.

How is it that I never saw a show there?

I find this surprising, even perplexing, because I have seen hoards of concerts in the past 20-some years including 20 or so Grateful Dead shows in the ‘90s. The Dead played many concerts at Alpine Valley, but somehow I never saw one at Alpine even though I caught gigs at Red Rocks, Madison Square Garden, Freedom Hall, Soldier Field and more.

Turns out, a lot of other Milwaukeeans have fond memories of Alpine Valley, and when I asked on Facebook for their favorite Alpine Valley show, the responses came fast and furious.

Lori Ahrenhoerster: "The Moody Blues, summer of 1988."

Steve Braley: "Bob Seger, about 1980."

Rick Charlie: "Best show? Honestly, The Daz Band and Kool & The Gang. Not totally my cup of tea but it was the best show of all of them."

Brian Eckes: "Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton."

Rachel Fell: "Radiohead!"

Christopher Gerard: "Lollapalooza."

Saul Glazer: "Rolling Stones: 1989."

Lee Guk: "Metallica. Motley Crue / Megadeath. Pearl Jam."

Michael Henszey: "The Who, 1989."

Melanie Becker Hovey: "America."

Damien Jaques: "The Eurythmics."

Dan Krass: "Radiohead and Bob Dylan. Was out there for The Dead and Jimmy Buffett, but didn't go in and roamed around and hung out with the lot lizards. Great times."

Jenny Steinman Heyden: "Tom Petty, 1985. But the show is only a small percentage of the ‘Alpine Valley experience.’ Just finding your car is entertainment."

Dave Mikolajek: "Tibetan Freedom Concert with the Beastie Boys as the headliner in 1999."

Thomas Mosley: "The Dead, but I forgot which one. Go figure."

Sonia Nahla: "Shaun Cassidy."

Bjorn Olaf Nassett: "Stevie Nicks in 1986. She danced a lot in those days and took long drawn out breaks. Hmmmm … I wonder why she was so animated?"

Todd Pearson: "In 1990 I was a stagehand at Alpine Valley. I was working the night that Stevie Ray Vaughan died. I didn't have a show call so I could go sit wherever I wanted during the show. For the encore I moved up to front row center."

Nicky Revv: "Coldplay."

Jen Skladanek: "The Afghan Whigs opening for Aerosmith!"

Amy St. Amand: "Def Leppard!"

Patty Pritchard Thompson: "Madonna. Who's that Girl Tour, August 2, 1987."

Suzanne Szydlowski: "Metallica opening for Ozzy in 1986."

Tim Twaddle: "Jimmy Buffet."

Ryan Wehr: "I've seen Dave Matthews Band over 30 times there. But their Sunday show in 2012 was out of this world – three hours and 15 minutes of just amazement."


TosaJim | Aug. 27, 2014 at 1:59 p.m. (report)

Saw Steve Martin in the 70's....it rained...we were a bit stoned....people were sliding down the muddy hill on sheets of plastic...we had cheap seats and could barely make out who was on stage...took 3 hours to get out of the parking lot...we were wet, cold, tired and hungry....wonderful time!

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