Photo by Flickr user Neon Tommy.
By Maddy Marcus
Stony Brook University has never failed to put on a show for students every semester and their choices of performers have rarely disappointed. With the Back to the Brook concert featuring Lupe Fiasco and 3LAU coming up on Nov. 6, let’s take the time to appreciate some of the great performances SBU’s Undergraduate Student Government has put on over the years.
1. The Who
An English rock n’ roll band that formed in the mid 1960s, The Who is still going strong despite turning 50 years old this year. Some of their greatest hits include “Who Are You” and “I Can’t Explain.” You may remember their performance during the 2010 Superbowl.
2. Jimi Hendrix
Yes, Jimi Hendrix performed at this very school way back in 1968. After performing at the university, he went on to headline Woodstock in the summer of ’69. Some may consider Hendrix to be the greatest guitar player of all time with his innovative style of playing and utter love for the craft.
3. The Doors
It seems like SBU had a knack for booking some of the best rock groups back in the 60s and 70s, doesn’t it? The Doors formed in 1965 and are mostly known for their psychedelic music and funky, artsy lyrics by frontman Jim Morrison. Fun fact about the band: There was no bass player. Instead, they had keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
4. Pink Floyd
Best known for their album “The Dark Side of the Moon” and songs like “Another Brick in the Wall,” Pink Floyd rocked the stage at Stony Brook in 1971. Pink Floyd formed in London in 1965 and played until 1994 when the group took a decade-long hiatus, only to reunite with a 2005 concert in England. Now, they’re back to making music and will be releasing a new album called “The Endless River” this month.
5. Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa played a total of four shows at Stony Brook University during the 70s and 80s. Possibly one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time, Frank Zappa made his career in genres like rock and jazz. Not only was he a rock star, Zappa also composed his own music. Like many geniuses, Zappa was eccentric, but creative. The best example of this are the names of his children, Dweezil and Moon Unit. Dweezil Zappa currently lives out his father’s legacy in his cover band, Zappa Plays Zappa.
6. The Ramones
Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! The sixth greatest SBU concert performers are totally punk rock. The Ramones made their debut at Stony Brook in 1981 and then came back for more in 1984 and 1989. Basically the kings of punk rock itself, Tommy, Johnny, DeeDee and Joey rocked the 70s and 80s with their upbeat, punky lyrics.
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Chili Peppers graced the Stony Brook Gym in the Fall of 1989 with guest star Raging Slab. With a mix of funk, punk and psychedelic rock, the band has been dubbed one of the most successful bands of all time, selling 80 million records across the globe. Founded by bassist Flea and lead singer Anthony Kiedis in 1983, the Chili Peppers are still going strong today, as rumors suggest they’re working on a new album.
8. Bob Dylan
Legendary folk rock artist Bob Dylan, played at Stony Brook in the Spring of 1991. Bob Dylan started his career in 1959 and continues to rock out today at the ripe age of 73. Dylan’s most popular song, “Like a Rolling Stone,” was number one on The Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 Songs of All Time.
9. Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G., better known as Biggie Smalls, came to campus in the Spring of 1996. The legendary rapper got his start in 1992 and continued his career until the day he was fatally shot in 1997. Few people are lucky to have seen Biggie perform, but none luckier than the SBU students who attended that show.
10. Ray Charles
The great, blind pianist and artist Ray Charles played at Stony Brook University in the Fall of 2000. Charles’ magical piano playing filled the world from 1947 until his death in 2004. Ray Charles is considered soulful as his music ranges from genres like rhythm and blues to jazz rock. Charles is perhaps one of the most famous artists to ever perform at the university.