As KeyBank Pavilion undergoes another name change, City Paper staff recalls their most memorable concerts at the venue | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

As KeyBank Pavilion undergoes another name change, City Paper staff recalls their most memorable concerts at the venue

click to enlarge Mayday Parade at First Niagara Pavilion in 2016 - CP PHOTO: AARON WARNICK
CP Photo: Aaron Warnick
Mayday Parade at First Niagara Pavilion in 2016
Thirty years in, the Burgettstown venue KeyBank Pavilion is undergoing its fifth name change. As of this weekend, the amphitheater officially transitioned to S&T Bank Music Park.

Opened in June of 1990 and originally called Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater (Star Lake is how many Pittsburghers still fondly refer to it), the venue takes on a new name every few years depending on the business that snags the naming rights contract. It was Star Lake from 1990–1999, Post-Gazette Pavilion from 2000–2009, First Niagara Pavilion from 2010–2016, and most recently, KeyBank Pavilion from 2016 until now.

The update sparked a discussion in the City Paper offices about concerts seen at the venue over the years, so, we decided to put together a list of our most memorable moments. Reminisce with us below.


B.B. King
1992 at Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater
"My friend drives out there, and he goes and hangs out with his other friends. The show ends, we go to his car, we're waiting, and he doesn't show. Every single car left the entire place. He's nowhere to be found and we have no way to get home. And this was before cellphones! We go back to the pavilion, it's locked, we wait for 10 minutes until we finally see a security guard. We convince him to let us in and call for a ride. While I'm calling, my other friend, there were three of us, really has to pee so he goes to the bathroom. My friend comes back from the bathroom. He found the friend who drove. He was just passed out against a wall, where no staff had seen him." - Kevin Shepherd, Director of Operations

Wu-Tang, Rage Against the Machine
1997 at Coca-Cola Starlake Amphitheater
"This was the only time I’ve ever had seats at Star Lake, which it will always be called by me. Not sure if they are still there, as the muddy parking lot, traffic, distance, and acts have kept me away. Wu-Tang had an awesome stage set up with a cop car, but their sound was not great. I was 17, white, and from the suburbs, so, of course RATM was speaking to my need to fight the power. That was the first and last time I ever heard opener Atari Teenage Riot, during which I had to go to the bathroom to get toilet paper to use as earplugs." - Josh Oswald, Digital Media Manager

Ozzfest
1999 at Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater
"I always loved lounging in the grass at summer shows at Star Lake, but during the 1999 tour of Ozzfest, I made sure I was right in front of the stage. I could have given two shits about Black Sabbath, but getting to see Les Claypool singing “My Name Is Mud” live with Primus, and Rob Zombie absolutely killing it right in front of me, remains on my top 10 list of concerts of all time." - Lisa Cunningham, Editor-in-Chief

click to enlarge Wiz Khalifa at KeyBank Pavilion in 2018 - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Wiz Khalifa at KeyBank Pavilion in 2018
Black & Blue World Tour (Backstreet Boys and Shaggy)
2001 at Post-Gazette Pavilion
"I had so many great memories at Star Lake. My first concert was there (Shaggy) and had some of the best times of my life. While the drive is a doozy, I will always think fondly of that gravelly tailgate and all the shameful shenanigans that have gone on there." - Bryer Blumenschein, Events and Marketing Coordinator


Flight of the Conchords at Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival
2013 at First Niagara Pavilion
"Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival was a short-lived mammoth comedy tour that flamed out after a few years, but during its brief heyday, Oddball was a steal, offering a lineup with most of the top comedians at that time. In 2013, that meant the reunion of Flight of the Conchords (Bret Mckenzie and Jemaine Clement, New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk band). I don’t remember much of the setlist, but it was surreal and unexpectedly fitting to hear/see a novelty lo-fi folk duo in a context better suited for Warped Tours. I loved their HBO show and since it bowed out after two short seasons, it was a real treat to see them back together." - Alex Gordon, Managing Editor

Mumford & Sons
2017 at KeyBank Pavilion
"I went to KeyBank once. When I was still living and working in Costa Rica, I came home for one week and happened to get Mumford & Sons tickets. I went with my friend Ashley and it was pouring rain but we had a blast. That was also the time when the Pens were in the playoffs and people were chanting "Let’s go Pens!" and the band was completely confused." - Kaitlin Oliver, Advertising Representative

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