Black 47 frenzy in 1993

( I cleared the title up too )
3/3/2008 Afternoon Update:

A reader mentioned that my “fact-checking dept.” was groggy from the weekend (how can one guy have “departments?”)… He said that the show in April 1994 at Stevens was a small gig in the cafeteria without incident…

He said the crazy show was at the Lackawanna train station plaza earlier in the year (St. Patrick’s Day perhaps?)

I don’t know, because I wasn’t here.. but another person who was here mentioned the DeBaun auditorium as the venue at Stevens (they since stopped hosting rock shows) so I thought that was the case..

Can anyone clear up the exact date of the “police chief” incident please?


Who was here in April 1994 when the Irish band Black 47 performed at Stevens, and so many rowdy fans caused the police chief to shut down the whole town?


That incident became part of their song “Green Suede Shoes.”

“Six months out on the road
Don’t know if I’m ever goin’ home
Out there in the middle of America
Out of my head, feelin’ hysterical
Wishin’ that I was back in New York
Playin’ in Reilly’s on a Saturday night
Man on the phone says “I ain’t jokin'”
Would yez ever come and play for us out in Hoboken?

So we hop in the van and we drive overnight
Goin’ to sweet New Jersey, startin’ to feel alright
But the word is out that the boys are back in town
30,000 Paddies start gettin’ on down
When we hit the stage, police chief goes nuts
What the hell am I gonna do with 30,000 drunks
He say “stop the music, I’m in charge”
Then he goes and he shut down alla the bars

I don’t care if you got the blues
Just keep the hell off my green suede shoes
You can do anything you choose
But don’t go messin’ up my green suede, green suede shoes”

They also played at the Spring Arts & Music Festival the year before as well.

If anyone can share details of that infamous day, that would be great! Was it that bad?

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22 Comments on "Black 47 frenzy in 1993"

8 years 7 months ago

Yes! Spring Fest! That was it, I couldn’t think of the name. That is where I heard about them tipping a car. Could that be true? I think Oniels ran the run and the fest afterwards, maybe that’s why it was banned. Too bad. The run was nice. For charity I think.

8 years 7 months ago
Dunno about a riot in April 1994 by Stevens but I seem to recall a slow-burn riot in May 1993 that started out as the annual Spring Fest down by the train station. B47 had just become one-hit-wonders and got a lot of press (Time, Newsweek, etc) in the few weeks leading up to the event. B47 was a really big hit with people who think they’re Irish – and other people who take drinking-to-stupidity quite seriously. Anyway, organizers planned for an event like the one the prior year and thus had 17 or so cops trying to control a sea of 5000 people of various blood alcohol levels. The town had no idea what would hit them. I seem to recall K-rock and Budweiser being in on it too. But here I’m a bit hazy. Anyway, picture: * A fun outdoor daytime concert * Dumb frat boy types climbing then sapling trees to get a better look (all their weight supported by a tree branch the diameter of a nickel.) * Every square foot of roadway south of First and east of Washington was jammed with people. * Open containers everywhere. Including my hand. * After: packs of kids vomiting in random gardens. * Later: Stumbling drunks peeing EVERYWHERE. * At all times: yelling, screaming, exaggerated laughing * Litter everywhere – just like Saturday It was like a SPD on a warm sunny late spring day except: * No one feared fines. * No one realizing what was unfolding… Read more »
8 years 7 months ago

Eams – We had FGH play at our fraternity in 96. I wasn’t here before they got big, but i did see Todd play at black bear 2 or 3 years ago.

8 years 7 months ago

not Pier C. It was north of that. Where sinatra and the soccer field is now. Maybe part os Stevens too.