Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One thought on “A look at big bands who have played small rooms across Canada

  • Very impressive. What makes Calgary’s lineup even more impressive is the fact that the artists listed all played Calgary’s “Old Mac Hall” rather than the “New Mac Hall”. Old Mac is on the 3rd floor of the MacEwan Hall Student Centre at The University of Calgary – it’s a tiny ballroom with a low ceiling and wider than it is long. It’s nowhere near pretty and used to double as a venue for Faculty parties and Oktoberfest. New Mac Hall is a larger auditorium type building that has been built and attached to the existing MacEwan Hall and is used extensively for today’s bigger names. Old Mac was the best and is still used every now and then to the delight of old dinosaurs like me (the Dino of course being the U of C’s mascot). Recent shows for me at Old Mac include Japandroids and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I was fortunate enough to catch Tool at Old Mac back in the day, but Duran Duran and REM were just a few years before I was allowed to go. Other notables that I saw at Old Mac include Love & Rockets (my first show there), Motörhead, Nashville Pussy, Supersuckers, Rocket From The Crypt, Fu Manchu, Everclear, Third Eye Blind, Bootsauce, Art Bergman, Moist, Sons of Freedom, Hoodoo Gurus, among many others. New Mac has allowed me to see Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Ministry, GWAR, The Hives, Social Distortion among many others. Both are fine venues, but Old Mac Hall is substantially smaller and holds a much more intimate feel. That makes the list of the ten bands listed all that much more impressive. If you’re ever fortunate enough to go to the Old Mac Hall, then have a wall of fame outside of the venue. It’s jaw dropping to see who played there over the years.


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