“Hallowed Ground” will be a regular feature on Clore Chronicles, exploring important physical locations in music history.
The live venue is arguably the most important physical location in all of music. It is where fan and star come face-to-face. It is where dreams come true and life-long fans are made.
I have always been fascinated by the history contained inside the halls where we enjoy our favorite bands perform. The “Hallowed Ground” feature is meant to bring attention to the importance of these physical locations, some of the key events that have occurred there and how it has impacted music.
Detroit’s Cobo Arena, sometimes referred to as Cobo Hall, has been the epicenter of countless important moments in music history. Situated on the banks of the Detroit River, in America’s “Motor City,” Cobo Arena has played “live” recording studio to the following projects (in part, or in whole):
The Doors – Live In Detroit – Recorded May 8, 1970
Bob Seger – Live Bullet – Recorded September 4-5, 1975
KISS – Alive! – Recorded 1975 (produced/engineered by Eddie Kramer)
Yes – Yesshows – Recorded August 17, 1976
Kid Rock – Live Trucker – Recorded March 26, 2004
Photo Credit: Lisa Hagopian
The 12,000-seat Cobo opened in 1960 and was home to the Detroit Pistons from 1961-1978. It is the arena portion of Detroit’s primary convention center, Cobo Center. One end of the arena is flat and contains no seats.
Jay-Z performed a free show in support of presidential nominee Barack Obama at Cobo on October 4, 2008, in an effort to get people to register to vote. After a five-year hiatus, jam band mainstays Phish opened up its tour at Cobo Arena on November 18, 2009.
Alive!, the fourth album from KISS (and recorded at Cobo), was the band’s breakthrough project. In a 2009 ABC12 interview, KISS’s Paul Stanley shared:
“Detroit for us is kind of like the holy land. It’s where it all started for us. KISS really became a headlining act in Detroit before anywhere else, before anybody else understood us. So, the cover of KISS Alive! is actually taken at Michigan Palace, and the actual back cover [below] and all of the recording, was done at Cobo Hall. So, Cobo Hall is the hall where it all started.”
The following video is an interesting look at the stage being set up inside Cobo for a 2009 KISS show.
Unrelated to music, but interesting nonetheless: Cobo Arena is where Nancy Kerrigan was attacked in 1994.
*Originally published December 31, 2009