If you are looking for a great place to see live music in Northern California, it doesn’t get much better than Shoreline Amphitheater. The large music venue is located in Mountain View, California, just a short walk from Google Headquarters and holds around 22,500 people. However, the capacity can be expanded to over 30,000 for music festivals, due to the use of the parking lots. The large amphitheater was officially opened in 1986 with a huge lineup of bands and comedians on the lineup. The first concert was supposed to be The Grateful Dead, but due to an unfortunate incident which left lead singer, Jerry Garcia, in a coma, the performance was cancelled. Instead the debut show was Julio Iglesias combined with an opening act by comedian Roseanne Barr. The Grateful Dead did eventually reschedule the performance and finally took the stage at Shoreline Amphitheater on October 3, 1987. Despite the great initial lineup and plenty of excitement surrounding the opening of the venue, everything didn’t go as smoothly as possible. Among other small issues, the fact that the venue was built on landfill (complete with methane leaks), there were a series of fires around the venue caused by cigarettes. Despite the initial growing pains, the venue fixed all of the issues and grew into one of the best venues in the state. This list of legendary acts that have played at Shoreline is impressive, including Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Depeche Mode, Madonna, David Bowie, Prince, Elton John, Pearl Jam, Eminem, Spice Girls, Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, Luke Bryan, Dead & Company and more!
The venue was also a popular host for the growing list of music festivals from the 90s to present day. Shoreline Amphitheater was the host of Lollapalooza, Lilith Fair, Ozzfest, Vans Warped Tour and local indie festival, BFD. It is also the home of the long running Bridge School Benefit, created by Neil Young, that began on 10/13/1986 and still happen every year. The Bridge School Benefit concerts feature major acts in an acoustic setting, including artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Metallica, Paul McCartney and more. The venue is still going strong to this day, despite noise complaints from residents, and a few big brawls and hosts about 25 shows every year.