Not simply a sports palace, the Georgia Dome rocks, too
As we celebrate its final year in operation, the Georgia Dome has likely seen its last major concert event with the second of Beyonce’s two 2016 shows taking place back in late September.
Beyonce’s third overall headlining appearance at the 71,250-seat stadium puts a bookend on a quarter century run of superstar concerts featuring some of the biggest names in pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B and country music to grace the stage at Atlanta’s largest indoor venue.
Here’s a look back at an impressive who’s who of performers that have rocked the Georgia Dome since the doors opened in 1992:
Olympic Flag Jam, Sept. 17, 1992
A celebration of the impending 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, this event wasn’t a straight-up concert per se, but did feature performances by Santana, James Brown, Whitney Houston, Alabama, Lee Greenwood, Travis Tritt, TLC, Trisha Yearwood and Atlanta Rhythm Section.
Tied with three other artists for receiving top billing the most times at the Dome, Bono and the boys headlined the first open-to-the public ticketed concert at the facility on Sept. 25, 1992 with the long and winding “Zoo TV Tour,” featuring opening act Public Enemy. The earnest Irish rockers returned on Nov. 26, 1997 with the North American leg of the extravagant “PopMart Tour” and again on Oct. 6, 2009 with the in-the-round spectacle of the “360 Tour,” with support act Muse. Overall, U2 has performed before more than 143,000 Georgia Dome fans.
Paul McCartney, May 1, 1993
The ex-Beatle and his band thrilled the sold-out audience with Wings and Fab Four classics such as “Live and Let Die,” “Band on the Run,” “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”
Elton John and Billy Joel, Aug. 19, 1994
Two piano men for the price of one, the “Face to Face Tour” featured part-time Atlanta resident John and New Yorker Joel performing together on each other’s songs, doing duets and performing solo before a sold-out crowd.
The venerable rockers have also headline the Dome three times – twice on the same tour when the venue was transformed into the band’s “Voodoo Lounge” on Nov. 15-16, 1994, and again they came a-calling three years later on Dec. 9, 1997. “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll,” but it’s also good business as the Stones drew more than 132,000 concert-goers into the building.
Ultimate Oldies Concert, May 16, 1998
Hosted by local radio station Fox 97 in the ‘90s, this series of multi-act package tours rocked the Dome’s first decade, and this particular show, attracting a crowd in excess of 41,000, featured a slew of ‘60s and ‘70s pop hit-makers including Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Monkees’ Davy Jones, Percy Sledge, Sam Moore of Sam and Dave fame, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Shirelles, The Drifters, Johnny Rivers and The Young Rascals’ Felix Cavaliere.
Backstreet Boys, Feb. 19, 2000 and Jan. 27, 2001
Capitalizing on the boyband era, this popular vocal group made two Dome appearances in almost a year’s time, drawing a combined 100,000-plus screaming fans.
Metallica, July 7, 2000
The metal legends’ “Summer Sanitarium Tour,” also featured Kid Rock, System of a Down, and Korn – and for the Dome show, members of the support acts and Metallica bassist Jason Newsted filled in for lead singer James Hetfield who was hospitalized with injuries sustained in a jetski accident prior to the show.
NSYNC, Aug. 11, 2001
Backstreet Boys’ main boyband rival, NSYNC, featuring future breakout solo star Justin Timberlake, brought their “PopOdyssey” tour to the Dome, featuring the biggest production in pop music since U2’s “PopMart Tour.”
Laidback contemporary country star Kenny Chesney has also headlined the Dome on three occasions starting with the “Brothers of the Sun Tour” on June 3, 2012, featuring co-headliner Tim McGraw. Chesney returned Aug. 3, 2013 to headline the “No Shoes Nation Tour” also with Zac Brown Band and on June 13, 2015, Chesney’s “The Big Revival Tour” rolled in with support acts Eric Church, and Brantley Gilbert, Old Dominion, and Chase Rice. Overall, Chesney has entertained more than 130,000 fans inside the Georgia Dome.
Also tied for most Dome headlining dates, Queen Bey’s first venture here was a date with hubby Jay-Z as they shared the stage of the “On the Run Tour” on July 15, 2014. She then brought her “Formation World Tour” to the venue twice in 2016 – first on May 1 and then again on Sept. 26.
One Direction, Oct. 1, 2014
Representing the next wave of boyband superstars, this British quintet’s “Where We Are Tour,” featuring support act 5 Seconds of Summer, enraptured a sold-out Dome crowd.
Taylor Swift, Oct. 24, 2015
The No. 1 worldwide tour of 2015, country-turned-pop diva Swift’s “1989 Tour,” featuring opening acts Shawn Mendes and Vance Joy, lit up a rapturous sold-out Dome.
Guns ‘N’ Roses, July 27, 2016
After nearly 20 years apart, no one ever thought Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan would bury the hatchet, but the older and wiser rockers reunited for the summer’s most-anticipated trek as the “Not In This Lifetime Tour” rolled back the years, rocking the Dome.