When Dates Collide – Struggles of Archiving Concert Posters

by Cassaundra Thomas

051222B_1-1024x536 When Dates Collide - Struggles of Archiving Concert PostersThere are some natural struggles you’d expect when trying to archive a collection. Dating pieces is one of them. As I’m going through this collection of concert posters, I have to really dig sometimes to find the year for many. What happens when two very different shows appear to have the same date?

The Situation

While organizing the reference copies today, I noticed that, for the same venue, I have (2) different posters for the same date. After reviewing the posters I found that they were two completely different shows. Typically, if there were (2) posters for the same date, they would be variants (same art but different colors) or feature each of the bands that were performing that night. This, however, was not the case here.

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One featured The Strangers with Renegade Saints& Rhythm Jones while the other poster featured Public Enemy alongside The Goats. Neither says “and special guests,” indicating there is more to the performance, so it’s not likely that all (5) bands performed on New Year’s Eve at La Luna. So it should be pretty easy to narrow it down, right?

Both posters indicate that their respective performances occurred Saturday, Dec 31. Ok! So, the years where Dec 31 fell on a Saturday were 1983, 1994, and 2005. Clearly, they must fall on different years! Except that’s not possible. La Luna was only open from 1992 to 1999.

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La Luna “Club” has been considered a highlight of the Portland music scene and has been missed by many. It is a pretty good medium-size venue. The interesting thing about La Luna is that the building changed names quite a few times over the years. Here’s a list:

70s – Ninth Street Exit
1980-1991 Pine Street Theater
1992 (mostly) RKCNDY
1992-1999 La Luna
2000-2002 Pine Street Theater (again)
2004-2005 Solid State

You can see how in some ways this is great in helping me date some of these posters. Except, where there are (2) RKCDY’s, one is Seattle and the other in Portland… but that’s a story for another time. For right now, all you need to know is that for the New Year’s Eve show on a Saturday, the only time the venue was La Luna was in 1994. This is why these two posters have the same date.

Not Enough

As anyone who knows me knows, that’s not enough for me! HOW can there be two dramatically different posters with a different lineup for the same venue, in the same year? I searched my favorite sites for concert archives, and neither shows have any online confirmations of either happening.  So, I went to a group on FaceBook: Pacific Northwest Music Archives. One person said that the “Strangers/Saints show definitely happened”. Someone else said, “The PE poster says it is an early start all-ages show, so probably a two-show day”. Which could be the case. A third person recommended reaching out to Monqui, the promoter for both concerts, to see if someone would help me. Which I did! Now, the waiting game. Right now, I’m content with leaving them both as 1994, but man do I wish I had the story.

Were there really two shows? Did one get canceled? I will update if I hear back from Monqui or get further confirmation. Let me know your thoughts!

Read more about concert posters!

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE MADE BY COMIC BOOK COLLECTORS & INVESTORS
CONCERT POSTER HISTORY: NEW WAVE, PUNK & MODERN
CONCERT POSTERS: EXPOSING THE NICHE ART

Do you know what’s going on with these posters? Let me know!

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