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From the Oak Ridge Boys (1992) to Justin Timberlake (2014): A history of Fargodome concerts

by Mike McFeely

Fargo parks director Bob "Goose" Johnson and city commission president Raenen Nicholson publicly proposed building an enclosed, multi-purpose athletic stadium/convention center somewhere in our town in 1987.

Original plans had it being an actual domed stadium, like the Tacoma Dome in Washington. Original plans also had ice hockey as major part of the future of the dome. 

Voters approved a half-cent sales tax to finance construction of the dome in December of 1988 and construction began the following spring on a parcel of land off 19th Ave. North in Fargo on the North Dakota State University campus, just north of the Bison Sports Arena and Dacotah Field (the longtime home of Bison football).

The finished product ended up being neither a true dome nor much of a hockey facility, the latter a nugget that still grinds the gears of hockey enthusiasts in Fargo. The ice-making pipes are buried in the concrete of the Fargodome floor to this day, as yet unused. The Fardgodome ended up being a giant brick building with an arena roof. 

Many questioned the need for a 19,000-seat indoor athletic facility/convention center. What in the world is it going to be used for, critics asked? It'll end up being a giant grain bin, said the cynics. Those questions and cheap shots have disappeared. The Fargodome has turned a profit each year of its existence and in the last three years specifically has become a raucous, deafening gathering of NDSU football fans for six Saturdays a year. 

The dome has also allowed Fargo to attract big-name musical acts, most of which would never have considered a small city on the prairie without the proper facility in which to turn a hefty profit. AC/DC, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Pink are just a handful of the rockers who've stopped in Fargo. Another top act will be added to the docket tonight, when Justin Timberlake brings his latest tour to the Fargodome. 

  AC/DC's Brian Johnson (photo The Forum)

Looking back at the concerts and acts that have played here because of the Fargodome, it is an impressive list.

Thanks to Fargodome GM Rob Sobolik for going through the records and hand-writing the list of concerts for us.

1992

Dec. 20 - Oak Ridge Boys

1993

March 21 - Guns N Roses

April 9 - Bryan Adams

April 16- Travis Tritt

May 7 - Reba McEntire

May 21 - Poison

June 12 - Aerosmith

Aug. 31 - Def Leppard

Sept. 2 - Billy Ray Cyrus

Oct. 12 - Loverboy/April Wine

Nov. 23-24 - Garth Brooks

Nov. 1 - Sawyer Brown

1994

March 8 - Moody Blues

April 4 - Barry Manilow

April 17 - Vince Gill

May 7 - Reba McIntire

July 3 - Meatloaf

Oct. 30 - Billy Joel

Nov. 18 - Sawyer Brown

1995

Feb. 21 - Little Texas

March 17 - Randy Travis

April 3 - Eagles

April 28 - Reba McIntire

May 24 - Boston

May 25 - Amy Grant

Sept. 10 - Ted Nugent

Nov. 5 - White Zombie

Nov. 12 - Little Texas/Martina McBride

Dec. 30 - Tim McGraw/Faith Hill

1996

Feb. 11 - Oak Ridge Boys

Feb. 16 - Michael W. Smith

Feb. 18 - Ozzy Ozbourne

April 6 - Rod Stewart

April 23 - Bush/Goo Goo Dolls

May 4 - Reba McIntire

May 18 - DC Talk

May 29 - Dwight Yoakam

July 16 - Neil Diamond

Sept. 15 - Styx/Kansas

Oct. 27 - Wynonna

Nov. 2 - Hootie and the Blowfish

1997

Feb. 11 - Metallica

March 7 - George Strait

March 16 - Steven Curtis Chapman

April 26 - KISS

May 8 - Clay Walker

May 21 - Barry Manilow

June 19 - Moody Blues

Aug. 22 - ZZ Top

Oct. 9 - Fleetwood Mac

Oct. 25 - Elton John

Nov. 16 - Reba McIntire

Dec. 8 - Prince

1998

April 26 - Yanni

May 6 - Statler Brothers

June 13 - Jimmy Page/Robert Plant

Sept. 18-20 - Garth Brooks

Nov. 8 - Reba McIntire/Brooks and Dunn

Nov. 12 - Aerosmith

Dec. 5 - Shania Twain

1999

Feb. 17 - Rolling Stones

March 30 - DC Talk

April 6 - Korn and Rob Zombie

Sept. 17 - Beach Boys

Oct. 12 - John Mellencamp

Oct. 23 - ZZ Top/Lynyard Skynyrd

Nov. 16 - Bruce Springsteen

Dec. 3 - N'Sync

2000

March 26 - Martina McBride

July 14 - KISS

July 16 - Dixie Chicks

July 18 - Korn

Aug. 18 - Tim McGraw/Faith Hill

Oct. 28 - Alan Jackson

Nov. 9 - Tina Turner

2001

April 29 - AC/DC

July 6 - Pantera

July 19 - Eric Clapton

July 31 - Matchbox 20

Oct. 29 - Neil Diamond

2002

Feb. 16 - Styx/REO Speedwagon

April 14 - Alan Jackson

May 2 - Weezer

June 18 - Eagles

July 23 - Vans Warped Tour

Aug. 13 - Creed

Sept. 29 - Bruce Springsteen

Oct. 9 - Incubus

Nov. 15 - Guns N Roses

Nov. 24 - Manheim Steamroller

Dec. 7 - Ray Charles

2003

April 19 - Elton John/Billy Joel

May 17 - Bill Gaither Homecoming

June 15 - Pearl Jam

Aug. 2 - James Taylor

Aug. 23 - 50 Cent

Nov. 7 - Toby Keith

Nov. 28 - Kenny Rogers

2004

June 5 - Shania Twain

Aug. 8 - Cher

Aug. 17 - Metallica

Oct. 9 - Bill Gaither Homecoming

Oct. 15 - Alabama

Oct. 31 - Van Halen

Nov. 26 - Martina McBride

Dec. 11 - Franki Valli

2005 

Feb. 11 - Rascal Flatts

March 25 - Kenny chesney

April 2 - John Mellenkamp

2006

June 14 - George Strait

June 31 - Nickelback

Oct. 21 - Journey/Def Leppard

2007

Jan. 19 - Dierks Bentley

Feb. 9 - Rockstar Supernova

March 30 - Eric Clapton

April 6 - Blue Man Group

April 14 - Kenny Chesney

Oct. 5 - Three Days Grace/Breaking Benjamin

oct. 29 - Ozzy Osbourne

2008

April 19 - Bon Jovi

April 27 - Larry the Cable Guy

Nov. 9 - Buckcherry/Avenged Sevenfold

2009

Jan. 17 - AC/DC

March 15 - Eagles

May 2 - Elton John/Billy Joel

June 20 - Kenny Chesney

July 10 - Green Day

2010

Feb. 3 - Jeff Dunham

March 13 - Bon Jovi

April 8 - John Mayer

May 27 - Nickelback

June 17 - Carrie Underwood

Oct. 3 - Uproar Festival

Oct. 22 - George Strait/Reba McIntire

2011

June 10 - Montgomery Gentry

2012

Jan. 14 - Miranda Lambert 

May 20 - Nickelback

Sept. 29 - Carrie Underwood

2013

March 16 - Bob Seger/Kid Rock

March 30 - Shinedown/Three Days Grace

April 28 - Jeff Dunham

Sept. 6 - Taylor Swift

2014

Jan. 11 - Pink

Jan. 18 - Lady Antebellum

Feb. 7 - Justin Timberlake

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