Hearst Greek Theatre, California

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Waiting for the concert

It was Friday and after a long week of working, it was time to relax and enjoy.  Ta Vans and I drove to Berkeley to watch the band Bastille’s concert. A piece of small information about the band, they were British and released 3 albums by this time. Two of their famous songs were Pompeii and Happier, which I both enjoyed. Besides Imagine Dragons, being my number one band, Bastille comes in second. The band’s name and the place they’re having a concert have both significant meanings. From Greeks to French inspirations. When we reached the University of Berkeley there were already walking in the streets heading to the event.

We parked for a flat fee rate of $30! Near the stadium and then we walked less than half a mile to our destination. The theatre’s boundaries and trees around the lights are full of Christmas lights and as we walked to the entrance we saw the name of the theatre officially name “William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre, and for short the Greek Theatre. We walked up the stairs and to the entrance and here goes the history according to Wikipedia.

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Design for the Greek Theatre

“The Greek Theatre is an 8,500-seat amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, USA.

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John Galen Howard

The Hearst Greek Theater was built in 1903 on the site of a rough outdoor bowl already in use as an amphitheater since 1894 known as “Ben Weed’s Amphitheater.” The project was championed by the University of California president Benjamin Ide Wheeler and was the first University building designed by John Galen Howard. Its construction was financed by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, after whom it was named. The design of the theater is based directly on the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus.”

We passed by security and had our tickets scanned then we walked around to the theater, which was starting to get filled up. The council’s seats were already full and at first, I wanted to stand in the pit but later we decided just to sit close by.

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Newly built theatre

Since its a General Admission we can wherever we wanted to. We were supposed to stay seated but decided to go to the other side and bought some shirts. As we walked to the store and bought our souvenirs here is the continuous history.

“The theater officially opened on September 24, 1903, with a student production of The Birds by Aristophanes. However, while still under construction in May 1903, the theatre hosted a graduation ceremony with an address by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a friend of Wheeler’s from New York. In 1957, a basement backstage area was added, which was designed by Ernest Born. It includes a large plaza flanked by two stage-level constructions. Then in 1982 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The opening act

We settled down on a new place, I walked around and explored the amphitheater. I climbed up the steep stairs/seats and had a view of the whole theater. On both ends of this crescent, style was booths for drinks and food. Because it’s nighttime and crowded the picture of the building was still kind of blurry. After taking some videos and pictures I went down and back to our seats, where we waited for Bastille. Here is the continuation of the theater’s colorful history.

“Over the years, the Greek Theatre has seen performances from hundreds of musical and theatrical artists. The Greek has also long been the venue for a number of annual UC Berkeley events including departmental graduation ceremonies, the Commencement Convocation for graduating seniors, and the Big Game Bonfire Rally before the Big Game each year with Stanford.

Charter Day ceremonies and inaugurations of University of California presidents and Berkeley chancellors have been held in the Greek Theatre. Berkeley High School also uses the Greek Theatre for its graduation ceremonies.”

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Bastille performing “Pompeii”

After waiting for twenty minutes the show finally started with the performance of Joywave, a new Indie rock band. It has a couple of good songs, but my blog for today was not about them but the theater and a bit of Bastille. So after 45 minutes, they ended their performance and we waited for 30 minutes before the grand concert begin. So as we watch here is the rest of the history and a couple of videos of the concert!

“Another Planet Entertainment became the exclusive concert promoter at the Greek in 2004In May 2012, a seismic retrofit and expansion was designed by Palo Alto architecture firm, CAW Architects and constructed by Overaa Construction. Four new reinforced concrete columns were added and concealed in the original structure.”

Link for more information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearst_Greek_Theatre

https://calperformances.org/about/history.php

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Say Cheez!

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