Five memorable shows at UNF

Justin Belichis

National touring artists will perform this week at OZ Music Fest, but big name musicians playing at UNF isn’t uncommon. Spinnaker has compiled a list of five memorable events after digging through its archive, including a controversial comedy show that caused hundreds of show goers to leave the UNF Arena in 1999.

  1.   Alanis Morissette rocks the UNF Arena
Alanis Morissette played to a packed crowd in the UNF Arena in 1996 after the release of her first album Jagged Little Pill.
Photo courtesy Matthew MacRoberts

Isn’t it ironic that Alanis Morissette performed at the UNF Arena the same year she won six Juno Awards and two Grammy Awards? A Spinnaker article said Morissette played songs like “You Oughta Know” and “Hand in My Pocket” to thousands of people at UNF in January 1996. The article said students stampeded to the stage and crowd surfed as the show went on. Two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer accompanied Morissette, who performed “Can’t Not” for concert attendees who chanted for an encore.

  1.   Dashboard Confessional Dazzles emo kids in the UNF Arena
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Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba belts out an emotional hit for a packed University of North Florida Arena in 2004.
Photo courtesy Corinne LaFoutain

In fall 2004, Florida-based emo band Dashboard Confessional performed at the UNF Arena to about 4,000 people according to a Spinnaker article. According to the article, a line of hundreds of people gathered outside the Arena at 5:15 p.m. and when doors opened, they rushed to the front of the stage. Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids opened the show with his band the New Amsterdams, followed by an acoustic set by Dashboard Confessional’s singer and guitarist Chris Carrabba who also stayed after the show to shake hands and speak with his fans.

Carrabba performed “So Long, So Long,” which was a new Dashboard Confessional song at that point, along with classics like “Screaming Infidelities” and “Saints and Sailors”. The article said Carrabba would step away from the microphone and the voices from the crowd filled in for him in that moment. The show ended with an encore demanded by the screaming fans and Carrabba performed “Hands Down” and “Vindicated.”

  1.   Pantera and Type O Negative dominate the Arena
Pantera’s “Dimebag” Darrell soaks up the limelight at the UNF Arena in 1995.
Photo courtesy Adam Roman

Head bangers and mosh pitters filled the UNF Arena in January 1995 when metal bands Pantera and Type O Negative visited Jacksonville. According to a Spinnaker article, nearly 3,000 people attended the event. Type O Negative opened the show and took the audience on a “dark roller coaster ride” with its balance of heavy power chords and eerie harmonies.

According to the article, students who stood around chatting with friends, smoking and waiting for Pantera to play were greeted by the emergence of a mosh pit in the center of the Arena. The heavy metal band played songs like “Mouth For War,” “Walk” and “F— Hostile.” The article also said few injuries were reported, the most serious being a head injury that didn’t require stitches. One arrest was made that night and it wasn’t in the Arena, though marijuana smoke could be smelled throughout the venue.

  1.   Ludacris’ show at the UNF Amphitheater sells out
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Ludacris feeling his own music at his show in the UNF Amphitheater.
Photo courtesy Erik Tanner

Osprey Productions hosted rapper Ludacris to perform at the UNF Amphitheater in October 2009. According to a Spinnaker article, the crowd that evening was the biggest that has come close to packing the venue with 6,000 presale tickets sold before the event. Luda performed songs like “Act a Fool,” “Move B—-“ and “Get Back.”

The article said Ludacris asked the audience, “So where my weed smokers at?” which was followed by the crowd erupting with fists in the air, sparking a heavy aroma of marijuana and Black and Mild smoke. Spinnaker said Ludacris then asked the crowd to put their lighters in the air. The stage lights dimmed, creating a sea of tiny flames and cell phone screens. Ludacris tossed his shirt off to the crowd at the end of the night.

  1.   The naked truth about Andy Dick’s comedy show
Comedian Andy Dick performed stand-up comedy to UNF in 1999 with Kathy Griffin.
Photo courtesy Facebook

Before OZ Music Fest, there was Nest Fest. A Spinnaker article said Andy Dick mooned the audience during his performance at the UNF Arena in 1999 after comedian Kathy Griffin opened the show. Hecklers in the crowd ridiculed Dick’s shtick, and jokes about sexual behavior and vomiting were included in his material.

Under a spotlight, Dick moved from the stage into the left side of the bleacher seating area where he exposed what many thought was his buttocks, but he was wearing a nude-colored body stocking. Spinnaker said out of the 1,800 people who attended, only 200 people stayed until the end of the show. This controversial performance caused Student Government to add an obscenity clause to its entertainment contract rider, in which payment to the artist can be kept if an artist breaks the clause. Andy Dick has not been invited back to UNF for a comedy show since then.

*3/5/2015 at 11:02 a.m.- Updated with revised wording throughout.

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