For a long stretch St. Cloud State University hosted an epic list of big-time performers on campus.

The 1970's list of performers alone reads like a who's who of big name singers, comedians and journalists. John Denver, Elton John, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Kansas, Hall & Oates, Leon Russell, Bill Cosby and Bob Seger all did shows at either Stewart or Halenbeck Hall.

The 1980's boasted shows by Cheap Trick, The Smithereens, Louie Anderson, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Reba McEntire, Charlie Daniels Band, Air Supply and Hunter S. Thompson.

The 90's saw visits from The Wallflowers, Hank Williams, Smothers Brothers, Semisonic and John Michael Montgomery along with appearances by film director Spike Lee, author Maya Angelou and actor Barry Williams.

The list in the SCSU archives shrinks considerably in the 2000's with musicians Bush, Moby, Incubus and "Weird" Al Yankovic joined by author Ray Bradbury.

The 2010's contain just one entry: former President Bill Clinton in 2012.  However, I do remember seeing Minneapolis rap group Atmosphere at Stewart Hall during this decade.

So what happened? How did St. Cloud State go from Elton John and Reba McEntire playing shows on campus to almost nothing at all?

While I am not sure what went wrong at SCSU, I am hoping the the new Ledge Amphitheater will fill the void left by the lack of programming on campus. It will be very interesting to see what big names start coming back to town at the new venue.

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