On an October night later this year a band will play one last note at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. Fans will cheer and applaud the final encore. Perhaps they’ll linger, taking it all in and recalling other concerts and other nights, before a last, long walk down the hill. Even the traffic jam in the parking lot might inspire a last twinge of nostalgia for the outdoor music and events venue that is closing after this, its final summer season.
When Irvine Meadows opened in late August of 1981, lions and rhinos still roamed at Lion Country Safari, fighter jets flew from the nearby El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, Irvine Spectrum didn’t exist and opening night at the Orange County Performing Arts Center was still five years away.
The architecturally unassuming amphitheatre tucked into the hills between Irvine and Laguna Canyon was a key part of the evolution of OC and Irvine from beige-tinged and..