We have had some big concerts take place in Texas over the past couple of years, but nothing really comes close to this event that happened decades ago.
When you think of the biggest concerts in Texas history, maybe a certain rock band, pop star, or country music singer comes to mind. You would be wrong when it came to the biggest in Texas’ history. Shockingly a french composer put on the biggest concert in our state ever.
The french composer has sold tens of millions of albums worldwide since 1976. He’s still alive today and actually played at Cochella a few years ago. Back in 1986, he helped create the most insane concert a city had ever seen at the time.
This concert was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the city of Houston and the 25th anniversary of NASA. The city of Houston and NASA worked together for this epic concert. The city itself would be the backdrop with lasers, projections, and music being broadcasted onto the buildings themselves. NASA was actually going to have an astronaut live from space doing a song for the concert.
Just two months before this concert was taking place, the next launch NASA had was for The Challenger. Sadly, we know how that ended for all those aboard. One of the astronauts was Ron McNair an acclaimed jazz musician. He brought his saxophone on board and was going to play it from space during this concert.
Jean Michael Jarre became very close with McNair and after the Challenger exploded, he wanted to cancel the concert. NASA urged him to continue on and do it in his honor. The concert caused quite the headache for the city of Houston. It’s estimated that over 1.3 million people attended the event. Cars literally stopped on the highway to watch what was being projected on the buildings in downtown Houston causing quite the gridlock.
Back in 1997, Jean Michael Jarre performed in front of 3.5 million people in Moscow, Russia. So not everything is bigger in Texas. So the next time someone asks you about the biggest concert in Texas history, remember the name Jean Michael Jarre.
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