Five noteworthy shows at Roseland Ballroom

Roseland Ballroom is closing with a final show by Lady Gaga.
Roseland Ballroom is closing with a final show by Lady Gaga. Photo Credit: John Roca

With two locations and more than 90 years of history, it is tough to sum up the Roseland Ballroom in a list of a handful of shows.

The venue is closing Monday with a final show by Lady Gaga.

With apologies to the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Beyoncé and the nearly century’s worth of musicians who have taken the stage there, here are five of Roseland’s most noteworthy performances:


Ella Fitzgerald


Feb. 26, 1940

Immortalized on “Live from the Roseland Ballroom, New York 1940,” Fitzgerald, the first lady of jazz, had just started to come into her own as she took over the late Chuck Webb’s band.




Aug. 3, 1984

The metal masters weren’t the top of the bill, but James Hetfield and company stole the show that night. It was also, according to lore, the world premiere of the fan-favorites “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”




July 23, 1993

One of the biggest bands brought down the house at Roseland, but no one in the crowd knew that lead singer Kurt Cobain had overdosed on heroin just hours prior.




July 24, 1997

The British trip-hop pioneers performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the combination (heard on the album simply titled “Roseland NYC Live”) is immediate and compelling.


Fiona Apple


Feb. 29, 2000

The reclusive chanteuse, frustrated by equipment failures, broke down mid-set and walked offstage.

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