Earlier this year on the KRNA Facebook page, we discussed the best concert you have ever seen in Cedar Rapids. Concerts that rolled into town, and left their impact on you. That inspired me to look into the biggest concerts to hit Eastern Iowa. But hey, that's so very broad, so I narrowed it down to the best concerts to roll through Cedar Rapids in the 1980s. That generated a lot of discussions, so I decided to continue and explore the best concerts to hit the area one decade later: the 1990s. That article spawned more discussion and so logically, I took the records to see the best shows of the O's and teens.

I again used the site Concert Archives. I also continued reaching out to more listeners on KRNA's Facebook to see what they thought. Here are the results.

KISS Farewell Tour with Ted Nugent, and Skid Row - September 2, 2000 - Five Seasons Center (now the PowerHouse)

KISS went on one of their many farewell tours in 2000 (for the record, here in 2021 they're AGAIN on a farewell tour) and brought classic rocker and polarizing figure Ted Nugent, and rockers Skid Row. Interestingly enough, Skid Row would return for a solo show at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in August 2002 and use the exact same setlist as they did with this show.

For the setlist, I'll start with the headliners set:


  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Deuce
  3. Shout It Out Loud
  4. I Love It Loud
  5. Shock Me
  6. Firehouse
  7. Do You Love Me
  8. Calling Dr. Love
  9. Heaven's on Fire
  10. Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
  11. 2000 Man
  12. Guitar Solo
  13. Psycho Circus
  14. Lick It Up
  15. Bass Solo
  16. God of Thunder
  17. Cold Gin
  18. 100,000 Years
  19. Drum Solo
  20. Love Gun
  21. Black Diamond
  22. Beth
  23. Rock and Roll All Nite

Ted Nugent

  1. Stormtroopin'
  2. Paralyzed
  3. "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang"
  4. Free-For-All
  5. "Dog Eat Dog"
  6. "Fred Bear"
  7. "Kiss My Ass"
  8. "Cat Scratch Fever"
  9. Stranglehold
  10. "The Great White Buffalo"

Skid Row

  1. "Riot Act"
  2. "Piece of Me"
  3. "Makin' a Mess"
  4. "18 and Life"
  5. "Monkey Business"
  6. "I Remember You"
  7. "Youth Gone Wild"

REO Speedwagon & Def Leppard - October 10, 2016- U.S Cellular Center (now the PowerHouse)

Two huge classic rock bands that are still touring 5 years later, hit the PowerHouse (called U.S. Cellular Center in 2016). REO's set was pretty short by comparison to Def Leopard but just look at all these amazing classic rock hits.

REO Speedwagon

  1. Don't Let Him Go
  2. Take It on the Run
  3. Keep Pushin'
  4. Can't Fight This Feeling
  5. Time for Me to Fly
  6. Back on the Road Again
  7. Ridin' the Storm Out
  8. Keep On Loving You
  9. Roll With the Changes

Def Leppard

  1. Let's Go
  2. Animal
  3. Let It Go
  4. Dangerous
  5. Foolin'
  6. Love Bites
  7. Armageddon It
  8. Rock On
  9. Man Enough
  10. Rocket
  11. Bringin' on the Heartbreak
  12. Switch 625
  13. Hysteria
  14. Let's Get Rocked
  15. Pour Some Sugar on Me
  16. Rock of Ages
  17. Photograph

Slipknot - May 23, 2000 – Five Seasons Center

Jumping back to the O's, all the way to the year 2000. It's hard to believe Iowa's own Slipknot has been rocking since the mid-1990s. That said, in 2000 they were still pretty fresh. They hadn't even put out their sophomore album Iowa quite yet. In fact, the setlist for this show reads just like the band's debut, self-titled album's tracklisting.

  1. 742617000027
  2. (sic)
  3. Eyeless
  4. Wait and Bleed
  5. No Life
  6. Liberate
  7. Frail Limb Nursery
  8. Purity
  9. Prosthetics
  10. Spit It Out
  11. Eeyore
  12. Surfacing
  13. Scissors
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Yes - September 12, 2017- McGrath Amphitheatre

The band Yes brought its catalog of classic rock hits to the McGrath Amphitheatre in the fall of 2017. Sadly, this show came shortly after the death of one of the band's original members, Chris Squire. The band's original bassist, Billy Sherwood, rejoined the group for this tour.

  1. Cinema
  2. Perpetual Change
  3. Hold On
  4. South Side of the Sky
  5. And You and I
  6. Changes
  7. Rhythm of Love
  8. I Am Waiting
  9. Heart of the Sunrise
  10. Awaken
  11. Owner of a Lonely Heart
  12. Roundabout
  13. Life On Mars? (Wakeman Solo)

Alice Cooper - October 21, 2018 - The Paramount Theater

Alice Cooper hit the road in late 2018. His shows were intentionally in the fall to celebrate Halloween. In fact, the tour was titled 'Paranormal Evening With'. This show was one of 13 dates added to extend the tour. The next night Cooper would play in Des Moines. I couldn’t find the exact setlist but similar shows had this one:

  1. I’m Eighteen
  2. School’s Out
  3. Ballad of Dwight Fry
  4. Billion Dollar Babies
  5. Brutal Planet
  6. Cold Ethyl
  7. Fallen in Love
  8. Feed My Frankenstein
  9. Halo of Flies
  10. I Love the Dead
  11. Killer
  12. Lost in America
  13. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  14. Only Women Bleed
  15. Paranoiac Personality
  16. Poison
  17. Serious
  18. Under My Wheels
  19. Woman of Mass Distraction
  20. Guitar Solo
  21. Be My Lover
  22. Grim Facts

That concludes the 'Best Concerts of' series until this decade ends. Until then, keep on rockin'!

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