This photo above is the 7,500 seat Paladium taken in it's opening year of 1975. The amphitheater was built at a cost of $600,000 and took approx. 14 months to build. The first concert was 2.5 hours long by country stars Dottie West, The Bobby Bare Family and Jerry Reed on May 24, 1975. The Paladium featured nationally known stars throughout the season, some so popular they would create huge traffic pile-ups on Interstate-77. There were 16 concerts in the venues first opening season. The seating capacity has been expanded several times over the years. The first expansion increased the seating capacity to 8,200, then to 9,000 seats and the final and current capacity seats just over 13,000 as seen in the current photo below.
Above, is a concert calendar from 1980. As you can see, many big name stars appeared here as this was the only outdoor concert venue in the area. Other big names to appear at the Paladium during its prime include The Doobie Brothers, Chicago, Linda Rondstadt, Jerry Reed, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Jimmy Buffet, Jefferson Starship, Natalie Cole, Neil Sedaka, The Captain and Tennille, Bob Hope and comedian Steve Martin (among others). Big name acts like these are a thing of the past at the Paladium today, now that there are other, larger venues in the Charlotte area.