40 years ago, three musical acts--the Stories, Lynyrd Skynard, and Heather--played in Hanover Hall at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The venue had a newly installed sound system for the event. Tickets for students were $2.50 in advance or $3.50 at the door.
At the time of the performance the Stories was the biggest name of the three. They had previously released two albums both of which were well reviewed by the music world including Rolling Stone. The group had one popular hit with “Brother Louie.” Wes Knape, a Seahawk newspaper writer, wrote that this had been “a really great song when it was released; however...most of us are tired of it being played so often.”
Lynyrd Skynard had only released their first album in August of 1973 and had not built up their popularity. Even though they were not nationally recognized, music critics had already begun to hail them as the next big hit to come out of the South. This would prove correct as they would become nationally recognized shortly following their performance at UNCW.
According to students interviewed by the Seahawk, the concert did not exceed their expectations, especially the band Stories. The Seahawk published the thoughts of six students, one of whom did not even attend the concert. The students stated that the new sound system was “out of wack” as the instruments were louder than the vocals. Another complaint was the high number of high school students in the audience. One student protested the high cost of the ticket and suggested bringing in local bands to lower the cost, while another student complained that the bands brought in should be more “well known” and represent a greater variety of musical styles.