Ahh, ye olde Merriweather Post Pavilion – the concert venue writ large in many a band-themed fish tale. The Who, the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin played there. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison of The Doors played there. Santana and Bob Dylan played there. Green Day and just about any popular band you can name played there. The homegrown experimental pop group Animal Collective even named its acclaimed 2009 album after the Columbia venue.

Each summer, generations of music lovers – from both Maryland and D.C. – descend on the parking lot at the Mall in Columbia to score free parking and do some pre-gaming before traipsing through Symphony Woods on their way to a night to remember. Memories have been made for 50 years at Merriweather, which was designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry and opened in July of 1967 on the grounds of a former slave plantation.

When we heard about the anniversary season, the Jmore staff and contributors started telling our own tales – each of us trying to remember exactly who it is we did see there – and we decided we should share some of those memories with you, too. Below, please find essays on our concert experiences over the years at Merriweather.

We Need More Barenaked Ladies – Adam Stone on one of his favorite bands

Merriweather and Ol’ Blue Eyes – Michael Olesker on remembering the beginning of Merriweather and Columbia

Running into the Sun (But I’m Running Behind) – Alan Feiler on musical bragging rights

So Much Music, So Little Time – Amanda Krotki on growing up attending concerts in Columbia

Merriweather on My Mind – Molly Blosse on summer concerts as an escape from reality

Reeling in the Years – Simone Ellin on feeling like an old Steely Dan fan

To share your own stories, please go to www.facebook.com/JMORELiving and let us know who you’ve seen at the concert pavilion.

Follow Merriweather’s announcements and updates at twitter.com/MerriweatherPP

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