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About The Author


Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk of course.

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Posted: March 24, 2016

Flashback Photos: Rock legend concerts in Portland

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

It’s now called The Cross Insurance Arena but for most of its existence, which began in 1977, it was The Cumberland County Civic Center. Better yet, just The Civic Center.

Before YouTube and before the instant sharing capabilities of social media, fans flocked to the brick and mortar behemoth on Spring street to revel, revere and especially rock out. There weren’t hashtags or Instagram or shoddy cellphone video clips, there was just  music in all its sweaty, raw, triumphant, under-the-influence, glamorous, ugly, gritty, loud, dirty and pure glory.

Since the first concert took place on March 3, 1977 (ZZ Top with The Blend), hundreds of music’s biggest acts have come through Portland. The Portland Press Herald sent photographers to many of these shows to capture the essence of the live performance and ultimately to forever freeze in time moments of history.

A trip to the Press Herald archives – and through time itself – revealed a dazzling collection of photos shot by Press Herald photographers and we’ve whittled them down to 17 stellar moments in music that took place in Portland, Maine.

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