LEWISTON — Forty-three years after a riot abruptly ended the popular PAL Hop dances, the Innkeepers finally completed their set.

“It was fitting because they were on stage when the police pulled the plug,” said Nick Knowlton, who organized Saturday’s concert titled “The PAL Hop Rocks Again Reunion 2010.”

At almost 1 a.m. Sunday at the Colisee, the group founded by Roger Blais ended their set and the five-hour-plus concert.

“It was absolutely incredible,” said Knowlton, who performed earlier in the night with his 1960s-era band, Terry and the Telstars. And he watched from the stage as the people, many in their 60s, rose to their feet and cheered.

“I can tell you every name in the first couple of rows,” Knowlton said. “Oh my, what a night it was.”

It was also profitable.

After meeting with the show’s bookkeeper on Monday afternoon, Knowlton was relieved to announce that the expenses were covered and donations will be made to the Police Athletic League and the Great Falls Balloon Festival.

He did not yet know how large those donations might be. All profits will be turned over to the charities, he said.

“It was an expensive show,” said Knowlton. Promotional materials were pricey and the band members will all be paid, he said.

Nearly 3,000 people attended the reunion show, which featured six bands that had been popular during the PAL hops. Also performing were the Royal Knights, the Moon Dawgs, the Rockin’ Recons and the Travelers.

Their original Friday night dances had packed Lewiston City Hall’s auditorium, sometimes filling the floor with 2,000 teenagers. Musicians remembered watching the dance floor rise and fall with the dancers.

It all ended on Nov. 24, 1967. It was the night after Thanksgiving and a fight broke out on the dance floor. Police ended the concert and began hauling the two brawlers out of the building.

That’s when the crowd lost control, according to the coverage the next morning in the Lewiston Daily Sun.

About 700 kids followed them outside. They smashed many of the windows on the front of the grand brick building. They busted windows inside, including the glass to the City Clerk’s office.

The page one story in the paper with the headline, “Lewiston youths stage near-riot; several arrested” described glass and blood left on the city hall steps. When the kids spilled into the street and into Kennedy Park, they continued to throw rocks. They smashed the windshield of a passing firetruck. They tipped over benches and even tried to tip over the park’s Christmas tree.

Soon, sheriff’s deputies arrived. So did Auburn police with clubs and helmets.

“I was one of the innocent bystanders,” said Knowlton, whose band did not perform that night. “We started to see rocks going through the windows and we got out of there.”

That night, 10 teenagers were arrested on charges ranging from malicious mischief to inciting a riot.

Four days later, the Sun condemned the teens’ actions in an editorial.

“It demonstrated that the wave of lawlessness which has been sweeping the country is having its effect in our own city, among our own young people,” read the editorial.

Though no one turned riotous this Saturday, there were moments when the 60-somethings in the crowd seemed like carefree teens, said documentarian Bill Maroldo, who filmed the show as part of a self-funded documentary about the PAL Hop bands. A separate crew also filmed the concert for a two-DVD video that will be released at a later date.

Maroldo watched as one aging couple danced atop loud speakers.

“They transported themselves back to that time,” he said. “They all did.”

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