Greetings Rockers ‘N’ Rollers! Last month began with legendary artist Rod Stewart, who brought his current tour to BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ. The 72-year old Stewart continues to put on amazing shows with classics ‘Maggie May, ‘Young Turks’ and ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.’ Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. He was knighted in his homeland England in 2016 for services to music and charity. Stewart is also estimated to have a fortune of £170 million, making him one of the 20 wealthiest people in the British music industry. Cyndi Lauper has been providing support for the tour, with her hits ‘Time After Time’ (written by The Hooters) and ‘Girl Just Want to Have Fun,’ (written by Robert Hazard).
Foreigner, Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience visited Hershey’s GIANT Center on July 15th. The classic band line-up played their popular songs from the 70’s to a near sold-out arena. Jason Bonham, is perhaps best known for being the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. In 2009, Bonham began his band as a live homage to his father’s band and have since toured world-wide. Cheap Trick performed an incredible set pulling many rarities from their archives like ‘Southern Girls’ and even covering The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting for the Man.’ Foreigner headlined the show and are touring to celebrate the band’s 40th Anniversary.
A new-band discovery this past month included seeing The Menzingers live at Lancaster’s Chameleon. A phenomenal show of great songs and infectious punk energy, with fans singing in unison. The punk rock band from Scranton, PA formed in 2006 and have released 5 studio albums. The Menzingers recently began touring for their latest album, ‘After The Party’. Epitaph Records signed the band in 2011 and are still currently members of the legendary punk label. The Menzingers have toured with many bands including Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag, Against Me! and Taking Back Sunday. They will tour the next 4 months with shows in Asbury, NJ 8/25, Moosic, PA 8/27 and Philadelphia, PA 9/16.
Sawyer’s Free Summer Concert Series continues to bring massive crowds to 2nd Street in downtown Harrisburg. Badfish (A Tribute to Sublime) played to a packed house on July 21st. Previous free shows this Summer have included: Rusted Root, Ben Gallaher, Saving Abel and a Reggae Fest. The next free show is August 24th with The Prince Experience (tribute). Possible future shows include Trapt and Almost Queen (tribute). C&C Music Factory is headlining a Sept. 22nd street festival for Downtown Improvement District. Great events brought to you by the John Harris Group.
NATIONAL NEWS: Lead singer Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park was found dead in his Palos Verdes Estates home, a small city near Los Angeles on July 20th. Bennington, 41, hanged himself from a bedroom door the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed. Linkin Park sold millions of records and emerged as leaders in the nu metal genre. The band has canceled its North American tour which was to begin on July 27th with a visit to Hersheypark Stadium on July 30th. The Grammy Award-winning group sold 10 million copies of their 2000 debut, “Hybrid Theory,” and then another 4 million with 2003’s multiplatinum “Meteora.” Both albums explored feelings of frustration and fury. Bennington struggled with drug and alcohol addictions at various times during his life. He said he had been sexually abused as a child and was homeless for months before the band found fame. Bennington was close friends with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, who died by hanging earlier this year. He was married to his second wife, Talinda, and is survived by six children.
Happy Valley Jam kicked off its first year at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA and featured some of the biggest acts in country. The concert July 8th featured Adley Stump, David Ray, Big & Rich, Chris Young and Blake Shelton. Happy Valley Jam was also a first for Beaver Stadium, which normally only hosts Pennsylvania State football games and other sporting events. Phil Esten, chief operating officer of the university, claimed the goal was to sell at least 30,000 of the 70,000 seats available. Happy Valley Jam decided to bring country to the stadium after seeing the popularity of Blake Shelton and other country shows at the city’s Bryce Jordan Center.
U2 bassist Adam Clayton recently thanked his bandmates of four decades for their support during his treatment and recovery for alcohol abuse years ago. “We have a pact with each other,” said Clayton, 57, who was receiving an award from MusiCares, “In our band, no one will be a casualty. We all come home, or none of us come home. No one will be left behind. Thank you for honoring that promise, and letting me be in your band.” Clayton said part of the reason he had a hard time quitting drinking was that, “I didn’t think you could be in a band and not drink. It is so much a part of our culture.” It was Eric Clapton who finally told him he needed help. “He didn’t sugarcoat it. He told me that I needed to change my life and that I wouldn’t regret it,” Clayton said. He credited another friend, The Who’s Pete Townshend, for visiting him in rehab, where he “put steel on my back.”
Liam Gallagher of Oasis is releasing his debut solo album “As You Were” on Oct 6th. – and will follow with his first-ever North American solo tour. The 9-date outing includes shows in NYC on Nov 27th, Washington DC on Nov 29th and Philadelphia’s Union Transfer on Nov 30th. Liam Gallagher’s touring band consists of: Jay Mehler on guitars, Mike Moore on guitars, Christian Madden on keyboards, Drew McConnell on bass, and Dan McDougall on drums.
KIX guitarist Ronnie Younkins has opened up about his drug addiction, saying that his “disease had gotten worse” after he relapsed several years ago following two decades of sobriety. Younkins missed a KIX concert in Pennsylvania in March when the rest of the group was unable to reach him. He was eventually found “not in great condition and very upset.” A month later, his bandmates revealed that he was “headed to a rehab facility” and promised that his spot in KIX would be “waiting for him” once he was ready to resume playing with the group. Younkins stated, “I’m living at a rehab now. I miss my daughter, and my son, and my home, but I’ve been there for almost two months now, and I’m going to move into a recovery home soon and stay there for a while.” A doctor had prescribed Ambien to help with insomnia which Younkins then became addicted too. And then within a month of his father’s death, “it lead to using heroin and cocaine again.” He added that he was “grateful” to his bandmates for standing by him through all his problems. “I love those guys in the band,” he said. “They’ve been my brothers, all of them, and KIX guitarist Brian Forsythe has been a big help, because he’s in the program as well, and yeah… So, I just want to get my shit together once and for all on a daily basis.” Younkins has returned to playing shows with KIX.
UPCOMING SHOWS: Blondie / Garbage Philadelphia Mann Center Aug 2. Rancid / Dropkick Murphys / Bouncing Souls Philadelphia Festival Pier Aug 3. Dirt Cheap York Fat Daddys Aug 4. Nickelback Hersheypark Stadium Aug 5. Social Distortion Stroudsburg Sherman Theatre Aug 8. Tommy Conwell Philadelphia Milkboy Aug 12. Guns N Roses / Live Hersheypark Stadium Aug 13. The Martinis Harrisburg Blue Moose Aug 25. Matchbox 20 Hersheypark Stadium Aug 28. Green Day Camden NJ BB&T Amphitheatre Aug 31.