By: Eric Hoffman
Greetings Rockers ‘N’ Rollers! Welcome to Spring, which announces many tours coming this Summer. Last month began with hardcore hip hop artists Insane Clown Posse destroying Reverb in Reading, PA on March 8th. The infamous face-painted duo brought their elaborate stage performance per usual spraying the crowd with three to four hundred two-liter bottles of Faygo soda throughout the night. A concert experience like no other in which ICP raps and keeps it truly entertaining. I was fortunate to meet with the band before the show – who really spend quality time with their fans. Insane Clown Posse has recorded 17 records and earned two platinum and five gold albums. The entire catalog of the group has sold 6.5 million units in America as of April 2007.
Lancaster brought its 3-day annual Roots & Blues Festival on March 9-11. An event that takes over downtown Lancaster and includes 9-venues and a hundred different bands. It was great to see Tommy Conwell & the Young Rumblers headline Saturday night’s festivities. The band was widely popular in the ‘90s and has been reuniting lately in their hometown of Philadelphia about once a year. This was a rare occasion for the band to play Lancaster. A great night of high energy blues and rock with the Young Rumblers all centered around Conwell’s guitar and voice. I wish to send festival organizer, Rich Ruoff, an immense thank-you for everything and a fantastic experience, congratulations on another successful year.
Buckcherry returned to the mid-state to play HMAC on March 11. The California-based band has received commercial success with popular songs, “Crazy Bitch” “Lit Up” and “Sorry.” A very impressive large crowd filled the Capitol Room on a Sunday night with three opening bands. The band’s membership has seen much turnover and currently consists of one original member, singer Josh Todd. Buckcherry have released 7 studio albums since they formed in 1995.
On March 13 Judas Priest began their latest tour “Firepower” at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre. The band currently in its 49th year since their inception are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and have sold over 50 million copies of their albums. Singer, Rob Halford, was incredible as always giving his operatic vocal style with impressive range from lower throaty growls to ear-piercing high screams with a strong vibrato. Judas Priest continue with their signature twin guitar sound despite losing members KK Downing and recently Glenn Tipton to Parkinson’s disease. However, Tipton appeared by the fifth concert date in New Jersey, playing the final 3-song encore. Judas Priest will conclude their tour on April 17 in Oregon.
NATIONAL NEWS: Steven Tyler has lined up a solo tour in North America and Europe. Tyler is exploring his country music stylings on this tour and will have Nashville’s Loving Mary Band backing him. The singer released his solo album, “We’re All Somebody From Somehwere”, in July 2016. His band, Aerosmith, has only one commitment so far on May 5 at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Tyler’s tour is short consisting of eight shows in North America and seven in Europe. Steven Tyler visits Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA on June 24.
Culture Club has cooked up a summer tour with The B-52’s and special guest Tom Bailey from the Thompson Twins. Fans will hear great songs from the ‘80s like “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me,” Karma Chameleon” .. “Rock Lobster,” “Love Shack” and “Hold Me Now.” Culture Club lineup includes original members Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss as well as George Alan O’Dowd, aka Boy George. “We put together an amazing show that is going to be filled with hits and fabulous memories, we know it will be hands-down this summer’s best night out,” said Boy George in a statement. “The Life Tour” visits Vienna, VA on July 18 and Asbury Park, NJ on Aug 3.
Legendary singer, Cher, has more Las Vegas dates as well as another run booked at the Theater At MGM Harbor near Washington DC. Her show described as “Classic Cher” visits the suburb of Oxon Hill, Md on Aug 4-5, 7, 9 & 11-12. Cher’s last visit at MGM Harbor packed 3 shows moving 7,342 tickets total for a collective gross of $1,386,765. Cher’s return to Vegas and the Park Theater begins Oct. 31 and includes Nov. 2-3, 7, 9-10, 14 & 16-17.
Godsmack and Shinedown are co-headlining a tour across America this Summer. Like A Storm and Red Sun Rising provide support on select dates. Both bands are bringing new music to the tour. Godsmack’s first album in four years, ‘When Legends Rise’, arrives April 27 and Shinedown’s new album, ‘Attention Attention’ will drop May 4. “We really believe this could be a great moment in our band’s career and we plan on running on the road until at least fall of 2019,” Godsmack’s Sully Erna said in a statement. “We love the guys in Shinedown and we all go way back. There is a very strong mutual respect between our camps and we fell that this tour is going to be a must see!” The tour visits Camden, NJ on Aug 26 and Scranton, PA Aug 31.
Joe Jackson’s July tour has the singer/songwriter visiting towns he never played, for the very first time. Impressive since Jackson has been touring for almost 40 years. Jackson’s upcoming set of dates is being described as “one more ‘encore’” to his “Fast Forward Tour,” named after his 2015 album. Jackson’s game plan is to go deep into his marvelous catalog and play songs from across his career. Jackson’s announcement also promises “an unpredictable selection of covers and brand new, never before performed originals.” Joe Jackson visits Harrisburg’s Whitaker Center on July 17.
Eric Clapton announces his very short list of final North America dates for the year – two nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden Arena. Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan will appear as special guests Live Nation states that the Oct 6 & 7 evenings at Madison Square Garden are “the only two remaining North American shows this year.” Clapton last played The Garden in September 2017. As with almost all Clapton shows they were sell-out affairs, and moved more than 24,700 tickets for a total gross reaching almost $5.7 million.
Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters will rock through June. With special guests Elle King, Sheryl Crow, Jon Langford, Seth Lakeman, Jim James, Los Lobos and Lucinda Williams on select dates, the legendary Led Zeppelin frontman kicks off the fun in Atlanta on June 8 Plant sells an average of 3,000 tickets per show with an average gross of $165,000. Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters are touring in support of Carry Fire, released October 2017. They visit Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md on June 12.
Metallica will rumble across the continent beginning in September and will run through late March 2019. The North American leg is the latest outing that began in 2016 and became the 5th most successful tour in 2017, moving more than 1.6 million tickets for a total year’s gross of more than $153 million. Each show will include the DJ-fueled “Light It Up” preshow hosted by Jim Breuer. Metallica is playing many cities for the first time in 30 years. And they also visit Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa. on Oct 20.
UPCOMING SHOWS: Bush – Stroudsburg Sherman Theatre Apr 11. L7 – Philadelphia Trocadero Apr 13. Puddle of Mudd / Saving Abel – Harrisburg Club XL Apr 15. Brom Bones – Lancaster Brickyard Apr 20. Ministry – Baltimore RamsHead Live Apr 23. Luv Gods / Hybrid Ice – Harrisburg Club XL Apr 28.