Nationals – January 2024

Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! Happy New Year! 2023 was a historic record-setting year in the live music industry like never before seen. Total grosses for the top tours were up 46% to $9.17 billion from $6.28 billion the year previous. Ticket sales were up 18.4%, concert attendance was up 24.25% and ticket prices increased 23.33%. The concert industry was led by two record-setting tours by both Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ is the first tour ever to break the billion dollar gross revenue threshold. Swift accomplished the impossible in only eight months, in which she played 60 stadium shows for a massive $1,039,263,762 gross. Beyonce grossed $580 million in 56 shows. If Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ plays all 65 international dates slated for 2024, the 33-year old pop star will have a combined unfathomable gross of $2.165 billion – which is more than the GDP of 17 small nations. 

Beyond revenues and grosses, the year’s most game changing live event was easily U2’s opening of Sphere in Las Vegas. This technological marvel, filled with so much cutting edge and immersive technologies, will profoundly impact the live industry going forward and performance as we know it. Phish is the next band confirmed to play Sphere, with four shows booked at Las Vegas’ newest venue April 18th thru 21st. “From the moment we first heard about Sphere and its potential, we’ve been dreaming up ways to bring our show to this breathtaking canvas,” Phish frontman Trey Anastasio stated.

Legendary hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan are hosting the first-ever Las Vegas residency for a hip-hop artist. The Wu is bringing the power of Shaolin to the Strip February 9th and 10th and March 22nd and 23rd at The Theater at Virgin Hotels. More shows will be announced. “This residency is more than a concert – it serves as a tribute to their prolific careers as individuals and as the most storied group in hip-hop history,” Virgin said in a release.

Rush band members, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, recently gave an interview in which they discussed the possibility of touring without original drummer, Neil Peart. Lifeson stated, “Yeah, it’s hard to picture what comes next without him. Our nature just doesn’t allow us to quit.” Lee then admitted to considering it, “Yes, it’s been a subject of discussion. It’s not out of the question, but I can’t say for sure.” Peart passed away in 2020 from brain cancer, the band Rush has sold over 40 million albums. 

Def Leppard and Journey are set to hit the road next summer as the bands announce a joint stadium tour. The trek includes 23 cities and the bands will be joined by Steve Miller Band, Heart and Cheap Trick on select dates. Def Leppard is fresh off their stadium run alongside Mötley Crüe, which featured numerous sell-outs across the globe. The tour visits Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on July 23rd and Hersheypark Stadium on July 25th. Red Hot Chili Peppers are expanding their “Unlimited Love Tour” further into 2024 with special guests Kid Cudi, Ice Cube, Ken Carson, Otoboke Beaver, Seun Kuti, Wand and IRONTOM. The 16 new dates also include Pittsburgh’s Pavilion at Star Lake on July 2nd.

Ozzy Osbourne recently insisted on his podcast that he still has a few things left to accomplish during his time on this planet. “I’m not dead,” he said. “I’m not going any-fucking-where. And I’m gonna go up and do some more gigs before I’m finished away.” Nearly four years ago, Osbourne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that progresses slowly in most people, and has no cure. “That’s one of the things I’ve been most fucking pissed off at: I never got the chance to say goodbye or thank you. Because my fans are what it’s all about. If I can just do a few gigs.”

Iron Maiden sold a record-setting 42,000 tickets in only 21 minutes for their first concert in Bogota, Colombia in 13 years. The legendary heavy metal band’s much-anticipated return outpaced the sales of iconic acts such as The Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Madonna. It is the first concert in Colombia to sell out so far in advance, with the show planned for November 24, 2024 at El Campin Stadium. Colombia promoter stated, “We all expected strong sales but never in our wildest dreams did we think it would smash sales records. It is truly amazing. Up the Irons!”

Legendary New Jersey punks, The Bouncing Souls, just completed their 11-date East Coast “Ten Stories High Tour” with shows at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live on December 7th and Philadelphia’s Fillmore on December 15th. The Souls have been around since 1989 and brought historical hardcore band, 7 Seconds, to the Philadelphia show. 7 Seconds grew to popularity in 1985 with their cover of Nena’s ‘99 Luft Balloons.’ The Bouncing Souls released their 12th studio album “Ten Stories High” in March 2023. 

Harrisburg’s XL Live has been bringing great cover bands lately, including Caligula Blushed (The Smiths) and The Gathering Gloom (The Cure) together on December 8th. And also Back In Black (AC/DC) for “The Biggest Ball of Them All” with support from locals Road Case and Steel on December 23rd. Both fantastic nights of big crowds to hear classic alternative music and classic heavy metal. 

In Memoriam: Remembering those we lost in 2023. Jeff Beck (The Yardbrids – Jan 10), David Crosby (Crosby, Stills & Nash – Jan 18), Harry Belafonte (April 25), Gordon Lightfoot (May 1), Andy Rourke (The Smiths – May 19), Tina Turner (May 24), Tony Bennett (July 21), Sinead O’Connor (July 26), Robbie Robertson (The Band – Aug 9), Jimmy Buffett (Sept 1), Shane MacGowan (The Pogues – Nov 30).

JANUARY CONCERTS: Timmy’s Creep Show / The Super High-Tech Jet Fighters – York Skid Row Garage Jan 5. Ramoms – Philadelpha Johnny Brendas Jan 6. Steel – Hagerstown Trackside Jan 6. Hexbelt – HMAC Stage On Herr Jan 13. Stephen Pearcy (Ratt) – Baltimore Rams Head Live Jan 18. Jerry Joseph – Harrisburg XL Live Jan 18. Strangest Places – West Fairview Grotto Jan 19. Electric Love / Quinn and the Finns – Lancaster Tellus360 Jan 20. Oliver Tree / Fidlar – Philadelphia Met Jan 20. Riverboat Gamblers / Ravagers – Philadelphia Underground Arts Jan 26. Riverboat Gamblers / Ravagers / Wyldlife – Brooklyn NY TV Eye Jan 27.