Nationals – July 2024

Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! Summer has finally arrived, as well as countless Summer tours. Hollywood Casino in Grantville began their Summer season with Bush and Daughtry on June 1 and also had Rick Springfield and Richard Marx on June 14. Harrisburg University Presents also began their Summer shows at Riverfront Park on June 21 with Jenny Lewis and June 23 with Fleet Foxes. Brooklyn-based synthpop band, Nation of Language, played an incredible sold-out show at Washington DC’s 9:30 Club on June 16. I first discovered the band when they opened for Beach Fossils at XL Live on April 26.

The Rolling Stones turned in a solid performance at Lincoln Financial Field on June 11 in Philadelphia. The “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” two-hour show produced an amazing set list of gems “Start Me Up,” “It’s Only Rock n Roll (but I like it),” “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” and “Satisfaction.” Their “Hackney Diamonds” tour consisting of 18 North American shows wraps up July 17 in California. Singer, Mick Jagger, will turn 81 on July 26. Cosmic Psychos (from Australia) also played Philadelphia on June 19 for a memorable performance at the awesome Kung Fu Necktie.

This past month’s highlight included a week-long trip to Los Angeles for several concerts and musical sights. Great shows including Raveonettes and Plague Vendor and the No Values Festival, which turned out to be the biggest punk/hardcore festival in U.S. history with over 40,000 in attendance. The event held on June 8 featured 42 bands on 4 stages including: Misfits, Iggy Pop, L7, Turnstile, The Bronx, Viagra Boys, Fidlar, Sean Wheeler (Throw Rag) among others. Two new band discoveries that day were Power Trip and Ceremony – both had unreal performances. A few musical destinations involved: Sam Cooke’s home, Tina Turner’s home, Eazy E’s childhood home in Compton, Marilyn Manson’s home, Ryan Adams’ Pax-Am recording studio and Glenn Danzig’s home.

Jane’s Addiction (with their original band members) and Love And Rockets are heading out on a co-headline tour in August and September, with dates at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, NJ on Sept 7 and The Rooftop at Pier 17 in New York City on Sept 10. The 25-date tour begins Aug 9 in Las Vegas. Jane’s Addiction supported The Smashing Pumpkins last year in Australia and Love And Rockets headlined theatres last summer.

Eagles announced 16 dates at Las Vegas’ boundary-breaking Sphere, with the legendary band set to play from Sept. 20 to Dec 14. The announcement confirms a year of rumors that Eagles would eventually play the new venue. Eagles will perform at Sphere for eight weekends. Highlights from Eagles’ current tour include two sold-out shows at Chicago’s United Center in March and they performed four sold-out shows at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum in January. Dead & Company have also added six shows in August to its summer-long residency at Sphere in Las Vegas. Bringing the total number of shows to 30. Dead & Company’s Sphere run began May 16. Reviews have created a buzz among the Deadhead community for a one-of-a-kind experience that taps into the Grateful Dead’s legacy of matching the songbook and lore with cutting-edge technology and visual art. Dead Forever — Live at Sphere, is one of the most psychedelic experiences that can be had without mind-altering substances of any kind. 

George Strait set a record for the largest single ticketed concert in U.S. history, with 110,905 in attendance for his June 15 show at Texas A&M Kyle Field with guests Parker McCollum and Catie Offerman. The total surpasses the reported 107,019 Deadheads in attendance at their 1977 show at Raceway Park in New Jersey. The Rolling Stones played a 2003 outdoor event at Downsview Park in Toronto that drew almost 500,000 to a paid show but, in the U.S., Strait has the record. A statement from Strait said that demand for the show had an economic effect in College Station’s west-central Texas region, too, “filling every hotel, bed & breakfast, and Airbnb within a 40-mile radius.”

Scooter Braun will end his illustrious career as a music manager to focus on his role as CEO of Hybe America. Braun, who has managed, among others, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dan + Shay became CEO of Hybe America in 2021 when Hybe acquired his company Ithaca Holdings in a deal estimated at $1.05 billion. Ithaca became widely known in 2019 when it acquired Big Machine Label Group, which included the masters to Taylor Swift’s first six albums. The dispute between Swift and Ithaca made Braun the subject of much vilification from Swifties. As a result, Swift re-recorded those albums, launching the “Taylor’s Version” series.

On June 21, the anticipated Outlaw Music Festival kicked off in Georgia – but without Willie Nelson, who was absent from the tour launch per doctor’s orders. Announced a few hours before the show, the 91-year-old music legend was “not feeling well,” with his medical team advising a rest of at least four days before resuming tour duties. Despite his absence, the tour began with performances from Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Celisse. The tour visits Hersheypark Stadium on July 7. 

R.E.M. took the stage together for a surprise performance at the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on June 13, marking the first time all four original members — Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry — had played together in public in 15 years. R.E.M. disbanded in 2011 and the last time all four musicians performed together took place during their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Rock Lititz in Lititz, Pennsylvania has now planned the opening of Rock Nashville, a creative hub, production facility and rehearsal space in Whites Creek area 10 miles north of downtown Nashville to open in fall 2025. Rock Nashville will encompass roughly 40 acres of development on the 55-acre site. The project will include three buildings with a cumulative footprint of just over 514,000 square feet including 15 studios, two of which are purpose-built production rehearsal studios. The overall campus will include 13 band and production rehearsal studios and be homebase to 485 employees.

Washington, DC’s HFStival was a staple of the summer for rock fans in our nation’s capital in the 1990s and early 2000s. The fest returns after 13 years, scheduled for September 21 at Nationals Park. The lineup features The Postal Service performing Give Up, Death Cab For Cutie performing Transatlanticism, Incubus, Bush, Garbage, Jimmy Eat World, Girl Talk, Violent Femmes, Tonic, Filter and Lit.

Cyndi Lauper will be hitting the road for a headlining tour across North America this fall. The 1980s icon announced the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Farewell Tour,” a 23-date run which will have Lauper visiting iconic venues, including a show in her hometown of New York. The announcement coincides with the release of “Let the Canary Sing,” a documentary that explores Lauper’s life and career. Lauper’s farewell tour visits Washington DC’s Capital One Arena on Oct 27 and NYC Madison Square Garden on Oct 30.

Jennifer Lopez has canceled her arena tour that was supposed to mark her first trek in five years. The singer/actress/dancer didn’t provide a reason for the cancellation but said she “wouldn’t do this if I didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary.” It was reported Lopez had called off seven dates due to weak ticket sales. Live Nation cited ‘Jennifer is taking time off to be with her children, family and close friends.” Earlier that same week, The Black Keys, also announced cancellation of their arena tour saying a revised set of dates in more intimate venues would be revealed soon.

JULY CONCERTS: The Bronx – Gilbert, PA Camp Punksylvania July 6. Janet Jackson – Hersheypark Stadium July 6. Willie Nelson Outlaw Festival – Hersheypark Stadium July 7. Brett Scallions (Fuel) – Brodheadville, PA Signature Events July 13. No Show Ponies / Surface Noise – Mechanicsburg Metropolis July 19. Drug Church – Amityville, NY Music Hall July 20. Foo Fighters – Hersheypark Stadium July 23. Tom Keifer (Cinderella) – Sayerville, NJ Starland Ballroom July 25. Orville Peck – Harrisburg Riverfront July 28.