Nationals – June 2024

Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! Warm weather has brought the concert season back in full swing in Central PA with countless shows at XL Live including Neon Trees (April 23), Beach Fossils (April 26), The Heavy Heavy (April 27), The Doors tribute (May 10) and Frank Turner (May 23). An amazing surprise was opening act, Nation of Language, at XL Live on April 26.    The three-piece indie pop band from Brooklyn, NY was extremely impressive with their post punk synthpop sound. Nation of Language will return to Washington DC’s 9:30 Club on June 16. The Dahmers from Sweden toured America for the first time with 16-shows and played a fantastic set at York’s Skid Row Garage on May 1. The band calls themselves a rock ’n’ roll horror sensation with a tornado of music influences like garage punk, classic rock and 60’s pop. Local band shows included Harrisburg’s The Super High-Tech Jet Fighters at Metropolis on May 3 and Mechanicsburg’s Reilly and the Pick ‘Em Ups at Metropolis on May 17. An all-star band consisting of Richard Reilly (Victims), Mike Giblin (The Split Squad), Dan Kibler (El Kabong) and Ryan Sohmer (Jet Silver). The Lebowskis also made their first public appearance in 8 years playing an incredible show to a massive crowd at HMAC’s Stage On Herr on May 4. The legendary, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, played Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA on May 11 performing classic songs “Cinnamon Girl,” “Like A Hurricane” and “Hey Hey, My My.” And finally, highlight concert this month was the return of grunge band, L7, to Mickey’s Black Box in Lititz on May 18. A phenomenal night including opening band,  Anthrophobia, and the unforgiving fast punk rock thrashing freight train of L7. The all-female band plowed thru hits “Everglade,” “Shove,” “Pretend We’re Dead” and “Shitlist.” L7 recently concluded their 8-date East Coast “May Daze Tour” on May 19 at Sonic Temple Festival in Columbus, Ohio.

NATIONAL NEWS: Steve Albini, who produced and recorded some of the most influential alternative rock music of all time, including Nirvana’s landmark In Utero and Pixies’ Surfer Rosa, died at 61. It was confirmed on May 2 that Albini died of a heart attack in his Windy City home. Albini recorded some of the most acclaimed albums of the late 1980s including the Breeders, PJ Harvey, The Jesus Lizard, Urge Overkill, Superchunk, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Fugazi and more. Albini was as well known for being a sharp critic of the music industry, including of some of the bands he recorded, and authored a legendary essay, “The Problem With Music,” in December, 1993 with comments like: “Nobody on earth could make the Smashing Pumpkins sound like the Beatles.”

On May 4, Madonna transformed Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach into the world’s largest dance club as she performed the final night of her “Celebration Tour” before some 1.6 million fans, making it the largest audience ever assembled for a stand-alone concert. The free show surpassed the Rolling Stones’ record-setting Feb. 18 2006 “Bigger Bang” concert in the same location, which had brought in 1.5 million fans. It’s only fitting the Queen of Pop’s grand finale for her “Celebration Tour,” which celebrates her magnificent record-setting 40-year career, would be one of her greatest feats. Madonna’s just-wrapped tour grossed over $227 million and sold 1,128,657 tickets over the course of 80 shows (and which does not include the final Rio date which was a free show). 

Jane’s Addiction’s classic lineup reunited, playing together for the first time in 14 years. Ahead of their nearly sold out European tour, which kicked off May 27, the band played a small intimate warm-up gig at Bush Hall in London with original members Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Eric Avery. The band also debuted a new song “Imminent Redemption” – the first new material from the original band in 34 years. Bassist Avery had rejoined the band in 2022 after leaving a second time in 2010, Navarro had been battling long COVID and therefore sat out the 2022 reunion shows.

Billie Eilish’s third studio album, Hit Me Hard And Soft, released on May 17, and the singer unveiled arena dates featuring shows across North America, Australia and Europe. Eilish will perform 79 concerts on her tour including Baltimore Oct 4, Philadelphia Oct 5 and three nights at Madison Square Garden Oct 16, 17, 18. Throughout the trek, Eilish will continue her sustainability efforts with partners iSupport+Feed, the non-profit founded by her mother, Maggie Baird, which encourages plant-based eating in venues. 

Dead & Company began their residency at the Sphere in Las Vegas on May 16, which is the venue’s third residency so far. If there was a band tailor-made for wowing audiences at Sphere it would be Dead & Company with spectacular production and improvisational performances. The band’s 24-night residency, kicked off with the audience treated to stunning images of the original Dead’s ’60s-era house in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. As the image pulled back, it shifted to an eventual view from space, which at times was hard for the audience not to feel like they were the one moving. The concert lasted over 3.5 hours and is a must for Deadheads.

Lenny Kravitz is also visiting Sin City as he plays Dolby Live at Park MGM for his “Blue Electric Light Las Vegas” shows taking place Oct. 18 to 26. The dates support his new album, Blue Electric Light, released on May 24. 

With Live Nation citing “overwhelming demand” and 1 million tickets already sold, nine U.S. dates have been added to Justin Timberlake’s 2024 world tour. His tour consisting of 86-shows so far includes Hersheypark Stadium July 4, Baltimore July 3, Philadelphia Oct 11, Washington DC Oct 13 and Pittsburgh Dec 14. The tour supports the release of Timberlake’s Everything I Thought It Was, his sixth studio album, which dropped March 15. 

David Gilmour has added a third date to his run at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, with shows now scheduled to take place on Oct. 29, 30 and 31. The shows mark Gilmour’s first time playing Los Angeles in eight years and supports his upcoming album, Luck and Strange, set for release on Sept. 6. Gilmour’s last concerts took place during his five shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London from Sept. 23 to 30 in 2016. 

The Black Keys just canceled their entire North American 31-date “International Players Tour” without any reason being given by the band. The tour was to kick off in September to support their new album “Ohio Players” and has been officially marked “canceled” on Ticketmaster, amid speculation from industry insiders claiming poor ticket sales. The only exception seems to be their upcoming performance at NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race set to take place on July 6.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion, a popular tourist attraction and the singer’s final resting place, is at the center of a court fight as it appeared to be headed for a foreclosure auction on May 23. But a Judge has halted the sale after Presley’s granddaughter, actor Riley Keough, is fighting back with a lawsuit that alleges fraud. She claims a company forged her late mom Lisa Marie Presley’s signature to push forward a sale of Graceland. “The estate is considered unique under Tennessee law, and in being unique the loss of the real estate will be considered irreparable harm,” Judge Jenkins stated at the hearing, which neither Keough nor the defendant, a company called Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC, attended. Naussany claims that Lisa Marie borrowed $3.8 million and gave them a deed of trust encumbering Graceland as security before she died – Keough’s lawsuit claims all signatures are forged and the notary claims she did not in fact notarize anything. Elvis Presley bought Graceland for $102,500 at the age of 22 in 1957 and passed away at the residence in 1977.

JUNE CONCERTS: Bush / Daughtry – Grantville Hollywood Casino June 1. Menzingers – Harrisburg HMAC June 6. Warrant / Lita Ford – Grantville Hollywood Casino June 7. Surface Noise – Harrisburg Little Amps June 7. Ocean Blue – Harrisburg Fort Hunter June 8. Rolling Stones – Philadelphia Lincoln Financial June 11. Brom Bones – Lancaster ABAG June 14. Rick Springfield / Richard Marx – Grantville Hollywood Casino June 14. Stevie Nicks – Hersheypark Stadium June 15. Nation of Language – Washington DC 9:30 Club June 16. Kurt Vile – Harrisburg HMAC June 17. Cosmic Psychos – Philadelphia Kung Fu Necktie June 19. Jenny Lewis – Harrisburg Riverfront June 21.