Nationals – March 2024

Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! There was a great play last month in Harrisburg titled “The Jackson Rooming House” which spoke of notable artists who stayed there including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and band leader Cab Calloway. Musicians could play Harrisburg but were barred from staying at the Penn Harris and other downtown hotels during segregation. The Jackson Hotel existed on North 6th Street in Harrisburg and was listed in the 1955 Green Book, an annual listing of black-friendly accommodations for travelers. The play giving homage to Harrisburg music history ran from February 10th thru the 25th at the Gamut Theatre.  

As for live concerts, the month began in Brooklyn, New York with an amazing punk show featuring The Riverboat Gamblers from Denton, Texas. The show took place at TV Eye and featured opening bands, Wyldlife from New York and Ravagers from Baltimore. Riverboat Gamblers did a quick 13-shows across America celebrating 20 years since their album ‘Something To Crow About’ was released. A fantastic evening with three great sets by excellent punk bands. Central PA’s Jet Silver returned on February 3rd with a show at The Underground Live (formerly Gulliftys) in Camp Hill. The BYOB establishment has changed names several times but continues to operate as a live music venue. The Jellybricks, Calling Hours and The Riot also joined Jet Silver for a good evening of nostalgia. 

Band of Horses played Baltimore’s Soundstage on February 9th to a sold-out crowd in which they performed the evening half acoustic and half rock. The band has released 6 studio albums, hails from Seattle and is most known for hits ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’, ‘The Funeral’ and ‘Is There A Ghost.’ Cat Power visited the Keswick Theatre outside of Philadelphia on February 13th to bring their tour covering Bob Dylan’s 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert in its entirety. Singer, Chan Marshall, recorded an album recreating Dylan’s performance and its exceptional. Cat Power toured last year with The Pixies and Modest Mouse and will continue that tour this Summer. The following night in Philadelphia brought newly melodic hardcore band, Militarie Gun, to the basement of First Unitarian Church. The L.A. band formed in 2020 is gaining fast notoriety with hit song, ‘Do It Faster’ and are selling out nearly every venue of their 31-shows currently across the States. 

Lastly, Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers returned to Harrisburg for their first show in 30 years at XL Live on February 17th. The Philadelphia-based band is considered royalty to the City of Brotherly Love and sporadically continues to do live shows as a full band. The concert was touted as a Metron Reunion, paying respect to the historic Metron nightclub on Cameron Street and included Shea Quinn (The Sharks) and Steve Swisher (Luv Gods) providing support. Conwell gained huge popularity in the late 80’s with hits, “Loves On Fire” and “Seventeen” and opened for such artists as David Bowie, Rod Stewart and George Thorogood. 

NATIONAL NEWS: Pearl Jam has announced a 35-date world tour in support of their 12th studio album, Dark Matter, hitting nine countries and 25 cities. The “Dark Matter World Tour” visits Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center September 7th & 9th. And Baltimore’s CFG Bank Arena on September 12th. Glen Hansard will provide support for the 2nd leg of North America. Pearl Jam’s new album releases April 19th and was recorded at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu with Grammy award winning producer Andrew Watt. Pearl Jam have sold 85 million records from a catalog of twelve studio albums since forming in Seattle in 1990.

Foo Fighters have joined the lineup for Power to the Patients, a non-profit concert fighting for affordable healthcare. Others performing at this year’s event include Fat Joe, Jelly Roll, Wyclef Jean, French Montana, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Chuck D, Method Man, Lainey Wilson, Valerie June, Shepard Fairey and Everclear. The private intimate show takes place on March 5th in Washington DC and intends to bring lawmakers together. Foo Fighters stated, “When we were asked by Power to the Patients to help raise awareness of the need for transparency in healthcare pricing, we immediately said yes.”

Neil Young and Crazy Horse will team up for their first tour together in 10 years this summer. The “Love Earth Tour” will include 17-dates of amphi-theatres including Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA on May 11th and Freedom Mortgage in Camden, NJ on May 12th. Neil Young went on a solo tour last summer and Neil Young + Crazy Horse have played sporadically together since that 2014 tour. 

Bikini Kill will return to North America in 2024 for 16 shows in August and September. The feminist punk band reunited in 2019 for the first time since 1997. Bikini Kill play Philadelphia’s Franklin Music Hall on September 9th and wrap the tour at Baltimore’s Soundstage for two nights September 11th & 12th. 

Justin Timberlake will embark on his first full tour in five years with 38-shows titled, “The Forget Tomorrow World Tour.” Timberlake made the tour announcement on Jimmy Fallon and his new album Everything I Thought It Was is set for a March release. Shows include Baltimore’s CFG Bank Arena July 3rd and Hersheypark Stadium on July 4th.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will be teaming up once again for a North American tour featuring their esteemed band. The “Can’t Let Go Tour” features 11-shows with support from JD McPherson. The setlist for the tour will feature tunes from Plant and Krauss’ collaboration albums – 2007’s Raising Sand, which won the Grammy award for Album of the Year, and 2021’s Raise the Roof as well as reimagined renditions of Led Zeppelin cuts like ‘The Battle of Evermore,’ ‘Rock & Roll,’ and ‘When The Levee Breaks.’ Stops include Burgettstown, PA on June 15th and Vienna, VA on June 18th & 19th.

AC/DC are embarking on a European Tour kicking off in May. The “Power Up” European run includes AC/DC’s core lineup of Angus Young, Brian Johnson, Stevie Young, and Matt Laug will be joined by Chris Chaney on bass, taking over from Cliff Williams. “We can’t wait to see you all out there,” AC/DC’s website reads. It’s the first tour by AC/DC in eight years. The band performed at “Power Trip,” the two-day rock and roll extravaganza at the Empire Polo Grounds in Southern California, Oct. 6-8. Singer Brian Johnson came out of retirement for that show, and Matt Laugh replaced Phil Rudd on drums.

Poison frontman Bret Michaels is running his Parti-Gras tour in summer of 2024.Michaels’ produced “Parti-Gras 2.0” will feature, in addition to Michaels himself, country singer Chris Janson, former Eagles member Don Felder, Twisted Sister lead singer Dee Snider and original Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm. The six-city limited date run with this lineup includes a hometown show Saturday, July 13th in Burgettstown, PA, close to Michaels’ birth town of Butler, PA. Michaels also visits Holmdel, NJ on Aug 30 and has yet to announce a sequel date to last year’s concert at Hollywood Casino in Grantville, PA.

Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Cher, Lenny Kravitz, the late Sinéad O’Connor, Oasis, Sade and Ozzy Osbourne are some of the 2024 nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Ozzy Osbourne, gets the nod as a solo artist, having already gone into the hall with Black Sabbath. Nominations also include Eric B. & Rakim, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Jane’s Addiction, Dave Matthews Band, and Kool & the Gang. Ten of the 15 nominees are on the ballot for the first time. Artists must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before they’re eligible for induction. The induction ceremony will take place in Cleveland this fall.

Turns out Dead & Company’s final farewell shows were a false twilight. The band consisting of Oteil Burbridge, Bob Weir, John Mayer, Mickey Hart, Jeff Chimenti and Jay Lane are returning for a run of shows at Sphere in Las Vegas. Dead & Company will play 24 shows over six weeks and will be the third to play at the technologically hyperadvanced venue, following U2’s 40-show run and Phish’s 4-shows in April. Tickets start at $145 and will utilize all-in pricing. Dead & Company promises “Each weekend’s three performances will feature a unique setlist.”

 Wayne Kramer, the co-founder of Detroit band the MC5, famous for hardcore anthem “Kick Out the Jams” died at age 75. Kramer died Feb 2 at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, the cause of death was pancreatic cancer. MC5 influenced everyone from the Clash to Rage Against the Machine, “Brother Wayne Kramer was the best man I’ve ever known,” guitarist Tom Morello wrote “His band the MC5 basically invented punk rock music.” Survived by his wife, Margaret Saadi, and son, Francis.

MARCH SHOWS: Labrys – Baltimore Metro Gallery March 8. KMFDM – Harrisburg HMAC March 11. Anthrophobia – Reading Nitro Bar March 12. Ministry / Gary Numan – Bethlehem Wind Creek Center March 20. REO Speedwagon / Rick Springfield – Reading Santander Arena March 20. Guster – Harrisburg XL Live March 27. Central PA Awards – Hershey Theatre March 28. The Orwells – Philadelphia Kung Fu Necktie March 30.