Nationals – May 2019

By: Eric Hoffman

Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! Last month began with the 12th annual Singer-Songwriter Conference in Cape May, New Jersey. Two days that featured over 150 artists at 15 showcase venues. Keynote speaker and featured artist, Erin McKeown, played an intimate show at the historic Congress Hall, a building providing hospitality since 1816. The multi-instrumentalist folk singer has a career spanning 20 years. McKeown has released 15 studio albums and is a very talented artist who has toured with Ani Difranco and released an album on her label Righteous Babe Records.

A huge highlight last month involved seeing BRONCHO play Metro Gallery in Baltimore on April 2. The Oklahoma based band was touring for their latest release ‘Bad Behavior.’ The indie-rock band has had several songs appear in different HBO series and have produced 4 albums since their inception in 2010. BRONCHO make incredible catchy music and are fantastic in concert. Their latest record seemed slightly more “pop” than previous efforts, but has been well received by critics. Notable songs from BRONCHO include, “Class Historian,” “I Wanna Put It Where Kurt Put It,” and the recent “Keep It In Line” and “Big City Boys.”

April also included a music road-trip South visiting music sights in Charlotte, NC – Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN – which included catching The Bouncing Souls and The Bronx at Masquerade in Atlanta. The Souls are touring sporadically in 2019 celebrating their 30th Anniversary. The punk band from New Jersey also released a 6-song Crucial Moments EP in March to celebrate the anniversary. They always put on a solid show filled with the band’s hits but The Bronx really stole the show, as one of the best live bands out there. Both bands return to the East Coast with shows in Pittsburgh on August 11 and Silver Spring, MD on December 18.

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls played Harrisburg for the first time on April 20. The English punk folk singer was the first artist to sell-out the massive Club XL a month in advance. A very engaging show in which Turner asked for plenty of crowd participation. Turner has 83 shows booked in 2019, and Harrisburg was the second show of his US Tour “Be More Kind.” Congratulations to Harrisburg University who helped bring this concert to the Capitol City

NATIONAL NEWS: Former Guns N Roses manager, Alan Niven, revealed that a reunion between the band and guitarist Izzy Stradlin is closer to happening. Niven said, “They expect to have Izzy on stage and not just for a sound pass, but for a full performance. It’s something like ‘let’s see how he is, if he’s feeling comfortable, and from there we can prepare for next year’. Guns N Roses will return to “Not in This Lifetime Tour” on September 28 and everything points to Stradlin playing this performance. If all goes well, it is very likely that Guns announce his definitive return. Izzy Stradlin left GNR in 1991.

Morrissey has announced a headlining tour of the U.S. featuring special guest Interpol. Moz kicks off the run September 5 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. and continues until Oct 6. Morrissey however is notorious for cancelling and postponing his performances due to health issues. This tour is in promotion of California Son, his forthcoming covers album.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top announced an expansive 50th anniversary tour. The 34-show tour will hit amphitheaters and arenas throughout the United States and includes select dates with Cheap Trick and Lynyrd Skynyrd. “It’s been five decades, and I think we’re starting to get pretty good at all this!” the band’s Billy Gibbons said in a statement. “We’re playing our bluesy kind of rock like we started in ‘69. The beards are perhaps a bit longer, yet nothing else has changed. We’re keeping it that way.” ZZ Top plays Burgettstown, PA on September 11 and Ocean City, MD on September 13.

Metal legend Ozzy Osbourne will not play any of his scheduled 2019 tour dates, due to recovering from an injury sustained while dealing with a recent bout of pneumonia. “I can’t believe I have to reschedule more tour dates,” Osbourne said, “Words cannot express how frustrated, angry and depressed I am not to be able to tour right now. Just know that I am getting better every day .. I will recover .. I will finish my tour .. I will be back!” Ozzy Osbourne was set to play Hersheypark Stadium on June 6.

Woodstock 50 ticket on sales are postponed while the festival’s permit application continues to be reviewed by New York officials. Woodstock 50 is slated to take place Aug 16-18 at Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York with a lineup featuring Jay-Z, Dead & Company and The Killers. The Woodstock 50 website indicates that tickets will be “on sale soon.

Guitar god, Eric Clapton announced three more concerts in September. The legend will play San Francisco (Sept 11), Las Vegas (Sept 13) and Phoenix (Sept 14) – which leads up to the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas Sept 20-21. Clapton has scaled back his touring in recent years – in early 2018, the musician, now 74, shared that he has tinnitus. Last year, he played two shows at NYC Madison Square Garden selling 30,496 tickets and grossed $6.74 million.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie announced a co-headlining U.S. summer tour. The tour will hit the road beginning July 20 in Bethel, NY. Both artists have remained active for many years. In 2017, Blondie released its 11th studio album, Pollinator and Costello reunited with The Imposters in late 2018 for, ‘Look Now’, his first album with that group in a decade. The co-headling tour visits The Anthem in Washington DC on July 26 and Philadelphia July 27. Blondie will headline a show of their own at York’s Strand Theatre on June 23.

Mike Fraser, AC/DC sound engineer, confirmed Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd are rejoining AC/DC to release a tribute album to Malcolm Young and will be back on tour with the band. Johnson was forced off stage during the “Rock or Bust” tour due to issues threatening his hearing loss for good. Johnson, however has made fleeting appearances on stage joining artists including Robert Plant, Billy Joel, Paul Rodgers, Muse and Mick Fleetwood.

The Rolling Stones postponed their latest tour so Mick Jagger could receive medical treatment. The band said Jagger was told by doctors, “he cannot go on tour at this time,” and “is expected to make a complete recovery by summer so that he can get back on stage as soon as possible.” Mick Jagger, 75, received heart valve surgery earlier this month. The Stones’ 17-show No Filter Tour is being rescheduled and ticket holders are advised to hold on to their existing tickets.

UPCOMING SHOWS: Insane Clown Posse – Reading Reverb May 4. Santigold – Philadelphia Fillmore May 5. Anthrophobia – Lancaster Chameleon May 6. Toilet Boys – NYC Bowery Electric May 9. Jerry Joseph – Harrisburg Abbey Bar May 10. The Hives / Refused – Philadelphia Franklin Hall May 18. L7 – Silver Spring, MD Fillmore May 28. L7 – Philadelphia Union Transfer May 29. Southern Culture on the Skids – Lancaster Chameleon May 31. The Distillers – Washington DC 9:30 Club May 31.