Rock Concerts 2016 – The Summer of LiveGuitarSpotting
I Wanna Rock and Roll All Nite
I used to go to rock concerts all the time. But lately? Not so much, for a number of reasons.
Well, I recently took a look at the upcoming summer concert listings in my area, and was blown away by the number of interesting acts currently out on the road.
They say rock and roll is dead, but you wouldn’t know it based on the wide variety of options available to concert-goers in 2016. At least that’s what my wallet is saying.
Now this is not to suggest that there aren’t concerts worth seeing every year, but this is definitely a banner year for live music.
With album sales no longer generating the revenue they used to, concert tours remain the best way for musicians to get out and see the world, interact with their fans, and hopefully acquire a few of those canvas bags with a big dollar sign on the side, to toss into the back of the tour bus.
Welcome to the Jungle
Perhaps the 2 biggest pieces of rock concert news in 2016 involve controversial Guns n’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.
Most GNR fans know that the original band performed their final concert in 1993, and broke up for good a few years later. Axl continued on with a new version of Guns n’ Roses, touring sporadically while working on the album Chinese Democracy, which was finally released in 2008. While rock fans were never sure exactly what went down between Axl and lead guitarist Slash, most were pretty certain they would never work together again.
In 2012, paparazzi spotted Axl leaving the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and asked him if he would ever reunite with the original lineup: “Not in this lifetime,” he replied.
So of course, it was massive news in late 2015 when rumors began circulating that Guns n’ Roses (with Axl, Slash and bassist Duff McKagan back together again) would headline the Coachella Music Festival on April 15–17 and 22–24 (playing the Saturday night show each weekend) in front of 99,000 people out in the desert near Indio, California.
Prior to Coachella, the reunited Guns n’ Roses performed a secret warm-up gig at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on April 1, and storm clouds were threatening when Axl suffered a broken bone in his foot.
However, the show must go on, and with a little help from an onstage chair previously designed for an injured Dave Grohl, the Coachella GNR shows went off without a hitch. The band is currently in the midst of a worldwide stadium tour called, appropriately enough, the Not in This Lifetime Tour.
The high profile festival also featured performances by a reunited LCD Soundsystem each Friday night (Calvin Harris headlined both Sunday shows). Ice Cube’s performance at Coachella featured a reunited NWA performance as well.
Meanwhile, AC/DC was on tour earlier this year when they learned that lead singer Brian Johnson was advised by doctors to stop touring immediately, or risk complete hearing loss. The band decided not to continue with Brian on lead vocals, and the remaining tour dates were initially postponed.
However, once again Axl Rose came to the rescue and agreed to perform as lead singer for the band during those concerts, and by most accounts did an excellent job. The remainder of the tour was affectionately referred to by fans as the AXL/DC Tour.
But the story of the live rock concert scene in 2016 doesn’t only involve Axl Rose.
The sheer number of acts on the road this year is amazing, and some of the biggest names in rock and roll are currently on tour.
The remaining members of the Beatles are still out doing their thing. Paul McCartney is doing a series of summer shows in the United States and Canada in July and August, and Ringo Starr just announced a series of dates for October and November.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are currently rocking packed houses around the world, often performing shows in excess of three hours long on The River Tour 2016. There’s also Sting and Peter Gabriel, co-headlining the Rock Paper Scissors Tour.
Bob Dylan’s out doing some live dates to promote his new album Fallen Angels. Radiohead are performing dates in support of their most recent album A Moon Shaped Pool. And Coldplay will be out on the road all summer long.
Adele is touring North America into November. And Kanye West is planning to hit the road in late August, with 39 concerts currently scheduled.
Of course, summer means festivals, and there are all kinds of them this summer. There’s Burning Man, Lollapalooza, Vans Warped Tour, Bonnaroo, Firefly Music Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Summerfest, and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in North America. And there’s Glastonbury, Rock am Ring, Tomorrowland, Reading & Leeds Festivals, in Europe.
Among MANY others.
In addition to all the acts mentioned so far, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Sigur Rós, Justin Bieber, Duran Duran, The Used, Culture Club, and 3 Doors Down are also touring this summer. Even some of the few bands that aren’t on the road at this moment have a few dates scheduled here and there later in 2016, including Pearl Jam and Tool.
And that’s not all! We just decided to stop adding names before we wear the fingerprints right off our fingers from typing so much.
Lastly, 2016’s festival schedule, doesn’t just include the summer.
The festival season will go out with a bang right where it started at Coachella, out in the desert once again with an unbelievable lineup of legendary acts performing at the Desert Trip Festival from October 7-9.
The festival will kick off on Friday, October 7, with performances by the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. On Saturday night (October 8), fans can see Paul McCartney and Neil Young.
The festival concludes on Sunday, October 9, with performances by Roger Waters and The Who.
For more information about the Desert Trip Festival, visit:
You can search for concert listings by band, city or venue at www.pollstar.com.