Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tongues are Wagging...


It's time once again to update our news about this year's Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead concerts in America. 

A Little More Dead...
As predicted in our last post, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead have now announced additional appearances on top of their July 4th weekend stand in Chicago. All four members will appear as part of the multi-artist Dear Jerry tribute concert at Maryland's Merriweather Post Pavilion in mid-May, and three of four will take part in the Gathering of the Vibes Festival in Connecticut in late July/early August. While these have been announced as separate appearances, don't be surprised if the full band reunites for the encore of the May event. 

Stones Ready to Roll...
While more Grateful Dead events on both coasts may loom, in this post we'll focus again on the Rolling Stones, who are set to announce their North American tour tomorrow. As we predicted last time, the tour will hit mostly markets not visited on the Stones' last go-round, but it's now even bigger than we thought - scaled-up to stadium size and extended to roughly seven weeks, beginning in mid- to late-May. The tour will be themed around the re-release of the band's classic Sticky Fingers album, many tunes from which you can expect to appear in the semi-rotating setlists.

While we don't have all the precise dates and venues for the Stones tour, we do have a pretty good outline of how it's going to go down. Here are our predictions, in alphabetical order, for the tour's "15 on Fire" stops:

Buffalo, NY - Ralph Wilson Stadium, we think on July 11th or in the week following

Canada - the band will likely appear at Quebec City's Summer Fest at the Plains of Abraham, perhaps circa July 15th. Other possibilities include Ottawa's RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest at LeBreton Flats Park and the Pemberton Music Festival several days later in British Columbia

Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 2nd or circa June 8th

Detroit, MI - Comerica Park on June 20th or maybe the week of July 8th-15th

Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 4th. USA! USA!

Los Angeles, CA - a small kick-off appearance or two in mid-May, perhaps followed by a tour stop circa May 27th at the Hollywood Bowl or at the Stubhub Center in Carson in the days that follow, though we're not certain that LA gets a real tour date of its own. We also note backup singer Lisa Fischer's appearance at the Bowl as part of a Jazz at the Bowl triple-bill on August 5th. We would not be shocked if the as-yet-unannounced third act on the bill turns out to be Charlie Watts' great The A B C & D of Boogie-Woogie band.

Milwaukee, WI - Marcus Amphitheater on or about June 23rd

New York/New Jersey - Other than a possible television appearance (we've previously mentioned David Letterman's show, but Jimmy Fallon's and/or Saturday Night Live may be likelier), we don't necessarily expect a show in New York City proper. We do, however, think that there's a good chance of a Stones appearance nearby in New Jersey, perhaps at MetLife Stadium as part of the to-be-announced June 18th Live Earth concert and/or on their own the night before. A second show would likelier be at a smaller venue, perhaps the Jersey Shore's Monmouth Park Racetrack or Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. 

The Pacific Northwest - We're not sure about this one, but if the band does not play Pemberton, we believe they will hit the Northwest circa May 29th or 30th, at Seattle's CenturyLink Field or perhaps Portland's Providence Park. 

Pittsburgh, PA - PNC Park or Heinz Field, perhaps on June 20th or July 1st

San Diego, CA - Petco Park on May 23rd or 24th

The Southeast - This is the region where our picture is haziest. We do expect at least one appearance in or near Atlanta. A stadium or Principal Park show is possible, but we wouldn't be surprised if the band plays somewhere smaller, like suburban Alpharetta's Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park. That may not be all for smaller shows in the Southeast - we think the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston is a possibility, and there may be others. If Florida gets a show, though, we think it will be a big one, not in Miami but at Orlando's Citrus Bowl or Tampa's Raymond James Stadium. We also don't rule out a mid-June appearance at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival between Atlanta and Nashville, but do believe that the festival's headliner lineup is complete.

Texas - Dallas' Toyota Stadium and/or Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium circa the week of June 3-10. Our guess is Dallas on the 3rd or 6th and Houston on the 10th. 

One More? - Arizona and Ohio are on our list of maybes, but we think the likeliest place left off the list may be in or around Minnesota's Twin Cities in June (the 13th or maybe 27th?). Minneapolis's Target Field seems likelier than Wisconsin's Somerset Amphitheater. 

Or Two? - While we don't rule out an appearance at San Francisco's AT&T Park in late May or early June, we don't expect the Bay Area to be included on this tour. Likelier might be a later-announced appearance at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in early August, but that may just be a pipedream.

More Festival News to Come!
We will have more to say about both Outside Lands and Pemberton, as well as at least one other major North American festival, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned...

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