Sunday, April 5, 2015

Stones Unzipped, with the Dead on deck

The Rolling Stones have finally announced their Zip Code tour of North America. Here at the Festival Forecaster, we not only gave you all of the tourdates in advance, we were also the first to reveal the location plus date of many of the shows, including Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City, and Minnesota, many of which we listed several weeks before the band themselves did. Rather than simply pat ourselves on our back, though, we now have more information for you!

This "Zip Code" tour is so named not just for its visits to smaller cities, but also for its musical theme - the band's classic Sticky Fingers album, with its famous zippered cover, set for a rerelease the day after the tour opener. While we don't expect the band to play the album in its entirety on the tour, we do think that they may do so at a warm-up show in Los Angeles that we expect to be webcast and taped for later dvd release. 

We still expect the Los Angeles show (or shows) to take place in the week before the San Diego tour opener, around May 20th, and believe that it will occur at either the historic Shrine Auditorium, which has hosted the Academy Awards and the Grammys and is home to North America's largest proscenium stage, or at the nearly as large Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, which hosts the American Music Awards and is owned by the Stones' tour promoter, AEG Live. If the Stones prefer a more intimate setting, they may opt instead for AEG's smaller Club Nokia or the historic United Artists Theatre at the Ace Hotel downtown. Further details may be forthcoming later this month. 

And we don't think LA is all. We think the Stones will play more and possibly even smaller shows (we don't expect any additional large stadium dates) in and around the tour, including in or near big cities Chicago (a surprise club show between San Diego and Columbus on May 27th or 28th?), New York (the Live Earth Festival at MetLife Stadium on June 18 and perhaps additional shows at historic Forest Hills (tennis) Stadium at the end of the tour, circa July 18th-26th), and Toronto (an appearance at famous Massey Hall before or after the New York shows, perhaps?). We also wouldn't be shocked if the band made a surprise appearance in New Orleans between Orlando and Nashville. 

We also have more news on the upcoming Grateful Dead concerts this Summer. In our last discussion, we forecast additional events featuring some or all members of the Dead both in June and later this Summer and Fall. While we still anticipate additional anniversary events of some sort later this year, including at Summer festivals like Lockn' and perhaps The Peach (but not Outside Lands), we are now growing more confident in the possibility of a short cross-country tour in June, leading up to the July 4th weekend. 

As said before, we have some confidence that there will be "Grateful Dead" concerts the weekend before Chicago at Levi's Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area, likely involving most or all of the same lineup featuring Phish's Trey Anastasio, the Dead's Phil Lesh, and Bruce Hornsby. If there are additional shows preceding those events, however, some or all may involve a slightly different lineup with different guitar, bass, and keyboard players. Assuming the deal goes down, we think the schedule will look something like this: 

6/13 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Manchester, TN?
6/15-16 Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA?
6/18 Live Earth Festival, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 
6/19-21 (2 shows?) Citi Field, New York, NY
6/22-25 (3 shows?) Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
6/26-28 (2 shows, probably the 27th and 28th) Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

We expect the Levi's Stadium and possibly additional shows to be announced very soon.

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