Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016's Biggest (Non-Festival) Gigs

A brief break from festival news to mention some large-scale events we expect next year from bands that tend to create their own festival-like scene. 

The Summer of 2015 was a big one for the touring industry, with U2, the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, AC/DC, One Direction, the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well, and more filling stadiums from coast to coast. This coming summer is unlikely to match that scale. However, we do see a number of big tours and gigs coming over the horizon, including the anticipated "final" Coldplay tour later this summer. 

Chief among them may be a long-awaited  tour from semi-reunited Coachella headliner Guns 'n Roses. While little can be said with certainty about its volatile collection of personalities, we believe that the band is in fact planning a national stadium tour for this summer, as has been reported. We'd expect some arenas to be mixed in as well, but forecast stadium shows in major markets like New York and the Bay Area among others, probably along with another festival headlining slot at Chicago's Lollapalooza.

Pearl Jam
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Pearl Jam will also head back out on the road in the Spring and Summer of 2016, hitting mostly arenas in the Eastern half of the country, but with a stadium or three mixed in along with the band's headlining slot at Bonnaroo (and possibly New Orleans Jazz Fest?), to be announced next week. We anticipate one or more baseball stadium shows in major Northeastern markets, including Fenway Park, as well a stadium show in Chicago, where our understanding is that the band is exploring options at both Wrigley and Soldier Fields, the latter for a potential "PJ25" event over the July 4th weekend.

The Dead (& Company)
Potentially trading places with Pearl Jam will be Dead & Company, who will switch from last summer's Soldier Field event to Alpine Valley (which may inaugurate a new camping section to be expanded in 2017) the following weekend as part of a summer filled with a number of large-scale events, including Bonnaroo and probably Outside Lands, a July 4th weekend stand in Colorado, possibly at Boulder's Folsom Field, a big gig or two in Queens, possibly at Citi Field in late June, and perhaps more stadium shows including Fenway Park. More speculatively, the band's biggest gig of all just might be an event at Watkins Glen International Raceway, where a reunited Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts theoretically could help commemorate the Dead, Alllman Brothers, and Band's huge 1973 summer jam there.

Phish, DMB, and Mumford & Sons (oh my)
The Dead's descendants in Phish will also play a big gig weekend or two this Summer in addition to their usual amphitheater jaunt. We expect their Summer tour to kick off Memorial Day weekend with a stand at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds (site of Rock in Rio USA, taking this year off before a return in 2017) and to lead up to another on the beach in the East Coast's own gambling mecca, Atlantic City, where camping may be offered at an adjacent site. In between, look for the band to make a return to Washington State's Gorge Ampthitheater (another potential PJ25 location?) and possibly join Pearl Jam and play two nights at Wrigley in late June. Look as well for Phish's jammy brethren in the Dave Matthews Band to play a stadium show or two as well, albeit on a smaller scale - they and fellow folksters Mumford & Sons will inaugurate New Orleans' minor-league Zephyr Field as a new concert venue this Spring. DMB will also appear at Alpine Valley and possibly Atlantic City in addition to their regular Labor Day feature at the Gorge. Look for all three acts to appear at upstate New York's large Saratoga Performing Arts Center as well.

And more (pigs may fly)
Near-last and with near-least certainty, we hear whispers that Roger Waters may take to the American road this summer. Yankee Stadium and the LA Coliseum, perhaps? In the wake of the possible cancellation of New York's Panorama Festival, it's our understanding that LCD Soundsystem may play a single-day, festival-style concert in the New York area in association with the same promoter. Finally, look for Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails to join Adele and other big names on the arena circuit later this year, the latter bringing with them a spectacular new production. 

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