Best Of Rock: 10 Concerts To Catch In 2014
By Ralph Greco, Jr.
Looking at the roster of concerts for 2014, I feel a bit like Al Pacino in The Godfather III when he complains, “I thought I was out, but now they pull me back in.” There are some decidedly old rockers going out on tour the latter part of this year (or are already on tour), some reunions occurring, a festival or two worth checking out, and even evidence that hell is indeed freezing over indeed with the appearance of one artist back on the concert stage after 35 years. Here are 10 concerts I’m keeping my eye on (and maybe even attending) in 2014.
1) Rick Wakeman – Man, time sure does fly when you’re having fun, huh? It’s been 40 years since Wakeman’s seminal prog opus Journey To The Center of The Earth was released: the former Yes keyboardist is touring 2014 with a show featuring the album cut into two halves — the first half with Wakeman talking about the piece and second half playing it. There are no set U.S. dates set as of this writing, but the rumor is the caped ivory tickler is ‘skipping over the pond’ with this outing for sure.
2) Fleetwood Mac – After 15 years Christine McVie returns to her band and though individual ticket prices are already set at some venues round a $400.00 price tag(!) if this soap opera of a band can keep their s*** together maybe McVie (always one of the more solid songwriters here and a killer vocalist/keyboard player) might even be able to halt Lindsey Buckingham’s indulgences and make for a great show, and album to follow?
3) Kate Bush – The British chantreuse toured once, 35 years ago and vowed never to do so again. Rumors are she was too distraught over the death of her lighting man and close friend; others that her fear of flying made a true tour just impossible. Either way, Bush is playing a 15- date Before the Dawn residency (the shows sold out in just under 15 minutes) at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith in London this August and September.
4) British Summer Time Festival – On July 4th, London’s Hyde Park welcomes Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Faith No More and Motorhead. That’s a loud and killer lineup! Fans can recover the next day when The Libertines reunite for a second day that also includes The Pogues. The festival continues the next weekend with Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Tom Jones.
5) Aerosmith & Slash – After they complete their final European dates, Aerosmtih will be back in the States for a run with Slash as their opening act on the Let Rock Rule tour. Another loud one not to be missed.
6) Grammy® Festival at Sea: Women Who Rock – Well hello there ladies. This cruise invests the very recent cruise concert outings with a decidedly feminine spirit. Sailing out of Miami on November 4, there will be four days of music and island hopping with performances by Heart, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin and many others.
7) Guns N’ Roses – It does seem residencies are becoming de rigueur for older acts. GNR are sliding into Las Vegas for their second one in Sin City in two years. For nine shows from May 21 through June 7, Axl Rose and company will present their No Trickery! An Evening of Destruction show at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
8) Rock am Ring 2014 – Nurburg, Germany hosts a heavy weekend of metal cross the stage June 5- 8. Iron Maiden, Nine Inch Nails and Metallica are just three of the many bands performing.
9) Billy Joel – Called both a “franchise” and “residency,” the Piano Man will continue to play Madison Square Garden, the only concert hall for New Yorkers, as of this writing, once a month for the rest of 2014, along with a handful of shows in select U.S. cities through August.
10) British Invasion Tour 2014 – Presently rolling through on to the end of the year, the British Invasion tour features Gerry and The Pacemakers, Chad & Jeremy, Billy J. Kramer, Mike Pender’s Searchers and Denny Laine. I have caught a few of these package shows featuring older artists and these guys can still play. You get a taste of the hits you know and love with the whole vibe of the old true package tours. With so much talent on the roster, it’s another no-miss concert for 2014.