STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
The concert season for 2016 is just about over, and with holiday shopping hitting its peak this week, there’s not much to see as far as live events. But if you are still wondering what to get the music lover on your list, how about gifting them the joy of a concert? There are some excellent ones that have already been announced for next year. Here are seven of the biggest and best, which have already been announced or are on sale.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Feb. 12 and 13 at Wells Fargo Center
Following their well-received eleventh album, this year’s The Getaway, the Red Hot Chili Peppers return to the road with a vengeance. The better part of this year saw them perform as part of festivals around the world, and the funky foursome are currently wrapping up a European headlining tour. Early January will see them kicking off a proper North American tour, with two dates in Philly in mid-February.
Neil Diamond – June 20 at The Wells Fargo Center
At 75 years old and still going strong, Neil Diamond should provide some of today’s younger musicians a lesson that age isn’t but a number. “The 50 Year Anniversary World Tour” marks the half-century Diamond has been in the music business, a time period which has seen him sell 125 million albums and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, amongst many other bits of recognition.
Total Package Tour – June 24 at The Wells Fargo Center/July 5 at the PPL Center (Allentown)
New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul? Don’t laugh – this could turn out to be one of the top tours of the year. Late 80s and early 90s nostalgia is running at an all-time high, and who better to make out on it financially than some of the biggest names from the era? NKOTB have proven in recent years that they still have the fanbase, Philly’s Boyz II Men have never failed to deliver that smooth R&B sound, and Paula Abdul is celebrating her first return to the road since she first blew up – 25 years ago.
Tom Petty and The Heartrbreakers – July 1 at The Wells Fargo Center
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of their self-titled debut album, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers have released two companion vinyl box sets featuring their entire studio album repertoire. All LPs in the limited-edition box sets have been pressed on 180-gram vinyl with replica artwork. Several have been out of print on vinyl for years and most albums have been re-mastered. It only makes sense then that the band would celebrate the event with a 40th anniversary arena tour to go along with the celebration.
Roger Waters – Aug. 8 and 9 at The Wells Fargo Center
Not only is Roger Waters touring North America next year, he’s also planning to release a new album, his first in 25 years. Having spent the majority of his past tours performing Pink Floyd’s The Wall in an elaborate setup around the world in stadiums, ballparks and arenas, this time around will feature more solo tracks. Dubbed the “Us + Them Tour,” Waters told Billboard it will be an 80/20 mix of Floyd and solo material, good news for fans of the albums Amused to Death, Radios K.A.O.S and The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.
Guns N’ Roses – Aug. 13 at Hersheypark Stadium
When the reunited Guns N’ Roses return to the region next summer, they’ll be on the sixth leg of a tour featuring core members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan for the first time in 23 years. It’s staggering to think that not only would the jaunt have gone this smoothly, but also that it would be so successful; it’s already been named the highest grossing tour in North America for 2016 and last week they sold an unprecedented 1 million tickets for the newly announced dates. Those waiting for the wheels to fall off might want to stop holding their breath – Guns are firing on all cylinders.
Metallica – TBA
It’s been eight long years since the last Metallica album, but it’s been worth the wait with the solid Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, which came out last month, topping the charts around the world. Now fans are awaiting the announcement of a full North American tour, which the Bay Area bashers haven’t undertaken since 2009. Expect dates for the shows to be revealed within the coming weeks.