A Look Ahead: Summer Tours

By Louie Wieseman

People love the summer for many reasons: the weather, going outside with friends, no school, and other fun reasons. Personally, there’s one thing I’m looking forward to this summer: summer tours and concerts.

Touring is the number one way that musicians and artists make money, it no surprise then that some artists constantly tour around the globe. Some tour to get word out about their album they’ve recently put out and showcase the full worth of that album. Other artists tour because they want to and for the exciting experience of playing to their fans. Whatever it may be, seeing your favorite band play live is one of the most exceptional experiences out there. So who is touring this summer?

Many pop artists are riding high off of their hits from the winter and early spring. If they’re lucky, they can draw in large numbers just by advertising these top hits or hits from their most recent album. Panic! At the Disco released Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! in October 2013. Bruno Mars, after a Grammy awarding-winning year and stellar Super Bowl halftime performance, is making another trip around the country. If you’re wanting a flashback to the early 2000s then look no further than Backstreet Boys touring with special guest Avril Lavigne this summer!

Bastille is at the top of many pop radio stations’ music rotation with their smash hit “Pompeii.” They will touring this summer with their album Bad Bloods, released in 2013. Katy Perry released her hit “Dark Horse” in January, 2014, and is still topping charts throughout the country. She will be touring around the country featuring her album Prism.

Younger concert goers will flock the 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) tour this summer.

Summer is the most popular time for country music tours. To them, the summer is about driving around with the windows down, hanging out in a small little town, and jamming out to some music, just as described in their lyrics. Country music is the embodiment of having fun during the summer. With many artists releasing albums in the fall, they are looking to test their album, along with their other hits, on the road.

Blake Shelton, popular for this judging position on the NBC show The Voice, will take his Grammy award winning music on the road this summer. Florida Georgia Line will showcase their debut album, along with their smash hit “Cruise” on the road this summer.

Luke Bryan and Eli Young will take their most recent efforts Crash My Party and 10,000 Towns on tour while Miranda Lambert will tour promoting her most recent effort, Platinum. For those looking for a more familiar name, Rascal Flatts will be touring once again this summer featuring their new album, Rewind. Lastly, Willie Nelson will be taking his music on the road again this summer with his latest album, To All the Girls, released in October of 2013.

Jam Bands

What summer wouldn’t be complete without jam bands? From songs that explore personal growth in musicianship, to covered songs, to surprising rarities, jam bands tour all for the fun of playing.

Many popular artists will be touring to promote albums released this year. Phish, after a stellar 30th year career, is looking to release their album Wingsuit this year. They debuted the album on Halloween of 2013, breaking away from their tradition of covering an album. They will tour the east coast in the summer and fall. Dave Matthews Band, one of the other most popular jam bands in the country, announced that they are working a new album and will, as usual, take their music on the road this summer.

Despite a four-year hiatus, Widespread Panic will return with a tour in this summer. The String Cheese Incident will make a few rounds this summer in the US with appearances at festivals like Electric Forest or the Lockn’ Festival. Their newest album, Song In My Head, will be their first album in nine years and released in late April. Umphrey’s McGee’s, known for their progressive style, will release a new album sometime in 2014 in time for their summer tour.

Heavy Rock and Metal

Screaming anthems blasting through stadiums and venues will be found at this summer’s heavy rock and metal shows. No matter who is playing, the combination of guitar and crowd is enough to create an atmosphere of pure energy.

One of the largest heavy rock and nu metal bands, Linkin Park, is currently working on a new album, The Hunting Party, set to be released in June. They will tour to promote this album. Both Mayday Parade and A Day To Remember released albums in October of 2014 and will take those albums on the road. The Devil Wears Prada will also take their newest album, 8:18, on tour.

One of the best lineups this summer looks to be the Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails tour. Both bands have been a staples for heavy rock and experimental metal fans. NIN will be showcase their latest album, Hesitation, while Soundgarden is currently writing new material. Their special guest this summer, experimental hip-hop group, Death Grips, has turned the heads of music critics.

Rock and Alternative

With chart-topping and raving album reviews, it will be hard to not turn an eye to these artists this summer.

Classic bands like Yellowcard and Counting Crows will once again take their music on the road this summer. Yellowcard is working on a new album, meaning new music could be dropping this summer for fans. Other popular alternative bands like the Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry will tour together as well.

311, Arcade Fire, and Foster the People all had stellar years and great hits were continuously released. 311’s Stereolithic will be their staple this summer, while Arcade Fire will be touring on their album Reflecktor. In combination with Foster the People, and Paramore and Fall Out Boy, who are touring together, this summer is likely to be one of the largest tours in recent history.

r&b, jazz and blues

Whether they be big or small, the soul and passion heard in R&B, jazz, and blues is moving and entertaining for fans. BB King, legendary blues guitarist and songwriter, will be touring once again this summer. He will turn 89 in September. Another classic artist, Tony Bennett, will also be taking his music on tour this year.

Guitarist Joe Bonamassa will be touring across the US as well. Hitting a huge peak in popularity in the mid-2000s for his hit “Ordinary People,” John Legend will be touring with his album Love In the Future, released last year. From left field, Hugh Laurie, of FOX hit House MD fame, will be taking his blues act on tour this summer.

classic rock

These classic rock groups gather large crowds consisting of older generations and kids alike. This summer will have an outstanding amount of tours for the genre.

Alice Cooper will be joining Motley Crue this summer as they wrap up their thirty-four-year career this summer. Peter Frampton will be taking his voice-box on the road and prove to folks that he can still answer ‘Do you feel like we do?’ Even through numerous line-ups and tragic deaths, Lynyrd Skynyrd will still be touring as well. I’m calling a “Free Bird” encore. Other classic rock bands like Foreigner, Yes, Steve Miller Band, and the Doobie Brothers will also be touring this summer .

Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen, and Elvis Costello will also tour on new material. One of the biggest tours this summer for classic rock bands will easily be the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, who are touring together.