‘Tis the season for touring on a large scale in small places. An indoor arena is a popular spot for upcoming shows, as big name performers plan for the winter weather until April showers bring May flowers. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Twenty One Pilots are only two of the acts whose huge tours have lifted off the ground. Though many of these well-known arenas can seat tens of thousands of people, they don’t compare to stadium summer tours that can seat up to 100,000.
However, touring during the winter and spring months has its perks. Summer is jam-packed with performing, so taking advantage of the “off season” is a smart way to take the road less traveled by. In addition, well-known performers will hit the road come sleet and snow because their status will fill up a big indoor arena no matter what time of year.
Top 5 Concerts
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Target Center│Minneapolis, MN│January 21st
Red Hot Chili Peppers are knee deep in their “The Getaway World Tour.” It is in support of The Getaway that dropped in 2016. Their upcoming Saturday show is in Minneapolis, as the tour begins to weave itself up north to Canada and the Northeast. Reviews of the shows so far have been more than satisfactory. Many of the crowds are mixes of long-time fans from Red Hot Chili Pepper’s 30-year music career and newer fans that value RHCP’s hits years after they were first released. UHCL The Signal blog reviewed the recent Houston show on January 7th, showing future concertgoers a peek into the tour’s atmosphere. Below is the set list from Houston’s show – an indicator of potential future shows’. It’s always a good feeling to know that your favorite hit might make its way onto the set list (*cough* “Scar Tissue” *cough*):
Houston, TX January 7th SET LIST
“Around the World”
“Snow (Hey Oh)”
“The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”
“Me & My Friends”
“What Is Soul?” (Funkadelic cover)
“Higher Ground” (Stevie Wonder cover)
“Dreams of a Samurai”
“Soul to Squeeze”
“By the Way”
“Galveston” (Glen Campbell cover)
“Give It Away”
Twenty One Pilots & Judah and the Lion: Prudential Center│Newark, NJ│January 21st
Twenty One Pilots started their “EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW WØRLD TØUR” in January, and they are headed to Jersey after a few shows in the Northeast. Judah and the Lion is their opener on part of the tour, and this includes the Jersey show. Judah and the Lion are a genre-bending band from Nashville that combine folk with hip-hop and rock, creating a unique sound on the same creative playing field as Twenty One Pilots.
Providence Journal‘s review of their January 17th show called it “a smart, potent show” and noted the plethora of masks and costumes that the duo wore to keep fans intrigued. The reviewer further stated, “Almost every song had a different look, a different mood, a different stage configuration.” TicketNetwork’s Twenty One Pilots blog entry predicted these intense performative aspects when the tour began. Twenty One Pilots is known to play with identity and masks, giving raw emotion while disguising at the same time. Therefore, the “EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW WØRLD TØUR” is surely to bring intrigue and entertainment through the tour.
Calibash Los Angeles: Staples Center│Los Angeles, CA│January 21st
Calibash is Southern California’s reggaetón and urban music concert that happens in January. This year, there is also a Las Vegas version of Calibash. However, Los Angeles’ Staples Center is the original location. On Saturday, Calibash Los Angeles will feature Don Omar, Nicky Jam, and Prince Royce. 2017 is the 10th anniversary of Calibash. Therefore, the event is extra special through partnering with MEGA 96.3 FM, LaMusica, and Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc.
Other artists include Gente de Zona, Ozuna, Karol G, CNCO, De la Ghetto, J Alvarez, Natti Natasha, and more. It is a celebration of a music genre that doesn’t receive a lot of mainstream attention. Therefore, Calibash is important to the reggaetón/urban genre and its successful artists.
Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood: US Bank Arena│Cincinnati, OH│January 21st
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are beginning a string of five nights at Cincinnati’s US Bank Arena. The power country couple is continuing the “Garth Brooks World Tour.” It’s a tour that has spanned over years. The spring shapes up to a few selection locations for a string of nights with long breaks in between. Therefore, Brooks and Yearwood are touring once or twice a month, but for up to six nights (two shows a day) each. It’s a sporadic method of touring that works for them because their superstar status allows for success multiple nights at one venue.
Brooks and Yearwood recently released a Christmas album Christmas Together. Brook’s 2016 Gunslinger adds more new material to the potential set list for their upcoming shows.
Céline Dion: Caesars Palace – Colosseum│Las Vegas, NV│January 21st
Céline Dion is continuing her famous residency at Vegas’ Caesars Palace – Colosseum. She began her to residency return this past week, and she has dates to go into late June. Dion’s beautiful voice, a career successful in both English and her native French, surpasses most female singers. Dion is an icon, and her Vegas residency is merely one example of that status. Hear “My Heart Will Go On” and more hits in concert!
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) January 18, 2017
This time of year in particular is important to Dion, as January 14th marked a year since her husband René Angélil passed away. Dion posted a loving tribute video on the anniversary on her Facebook.
What’s In Tune
AFI (A Fire Inside)│AFI (The Blood Album)
AFI’s announcement of AFI (The Blood Album) made fans hopeful but cautious. AFI is another band joining the ranks of those who’ve lasted decades. The upside of that durability is the ability to merely stay together and continue to produce music. The downside is that, once the early peak of success dwindles, follow-up albums never pack the same punch. Though they don’t particularly hurt the bands’ reputations, the newer material doesn’t elevate them, either. AFI (The Blood Album) falls into this category.
This isn’t progression in this work compared to their original success in the early/mid-2000’s. AFI has lost fans along their musical development, as the band’s once-independent punk rocker sound turned mainstream with darker romance that was more typical in the late 2000’s. Sing the Sorrow was met with rave reviews with hits like “Girl’s Not Grey.” Decemberunderground‘s “Miss Murder” is another well-known hit of the group, but by this point, the music and fan base were changing due to the band’s artistic direction.
Fans originally fell in love with AFI due to their horror punk, somber theme that translated to more pop punk throughout the first decade of the 2000’s. AFI (The Blood Album) isn’t a huge disappointment, but it also isn’t great. Furthermore, the guy-liner, goth theme persists but isn’t backed up by the same veracity they once possessed. Fans are looking forward to the new phase of AFI, when they decide to abandon the past’s artistic skin for the next step in their musical progression.
AFI is on tour through February 2017 in support of their new music, hitting cities like New York, Dallas, and L.A.
AFI (The Blood Album) Tracklist:
2.”Still a Stranger”
6.”Above the Bridge”
7.”So Beneath You”
11.”Feed from the Floor”
13.”She Speaks the Language”
14.”The Wind That Carries Me Away”
“Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration”│Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.│Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, Jon Voight, RaviDrums, The Frontmen of Country│January 19th
This weekend is YUUUGE (huge) for the country, as a new President of the United States (POTUS) is officially swearing in. The weekend in D.C. is set for performances including the Welcome Celebration the eve of the Presidential Inauguration. Donald Trumps’ is titled “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.” There is a handful of performers set to perform, but none are A-list musicians.
Toby Keith, whose last album is 35 MPH Town in 2015, is performing at Trump’s inaugural celebration. Fellow countrymen Lee Greenwood is also set to perform. Every performer has received backlash for the decision. To parallel a hostile election is a hostile term between the election and inauguration. Don’t expect the hostility to die down after Trump is elected to office. This anger is following Keith up until his performance, as he publicly stated that he isn’t apologizing for performing for our country and troops. He then tweeted this in support of his statement,
— Toby Keith (@TobyKeithMusic) January 18, 2017
3 Doors Down, a washed-up rock band known for “Kryptonite” and “Here Without You” from the early 2000’s, are also performing. Nobody has already heard a murmur about them since those hits, so it has the public wondering. Do they really want to perform, or is it a publicity stunt? Either way, the backlash is coming in boatloads.
The Piano Guys have taken a similar approach to other performers in explaining their involvement in the celebration. In conclusion, they promise it’s not support for Trump but rather optimism for the country. They reaffirmed their liberal beliefs in a post on their website to the outraged fans. Whether or not this reasoning makes sense is up to the reader.
Presidential Inauguration│Jackie Evancho│January 20th
For the actual Presidential Inauguration, there isn’t a big performative aspect besides the National Anthem. Jackie Evancho, a former contestant on America’s Got Talent, is performing the National Anthem. Don’t know who she is? Not many people do. However, Evancho’s stunning soprano voice won the hearts of the judges on America’s Got Talent, and she has continued to release music since. She is only 16-years-old. In 2016, she dropped three singles, but she has yet to release an album since 2014’s Awakening. People criticized her decision because Trump’s hate rhetoric goes against the identity of her transgender sister. Evancho has confirmed that her sister will not attend due to personal matters.
Travis Scott│Jimmy Kimmel Live│January 20th
Travis Scott dropped his second studio album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight in 2016. Scott’s album featured big time artists such as Kendrick Lamar. However, Scott is not taking a break just because his 2016 included a new album. Scott is slated to drop AstroWorld in 2017, and his appearance in Jimmy Kimmel Live is certainly set to hear new music or hype up his new material. Due to the laundry list of people on Birds in the Trap, one can only hope that AstroWorld is a bit more “Scott” and a bit less “everyone else.”
Big Sean│Saturday Night Live│January 21st
Big Sean’s new album I Decided drops February 3rd. After the huge year in hip-hop, 2017 is set to see if its artists can beat 2016. Big Sean has the power to do that. A rapper who is talented but underrated, Big Sean is coming onto the new music scene early in 2017. He will follow the release of the album with the “I Decided Tour” in March and April. His musical appearance on Saturday Night Live will surely hint at some of his new material, hyping up fans for the album release.
Idina Menzel│Late Night with Seth Meyers│January 23rd
Idina Menzel had a busy past few years. Since the release of Frozen and its hit song “Let It Go,” Menzel pushed her stardom past the iconic roles in Wicked and Rent to attain a new level of superstardom. Her successful acting and singing careers make Menzel a force in both industries. In 2016, she dropped her new album idina. Menzel will be a great guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers, an episode occurring just days after the Presidential Inauguration.
Steve Aoki│The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon│January 24th
Steve Aoki has made a name for himself through his own house music and also his production of other musicians’ hits. He is on tour through the beginning half of 2017. In late 2016, he dropped a song with One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson titled “Just Hold On.” In 2017, he is set to release Neon Future III, a follow up to I and II that dropped in 2014 and 2015 respectively. His fame as a DJ and producer demonstrate the new power of house music in the current music industry scene. His appearance on Jimmy Fallon will most likely hint at new material on Neon Future III.
Big Sean│The Daily Show with Trevor Noah│January 24th
Big Sean will also be making an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Noah is known for yes, his comedy (particularly political), but also his talks with celebrities on whatever current topic is on the agenda. Therefore, Big Sean will most likely engage in conversation with Noah regarding the Presidential Inauguration weekend in addition to discussing his music. It will be a fascinating episode.
Lady Antebellum│The Ellen Degeneres Show│January 24th
Lady Antebellum just dropped a new single titled “You Look Good.” Its a slow, grinding, hip-swaying country song that really digs into the Little Big Town side of Lady Antebellum. I’m personally a fan of that side of country, as the pop country hits can get too vanilla and too typical. They have not released a new album since 2014’s 747, so it’s about time to hear an album following this single. They are set to release Heart Break June 9th. The group will most likely perform “You Look Good” on Ellen.