Sunday, August 9, 2020 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Rock N’ Roll Mini-Vacation. 5 Performers You Better See While You Still Can

It’s surprising the number of Millennials who listen to rock music from the late 1960’s and early 70’s. The Grateful Dead are still raking in cash despite their former leader Jerry Garcia being long since departed. Others big names from this era include Janice Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple, The Doors, and Pink Floyd.

With the exception of a few rouge musicians who stemmed from these iconic bands, almost all of their original members are retired, dead, or being propped up. Fortunately for us, they left us the gift of their immortal music, which as previously referenced, is still alive and well.

The recent announcement of Elton John’s impending retirement following one last 300-show world tour stung worse than an eye full of .99 cent shampoo. At 70-years-old and having achieved legendary status, the man’s entitled. If seeing Sir John perform is on your bucket list, ya’ better start hunting down tickets now and praying your Mastercard will hold the amount.

There are still some old rockers popping arthritis pills and performing, and a few of them still demand a pretty high dollar. Just like Elton John though, there is going to come a day… Here are some of the ones you should probably go see. Even if their upcoming shows are a distance away from where you live, what a great excuse to take a mini-vacation for a few days. As long as you’re spending outrageous dollars to see your favorite all-time artist anyway, you may as well go for broke.
1    Paul McCartney

One of the most famous and well-known rock musicians of all time, ex-Beatle Sir James Paul McCartney is pushing 77. Unlike some of the aging rockers, he still looks pretty good and he’s still more than capable of holding his own on stage.

2017 was a big year for McCartney as he entertained fans in the US, Japan, Australia, and parts of Europe. His performance with Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Gardens was met with a sold-out crowd but this should come as no surprise. Those who attended the concert say McCartney’s age was no factor when this larger than life hero strapped on his bass guitar and danced around the stage like an 18-year-old on steroids.

Still. Considering his current age, if he comes around again any fan would be well-advised to not miss the show.
Paul McCartney
2    Rolling Stones

If anyone has had a recent good look at Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, catching a Stones show should go without saying. Jagger, at 75-years-old, was considered for Times Magazine 2018 person of the year for his musical contributions and legacy but lost out to Donald Trump. Richards is just five months younger than Jagger but looks 10 years older.

The Stones have announced a 2018 tour of 13 venues in Europe and the UK but have not released any US dates at this time. They generally put on a few shows a year in the US so it’ll be important to keep up with where they might be. Tickets will be gone in the blink of an eye. Even if a flight with 3 layovers is what it takes to see these guys, remember that mini-vacation? Don’t even hesitate for a brief second. It could very well be your last chance.
Rolling Stones
3    Queen

Though not quite the same since the tragic passing of lead vocalist Freddy Mercury, Queen is still out there putting on some amazing shows. If they end up performing anywhere near you, you won’t be disappointed in the least should you go.

Adam Lambert who first found fame on the mega-hit TV show, American Idol, has taken over the helm for Mercury. He’s the only “youngster” in the group and his high energy and ability to mimic Mercury’s voice are phenomenal. The old guys don’t do so bad either.

Even if Freddie Mercury was your main reason for wanting to see Queen in concert, and even though that’s not going to happen, this should not stop anyone from buying a ticket. Queen still pulls out all of the stops when they perform.
4    Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin first took the stage with a harder rock sound than other bands of their era and the results were widely accepted and are still revered by rock fans today. Lead guitarist Jimmy Page lit the band up with his distorted and effects enhanced playing, the likes of which had never been heard, and he’s still doing it today.

Page and original member Robert Plant have said they will introduce some new songs on their upcoming 2018 tour. Plant remarked, “It’s time to quit living in the past.”

Thus far the only show scheduled so far this year is in Milwaukee but more dates will surely be added as their tour unfolds. Usually, Led Zeppelin is more in the habit of playing a show here and a show there in lieu of a doing a full-fledged tour, so if you’re a fan, keep a close eye out and buy a ticket the second you find out where they will be.
Led Zeppelin
5    The Who

If seeing any of the original members of The Who in concert has always been a dream, keep dreaming, you’re too late. Even so, if the band comes to a town even remotely close to you, don’t pass them by.

Simon Townshend has replaced his big brother Pete who suffers from an extreme hearing loss and is now an advocate of musicians wearing special earplugs. Zak Starkey, son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, is now beating the skins. Jon Button who has toured with performers such as Sheryl Crow and Roger Daltrey is on bass. The band director and keyboardist is the distinguished Grammy award winner Frank Simes who has toured with Mick Jagger, Don Henley, Stevie Wonder, Roger Waters, Rod Stewart, and Roger Daltrey.

The bands sound is pretty much the same as it has always been although once rated as the loudest rock band in the world, the levels have been toned down a bit.
The Who
Of course, there are other aging rockers still hanging on and hitting the road but for how much longer is anyone’s guess. If any of your favorites are playing anywhere, pack a bag and go. The clocks ticking.

Out of sheer curiosity, which bands or solo performers would you like to see?

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