Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of the report gave the wrong start date for Cher’s Dressed to Kill excursion.
Viva la behaviors!
Teenage dreams came true this summer when Katy Perry and One Direction hit the street, yet this fall’s concert lineup is more grown-up. As current tours from Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney and Garth Brooks have shown, “we’re certainly seeing the ‘legacy acts’ continued to be big draws,” says Billboard senior correspondent Andrew Hampp. That trend will likely continue in the months to come, as these top 40 troubadours and indelible icons set for U.S. treks.
The times they are a-changin’, but the legendary folk singer has endured for more than five decades thanks to his poetic lyrics and enigmatic persona.
Setting the stage: Dylan has played with the U.S. just about every single year lately as part of his unofficially titled “Never Ending excursion,” most recently teaming with Wilco and My Morning Jacket in 2013 on the combined Americanarama Festival of Music tour. The icon’s 32-date theater trek begins Friday in Seattle, culminating at a five-show ending at New York’s Beacon Theatre through Dec. 3.
Why it is a tour de force: “Bob is always a great ticket, since you never know exactly what you are going to get,” Hampp states. “His setlists can alter nightly, he obviously has a very huge catalog to pull out of, and he does bring out very great openers, so it’s the complete package.”
The singer has scaled the charts with his pop/R&B hybrid, bagging 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 such as OMG, Scream and DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.
Setting the stage: His brand new album may be postponed indefinitely, but that has not stopped Usher from mapping out a huge world tour, sure to become dance-heavy and spectacle-laden because his many awards-show performances. Joined by August Alsina and DJ Cassidy, the UR Experience march arrives Nov. 1 at Montreal and finishes its North American leg Dec. 14 at Tampa.
Why it is a tour de force: “Usher may have gotten plenty of recent press exposure playing festivals and radio shows, but he hasn’t done a major arena tour because his sold-out trek in 2011,” says Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert industry website Pollstar. “That pent demand must lead to good business for (not only) his forthcoming North American dates, but in addition his European stadium tour in February and March.”
The music pioneer has shaped pop, soul and funk in his longer than 50-year career, crafting cherished classics such as Superstition, I Just Called to Say I Love You and Isn’t She Lovely.
Setting the stage: Though he’s played a lot of festivals and occasions in recent decades, Wonder has not embarked on a formal U.S. tour because 2009. On his forthcoming 11-city jaunt — beginning Nov. 6 in New York and ending Dec. 5 Oakland — he will perform his landmark 1976 album Songs In the Key of Life in its entirety.
Why it’s a tour de force: “Stevie Wonder has done some place dates, but he has not done an official tour in several years,” Bongiovanni says. “His tour should gain from his scarce live schedule, and the fact that he’s featuring Songs In the Key of Life ought to make it unique for his fans”
LITTLE BIG TOWN
The effervescent Alabama-based quartet — made up of Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook — is riding up the Hot 100 with single Day Cooking off sixth record Pain Killer (out Oct. 21).
Setting the stage: In support of its new record, the country group is starting a 15-date tour that fall with Brett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne, kicking off Nov. 8 in Youngstown, Ohio, also wrapping Dec. 13 in Rockford, Ill.. Besides music off Pain Killer, do not be shocked if Little Big Town busts out some familiar tunes — they have been known to cover everybody.
Why it is a tour de force: “Little Big Town (is) one of the hottest acts in country right now,” Hampp says. “They have been together a long time, but since their last record (2012’s Tornado), they have really created a name for themselves” After supporting Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert on tour in the last several years, “they are having their huge blockbuster moment.”
Since the only artist to score No. 1 singles in six consecutive decades, Cher is as energetic as publishing her first album in 12 decades, Closer to the Truth, last autumn and centering on another leg of her farewell tour later this autumn.
Setting: the pop goddess put off on her first tour since finishing a three-year Las Vegas residency in 2010, wrap the first leg of her Dressed Earlier this season. She postponed a handful of fall dates because of a viral disease, with the tour now running Nov. 9 in Lubbock, Texas, through Feb. 4 at Fargo, N.D.
Why it is a tour de force: Her final excursion, Living Proof: The Farewell (2002-2005), was billed as her swan song, but she “kept on it,” Hammp states. “But now that she says (this) is the last one, it’s kind of a last-in-a-lifetime prospect.”
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Oct 22, 2017 – “So I’ve started out for god knows where / I guess I’ll know when I get there.”