As 2015 comes to a close, it can be fun to look back on the year. There were many great Classic Rock moments in 2015, however 2016 promises to be an even bigger year for us Classic Rock Fans. It is with that in mind that we present 16 Classic Rockers to watch in 2016. This list features many confirmed and announced Classic Rock events and artist activity, as well as some things that we are keeping our fingers crossed for 😉
It is a fun time to be a Bruce Springsteen fan. In late Fall, Springsteen released The Ties That Bind Box set, which contains unreleased tracks from The River sessions. The boss amped up the fun by providing his Philly fans with one of the biggest concert announcements of 2015, that he and the E Street Band would bring ‘The River Tour’ to Wells Fargo Center on February 12. The show sold out in minutes & MGK blew out plenty of free tickets. He followed up the concert announcement with a rousing performance on SNL which featured a visit from Sir Paul McCartney. Just in case you thought he wasn’t busy enough, Springsteen later mentioned that he was also working on a new solo album, which will be supported by a solo tour.
Journey/Doobie Bros/Dave Mason
Leaving the year with some exciting concert announcements is always the best way to start a new year. Just in time for Christmas, we learned that Journey will be hitting the road this summer with Big Gig alumni the Doobie Brothers, and Traffic’s Dave Mason. The tour hits the BB&T Pavilion on July 15th.
What could be more romantic than a night down the shore with Def Leppard and Styx? The answer is Valentine’s Day with Def Leppard and Styx! Following the release of their successful self-titled album, Def Leppard are hitting the road with Styx, for what will be a rocking start to 2016. They will hit Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on February 14th.
2015 was a busy year for the Who. They toured most of the year for their “Who Hit 50” tour, and slowed down a bit when Roger Daltrey got sidelined by Viral Meningitis. But don’t worry, nothing can keep this gathering of rock royalty down. The Who will play the rescheduled Philadelphia date on March 14th at the Wells Fargo Center. You better you bet that we will be there!
In 2013, Black Sabbath released their first studio album with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978’s Never Say Die, simply titled 13. The album was a success, and Sabbath supported the album with an equally successful tour. Conversations began immediately about a follow-up album, but guitarist Tony Iommi’s struggles with Lymphoma treatments have made playing music a lot more difficult. It is with that in mind that all plans for a follow-up album have been scrapped, and Black Sabbath are embarking on their farewell tour. Black Sabbath will bring the “Beginning of the End Tour” to the BB&T Pavilion on August 19th.
After the 2015 release of their seventeenth studio release, Rock or Bust, AC/DC supported the album with a short run of US dates. In a recent turn of events, we learned that AC/DC added a leg to the “Rock or Bust” tour, and will stop in Philadelphia on April 1st at the Wells Fargo Center. It is no surprise that the show sold out immediately, especially since they have not been in Philadelphia since 2009’s “Black Ice Tour.” Congrats to those that were able to buy them and especially to those that won them from MGK a few weeks ago.
In 2011, Phil Collins announced that he was taking time off from his career, due to some health complications. Taking time turned to retirement. In the interest of keeping on par with other legendary Classic Rockers, Collins announced at the end of the year that he was coming out of retirement. He said that his children never got to see their dad at work, and he would like to make that happen for them. Not only is Collins out of retirement, but he has also shown that he will be quite busy in 2016, with a new album, a tour, and autobiography. He hasn’t mentioned whether the new album will be a solo release or a Genesis release, either would be fine for us and we look forward more Phil and/or Genesis news in the coming months.
After disappearing for over a decade, David Bowie reemerged in 2012 with his first original release since 2003, titled The Next Day. The album conquered the charts all around the world, and proved that Bowie is very much alive. His next album Black Star arrives on Jan 8th 2016 (his birthday). While Bowie claims to be retired from the road, he will have a busy year with the release of his new album, and the premier of his stage production Lazarus. Who knows if the ‘Thin White Duke’ will change his mind about performing live again? It wouldn’t be the first time in his career that he did something that he said he would never do again.
Back in November, Seger announced that he would be releasing a compilation of previously unreleased tracks called I Knew You When, along with a tour sometime in 2016. The tour is to include his “bucket list” stops, or places that he always wanted to play, including the Hollywood Bowl and New Orleans Jazz Festival. Let’s hope that the list includes a Philadelphia venue, as well!
If listening to the new “The Wall Live” set has put you back into that Pink Floyd mood, Roger Waters may have some projects to keep it going. In August, Waters mentioned working on a new album, as well as a memoir. In addition to that, we may once again get to see Roger Waters ‘in the flesh’, as he also mentioned plans to tour in 2016.
After an exhilarating return to the stage in 2014 at Hyde Park, Jeff Lynne caught the bug to play live again. He assembled “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” and released the first new ELO music in fourteen years, entitled Alone In The Universe. Lynne rounded out 2015 with a few scattered live performances in the UK, and one US date, and is hitting the UK on a larger run in 2016. While no further US dates are announced so far, the door is certainly open. ‘Don’t bring me down,’ Jeff!
Guns N’ Roses
Rumors about Guns N’ Roses reunions have filled the web for years. As Axl toured the world with a band of completely new faces, most GNR fans prayed that Axl and Slash would one day bury the hatchet. In 2015, we learned that Axl and Slash have indeed ‘made up.’ With the recent announcements of guitarists DJ Ashba and Bumblefoot departuring from the touring Guns N’ Roses line-up, we know that the band has some vacancies, could they be filled by Slash and Duff McKagen? In another interesting move, the band added merchandise to their online store, featuring “classic” Guns N’ Roses imagery. A lot of this imagery was caught up in copyright/licensing rights wars since the original GNR lineup went their separate ways. Could these be clues about some upcoming activity from the classic lineup? While we hope that 2016 brings the answer, we will just keep practicing our ‘patience’.
For the past couple years, Rod Stewart has made it known that he would be interested in returning to the stage with the Faces. In what would be the first time in 39 years, Rod Stewart reunited with the surviving members, Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones (Ronnie Lane having passed in 1997) to play a one-off charity performance in September. Hopefully the chemistry was there, and the Faces get the spark to tour in the near future.
Brothers who play in bands together have always been known to “not see eye to eye,” and Ray and Dave Davies are no strangers to that. Every time a piece of news came that looked positive for a Kinks reunion, one of the brothers would say something that proved the contrary. In a surprising turn of events, Ray joined Dave onstage at a late December 2015 concert, for a rocking rendition of “You Really Got Me.” This would be the first time that the brothers appeared onstage together in almost 20 years. It seems like the main hurdle is behind them, so hopefully a Kinks reunion will emerge in the not so distant future.
Now that Jimmy Page has completed the Led Zeppelin reissues project, he is ready to start thinking about new music. He has mentioned several times, with increasing enthusiasm, that he has music written, and would like to release a new solo album, along with a 2016 tour featuring music from throughout his career. In November, Page returned to the stage for an all-star jam at the Seattle Experience Music Project Museum benefit concert. While nothing has been mentioned about who will play in his touring band, we can count on Page having an unbelievable lineup. After all, Page does have a pretty good track record of picking high quality musicians – ie: Paul Rodgers, Jeff Beck, Robert Plant.
MGK' Big Gig
Last September, the Big Gig made its debut, and proved to be the premier Classic Rock party of the summer. A colossal bill like Steve Miller Band and the Doobie Brothers is hard to follow, but you can count on MGK to assemble what is bound to be a memorable concert!
Sean Burke is a Rock/Classic Rock reporter and addict, who scours the Internet almost as long as he is awake to get the most up-to-date, accurate updates on all of the top Rock artists. When not talking about music, Sean can be found playing an epic air guitar solo while standing on your favorite piece of furniture.