Column: off the record…, vol. 12-496

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off the record, from @U2

Since U2 have been off the road, I've been on the lookout for other bands that might be coming my way in the next year or so, and 2012 is shaping up to be what looks like an awesome year for major live acts.

According to the Boston Herald, dozens of bands plan to tour this year, including Coldplay, Black Sabbath (with Ozzy!), The Beach Boys, The Black Keys, Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. The Rolling Stones are expected to go out on a worldwide 50th anniversary tour, and Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, The Allman Brothers and Roger Waters all are reportedly booking venues for later this year. We previously reported that Lady Gaga has thrown down the gauntlet, stating that she's going to beat U2's touring record. That's a very ambitious undertaking since U2 set the bar so high (again). Time will tell.

Any of those shows would be awesome for their fans, and I personally would like to see the Stones on a 50th anniversary tour. It's my hope that U2 will still be touring in 20 years if they still have the motivation and the magic that makes them such a great live band.

One of the bands I enjoyed seeing live was Van Halen. I saw them more times in the early '80s than any other band. I can still see David Lee Roth in his unmentionable chaps (you'll have to do a search for those videos) running across the stage at a show in Austin, Texas. They knew how to rock an arena, and based on this video from a show in New York City earlier this week, they still can. Van Halen played for 300 people at a small club to build momentum for their new album and upcoming world tour. The approach is creating a lot of buzz for them.

Remember a similar tour teaser when our favorite Irish band played the Somerville (Mass.) Theater in 2009 to promote No Line On The Horizon before kicking off the 360 tour? The energy and joy in that performance was amazing!

One more thought: consider the age of the band members touring. In addition to those listed here, Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty and Ringo Starr toured last year or plan to go out on the road this year. It seems as though the best touring acts feature guys in their 50s, 60s and 70s -- and they’re raking in the money! It would seem as though the bands with lots of career mileage appeal to multi-generational audiences.


In other U2 news, the From The Sky Down documentary will be released Jan. 24. So if you opted not to buy the Achtung Baby 20th anniversary box set, you can now own your personal copy of this fascinating documentary about the how the band made this watershed album and what it means to them today.

Have a great week!


© @U2/Myers, 2012.

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