This year is rotten with great tours. If you love live music and you live near, or in, a big city you’ll be able to see a bunch of great acts. In early 2012, concert tickets will be sold to tours by legends from both sides of the pond, two of the world’s biggest rock bands, and a group with their own television show. Below, This-Is-Music looks at five of the most anticipated tours of 2012. To make sure you’re in the know, we’ve chronicled each tour’s start and end dates, key shows, and opening acts (if applicable). We’ve also provided a brief description of each band.
Tour Begins: Feb. 18 in Louisville, Kentucky
Tour Ends: June 26 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Length: 45 dates
Album: A Different Kind of Truth (2012)
Opening Act: Kool and The Gang
- Van Halen in Chicago at United Center on Feb. 24
- Van Halen in New York City at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28 and March 1
- Van Halen in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center on March 5
This incarnation of Van Halen includes frontman David Lee Roth but it does not include the band’s longtime bassist Michael Anthony. Playing the four-string in his place is Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang. As always, Alex Van Halen is playing the drums. The band announced their trek the day after Christmas. They also announced a new album, A Different Kind of Truth. It’s their first studio work in 14 years. Opening for the band on select dates is the American jazz-funk outfit, Kool and the Gang. Van Halen has sold more than 80 million albums and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Roger Waters: “The Wall Live”
Tour Begins: May 1 in Houston, Texas
Tour Ends: July 14 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Length: 36 dates
Album: The Wall (1980)
- Roger Waters: “The Wall Live” in Los Angeles on May 19
- Roger Waters: “The Wall Live” in Chicago on June 8
- Roger Waters: “The Wall Live” in Toronto on June 23
Up until a couple of years ago, Pink Floyd’s The Wall had been played live just 31 times. Floyd played the rock opera 30 times during a 1980-1981 tour and then Roger Waters, the creative force behind the work, played it in 1990 to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. That changed in 2010 when Roger Waters launched a state-of-the-art The Wall Live world tour. In 2012, the tour moves from arenas to stadiums. Don’t worry about Waters’ heavy use of video projections looking dim in massive outdoor settings. The legendary bassist has thoroughly tested every aspect of his production and assures fans that it will translate perfectly to large, open venues.
Tour Begins: April 10 in Moline, Illinois
Tour Ends: June 26 in Vancouver, B.C.
Length: 39 Dates
Album: Here and Now (2011)
Opening Acts: Bush, Seether & My Darkest Days
- Nickelback, Bush, Seether, and My Darkest Days in New York City on April 19
- Nickelback, Bush, Seether, and My Darkest Days in Dallas, Texas on June 1
- Nickelback, Bush, Seether, and My Darkest Days in Houston, Texas on June 2
Nickelback hasn’t toured North America since 2009 when they were out promoting their Multi-Platinum album Dark Horse. In 2012, the biggest selling foreign band in America (that’s not named The Beatles) launches a 39-date trek of Canada and the United States. The Alberta rockers are supporting their seventh studio album, Here and Now. The record debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Joining the quartet, who has sold more than 45 million albums since their 1996 debut, are Bush, Seether, and My Darkest Days. The three rock bands will open for Nickelback every step of the way.
Tour Begins: Feb. 27 in Miami, Florida
Tour Ends: April 21 in Indio, California
Length: 17 dates
Album: The King of Limbs (2011)
Opening Acts: Other Lives
- Radiohead in Miami, Florida on Feb. 27
- Radiohead in Atlanta, Georgia on March 1
- Radiohead in Houtson, Texas on March 3
Like most bands, Radiohead is supporting their latest album. However, the band released The King of Limbs in February of 2011. By the time they launch their 2012 U.S. tour, The King of Limbs will be a year old. But when you’re the best rock band in the world you can get away with stuff like that. Radiohead’s jaunt of the New World culminates with a headlining gig at Coachella (Indio, California). The Oxfordshire quintet will be the ultimate act on both of Coachella’s Saturdays (April 14 and April 21). This year, Coachella spans two three-day weekends each with identical band lineups.
Big Time Rush
Tour Begins: Feb. 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Tour Ends: March 9 in New York City
Length: 16 dates
Album: Elevate (2012)
Opening Acts: One Direction
- Big Time Rush in Universal City on Feb. 18
- Big Time Rush in Rosemont on Feb. 24
- Big Time Rush in Boston on March 3
In 2012, Big Time Rush embarks on their second headlining tour of the United States. The boy band is touring to support their sophomore effort, Elevate. The band is also supporting their television series. When Big Time Rush isn’t on the road performing in front of thousands of screaming tweens, they are appearing on their very own Nickelodeon show, also called Big Time Rush. Their show is seen by millions of screaming tweens. Their sitcom is about four young hockey players from Minnesota who go to Los Angeles to become a pop band. Opening for Big Time Rush are the British-Irish boy band One Direction and American pop singer JoJo.