Rocks Off is in the concert business for all intents and purposes. We scour Pollstar and other Web sites and almost hourly looking for new shows and tours to tell you about around the clock. In the span of writing this introduction we just listed Lucero (February 23, Fitzgerald's) and Bobby Womack (March 5, Arena Theatre). See? Multi-tasking rules.
Anyhow, part of that job and one of our seven specialties is looking into the future to see what's on the horizon. Industry rumors are mostly just that, the machinations of promoters and bloggers just like us looking to create a buzz. But sometimes these things turn out to be very real.
For the past months we have been monitoring the Internets for rumblings of new tours to come in 2011. Some of these will happen, while others are still very much rumor and watercooler talk in the offices of Live Nation and the like.
The hot rumor at the moment is that Axl Rose and Slash have made up behind the scenes to make way for a Guns N' Roses tour. Bassist Duff McKagan played with what is now GN'R a few months back in London. If everyone can get along, and the music is where it should be, we would welcome this.
On the festival front, expect Free Press Houston and Pegstar to announce the Summer Fest 2011 lineup in the next month. The third edition of the Eleanor Tinsley Park festival is scheduled for June 4 and 5, so go ahead and request off work now. We have heard rumblings of headliners, but we ain't telling you nothing, and neither are the organizers.
Next year's Austin City Limits Music Festival was moved from early October back to mid-September. Some say this was to snag a big headliner, while others claim it was burn us alive in the heat. We are sweating just thinking of the first day. Who could make ACL move, though? Clapton? Peter Gabriel? Paul McCartney? Your mom?
So, who will you be skipping mortgage payments and calling in to work to see in 2011? If this list even partly pans out and these shows hit the Houston area, start saving your pennies now. It's going to be brutally awesome, and expensive.
Bruce Springsteen Solo
Obviously a solo acoustic tour wouldn't be as lucrative as a full E Street Band outing, but a solo jaunt has been rumored. After the 2009 tour, the Boss did say E Street was closing up shop for a while, but the release of The Promise may see them leaving Jersey for a tour by the summer.
Word has the band recording a new album with David Lee Roth back in the pilot seat, with Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. Band was last here in 2008, and is due a return very soon. But then again, they like to play chicken with the media, judging from this press statement last month. This all sounds awfully familiar.
This year's reunion dates skipped Texas altogether, but the band is ramping up activity for 2011, with a reported stand at Madison Square Garden in NYC and a summer/fall tour. This tour will be a monster.
A new album is almost done, and the band's side projects seem to be hibernating. A summer tour and album release looks imminent. 2009's reunion shows were massively popular among older Gen Yers who grew up on Enema of the State and dick jokes.
A new album by the summer will see the band - rreunited this past summer for festival dates including Austin City Limits - possibly playing smaller venues like our own Verizon Wireless Theater. If they can all get along, that is.
Speaking of bands that sound like the Cars, the reunited band just released a snippet of a new song and lead singer Ric Ocasek says the band will be road-dogging soon.
The Rolling Stones
This is the big daddy of rumors, with even Keith Richards hinting in the press during his Life interviews that the band is mulling over an album and tour in 2011 and 2012. It's coming up on the Stones' 50th anniversary, after all. We assure that Rocks Off will cover this show like no other. You will get sick of hearing about it from the second it is announced to the minute the band's limos whisk them out of Reliant Stadium Toyota Center House of Blues wherever.
2010 was a banner year for the returning Eminem, after years in the wilderness. A tandem tour with Dr. Dre, who may have a new album to promote in 2011, would be a massive moneymaker.
The Purple One just played some dates in NYC this past week, so here's hoping he makes it off the East Coast on his deceptively-titled "Welcome 2 America" tour.
It's been a hot minute since Stipe and company were in Houston, and nearly three since they were even in Texas. Their new album is due in March.
This one is easy money, telegraphed by both surviving members after their disastrous Super Bowl appearance in February. Maybe a run around the world playing Tommy will heal the wounds.
This was already (partially) announced by Rocks Off's old pal and Live Nation head Irving Azoff, making up for this year's canceled shows in the wake of her divorce.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
A new album is gestating now with "Afropop" sounds, according to drummer Chad Smith, and new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer replacing exiting guitar god John Frusciante.
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Neil Diamond Daft Punk Bob Seger Paul McCartney Glee Cast Tour
Confirmed in Houston for 2011 Partial list, from Pollstar:
No Age, Jan. 12, Fitzgerald's Ozzy Osbourne, Jan. 18, Toyota Center NOFX, Jan. 22, House of Blues Against Me!, Jan 25, Warehouse Live Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Feb. 4, Jones Hall Willie Nelson & Family, Feb. 4, Verizon Wireless Theater Robyn, Feb. 19, Warehouse Live The Walkmen, March 3, Fitzgerald's Miranda Lambert, March 16, Reliant Stadium (RodeoHouston) Juanes, March 30, Toyota Center John Mellencamp, April 3, Jones Hall Lady Gaga, April 8, Toyota Center My Chemical Romance, May 20, House of Blues New Kids On the Block/Backstreet Boys, June 25, Toyota Center