Category: Concert biz

Radiohead postpones seven dates in wake of Toronto stage collapse

Image: The collapsed stage at Downsview Park. Credit: Geoff Robins / AFP/ Getty Images
The band Radiohead is continuing to feel the repercussions of a stage collapse that killed a crew member and injured three others before its show in Toronto on Saturday. On Thursday, the band announced the cancellation of seven upcoming European tour dates. In a statement, the band said it intends to return to its tour schedule July 10 in the south of France. 

The statement briefly addressed the tragedy that occurred at Toronto's Downsview Park, in which a stage collapsed at a Live Nation-promoted show that was to feature Radiohead. Ontario's Labour Ministry has launched an investigation into four of the companies involved in setting up the concert,  Live Nation, Optex Staging & Services, Nasco Staffing Solutions and Ticker Tape Touring, according to the CBC

The collapse occurred after the stage had been rigged with Radiohead's equipment, and just an hour before gates were to open.

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Leonard Cohen to return to L.A. Nov. 5 on Old Ideas Tour

 Leonard Cohen will return to Los Angeles on Nov. 5 on his Old Ideas World Tour 2012
Leonard Cohen returns to Los Angeles on Nov. 5 in a stop on his just-announced Old Ideas World Tour 2012, an encore appearance at the Nokia Theatre, where he also played a lauded 2009 concert.

The new “Old” tour opens Halloween night in Austin, Texas, and comprises 21 shows in as many cities through Dec. 20, when the 77-year-old Canadian poet-rocker wraps up the second leg of the tour in Brooklyn. A European tour leg was announced previously.

Three years ago, Cohen delivered a marathon 3 1/2-hour show at the Nokia in which he celebrated “the wintery side of manhood, but his beatific smile revealed the little boy within,” according to then-Times pop music critic Ann Powers.

A week later, Cohen also played outdoors before a large crowd at the 2009 Coachella festival, where The Times noted that “his Coachella performance gained an intimacy and power that the cavernous and sterile Nokia couldn't touch.”

Of the new album, Steve Appleford wrote for The Times, “The rhymes and hard-won wisdom on ‘Old Ideas’ will linger in the mind long after the songs have ended.”


Coachella 2009: Leonard Cohen's spiritual oasis

Review: Leonard Cohen at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live

Leonard Cohen's ex-business manager gets 18 months 

--Randy Lewis

Photo: Leonard Cohen at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on his 2009 tour. Credit:  Los Angeles Times.

Stagecoach 2012: Brad Paisley talks Tupac image, new album


Brad Paisley, the headliner for Sunday’s closing night of the 2012 edition of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., has always been an unrepentant techno-geek, so he followed with fascination the worldwide media generated the previous two weekends by the "appearance" of Tupac Shakur during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s reunion performance at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The thing is, Paisley beat them to the punch by two years, having pulled off a duet with a virtual partner at the 2010 Stagecoach Festival, where he surprised and confounded audiences with the materialization onstage of Alison Krauss, his collaborator on 2004’s “Whiskey Lullaby,” which generated multiple Academy of Country Music and Country Music Assn. awards.

“We did that Alison thing for a while, and it was as good as we could get it at the time,” Paisley said aboard his tour bus parked near Stagecoach’s Mane Stage, where a capacity crowd of 55,000 was waiting for him to go on after Sheryl Crow finished her penultimate set. “We’ve since then come up with some more tricks. It was interesting when I heard about the Tupac thing. The thing that was so interesting about that, the thing that was so shocking, of course, is that it was someone who was deceased. It’s insane. You go, ‘Whoa!’ But wait till you see what we’re doing tonight.”

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

He was teasing the recurring presence of Carrie Underwood on his current Virtual Reality Tour. After Paisley launched into the opening of their hit duet “Remind Me,” audience members gasped and then cheered when a spotlight went on and there appeared the “American Idol” grad, harmonizing her lines and seeming to trade glances with her singing partner.

But it was an illusion -- like the Shakur "appearance," a realistic-looking video projection, not a true hologram. It's something Paisley touched on before that number, when he told fans: “We call this the ‘Virtual Reality Tour’ because reality is what country music is about. But it can sometimes also take you away from reality. So between the beer and our show, you’re well on your way.”

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Is Spotify the new music platform? Songkick thinks so


Bands may think of platforms as stages for their performances. But in the digital world, the platforms themselves are the new rock and roll. Just think -- Android is a platform. Apple's iOS is a platform. And so is Facebook. 

Next up: Spotify? Ian Hogarth, the charismatic chief executive of Songkick, certainly thinks so. Last year, when Spotify announced it would welcome music applications on its digital music streaming service, Songkick was among the first to sign on.

The Songkick app clues Spotify listeners when their favorite bands will be in town and hooks them up with ticket vendors. Those who use Songkick end up attending twice as many concerts a year after downloading the app as they did before, leading big investors such as Sequoia Capital to invest $10 million in the London-based company.

What makes platforms so sexy and valuable is their ability to gather big audiences that make purchases by the billion. Android, for example, is embedded in more than 300 million mobile phones and tablets. Apple's iOS is so prevalent that the company recently boasted 25 billion application downloads. And Facebook has 800 million active users.

Hogarth now believes that Spotify is the next big audience aggregator, except in a narrower sense. 

"Spotify is the first mainstream vertical platform for music," said the 30-year-old British entrepreneur.  

His proof: The Songkick app has been downloaded 100,000 times since it was made available on Spotify late last year, Hogarth announced Wednesday. While that's just a fraction of the 5 million people who use Songkick each month, Hogarth is convinced that it will take off.

Right now, that might seem like a stretch, he admits. Though Spotify counts 10 million active users, 3 million of whom pay for the premium versions, it has just a dozen or so apps on its platform, including ones from Rolling Stone magazine, Def Jam, Warner Music, Tweetvine and others.

Is Hogarth correct? Time will tell.


Daniel Ek and the music 'dinosaurs'

The Black Keys black out streaming music services

Spotify partners with Rolling Stone, others to draw in music fans

-- Alex Pham

Photo: Songkick co-founders Pete Smith, Michelle You and Ian Hogarth. Credit: Songkick. 

Rolling Stones not likely to tour in 2012

Rolling Stones will not tour in 2012
Despite earlier speculation that the Rolling Stones would launch a major tour in 2012, Keith Richards says it won't happen, because “basically, we’re just not ready,” according to Rolling

That will mean the group won’t be on the road for the 50th anniversary of their formation in 1962, but more likely will hit the concert trail in 2013, the report says.

Although a 2012 tour had been widely rumored, concert industry veterans have been guarded about confirming the talk, and the Rolling Stone reports from Richards and, separately, Mick Jagger would seem to close the door on that prospect.

At last month’s blues concert at the White House, Jagger said it was  no easy task to pull a Stones tour together. “You can’t just walk up there and do it,” he told Rolling Stone. "If you’re playing a football tournament, you’ve got to practice. I feel very confident. I don’t want to sound cocky, but it’s just part of what you do. If you prepare, then you can be cocky.”

The story also says that band members have reconnected recently with bassist Bill Wyman, who left the Stones almost two decades ago, and was replaced by Darryl Jones. Richards said it’s possible that Wyman would be part of a 2013 tour. “I think he’s up for it,” Richards said. “We talked about it.”

Meanwhile, Stones fans can look forward to a career-spanning documentary about the band due in the fall, and the group is planning to enter the studio for what could turn into a new album in time for a tour.

Richards came up with a justification for pushing back the 50th anniversary activities, telling Rolling Stone: “The Stones always considered ’63 to be 50 years, because Charlie [Watts] didn’t actually join until January. We look upon 2012 as sort of the [anniversary] year of conception, but the birth is next year.”


Rock, ageless

Rock of ages still rolling for Stones

Concert promoters expect good things in 2012

--Randy Lewis

Photo:  Mick Jagger during the Dodger Stadium stop on the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang tour in 2006. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.

Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band add L.A., other U.S. tour dates

Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band will play 19 shows in 16 U.S. cities starting in April
Bruce Springsteen will play a string of dates in the U.S. on his 2012 tour with the E Street Band ahead of previously announced shows in Europe, starting March 18 in Atlanta and stopping April 26 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

The New Jersey rocker will play 19 shows in 16 cities, concluding May 2 in Newark, N.J., before heading to Europe for the rest of May, June and July. The only other California date at this point is a performance April 24 in San Jose. Springsteen also will make an appearance -- his second -- at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 29.

Springsteen last played Jazz Fest in 2006, eight months after the region had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. He was accompanied for that show by the Seeger Sessions Band in its first public appearance. Tickets for the Jazz Fest show are already on sale; several other shows start ticket sales on Friday  and Saturday. The Los Angeles and San Jose shows will go on sale on Feb. 3. Full details are on Springsteen's website.

Last week's announcement of Springsteen's new album, "Wrecking Ball," which is set for release on March 6, included no details about who is backing him in the studio, but his manager, Jon Landau, told Rolling Stone that some tracks feature the E Street Band and others were recorded with support from a variety of musicians.

Some, Landau said, evoke the folk-flavored arrangements of Springsteen's 2006 "Seeger Sessions" album, others are built around "unexpected textures -- loops, electronic percussion ... influences and rhythms from hip-hip to Irish folk rhythms."

Springsteen's tour with the E Street Band will be its first since the death of saxophonist Clarence Clemons last summer. 


Springsteen and the E Street Band to tour again in 2012

New Bruce Springsteen album 'Wrecking Ball' set for March 6 release

Clarence Clemons, E Street Band saxophonist, dies at 69

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Bruce Springsteen. Credit: Jo Lopez

New Bruce Springsteen album 'Wrecking Ball' set for March 6 release

Bruce Springsteen will release a new album this year, the first since the death of E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons
When Bruce Springsteen hits the concert trail on a world tour in May, he’ll have a new album’s  worth of material to draw from in “Wrecking Ball,” a collection of 11 new songs to be released March 6.

Springsteen’s website runs down the titles from the New Jersey rocker’s 17th studio album, which was produced by Springsteen and Ron Aniello.  An expanded edition also will be available with two extra tracks as well as more photos and artwork.

The first single from the album is its lead-off track, “We Take Care of Our Own,” which can be heard here:


The announcement makes no mention of the E Street Band, but the single features the backing of a band, indicating “Wrecking Ball” is not a solo acoustic Springsteen effort.

"Bruce has dug down as deep as he can to come up with this vision of modern life,” said his manager, Jon Landau, who also is executive producer of the album, in a statement posted on Springsteen's website. “The lyrics tell a story you can't hear anywhere else and the music is his most innovative in recent years. The writing is some of the best of his career and both veteran fans and those who are new to Bruce will find much to love on 'Wrecking Ball.'"

It will be Springsteen’s first recording, and tour, since the death last year of saxophonist Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, who died from complications from a massive stroke.

Springsteen’s tour with the E Street Band opens May 13 in Seville, Spain, and the first leg to be announced includes 31 shows in 26 European cities. More dates including the U.S. are still to be detailed.

Springsteen also is a keynote speaker at this year’s South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin in March.


An appreciation: Clarence Clemons

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to tour again in 2012

Clarence Clemons dies at 69; saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Bruce Springsteen performing in Asbury Park, N.J., last weekend in the 2012 Light of Day Concert Series. Credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

U2 is tops again in concert and music-sales revenue

The Irish band tops Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga for concert and music-sales revenues.

Demonstrating that there's no substitute for the live concert experience, U2 has once again taken the crown in Calendar's annual Ultimate Top 10, a ranking that combines concert revenue with sales of recorded music.

U2 amassed $160.8 million for 2011, well ahead of runner-up Taylor Swift, whose combined earnings came to $126.8 million. Lady Gaga was the only other act to top $100 million, posting $109.4 million to place third. Country music road warrior Kenny Chesney landed in fourth place with $98.5 million. The year's blockbuster album and singles sales champ, Adele, pulled in at fifth place with $92.8 million, a figure that certainly would have been higher if vocal cord problems hadn't forced her to cancel big chunks of her 2011 tour itinerary.

Figures are drawn from Pollstar's recently published tallies of North American box office revenues and Nielsen SoundScan's tracking of retail music sales in the U.S. The Ultimate Top 10 uses figures from North America because they are tracked more reliably than in many other parts of the world. But most of these musicians pulled in even more than these totals with ever-expanding ancillary income sources such as tour merchandise, product endorsements, video game sales, ring tones and clothing and jewelry lines.

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Roger Waters will build 'The Wall' at L.A. Coliseum on May 19

 Roger Waters The Wall
Roger Waters will put on one of the biggest stagings ever of his re-mounting of Pink Floyd’s magnum opus “The Wall” when the 2012 North American tour reaches Los Angeles. For the L.A. stop, Waters will build his wall at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on May 19. Tickets go on sale Nov. 18 at

His 2010 arena tour, which played at Staples Center in Los Angeles and the Honda Center in Anaheim, was the second highest-grossing tour of the year (behind Bon Jovi). He'll also be incorporating some stadium performances on his next time out.

The 2012 tour consists so far of 36 shows in the United States and Canada, starting May 1 in Houston and ending July 14 in Philadelphia. Waters also has scheduled California stops in San Francisco on May 11 and San Diego on May 13.


Live review: Roger Waters and 'The Wall' at Staples Center

Rocker mounts a farewell concert at the Berlin Wall

Bon Jovi post highest-grossing concert tour of the year

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Roger Waters is shown during his 2010 presentation of "The Wall" at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Radiohead to tour U.S. in 2012; no SoCal dates unveiled


Radiohead will undertake its first major U.S. tour in four years in 2012 with a run of shows that opens Feb. 27 in Miami. The initial batch of performances includes 10 stops in six states, bringing that British group to Glendale, Ariz., on March 15 to conclude this round of concerts.

No Southern California dates have been announced. Radiohead last played in Southern California in the summer of 2008.

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