Category: Tours

Music exclusive: Kenny Chesney's 'Makes Me Wonder'

Country superstar Kenny Chesney has always been a road warrior, year in and year out selling as many or more tickets to his concerts than any other act in any genre, and he’s never been long off the radio dial since he surfaced  in the early '90s.

But his output as a songwriter has been up and down since the 2005 annulment of his short-lived marriage to actress Renee Zellweger. For a while, Chesney turned exclusively to songs written by others, as if to make sure that gossip-hungry members of the media and the public couldn’t latch on to any of his own words and try extrapolating explanations for the nuptial meltdown.

His own words, along with his voice, began to resurface with 2008’s “Lucky Old Sun” album, for which he wrote or co-wrote nearly half the songs, then he pulled back again for 2010’s “Hemingway’s Whiskey,” co-writing just one song, “Reality.”

For his new album, “Welcome to the Fishbowl,” arriving June 19, the Luttrell, Tenn., musician has co-written three of the 11 new songs: the title track, “To Get to You (55th and 3rd),” and the song premiering exclusively now on Pop & Hiss, “Makes Me Wonder.”

In this pulsing country-rock power ballad, which he wrote with Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher, Chesney explores a reunion with an old flame that brings up fond feelings and raises the question of where things broke down. Unlike many country breakup songs that serve up variations on the “don’t get mad, get even” philosophy, “Makes Me Wonder” places no blame but is built on the equanimity that’s been a strong part of Chesney’s appeal as a writer, with strong empathy for the woman’s point of view.

Chesney is back on the road on his much-anticipated “Brothers of the Sun” tour with Tim McGraw, which began June 2 and makes its only Southland stop on July 14 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

He'll also be teaming up with acclaimed director Jonathan Demme, whose latest concert film "Neil Young Journeys" opens a limited run later this month, for a new installment of "American Express Unstaged" that premieres June 20.

Demme, the Academy Award-winning director of "Silence of the Lambs" and other feature films as well as the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary "Stop Making Sense," will direct a livestream performance by Chesney from New Jersey.

“I think it's a unique situation for both of us because odds are we never would have worked together without this thing, you know?” Chesney told the Associated Press. “And I think it's a good thing. I love meeting and working with people who can push me and inspire me creatively in a different way. And I think that all creative people look for inspiration. That's the thing I'm looking forward to the most about this, because it is left of center and it is combining two worlds.”


ACM Awards: Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw team up

Concert promoters expect good things in 2012

Back in the saddle

-- Randy Lewis

Justin Bieber's 'Believe' tour to hit Staples Center in October

Justin Bieber has booked concerts for two consecutive nights beginning Oct. 2
Justin Bieber's Los Angeles fans are in luck. Not only has the now-voting-age star booked two dates at downtown's Staples Center in October, but the appearances come at the start of this 2012 tour trek, long before cellphone-shot videos can spoil Bieber's set lists and dance moves.

Bieber's outing, produced by Staples Center-owners AEG Live, is set to launch Sept. 29 in Glendale, Ariz., and to arrive in Los Angeles for two consecutive nights beginning Oct. 2. The tour, in support of Bieber's upcoming album "Believe," due June 19, will keep him on the road through early 2013; he is scheduled to wrap up Jan. 26 in Miami. Southern California Bieber fans interested in a road trip can catch Bieber at scheduled stops Sept. 30 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand or Oct. 5 in Fresno at the Save Mart Center. 

The general public on-sale begins June 2, yet plenty of tickets will be snatched up long before that date. Those who are members of the "Bieber Fever" fan club can buy tickets starting today. The Staples Center dates will go on sale at noon. Membership in "Bieber Fever" starts at $26.97, and concert tickets for members then range from $39.50 to $89.50, not including surcharges. 

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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.

Sinéad O'Connor cancels tour due to bipolar struggle

Sinéad O'Connor
It seemed, as anyone who witnessed one of Sinéad O'Connor's two magnificent sold-out February shows at the El Rey could attest, that the enigmatic artist had put most of her troubles behind her. Though she described herself as "terrified," the 45-year-old O'Connor proved at those shows that her voice was still as pristine as when she stormed the pop charts with her 1987 debut album, "The Lion and the Cobra." Late Monday, however, O'Connor had some disappointing news for fans, revealing that she had canceled her upcoming U.S. tour due to her battles with bipolar disorder. 

The statement was posted on her personal website, which at the time of writing is inoperable, as well as her official Facebook page. "With enormous regret I must announce that I have to cancel all touring for the year as am very unwell due to bi polar disorder," read the statement. 

O'Connor has been open about her bipolar struggles. She discussed at length the disorder five years ago on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," revealing that she had thoughts of suicide. "The best way I can describe it to you is you're so sad, just terribly sad, that you're like a bucket of water with holes in it," O'Connor told Winfrey. "Every pore of you is crying and you don't even understand why or what."

In her public statement Monday, O'Connor said she suffered a "breakdown between December and March," and she had been advised by her doctors to cancel her tour, which is the one that brought her to Los Angeles. The outing was in support of her recently released album, “How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?”

She said she failed to heed the advice and "didn't want to 'fail' or let anyone down as the tour was already booked to coincide with album release." "So very stupidly," continued the statement, "I ignored his advice to my great detriment, attempting to be stronger than I actually am."

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Report: Tupac hologram could go on tour


With Tupac Shakur’s reincarnation at the closing night of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Sunday night continuing to dominate headlines on the blogosphere, the inevitable question of what’s next for the “performer” has become a steady buzz. Now it seems that the ghostly image of the rapper, murdered more than 15 years ago, could hit the road for a tour.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting representatives for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, who anchored the closing night of first weekend of the annual three-day festival, are discussing the logistics for a possible tour involving the two as well as the virtual image of Tupac.

Coachella 2012: Tupac 'responds' to his reincarnation

Though it’s been touted as a hologram, it is actually a projected 2D image created by the Digital Domain Media Group. The company that has offices in both L.A. and Venice combined today’s technological advances with a visual trick called Pepper's Ghost that originates to the 1800s.

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Maxwell to perform entire discography on mini-tour; L.A. included


This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.

After Maxwell released the critically acclaimed "BLACKsummers'night” in 2009 -- his first album in eight years -- he scooped up two Grammys and went on a mega-successful co-headlining tour with R&B songstress Jill Scott.

Then he disappeared again.

"BLACKsummers'night” was supposed to be the first of a trilogy of albums, so fans have been left waiting for new music since then. Now, the suave crooner is throwing himself back into the limelight with a limited engagement of two-night stands in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Newark, N.J., in which he'll be performing his entire discography.

The tour kicks off in L.A. at Staples Center on July 20.

On the first night in each city, Maxwell will perform “Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite” and its follow-up,  “Embrya.” On the second night, he will perform “Now” and “BLACKsummers'night.” The singer will be backed by an 11-piece band.

Maxwell’s limited engagement will also have a political angle, as custom Obama-Biden 2012 merchandise will be available at select stops of the tour. All proceeds will go toward President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Tickets for the L.A. dates go on sale April 28 at 10 a.m., with a presale set for Friday.

[For the Record,1:45 p.m. April 17: Live Nation have annouced the tour itenary released earlier was incorrect. The tour kicks off in L.A. on July 20, and not June 20 as announced this morning. The new dates are listed below. Ticket sale information is the same.]

Check out tour dates below the jump:

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Fiona Apple announces U.S. summer tour


Fiona Apple's return to the spotlight just got kicked into overdrive as the notoriously reclusive singer-songwriter announced plans for a summer tour.

After nearly seven years of silence, she is releasing her exhaustively titled fourth album, "The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do" on June 19, the same day her 27-date trek is set to kick off in Ithaca, N.Y. Apple’s tour concludes July 29 at the Hollywood Palladium.

 "The Idler Wheel …” is Apple's long-awaited follow-up to "Extraordinary Machine," which was released in 2005. The new album's first single, "Every Single Night," is expected to be released April 24.

Tickets for the L.A. date go on sale April 27 with more information available on the singer’s website.

See the full list of dates for Apple's summer tour after the jump:

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Eddie Vedder postpones U.S. tour until fall to heal nerve damage

Eddie Vedder has postponed his 2012 U.S. tour because of nerve damage to his arm
Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder has bumped back his U.S. tour plans by about six months so nerve damage to his right arm can continue to heal. The nerve damage is the result of a back injury earlier this year.

The 15-city tour was slated to open this Tuesday in Las Vegas, but now will get under way on Halloween and run into early December. All shows have been rescheduled except for his appearance May 3 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which is canceled. Tickets will be honored at new dates outlined on Pearl Jam’s website.

"After having worked aggressively with doctors and physical therapists for the last eight weeks to repair the damage, the intensity of the injury and time needed to heal has made it impossible to play the shows as scheduled,” Pearl Jam’s manager Kelly Curtis wrote in a post on the group’s website.

“There was hope up until the last minute that the treatments would be successful,” the statement continued. “Sincerest apologies go out to those who have made plans and bought tickets. Eddie is frustrated beyond measure, but remains positive that come this summer all will be back in good form."
Vedder’s dates were in support of his 2011 solo album “Ukulele Songs,” for which he played several shows last year, including a stop in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theatre.

Singer and songwriter Glen Hansard, former member of Swell Season and The Frames, will open Vedder's shows.


Live review: Eddie Vedder at the Wiltern

Album review: Eddie Vedder's 'Ukulele Songs'

Debut solo album from the Swell Season's Glen Hansard due June 19

--Randy Lewis

Photo of Eddie Vedder at the Wiltern Theatre in 2011 on his 'Ukulele Songs' tour. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.

Sade to release 'Bring Me Home -- Live 2011' album, DVD

Last year, Sade returned to the stage after more than 10 years for a critically acclaimed tour that was hailed as "the best concert of the year” by the Baltimore Sun and others. Now, she's bringing those smooth, romantic performances to a DVD/album package.

The Nigerian-born British pop songstress will release "Bring Me Home -- Live 2011" on May 22, her label announced Monday.

The DVD for "Bring Me Home -- Live 2011" was directed by Sophie Muller, who also designed the Sade stage show, and includes 22 of her hits performed on her visually striking stage, which was nominated by Pollstar for most creative stage production and 2011 major tour of the year. The live album that accompanies the DVD features 13 of the songs performed.

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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.


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