Ten Live Events To Check Out After Football Season Is Over

Ten Live Events To Check Out After Football Season Is Over

KennyChesney

The Super Bowl is bitter sweet.  It’s the biggest sporting event of the year; it’s a game that makes careers, fortifies legacies, and sends players to the hall of fame.  On the other hand, it’s the last meaningful game of football for seven months.  What are us football fans supposed to do during the spring and summer?

If you’re anything like me, you can only work on your next season’s fantasy team for so long.  As for the other sports, they’re nice, but they just can’t fill the void.  The NBA is too vapid.  Major League Baseball is too long.  And the NHL is… well, too much hockey.

Between now and football’s annual rebirth, there are a lot of great live events going down.  These won’t replace the pigskin but they will create a pleasant distraction.  Below are ten live events that will allow you to forget all about your gridiron blues, at least for a few hours.

“The Boys of Zummer Tour”
You’ve got to hand it to Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa.  Instead of changing the “s” in “boys” to a “z” they changed the “s” in “summer” to a “z.”  You don’t get that kind of out-of-the-box thinking from bands and rappers anymore—you just don’t.  Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa kick off their creatively named “The Boys of Zummer Tour” on June 10 in Camden, New Jersey.  It ends Aug. 10 at the Hollywood Bowl.  Their opening act is rapper Hoodie Allen (another great name).

Disney On Ice
I wanted to include Disney on Ice’s latest show, Frozen, for a couple of reasons.  One, you may want a live event in which you can take the whole family to.  Frozen the ice show definitely qualifies as family-friendly entertainment.  Second, if you’re like most parents in the free world, you are sick of Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and “Let It Go,” and want nothing to do with this franchise ever again.  Well, now that you know it’s out there (and will be for the considerable future) you can do your best to hide it from your kids.  Good luck and you’re welcome.

Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac has been on tour since early October.  They will continue their trek all the way until the last day of March.  Dubbed “On With the Show,” this outing features the classic lineup of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsay Buckingham.  The quintet, the same five who made Rumours, hasn’t been together for 16 years.  So this tour is kind of a big deal.  Unfortunately, they’re done with the West Coast.

Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters are touring this summer for two reasons.  The first reason is to promote their eighth studio album, Sonic Highway.  The second reason is to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  In fact, their tour, called “Sonic Highways World Tour,” begins July 4 in Washington, D.C.   Their self-titled album dropped on the same day back in 1995.  Foo Fighters have 34 concerts planned for North America.  Four of them have been booked in stadiums: RFK (July 4), Citi Field (July 16), Fenway Park (July 18 and July 19), and Wrigley Field (Aug. 29).

Kenny Chesney & Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean are two of the biggest names in country music.  They are also two of the best live acts in the word.  Chesney’s first concert of 2015 is on March 26.   Aldean’s is on Jan. 31.  Chesney is on the road through the end of August.  Aldean’s tour stretches into mid-September.  Their tours are merging ten times this spring and summer.   Promoters are billing it as “Two Tours/One Big Night” and all of their combine tour stops are at football stadiums.   For example: AT&T Stadium, Lambeau Field, and the Rose Bowl.

Motley Crüe
A friend of mine once saw Motley Crüe in concert in Las Vegas.  At some point during the show, a couple that wasn’t “Too Young to Fall in Love” was doing so anyways.  I can’t promise that you’ll see a live sex act at an upcoming Crüe concert but I can promise you that the crowd will be interesting.  Also, 2015 may be the last year you’ll be able to see Motley Crüe live.  The band’s final leg of their final tour begins July 22 in Eugene, Oregon.  It concludes Sept. 10 in Mexico City.  Their career finale is set for Dec. 31 in Los Angeles.  The members of Motley Crüe have signed a legal document stating they will never tour under the name “Motley Crüe” after 2015.  I don’t believe it either but what are you going to do?

New Kids On The Block
Are you ready to be “Hangin’ Tough?”  This spring and summer, New Kids on the Block are getting away from the block to perform more than 40 concerts.  Their trek commences May 1 in Las Vegas and terminates July 2 in Buffalo.  The original boy band is set to play the big rooms in cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville, and Atlanta.  Also on the marquee for their upcoming “The Main Event Tour” are TLC and Nelly.  It will be a night of nonstop hits and forty-year-old men doing choreography. 

Straight No Chaser
Straight No Chaser is a decet a cappella outfit from Indiana.  Their repertoire is comprised of Top 40 hits and popular songs.  In between numbers, mashups, and medleys, the ten men of SNC crack wise and schmooze with the audience.  Yes, their concerts are the exact opposite of Slipknot shows, but Straight No Chaser sounds great live and they’re a whole lot of fun.  Also, it will pay off in the long run.  Getting Straight No Chaser concert tickets will score a bunch of points with your paramour. 

U2
This spring and summer you’ll have the opportunity to see the greatest band (post 1980) in concert.  U2 embarks on an arena tour of North America on May 14.  Right now, the final show on their docket is a July 27th affair at Madison Square Garden.  There are 31 shows on their “iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour” itinerary but just 9 cities.  Each town, except Los Angeles, will host two, four, or six U2 concerts.  L.A. gets five while MSG is the lucky venue that gets half a dozen gigs.  The legendary rock band is playing with the innocence idea one night and the experience idea the next.  Meaning, you have good cause to see U2 on consecutive nights.

WWE
Don’t laugh.  The WWE isn’t Shakespeare but it is a whole lot of fun.  It’s fun with a capital F-U-N.  If you’ve never been to a WWE live event (and you can suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours) you must go.  There are three types of WWE shows.  There are live Raw shows and Smackdown tapings.  These are the company’s weekly televised programs held on Monday and Tuesday respectively.  Next are the pay-per-views.  These events are usually held once a month on a Sunday and are much bigger than a Raw or a Smackdown.  Finally, there are the house shows.  Mainly held on weekends, house shows are not taped which allows the wrestlers to play more for the fans than the cameras.  WrestleMania 31, the biggest professional wrestling event of the year, is set to go down March 29 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

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Eric Church Is An Outsider When It Comes To Real Fans

Eric Church Is An Outsider When It Comes To Real Fans

Eric Church

The next time your favorite artist comes to your town don’t buy a ticket.  Instead, go to the concert and approach someone waiting in line to enter.  Challenge them to a contest to see who knows more about the artist and make them agree to a stipulation that if they lose you get their tickets.  After all, only “real fans” deserve to go to the show. 

That ridiculous notion is exactly what Eric Church is promoting during his “The Outsiders World Tour 2014.”  Church and his manager, Fielding Logan, are waging a war against ticket resellers.  They want to keep ticket prices down and in the hands of “real fans.”

"The people that are scalping these tickets are the equivalent of crime rings… They’re buying 1,000 tickets and turning it into a criminal business.  It’s no different than the mafia." — Eric Church

Church is alluding to the practice of purchasing tickets from the primary market and then selling them for above face value price on the secondary ticket market.  Some claim this practice keeps tickets away from “real fans” and prices high.

Church is combating ticket resellers by using paperless tickets.  That means to enter the venue you must have photo identification and the credit card used to make the ticket purchase.  It’s cumbersome and inconvenient for ticket holders and makes it difficult to transfer tickets.

Before addressing Church’s misguided and ridiculous rant on the legitimate and legal business of reselling concert tickets, I’d like to first point out Church’s hypocrisy and express my sympathies to his fans.

Church sets asides 4,000 or so tickets (all great seats) to be sold at “market value,” which is another way of saying “for more than face value price.”  Now, the proceeds from these tickets will be donated to his and his wife’s charitable organization.  While that should give everyone the warm fuzzies, he’s doing the exact same thing ticket resellers do.

Furthermore, in 2013, Logan was accused of offering free Black Keys concert tickets to sway a witness’ testimony.  So Logan can use concert tickets for his own gain but his customers can’t?

I feel for fans that can’t procure, or can’t afford, tickets to see their favorite artists.  If you’re a big fan of Jason Aldean, Wiz Khalifa, or anyone in between, you should see the object of your musical lust perform live.  Attending a concert by your favorite band is really amazing.  It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Unfortunately, it’s not called the music business for lack of a better of term.  It’s all about the money.  That’s why concert tickets aren’t free.

Ticket resellers are not criminal organizations.  In most jurisdictions, reselling concert tickets is perfectly legal.  For Church to call them criminals is irresponsible.  It’s tantamount to someone calling his music “noise” simply because he’s a country artist.

His comment also shows an immense ignorance and it’s an ignorance he’s unfortunately perpetrating on his fans, even the ones that aren’t “real.”

Ultimately, his problem isn’t ticket resellers.  His problem is supply and demand.  The demand for Eric Church tickets far outstrips the supply.  Case in point, Church’s latest album, The Outsiders, is the bestselling country album of 2014.  He’s extremely popular and a lot of people want to see him perform.  Even if there wasn’t a secondary ticket market, many “real fans” would still be left out of the Church concert tickets lottery.

Church can decimate the secondary ticket market anytime he wishes.  All he has to do is play multiple shows in each city he visits.  It’s the same concept movie theaters use and it’s why there’s no secondary market for your local Cineplex.

The other thing Church can do is price his concert tickets based on demand thus eliminating the secondary ticket market’s profit margins.  This will make his tickets far more expensive than they are now and break his promise to keep prices low for his “real fans.”  It will, however, end what he believes is a criminal organization.  And if he truly believes ticket resellers are lawbreakers doesn’t he have a moral obligation to do everything he can to stop them?

He won’t employ either of the aforementioned measures because he doesn’t want to play to half-empty houses and he doesn’t want to appear greedy.

Bottom line, any attempt to thwart the secondary ticket market, other than playing multiple shows or increasing ticket prices, is nothing more than a public relations stunt.

Techniques like paperless tickets allow the artist to have their cake and eat it too, or to put it in the proper parlance, having their tickets and reselling them too.

As for “real fans” what in the hell does that mean?  Is there a more preposterous notion than the fabricated concept of “real fans?” 

How does one qualify to be a “real fan?”  Well, besides buying a concert ticket?

If I flub a lyric do I have to leave the venue?  Will I get a better seat if I know Church attended South Caldwell High School?

I have to ask, are people scouring the internet for expensive tickets to artists they don’t like? 

Is Eric Church having problems with Luke Bryan fans attending his shows and demanding he play “Drink A Beer.”

Wouldn’t paying two, three, or four times the face value price of an Eric Church ticket make you more of a fan than someone who only pays face value price?

Cheap concerts tickets are great for “real fans” but they do encourage causal fans to attend.  I might actually check out an act I’m not very familiar with if the price is low enough.

I think Church and his manager are disingenuous when they squawk about ticket resellers and keeping tickets in the hands of “real fans.”  I’ll even go so far as to say they’re lying.

I think the ultimate solution for Church, and artists who share his opinions, is to return, or continue, to sell paper tickets that are easily transferable.  Furthermore, they should admit that they like big fat paychecks and keep on performing great live shows (which Church certainly does). 

Fans, especially the “real fans,” will find the necessary means to attend concerts.  They always have and always will.

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When It Comes To Live Events Fans Get It All Wrong

When It Comes To Live Events Fans Get It All Wrong

Johnny Manziel

Okay, the title to this article is a little harsh. Some fans do get it, but a lot don’t.

Case in point, Howard Bloom’s article on Sportingnews.com titled “NFL Increases Ticket Prices Because It Can.”

The title of the Bloom’s article insinuates that the NFL made some arbitrary pricing decision based on nothing more than a whim. 

That’s not what happened.

Furthermore, ticket pricing is an issue fans shouldn’t worry about. 

“It doesn’t matter if games are no longer affordable for "Joe football." The 2014 season begins with him enjoying contests from the comfort of his home, and the NFL doesn’t mind.” — Howard Bloom

Actually, the NFL does mind.

I’ll dispense with the obligatory “seeing an NFL game isn’t a right it’s a luxury.”  If the National Football League wants to charge a million dollars for a ticket to see the Patriots or the Cowboys or the Steelers then that’s their prerogative. 

In Bloom’s article he desperately wants to paint the NFL as some avarice conglomerate hell bent on snuffing out the proverbial little guy.  Instead, he actually reveals that they’re a fairly benevolent business entity.

Bloom tells us that for 2014 the average NFL ticket is $84.83.  That’s a 3.5 percent increase from a year ago.  If you’re spending that much money for a ticket is 3.5 percent (a couple of bucks) really that big a deal?

Yes, a 3.5 percent increase makes the NFL too expensive for some families but even if the average NFL ticket decreased by 3.5 percent it would still be too expensive for a lot of consumers.  Sadly, that’s just the way it is.

The article also mentions that in the last nine years ticket prices have increased by more than 30 percent.  Again, that’s a lot of money, but it’s not that much if you consider, as Bloom points out, there are still few single-game tickets available on game day and 24 of the league’s 32 teams have season ticket waiting lists.  Also, Super Bowl viewership has increased by 25 million in the last decade.  Clearly, the NFL’s popularity (i.e. ticket demand) has increased tremendously since 2004.

How can Bloom lament the increase in ticket prices if demand is so high?  As he admits “ticket prices are driven by the law of supply and demand” a notion that totally contradicts his charge that the NFL increases prices “because they can.” 

Bloom writes that according to industry experts NFL tickets have increase 26 percent on the secondary ticket market.

The secondary ticket market is based strictly on supply and demand meaning the NFL isn’t raising ticket prices as much as they could.  Actual demand for NFL tickets has increased ticket prices by more than 20 percent while the league has jacked up their ducats on the primary market by only a couple of bucks. 

In truth, the NFL is helping “Joe football” by not increasing their ticket prices more.

On one side of his mouth Bloom complains that NFL ticket prices are too high but on the other side of his mouth he enumerates the public’s immense desire for tickets.  His article should be titled “NFL Increase Ticket Prices Because Demand Exceeds Inventory.

Ultimately, his article completely drops the ball.  He shouldn’t care about ticket prices. 

I know it’s not an NFL game—it’s not even a sport—but it is a live event and highlights my argument… 

An Aug. 14 Paul McCartney concert in San Francisco was ruined for many fans because they couldn’t get to Candlestick Park.  There was heavy traffic and many couldn’t find a parking spot.  To make matters worse, there was no one directing traffic.

These unfortunate fans have asked for a refund.  Not surprisingly, they’re not getting one.  Some of the most disgruntled ticket holders started a petition asking for a full refund.  They want 500 signatures but an article, published just weeks after the concert, said the petition had only been signed by 393 people.

That is what Bloom should have written about.  Why isn’t that petition signed by everyone who ever bought a ticket to a rock concert?  Fans should be far more outraged over the events surrounding Sir Paul’s Candlestick performance than the NFL raising ticket prices.

What Bloom has failed to realize, and what those who haven’t signed the petition have failed to realize, is it’s not the cost of attending a live event that matters but the experience.

Having to spend a few more dollars to see the Seahawks or 49ers play doesn’t really matter in the long run.  I saw Dave Matthews Band earlier this summer and I can’t remember what I paid for tickets (or parking) but I do remember that I had a great time. 

Last summer, I took a trip to Washington D.C. and bought tickets to a Washington Nationals game.  It was rained out.  The money I lost on tickets I have since absorbed but I’m still disappointed that I didn’t get to see the Nats play.  I was really looking forward to my first National League game.

Can a sports league or promoter out price demand?  Sure, it’s theoretically possible.  Yet, promoters for acts like Elton John, Brad Paisley, and Katy Perry won’t let that happen nor will billion dollar sports leagues like the NFL.  They know what they’re doing.  Sure, prices might increase making it too expensive for some, even for you, but there will always be those of us who can’t afford it.

When it comes to tickets prices they are set by supply and demand not by greedy entities that specifically want to keep “Jane Football” at home. 

Complaining about ticket prices is ultimately a moot point.

What isn’t moot is the experience.  Promoters and leagues should be taken to task if the experience of attending their live events is unsatisfactory.  The experience is something they can actually improve.  Ticket prices are not.

Money comes and goes but memories are forever. The experience is what’s important and that is what pundits like Bloom, and fans like you, should really be complaining about.

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Elton John Saves Boy From Russian Tanks (Probably)

EltonJohnElton John Saves Boy From Russian Tanks (Probably)

This New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn welcomes Elton John to Barclays Center.  Fans assembled in the audience will not only be watching one of the most successful musicians of all-time, a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, they will also be in the presence of a man that rescued a boy from the blood stained tracks of Russian tanks.

Well, John probably rescued a boy and who knows how close the boy ever really got to the tanks but he was definitely closer to a warzone than any kid in America.

I write “probably” because neither John nor his people have confirmed the details of the dramatic rescue.  That’s assuming there was an actual rescue.

Before going into specifics, I need to tell you that in 2009 Elton John and his partner David Furnish met a young boy named Lev Ageyeva at an orphanage in Ukraine.

Apparently, when you’re a big star like John one of things you do when you’re traveling is drop-in on orphanages.  You want to go check out a museum or do some shopping, Elton?  Na, let’s go see some parent-less kids.

Well, John and Furnish fell in love with Lev but were unable to adopt him.  One, John was too old—he was 62 at the time—and two, the country prohibits gays from adopting. 

"[Lev] has stolen my heart… I won’t give up on him, ever." – Elton John

Even though John and Furnish couldn’t take Lev home they vowed to support him financially and keep in contact.  Meanwhile, John and Furnish had two children through a surrogate. 

Not all was lost for the young lad; he was taken in by his grandmother, Yulia Ageyeva (61). 

Fast forward to 2014, and Lev’s hometown is all of sudden in the way of pro-Russian separatists—pro-Russian separatist equipped with tanks.  In other words, Saturday night was not alright for fighting as the separatists will get a little action in.

Don’t worry, Lev, his grandmother, and his brother, Artyom, managed to escape the blitzkrieg and relocate to the relative safety of Kiev. 

We know this because Olena Franchuk, Ukrainian socialite, AIDS activist, friend of Elton, and daughter of Leonid Kuchma, the second president of the country, told the media as much.  She also said John “was their savior.”

Neither the singer nor any of his representatives have commented on the story.

"People say Russian tanks will attack soon.  I thank God for whoever helped us.  We’ve been told we will be moved to a flat and there’s a school not far away." — Yulia Ageyeva

Now, I’d like to think Elton John donned some serious SAS commando gear, slipped on the night vision googles, and then buried some led in a few separatists while herding Lev and family into a black helicopter landing in the some field.

I’d even settle for John being in a war room deep in a bunker under his mansion.  This underground room has a bunch of video monitors and radar screens.  Military types are walking around looking busy and every once in a while someone walks up to Elton and asks him to sign something. 

Meanwhile, John is wearing one of those Garth Brooks headsets and coordinating the efforts of a crack group of commandos while some 20-year-old operates a drone in a corner.  John is barking out really cool things like “I want visuals on our target ASAP,” “Two minutes until extraction,” “Failure is not an option people,” and “Where’s my Frappuccino!”

While either of those two scenarios would have been awesome, more than likely all John did was write a big check.

I write “all John did” but he saved more kids in Ukraine this year than I’ve saved.  Sadly, there are thousands more children asking for someone to save their life tonight.  Hopefully, they each have a Reginald Dwight in their lives.

From now until the end of the year, when he’s not plucking children from the conflagrations of Eastern European combatants, Elton John will be performing live all over the world. 

Look for Elton John in Denver on Sept. 20, Seattle on Sept. 27, and San Jose on Oct. 2.  Then on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, Elton John will be in Los Angeles

He’ll spend all of November and early December in Europe but has not scheduled any stops in Ukraine. 

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Paul McCartney’s Net Worth Is Not What You Think

PaulMcCartneyOutTherePaul McCartney’s Net Worth Is Not What You Think

Paul McCartney is not a billionaire.

That’s hard to believe.  The Beatles have been selling records for more than half a century and his post Fab Four days haven’t been too shabby.

Now, some sites list McCartney as a billionaire.  They do so because the Sunday Times quoted Sir Paul’s net worth at $1.05 billion.  But that number includes the fortune of his current wife, Nancy Shevell.  Her family owns a trucking company that rakes in more $300 million a year.

In 2008, Paul McCartney net assets were revealed to be $600 million.  He released his net worth during divorce proceedings with Heather Mills.

Since that time, experts estimate that he’s made more than $204 million (thanks to Paul McCartney tours in 2011 and 2012 he raked in $67 million and $57 million respectively).  Those same experts believe that after taxes, fees, and more taxes he’s added about $50 million to his net worth. 

In case math isn’t your thing, Paul McCartney’s current net worth is probably around $650 million.

In 2014, the former Beatle will be making several bank deposits thanks to more North American legs of his “Out There Tour.” 

So far, during the trek’s first 40 Paul McCartney concerts, the songwriter has grossed $150 million.  He earned more than $38 million of that amount this summer.

On Aug. 2, McCartney played to more than 43,000 fans when he rocked Target Field in Minneapolis.

On Aug. 5, McCartney played to an excess of 25,000 fans in Missoula, Montana.  That’s not a lot if you’re talking about the northeast or California, but adjusted for Big Sky country it’s like a Bonnaroo crowd.  By the way, Macca set a record for largest crowd ever assembled to see a concert in Montana.  In doing so he surpassed a 2006 concert by The Rolling Stones.

On Aug. 10, McCartney was in La La Land for a show at Dodger Stadium.  He moved more than 52,000 ducats for a gross of $5.2 million.

On Aug. 14, McCartney closed San Francisco’s Candlestick Park by drawing a crowd of 53,477.  It was the highest grossing show of his current tour.

Coming up, San Diego welcomes Paul McCartney to Petco Park on Sept. 28.  Then, on the day before Halloween, Paul McCartney rocks the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Back in June, McCartney’s quest to reach a billion dollars endured a major setback.  He was forced to rescheduled U.S. dates and canceled a tour of Japan due to an unspecified virus.   The rescheduled dates are as follows…

On Oct. 2, Paul McCartney is set to perform in Lubbock, Texas (birthplace of Buddy Holly).  Nine days later, Paul McCartney will be in New Orleans (birthplace of Louis Armstrong). 

The former Wings frontman returns to Texas on Oct. 13.  That night Dallas hosts Paul McCartney and his band at the American Airlines Center.

On Oct. 15, Atlanta greets Paul McCartney at Philips Arena.  The following day, Paul McCartney is in Nashville for a gig at the Bridgestone Arena. 

Paul McCartney is booked at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida for the night of Oct. 25.  On Oct. 28, Paul McCartney rolls into Louisville for a concert at the Yum! Center.

I mentioned earlier that McCartney is on a quest to be a billionaire.  I just made that up.  Who knows if he wants to reach the ten-digit plateau?  If he wanted to it seems like he could have reached that milestone years ago.

Judging from reviews of his biggest shows, McCartney isn’t touring to make a money grab.  He’s playing for three hours, he’s engaging the crowd, and he’s as spry as a 72-year-old can be.  Yes, his voice has a lost a step, but he still sounds great.  That’s not the behavior you’d expect from an artist looking to earn a quick buck.

McCartney’s set list is heavy on stuff from his Beatles days and the 1970s.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that especially with his catalog of tunes.  Maybe some people find this a bit too nostalgic but if I’m paying to see McCartney perform in a venue holding 40,000 of my closet friends I want the hits and a few select deep cuts.  I don’t need to hear every track from his last album, New.

If McCartney wants to play stuff exclusively from his last couple of albums then fine, but he needs to do that at cozy theatres not mammoth stadiums and large arenas. 

Since McCartney isn’t getting any younger.  It’s safe to say that this tour may be his last and if it’s not his last it’s his second or third to the last.  Therefore, he needs to play his best stuff, the old stuff.

Will McCartney ever be a billionaire? 

Maybe. 

In the end, McCartney fans don’t care about his assets.  Having a billion, or just under a billion, in one’s pocketbook still means you have more money than anyone can possible spend in a lifetime. 

What’s really important are the billions of lives McCartney has touched with his music.  Like he once sang: “…and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

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Garth Brooks Tour Is Already Breaking Records

GarthBrooks

Garth Brooks Tour Is Already Breaking Records

Garth Brooks is selling his Malibu beach home.  The country music superstar and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, are listing their ranch-style abode for a mere $7.5 million.  I’m sure he’ll settle for $7 million as he bought the residence in 2008 for a paltry $4.95 million.

Don’t worry, Brooks isn’t selling the home because he needs money.  The four-bedroom domicile is on the market because Brooks and Yearwood no longer need its palatialness and its three-and-a-half bathrooms.

Even if Brooks was destitute—if he had somehow gone through all that money he made from his record sales and all those Garth Brooks concerts—he wouldn’t need to sell a home to get back into the black.  All he would have to do is go out on tour.  And that’s exactly what he’s doing later in 2014.

In fact, one of the reasons Brooks and his wife are selling their Malibu home is that they’re hitting the road together. 

The “The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood” begins Sept. 4 in Chicago.  Between Sept. 4 and Sept. 14, the country music star will perform ten shows.  Technically, Garth Brooks will be in Rosemont performing at the AllState Arena.

He’s not performing every night.  He has concerts plotted for Sept.  4 through Sept. 6 and then Sept. 11 through Sept. 14.

Odd for a popular musician, even of the country music variety, Brooks has plotted two shows a night for Sept. 6, Sept. 12, and Sept. 13.  On those three nights, Brooks will perform at 6pm and 10:30pm.

You don’t see a lot of performers—you never see rockers do it—perform two shows a night.  It’s a practice usually reserved for Las Vegas, comedians, and children acts.

Is G.B. scheduling the ten concerts to thwart ticket scalpers?  No, the demand is actually that high.  Apparently, Brooks sold 180,000 tickets to his Chicago concerts in less than three hours.  That’s what the live music industry calls a “hot ticket.”

If that number is true, it breaks Brooks’ personal bests for ticket sales in both Chicago and any other U.S. city.

Back in 1997, Brooks sold more than 140,000 tickets to a series of concerts held in Chicago.  His personal best when it comes to ticket sales occurred in 1998 when he moved 162,822 ducats to his week-long stand at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The second stop on Brooks’ world outing is Atlanta.  He has three concerts scheduled over two days.  Atlanta hosts Garth Brooks on Sept. 19 (two shows) and Sept. 20.  All three concerts are booked at the Philips Arena.

Demand for tickets to the third Atlanta show broke Ticketmaster.  Well, fans didn’t actually break Ticketmaster they just crashed the site selling Garth Brooks tickets.

So far, Chicago and Atlanta are the only announced tour stops.  Look for the 52-year-old singer to announce more dates in the near future.

At first glance, his pending tour seems like it’s being thrown together or plotted on the fly.  Only two dates have been released, additional dates were quickly added in both Chicago and Atlanta, and Ticketmaster was caught unprepared.  

Brooks and his people aren’t throwing anything together and they aren’t doing anything on the fly.  They’re just a bit unsure of the demand.  Brooks retired from the business of show in the early 2000s as one of the bestselling solo artists of all-time.

Garth’s Retirement
Brooks officially announced his retirement on Oct. 26, 2000.  His final album dropped on Nov. 13, 2001 and he performed a few shows in promotion.  That’s why you’ll see some publications write that Garth retired in 2000 while others claim he hung up his shingle in 2001.  I personally adhere to the first date.  Garth is a country music star and not an insurance salesman, it would have been impossible for him to announced his retirement and then completely stop working.  Regardless of when you think he actually retired, Brooks hasn’t been active since the early 2000s.

That was a long time ago and even though bean counters can estimate Brooks’ popularity by the number of albums sold during his retirement, and how fast he sold tickets to his intermittent residency at the Encore Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, they really can’t be absolutely sure of his popularity.

So be patient.  You’ve already been waiting for more than a dozen years, waiting a few more days, weeks, or even months until Brooks announces a concert in your neck of the woods should be a piece of cake.

Another thing to look forward to is a brand new Garth Brooks album.  The Oklahoman is currently working on a new collection of songs.  His last new studio album, Scarecrow, dropped in 2001.  During his retirement, Brooks released a box set (2005), a greatest hits collection (2007), and another box set that’s mainly cover versions (2013). 

Very soon, even before his first Chicago concert, the singer will begin to sell his entire catalog via digital downloads.  Brooks announced his retirement just months before the launch iTunes.

Garth’s Record Sales
Garth Brooks has sold a lot of records, but he is NOT the all-time best selling male artist as some publications anoint him.  He is, however, the bestselling albums artist in the U.S. since 1991 according to SoundScan.  SoundScan is the official source of sales within the recording industry and supplies Billboard magazine (the group responsible for the charts) with data.  According to the Recording Industry Association of America, which doesn’t use SoundScan, and whose figures go back to 1958, Garth Brooks is the third bestselling albums artists behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley.  Either way you look at it, Brooks has sold a bunch of records.

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What Are Fans Of 5 Seconds Of Summer Called?

5SecondsofSummer5SOS
What Are Fans Of 5 Seconds of Summer Called?

It’s a question almost as old as time… well, if time started in December of 2011.   What are fans of 5 Seconds of Summer called? 

I’m sure they each have a different name like Jessica, Sarah, Tiffany, Amber…

All kidding aside, there really isn’t a name for fans of the Australian punk-pop quartet.  At least there’s no cute name like “The 6th Seconds” or “The Timekeepers” or “S-O-Sers.”

Instead, if you’re a fan of 5SOS you’re part of the “5SOS Family.”

I think that’s an appropriate name and much better than some cutesy appellation like the ones I suggested above. 

This is important because 5 Seconds of Summer is the most non-boy band “boy band” of all-time.  They play their own instruments and write their own material. 

Yet, they’re touring with One Direction (the ultimate boy band) and managed by the same company. 

All that is fine for now, but what happens when the band and their fans mature?  A name like the “5S0S Family” is something they can take with them into young adulthood.  A name like the “Secondese” or the “Summer Heads” is not a designation you can easily shake.

The most famous examples of named fandoms are, of course, “Deadheads” for fans of the Grateful Dead; “Phans,” which only works in print, for people who love Phish; and “Parrot Heads” for followers of Jimmy Buffett, a name created by Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit.

Fan Names
Aerosmith fans are called… “The Blue Army”
Avril Lavigne fans are called… “Black Stars”
Clay Aiken fans are called… “Claymates”
Insane Clown Posse fans are called… “Juggalos”
Josh Groban fans are called… “Grobanites”
Justin Bieber fans are called… “Beliebers”
Katy Perry fans are called… “Katy-Cats“
The Killers fans are called… The Victims
KISS fans are called… “KISS Army”
Lady Gaga fans are called… “Little Monsters”
New Kids on the Block fans are called… “Blockheads”
One Direction fans are called… “Directioners”
Slipknot fans are called… “Maggots”

The all-time best name for fans belongs to the hoard that worships Barry Manilow.  They call themselves “Fanilows.”  Even if you don’t like Barry Manilow (which is impossible) you want to become a fan just so you can say “I’m a Fanilow.”

Right now, if you’re part of the 5SOS Family you’re going to have to hang out with Directioners if you want to see 5 Seconds of Summer live.  Five Seconds is opening for 1D during their current “Where We Are World Tour.”  The trek will keep the Aussies lads busy well into October.

Recently announced, 5 Seconds of Summer will launch their own headlining world tour in May of 2015.   The trek comes to North American shores on July 17.  That night, 5 Seconds of Summer rocks Las Vegas.

Key concerts on their itinerary include Aug. 1 when Tinley Park welcomes 5 Seconds of Summer to the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater; Aug. 7 when Dallas hosts 5 Seconds of Summer at the GEXA Energy Pavilion; and Sept. 12 when Tampa rolls out the red carpet for 5 Seconds of Summer at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

The final date on their calendar is Sept 13.  That’s when West Palm Beach sets up 5 Seconds of Summer at the Cruzan Amphitheatre.

If you can’t wait that long to see your favorite heartthrobs from Down Under, the boys do have three headlining events slated for November in the United States.

On the 13th, the boys will be in Phoenix for a show at the AK-Chin Pavilion.  Then on the 15th and 16th, 5 Seconds of Summer performs in Inglewood (Los Angeles).  Their two concerts will be held at The Forum.

The band is hitting the road to support their first full-length studio release.  The self-titled album recently grabbed the top spot on the Billboard 200 and is anchored by the hit single “She Looks So Perfect.”

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Ten Funny Headlines Involving Real Band Names

headline

Ten Funny Headlines Involving Real Band Names

I recently saw a headline that read “Death from Above 1979 Announce Fall World Tour.”  Since I saw the headline on a site dedicated to live music, and since I know “Death from Above 1979” is a band, I knew what was going on.

If you didn’t know “Death from Above 1979” was a band, and you saw the headline on a site not dedicated to concerts, you might be scratching your head wondering what in the hell is going?  Not every act has an obvious name like Dave Matthews Band or Zac Brown Band.

Bands have some weird names nowadays that might confuse people if they’re used in a poorly worded headline.  And if you were to use more than one band name you’ll only increase your chances of baffling readers who are ignorant when it comes to rock and roll.

All this got me thinking about interesting and funny headlines about concert tours, live shows, and music festival.  The following headlines are only possible in our imagination but I think they show just how careful editors need to be.

Let’s start with a handful of classic rock bands.  If you didn’t know who’s who you might think the editor was teasing you:

The Who And Guess Who Touring With The Band

If speed metal and British new wave bands aren’t your thing you might be running for the hills after reading this leader:

Anthrax Coming To Town Before The Cure

For this headline it doesn’t matter if you know the artists or not, although I’m sure you’ve heard of Lady Gaga.  All that matters is how quickly you can pronounce it:

Lady Gaga, Goo Goo Dolls, Kajagoogoo To Play Bonnaroo With Bono

If you didn’t know the bands in the following headline you might be double checking your calendar:

Black Sabbath, Taking Back Sunday This Weekend

The following headline isn’t announcing a tour but announcing a change to a previously announced tour.  Even so, if you didn’t know much about popular music you might be worried about a revolt:

America Drops Chicago, Boston, Kansas

If the following four acts actually toured they’ll probably need to come up with a different name.  There isn’t a marquee in the world big enough to hold:

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Peter, Paul & Mary, Mumford & Sons And Guest

The above headline also works with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Emerson, Lake & Powell, Belle & Sebastian, and/or special guest.

This tour would never happen but if it did I’d be there.  As it is, the headline just makes you hungry:

Korn and Bread Go With Meatloaf

The musically obtuse reader might confuse the next screamer as a lament from a diary and not one heck of a good lineup:

My Chemical Romance And My Bloody Valentine Hit The Road With My Morning Jacket

This caption sounds a little dirty unless you know all the players:

KISS, Everything But The Girl, With Flaming Lips Tonight

The following header will have the uninitiated applauding “Ned” for helping the environment.  If they only knew:

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin To Open For Garbage

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Lil Wayne Is Not Dating Christina Milian But He Is Battling Drak

Lil Wayne Is Not Dating Christina Milian But He Is Battling Drake

DrakeVsLilWayne

Recently, Lil Wayne’s love life has been grabbing internet headlines.  After some public hand holding, the gossipmongers are pitching the idea that he’s dating Christina Milian.

The two already have a professional relationship.  Milian is signed to Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment and the rapper is shepherding her career.

On July 16, the two were seen holding hands outside of the Nokia Theatre (they had just attended the ESPY’s which was hosted by Drake who is also in the Young Money stable of talent). 

Yet, on their way to Chris Brown’s celebrity kickball game, Wayne and Milian separately and vehemently denied that they were dating.  Of course, you don’t vehemently deny something unless it’s true.  If it’s not true you just say it’s not true.  Wayne was calmer and more collected when he squashed rumors that his daughter had perished in a car crash.

It wasn’t all fervent denials and unequivocal repudiations.  Wayne did tell the “reporter” the he was dating J.Lo.  He was joking but it was a clever retort.

Even so, there are unknown sources saying that the couple is indeed in a romantic relationship.  Common sense says it’s nothing but a publicity stunt to help promote Milian’s upcoming album.

After all, if Wayne and Milian were dating things would be a little odd… even for them.

Wayne has a son with Nivea.  Milian has a daughter with The Dream.  Nivea and The Dream have three children together.  A Wayne-Milian relationship would make things really weird come Christmastime.  Their kids are related.

I’m a huge Weezy fan but I could care less about whom he dates.  I care about his music and his touring (and a little bit about his music videos).   Ultimately, it doesn’t make any difference because if he’s not dating her now he will be.  Wayne loves the ladies.

The relationship I care more about is the one Lil Wayne has with Drake.

The two rap icons are teaming for a tour.  Weezy and Dizzy begin their joint jaunt on Aug. 8 in Darien Center, New York.

Look for Drake and Lil Wayne concerts in Hartford, Cincinnati, and Charlotte. 

Tinley Park hosts Lil Wayne and Drake on Aug. 10 at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre.  Two days later Drake and Lil Wayne stroll into Saratoga Springs, New York for a gig at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

On Aug. 25, Mansfield welcomes Lil Wayne and Drake to the Xfinity Center.  The next date of note is Sept. 22.  That night Drake and Lil Wayne will be in Los Angeles to perform at the historic Hollywood Bowl.

Their expedition ends Sept. 27 in The Woodlands, Texas.

The tour is being called “Lil Wayne vs. Drake.”  When news of their trek first hit the Web, I thought the “vs.” part was just a crafty way of naming their venture.  It turns out that it’s also a fitting description.

In speaking to MTV News, Wayne said he and Drake will battle.  They will take turns performing their own songs.  This back and forth will eventually culminate with both artists taking the stage at the same time.

Little Wayne: “Since, thank god we’ve been so successful, [we’ll just be] going back and forth with our hits and getting the crowd to go crazy, then just finally hit the stage together. It’s a battle type thing.”

That sounds awesome.  Hopefully, their set list will ping pong back and forth.  Hopefully, it won’t be Little Wayne performing for a half hour then Drake doing 30 minutes, repeat, and for an encore the two perform together. 
If they trade songs—Little Wayne does “Lollipop,” then Drake does “Best I Ever Had,” then Little Wayne performs “Go D.J.”, followed by Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home,” and finally “The Motto” and/or “She Will” and/or “Believe Me”—the show will be one you tell your grandkids about.

Even if they trade lengthy blocks it will still be good enough to brag to your offspring.

Should you do everything in your power to seize this opportunity and experience Little Wayne live… before he retires?  After all, Weezy said he would quit the industry after Tha Carter V is released.  That album should drop sometime in August or September (probably… maybe… ).

Don’t hold your breath on Lil Wayne retiring.  He has apparently recorded so much stuff for Tha Carter V that he’s going to release another album in 2014, or early 2015, called Da Other Album, and then several more.

In other words, Lil Wayne has a bunch of songs he’s recorded that are just itching to be release.  I don’t think he’ll be hanging up his mic any time soon.  Not only that, but it’s a lot easier to pull honeys like Christina Milian when you’re releasing albums and selling concert tickets then when you’re living in Boca Raton, wearing black socks with sandals, and eating dinner at 4pm.

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Lady Gaga Studied By DARPA

Lady Gaga Studied By DARPA

LadyGagaDARPA

There are several levels of fame when it comes to being a musician.

The first level is when you get a groupie.  I’m not talking about your mom, but an honest to goodness fan who doesn’t “have to” like your music.

The next level of fame is when you’re recognized on the street preferably by a gaggle of screaming women (or men).  Of course, if it’s a slightly out-of-shape middle aged man who totally gets your sound that’s okay too.

Then there’s the level of fame where you’re the subject of an urban myth.  This is where recording artists start getting into rarified air.  There’s Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite, Michael Jackson owned the elephant man’s bones, Paul is dead, and gallons of a “substance that shall remain nameless” was pumped out of Rod Stewart’s stomach.  By the way, all of those myths are indeed myths.

You might think that being a part of an urban myth is the highest level of fame.  I mean, starring in an urban myth is the dream of dreams.  There is however, another level.  A level very few performers ever reach.  It’s the level when you’re investigated by the U.S. government.

This level is so exclusive you don’t even fantasize about it when you’re learning the chords to “Back in Black” in your parent’s garage.  Yeah, you’ll dream about money, cars, and chicks, but you don’t even bother envisaging yourself being investigated by the F.B.I or studied by the Pentagon.

The F.B.I. had 281 pages on John Lennon.  The U.S. government reconnoitered Lennon as part of their investigation into anti-war activists.  Nixon worried that the former Beatle would cost him the 1972 election.  He didn’t.  The British government thought Lennon was harmless.

The F.B.I. also had a file on Elvis Presley.  The King was never accused of committing a crime but a lot of criminal activity went on around him including death threats.  In the 1950s, F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover received a letter from a prominent Wisconsin Catholic organization proclaiming Elvis as a threat to national security.

In 1965, parents from all over the country believed that The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” was an obscene piece of filth.  The F.B.I. examined the song for four months.  What did the greatest law enforcement agency on the planet find?  They found absolutely nothing.  No matter how slow they played the song they couldn’t decipher the lyrics.  They declared the song unintelligible.  An F.B.I. agent even interviewed one of the Kingsmen who said the song was anything but obscene.

New to this very exclusive club is Lady Gaga.  It was recently revealed that the U.S. military studied Lady Gaga’s Twitter account.  They looked at Gaga’s tweets as part of a larger effort to study social networks and how messages are spread.

The study, which wasn’t necessarily done by Pentagon, was funded by the defense department, mainly the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA. 

If you look at the entire picture it may not be that big of deal but if you say “Lady Gaga was part of a study funded by DARPA” then it’s frickin’ awesome. 

If I was Mother Monster I’d quit right now.  It will never get better than being part of a study funded by the group who also researched mind-controlled robotic arms.

Why her Gaganess?  Well, Lady Gaga, who is currently in the middle of her ArtRave: The Artpop Ball, is widely considered “the most popular elite user on Twitter.”

So if you attend an upcoming ArtRave, say Lady Gaga in Houston on July 16 or Lady Gaga in Phoenix on July 30, you’re not only seeing one of the biggest pop stars of all-time, you’re also seeing the subject of a study paid for by what is basically the U.S. government’s version of the X-Files.

Due to his appeal to teenagers, Justin Bieber’s Twitter account was also studied.  I’m mentioning this near the end of the article because it lets the air out of the sails just a little bit.

By the way, the U.S. government spent millions to learn:

“…Twitter is primarily used for spreading information to like-minded people rather than debating issues.”

In other words, Twitter users preach to the choir.  I could have told them that for nothing more than a pair of Lady Gaga tickets.  After all, Twitter is the lowest form of human communication. 

Coming up, Lady Gaga has two shows in Los Angeles (July 21 and July 22).  In early August, look for Lady Gaga in Denver, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C.

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