Another year is just about in the books, but while 2017 is in the rear view, it’s time to look forward to 2018 and what music it’s going to bring to the area. Yes, it’s still early, but so many shows are already on-sale, about to be announced or heavily rumored to be coming to town. Let’s break it all down in an overview.
THE BIG GUNS
When an artist is capable of selling out stadiums, it pays to put the shows on-sale way in advance, helping to plan out if additional dates are needed or if things need to be scaled back; though the latter rarely happens in the case of these acts.
Country superstar Kenny Chesney returns to the region May 19 at Lincoln Financial Field. Taylor Swift will be bringing her Reputation tour to the venue July 14 and Ed Sheeran will be doing the same, but not until September 27.
THE ARENA SUPERSTARS
The Wells Fargo has a ridiculous lineup already. The Killers (January 13) and Lana Del Rey (January 21) start off the year, while Kid Rock is the sole act so far for February, bringing his “Greatest Show on Earth” tour to the arena on the 23rd.
Blake Shelton headlines the “Country Music Freaks Tour” come March 17, joined by Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce and Trace Adkins. New Zealand songstress Lorde will celebrate her latest effort, Melodrama, and the hit single “Green Light” with an April 2 gig, while local hero Pink brings her Beautiful Trauma World Tour home on April 13.
Irish rock legends U2 will come back to Philly for a two-night stand at the WFC June 13 and 14, then make way for One Direction’s Harry Styles June 15. There will be fireworks of the heartbroken kind on the 4th of July when Sam Smith plays the holiday there, and country diva Shania Twain continues her comeback run July 12. Later in the summer, on August 24, will be the long-awaited return of Jeff Lynne’s ELO, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year.
At Reading’s Santander Arena, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine and Breaking Benjamin loudly kickoff the year January 16. Fantasia will be there February 24 while legendary crooner Paul Anka celebrates 60 years of hits May 9.
THE HALLS AND THEATRES
The Fillmore has quickly become the go to mid-size venue for so many artists. Highlights already on the docket for next year include Steve Aoki February 11, Awolnation February 23 and Franz Ferdinand May 14.
Across the river at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion, once the warm weather hits, it’s the place to be, starting with the WMMR BBQ May 19, which this year already boasts Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and their new singer Jeff Gutt and the corpse-painted Ghost at the top of the lineup. The next month, June 23, will rock out with Whitesnake, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Foreigner.
The Foo Fighters are back at BB&T July 7, and it’s a dream lineup with Weezer and Pixies July 21. Kesha and Macklemore team up for a gig July 25, and the annual XPoNential Music Festival has the War on Drugs, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Sturgill Simpson lined up July 28.
Down on South Street at the Theatre of Living Arts, some of the top gigs include Big Head Todd & The Monsters January 26, Machine Head February 8 and Nothing More February 9 bringing the heaviness and electronic music stalwarts O.M.D. March 7.
Out in Glenside, The Keswick Theater is no stranger at looking down the road, and in the coming months has the likes of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic there February 8, guitarist Eric Johnson March 3 and k.d. Lang March 23.
The region has become a hotbed of music festivals in recent years, and that trend looks to continue in 2018. We’ve already touched on the XPoNential Music Fest in late July, but before that will be the Roots Family Picnic, which will be celebrating its 11th year.
The Firefly Music Festival will be taking place June 14 – 17 at the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware. The presale is already sold out, so keep an ear to the ground for then the general tickets are made available. July 13 at the BB&T Pavilion will see the final Warped Tour roll through town, as organizers are calling it a day after 23 years.
The Made in America Festival has yet to announce it will be returning next year, but going by the sold-out attendance in the past few years, there’s little chance it won’t continue to be a staple over Labor Day Weekend. And look for Rock Allegiance to return sometime in the fall, though it’s not clear if it’ll be in Camden or back in Chester
The rumors are running rampant for who might be hitting the road in 2018. Fleetwood Mac is set to announce a reunion tour of their Rumours-era lineup. Ozzy Osbourne already revealed he will be embarking on a farewell tour beginning next year, though no North American dates have been set in stone just yet.
Pearl Jam is supposedly planning a summer run. Metallica hit stadiums earlier this year, and are likely going to hit arenas – possibly for multiple nights in certain cities – in the fall. Kanye West is looking to get back to arenas next year, but he might do festivals instead.
Two of the most interesting rumors circulating are Van Halen reuniting with their classic lineup – including bassist Michael Anthony – to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their self-titled debut album. Even more intriguing is Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who was quoted earlier this month as saying, “There’s all manner of surprises,” coming to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. Realistically, a reunion tour is not in the cards, but we can dream.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com.