Hunter Hayes Names Tour And Irks This Blogger

by Noiz 30. September 2014 19:56

Hunter Hayes Names Tour And Irks This Blogger

I have a bone to pick with Hunter Hayes.

This proverbial mandible has nothing to do with him being the country Justin Bieber or the male Taylor Swift.

It has nothing to do with him just turning 23 (on Sept. 9) and already having two number one country albums and a number one country music single to his name… or that he’s already launched three headlining tours with a fourth on the way… or that he’s been nominated for four Grammy Awards.

I’ve made peace with the fact that my 23rd year on this planet was spent mastering the intricacies of Madden football and working at an Urban Outfitters. 

Guinness World Record
My beef with Hayes has nothing to do with him setting the Guinness World Record for the most concerts played in a 24-hour period.  While it’s a dream of mine to appear in Guinness, I’ve realized that setting the world record for longest Homeland marathon is just not going to happen.

My bone has absolutely nothing to do with a reviewer using the term “Springsteen-esque” to describe one of his live shows.  John J. Moser, of The Morning Call, writing about a Hunter Hayes performance at the Allentown Fair, called him “talented,” “a good guitarist,” “fearless,” and “humble.”

“If Hayes is the future of young country music, thank goodness for him.” — John J. Moser

Tattoo Your Name Tour
None of the above bothers me.  My bone with Double-H is the name of his pending musical excursion. 
Hayes is calling his upcoming set of dates the “Tattoo Your Name Tour.”  Yet, the Louisiana-born singer-songwriter has nary a tattoo.  Not a one.  Zip.  Zero.  Nil.  His 23-year-old body is completely devoid of ink (well, at least that’s what I’m told).

"I have a song called 'Tattoo,' and I don't even have tattoos, so ... I feel so horrible." Hunter Hayes to Entertainment Tonight

You should feel horrible, Hunter.  Your reckless behavior has irked this blogger.  Now we know the marrow of the bone I’m picking with Hunter Hayes: he has a song named “Tattoo” (and soon a tour) but he doesn’t have a tattoo himself. 

Tattoos are “hot.”  They’re trendy.  Once only an option for sailors, bikers, and longshoremen, tattoos are now the safe and mainstream way to rebel.

The tattoo is a way to say “I have a little bit of a dangerous side” while taking your kids to soccer practice.

Do you need to put a little fear into your fellow PTA members?  Just show them your angel wings tattoo located on the small of your back. 

Do you want to be the alpha male of your bowling team?  Nothing says “kiss my alley” like a Celtic symbol on your arm; you know, the one you learned about ten minutes before entering the tattoo parlor.

Appropriating Tattoo
By appropriating “tattoo” for a title of a song (the second single from his album Storyline) and a tour, and not having one himself, means he’s exploiting the popularity of tattoos without actually having the courage, or stupidity, to get one himself.

Does every artist have to be intimately involved with everything they sing about?  Does One Direction have to know what it’s like to be old to sing “Live While We’re Young?”  Does Lady Gaga have to play the big tables in Las Vegas to croon “Poker Face?”  Does Katy Perry need a pet lion to belt out “Roar?”

Tattoo Lyrics
The answer to all those questions is no, but Hayes’ case is a little different.  Lyrically, he makes a lovely metaphor…

“Cause with you, I'm gonna do quite a few things that I never thought I would do
Your name, your name, your name would be a good tattoo”
— from Hunter Hayes’ “Tattoo”

…but he makes his metaphor at the expense of a popular form of body modification.  A form of body modification that people will assume he has experienced.  Yeah, it’s a little phony. 

Maybe I’m overreacting but to me it’s like Aerosmith not really being bad boys, Wiz Khalifa not smoking the chronic, or Bryan Adams not being Canadian.

During a recent appearance on the Today Show, where he sang “Tattoo,” Hayes donned a henna tattoo sleeve decked out with emblems from all of the cities on his upcoming itinerary. 

The good news is, I’m still a fan, I’m still buying Hunter Hayes tickets, and I’m still listening to his albums.  Furthermore, he’s only 23.  He has plenty of time to get some ink.  According to the singer, he has no idea what kind of tattoo to get.  I suggest random Japanese characters.  Those seem to be popular.

Autograph Tattoo
His fans certainly know what kind of things to permanently affix to their skin.  Hayes recently told reporters about a fan that got a tattoo of his autograph.  Hayes was pretty blown away by her commitment.  He’s seen tattoos of his lyrics but never his autograph.

Incidentally, you can see what your name would look like tattooed on what appears to be Hunter’s arm.  On his Web site is an app that allows you to virtually add your name to his virtual bicep.  Your nomenclature is placed under the Hayes’ double-H logo.

Tour Itinerary
Hayes kicks off his “Tattoo Your Name Tour” on Oct. 28 in New York City.  It was one of two recently added “Wild Card” concerts.  The other addendum to his route is a Nov. 29 show in Dallas.

Highlights of his odyssey include Milwaukee on Nov. 13; Chicago on Nov. 21; and Atlanta on Dec. 6.  The final Hunter Hayes concert on the docket is set for Dec. 13 in London, Ontario.

Joining Hayes on the road with be Dan + Shay and The Railers.  By the way that’s two different acts.   Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney are a country music duo while The Railers are a country music quartet formerly known as Tin Cup Gypsy.

Hayes is warning fans that not only will his upcoming tour be for them but they will actually be part of the show.  The singer did not elaborate on what exactly that means but he did mention wristbands.

Not just any wristbands but “custom LED wristband(s).”  Everyone attending a Hunter Hayes show will receive one.  I imagine that they will be remotely synchronized to flash and change color with the music.  If that’s the case then that’s very cool—kudos to the kid for trying something new.

Hayes will be out and about supporting his sophomore effort, Storyline.  The opus dropped May 6, 2014 and immediately went to number one on the country albums chart and number three on the Billboard 200.  Hayes co-wrote all of the work’s 14 tracks and co-produced them with Dann Huff (who also co-produced his debut LP).  Storyline’s first single was “Invisible.”

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John Mellencamp Clearly Says He’s Launching Plain Spoken Tour

by Noiz 19. September 2014 12:01

John Mellencamp Clearly Says He’s Launching Plain Spoken Tour

You’ll have a bunch of chances to see John Mellencamp in 2015. 

The heartland rocker kicks off his “2015 Plain Spoken North American Tour” on Jan. 21 in South Bend, Indiana.  His trek ends Aug. 4 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In total, the 62-year-old legend (he’ll be 63 by the time his outing starts), will play 80 concerts all over the continent including Green Bay, Clearwater, Red Bank, Quebec City, Regina, Portland, and Omaha.

It’s fitting that the “Small Town” singer will visit so many small towns.  He does, however, have some large metropolises routed.  John Mellencamp visits Chicago on Feb. 17.  He’ll play two consecutive nights at the Chicago Theatre.

John Mellencamp will be in Boston on April 15.  He’s booked to perform at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre.  This show is his first after a two-week break in his itinerary.

New York
In mid-April, New York hosts John Mellencamp concerts for four nights.  Rare for a tour, Mellencamp will be playing two different venues in the same city.  On April 20 and April 21, Mellencamp takes the stage at Carnegie Hall.  On April 23 and April 24, he’ll gig at the Apollo Theater.

Those four shows in the Big Apple should be quite cozy.  Carnegie Hall seats 2,800 while the Apollo Theater has enough room for about 1,500.

Los Angeles
On the home stretch of his excursion, John Mellencamp comes to Los Angeles and the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.  He’s scheduled to take the stage on July 28.  The following night he’s in Phoenix, Arizona.

The highlight of Mellencamp’s Canadian jaunt is his pair of shows in Toronto on May 1 and May 2.  Mellencamp will entertain fans at the Song Centre for the Performing Arts.

John Mellencamp Career Highlights
>> 40 million albums sold
>> Has charted 22 Top 40 hits
>> Founding member of Farm Aid which has raised more than $45 million
>> Nominated for 13 Grammy Awards
>> Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2008)
>> Recipient of the John Steinbeck Award (2012)

Carlene Carter
Warming up audiences will be Carlene Carter.  The singer-songwriter, and daughter of June Carter, will be 59 when the tour begins.  That means fans with John Mellencamp tickets will be enjoying music from artists that are a combined 122 years old and have nearly 80 years of experience in the music business.

Carter will be supporting her tenth studio album, Carter Girl.  The record hit the streets back in April and peaked at number 40 on the country albums chart.  It was her first LP since 2008’s Stronger.

Plain Spoken
Mellencamp will also be promoting a new album.  Plain Spoken descends on the world on Sept. 23.   It’s Mellencamp’s 22nd studio album overall and his 20th of new material. 

T Bone Burnett was supposed to produce the opus but the job ultimately fell to the artist.  The album contains ten tracks, all written by Mellencamp.  “Trouble Man” is the album’s first single.

"I didn't sit down and decide I was going to make an album about certain topics.  My mind is just open to ideas. I don't understand when people talk about having writer's block. I think, you're thinking too much! Just let it come to you." — John Mellencamp

Republic Records
Plain Spoken is Mellencamp’s first album with Republic Records.  Mellencamp had been under the same recording contract for decades, but he didn’t like having to release an album on some bean counter’s timetable.  After his contract expired he thought he could make it as a “free agent” (find a record company whenever he wanted to make an album).  He thought wrong.

Then Mellencamp found Republic Records.  He must really like the company because he signed a lifetime contract with them in May of 2014.  According to Mellencamp, he can release as many albums as he wants and at any time he wants.  The artist also likes Monte Lipman, the company’s co-founder and chief executive.

Meg Ryan
By the time John Mellencamp and the Plain Spoken tour begin his broken heart will have probably been mended but you never know.  So keep that in mind if his first batch of shows are a bit lacking.

Mellencamp just recently ended his three-year relationship with actress Meg Ryan.  Yeah, we didn’t know they were dating either.  They kept their tryst as quiet as possible.  Some said they split up because of distance—Mellencamp lives in Indiana and Ryan lives in New York.  Other said they called it quits because Mellencamp didn’t like the attention he received from shacking up with a Hollywood star.

The Last Tour Of His Career
Will this be the last big concert tour of Mellencamp’s career?  When it’s all over he’ll be two months away from his 64th birthday.  I don’t mean to keep bringing up age.  I’m not trying to make him or any of his longtime fans seem old but at this stage of his career it’s a factor.

In a recent interview with, Mellencamp didn’t actually gush about hitting the road and going out on tour.  When asked if tours are “hellish” he replied “they can be.”

“Part of playing live is that I think that an artist who’s interested in what they’re going to create next, and having to go out and play songs that you wrote 25 years ago can get to be tedious a job, but the audience generally softens the flow of that type of work.” — John Mellencamp

In The Fashion
Mellencamp has said that for his upcoming tour his setlist will focus on his new album.  He’ll also include hits from all eras of his career but he’ll perform them "in the fashion [Plain Spoken] is done in.”

What fashion is Plain Spoken “done in?”  Plain Spoken is produced with acoustic guitars, harmonicas, banjos, mandolins, fiddles, organs, and brushes on drums.  It’s a songwriter’s album that plays to Mellencamp’s strength: passionate vocals and sagacious lyrics.

Definitely look for Mellencamp to perform live in the coming years but don’t expect another 80-date odyssey.  Coming to this conclusion shouldn’t scare you into dropping everything and attending a Mellencamp tour stop but it should inspire you to make an effort to see the hall of famer when he comes to your ”small town.”

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Bryan Adams Going Acoustic And Getting Reckless

by Noiz 16. September 2014 14:58

Bryan Adams Going Acoustic And Getting Reckless

As if there wasn’t already enough issues coming between Americans and Canadians there’s now one more.  It’s not as big as NAFTA, or as serious as the NFL versus the CFL, but it’s up there.  The issue is what’s better seeing Bryan Adams perform an acoustic set or attending a Bryan Adams plugged in concert?

This fall, the best-selling Canadian rock artist ever, is touring the United States.  Then in 2015, the 20-time Juno Award winner is touring Canada.  Adams’ tour of the U.S. will be small and intimate.  His jaunt around the Great White North will be electric and celebrating the 30th anniversary of his greatest work.

Bare Bones Tour
Bryan Adams kicks off a circuit of “Bare Bones Shows” on Oct. 19 in Minneapolis.  Bare Bones is the name of Adams’ 2010 live acoustic album.  The 20-track opus contains songs from every era of Adams’ career including “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Heaven,” “You’ve Been a Friend to Me,” and “All for Love.”

After Minneapolis, look for Bryan Adams in Chicago (Oct. 20), Detroit (Oct. 21), and Cleveland (Oct. 22).  From there Adams ventures to Philadelphia for a gig at the Palace Theater on Oct. 23.  The following evening, Adams will be in Washington D.C. for a performance at the National Theater.  The final stop of his petite acoustic tour is a Bryan Adams concert in New York City at the theatre at MSG.

Reckless Anniversary Tour
On Jan. 12, in Victoria, British Columbia, Adams launches his “Reckless Anniversary Tour.”  Adams will work his way across Canada through January and February.  His final show is Feb. 28 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  Other Canadian cities on Adams’ itinerary are Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal.

Adams is touring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Reckless.  Adams’ fourth studio album dropped on Nov. 5, 1984 or Adams’ 25th birthday.

“‘Reckless’ was just the right record at the right time.  It was just unstoppable.” — Bryan Adams

Reckless is Adams’ fourth studio album and arguably the best of his career.  It sold 12 million copies worldwide and is amazingly the first Canadian album to ever sell a million units in Canada. 

Reckless produced six singles that peaked inside the Billboard Hot 100: “Run to You,” “Somebody,” “Heaven,” “Summer of '69,” “One Night Love Affair,” and “It's Only Love.”  “Run to You” went to number four and is the only song of the bunch that managed to crack the top ten.  “Kids Wanna Rock” was also released as a single but it failed to chart.

Produced by Adams and Bob Clearmountain, Reckless has been selected by many publications as one of the greatest albums of all-time.  It was promoted by a massive Bryan Adams world tour.  The trek saw the Canadian superstar collecting Bryan Adams tickets in Canada, United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan.  The artist also went to Ethiopia where he worked for famine relief.

Reckless Super-Deluxe Reissue
You probably have a vinyl copy of Reckless laying around and you definitely have a digital copy in your iTunes.   What you don’t have (yet) is the super-deluxe four-disc reissue of Reckless.  You don’t have it because it hasn’t come out yet.  The reissue drops Nov. 24.

The super-deluxe reissue contains seven bonus tracks, “Reckless: The Movie,” a Blu-ray audio disc, and the 1985 BCC concert.  The package comes in a hardback book that’s the size of a DVD case.  The reissue will also be available in a deluxe two-disc set, a stand-alone Blu-Ray, a remastered single disc, and a two-LP vinyl edition.

Bare Bones or Reckless?
So which country wins, the one getting the acoustic Adams or the one getting the anniversary Adams?

I think it’s the nation getting acoustic Adams.  While it would be great to celebrate Reckless’ big anniversary with the Canadian superstar, I doubt his upcoming 2015 trek will be much different from previous outings.

It’s not like he never plays "Run to You," "Somebody," "Heaven," "Summer of '69," "One Night Love Affair," or "It's Only Love” live.  Even if he plays Reckless in its entirety it’s only ten songs.  There’s still plenty of time for Adams to perform his other hits.

Besides, his career started in 1980 and since that time Adams has been performing electric.  That’s 35 years of concerts.  Not only that, but just about anyone can perform with a band behind them.  Heck, give me enough world class musicians and even I can entertain an arena full of Canadians.

An acoustic set on the other hand is relatively rare.  Also, it shows off an entertainer’s talent.  Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, just about anyone can be amusing with electricity.  It takes a real musical talent, like Bryan Adams, to be able to perform with nothing more than his guitar and his voice.

Furthermore, another hallmark of the acoustic concert is the interaction between the artist and the audience.  An acoustic set is usually worth a couple of good stories from the artist, stories you generally don’t get when you attend a plugged-in show.

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Usher, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown And Trey Songz All Touring This Fall

by Noiz 15. September 2014 21:26

Usher, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown And Trey Songz All Touring This Fall

If you’re an R&B fan you might want to start saving your money.  This autumn, three huge R&B tours are set to go down.  If your schedule and bank account allow, and their itineraries are kind to your zip code, you might have the opportunity to see four of the biggest names in R&B perform live.

Ne-Yo launches his expedition on Oct. 12.  Usher is hitting the road beginning Nov. 1.  Dates haven’t been announced yet, but it’s been all over social networks that Chris Brown and Trey Songz are joining forces for a journey of their own.

Not only are all four warming up tour buses and training backup dancers, they are also promoting new or pending albums.

Shaffer Smith kicks off his “One Night With Ne-Yo” tour on Oct. 12 in San Francisco.  His “One Night” trek ends Nov. 2 when Ne-Yo visits Chicago to perform at The Fillmore. 

Highlights of his pending outing include Ne-Yo in West Hollywood on Oct. 15, Ne-Yo in Las Vegas on Oct. 17, and Ne-Yo in Atlanta on Oct. 23.

His tour is “House of Blues” heavy.  The “So Sick” singer has routed performances at six House of Blues venues.  He’ll also be visiting three Fillmores.  Besides the one in Chicago, Ne-Yo will also be performing at Fillmores in Charlotte and Silver Spring, Maryland. 

An opening act for his sojourn has not been announced.

Ne-Yo’s excursion is supporting his upcoming studio album, Non-Fiction.  The opus is set to hit streets on Nov. 11.  The album has already produced two singles: “Money Can’t Buy” (featuring Jeezy) and “She Knows” (featuring Juicy J).  The former song peaked at number 117 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In a recent interview, Ne-Yo described his pending oeuvre by saying it’s “99.999998 percent R&B.”  What does that mean?  Well, it means Ne-Yo is appeasing the fan base that, as he puts it, “kept the lights on for a very long time.”  He’s eschewing the dance/EDM sound of his last LP and returning to his roots. 

As for the remaining .000002 percent, Ne-Yo says that’s all pop.

Regardless of his inspiration, Non-Fiction is an important album for Ne-Yo.  His last two studio works did well on the charts (nine and four respectively) but poorly at the cash register.  That’s especially true if you compare them to his first three efforts (In My Own Words, Because of You, and Year of the Gentleman).

Of course, album sales won’t affect Ne-Yo ticket sales.  The singer-songwriter is one of R&B’s great live acts.  Regardless of what happens with his upcoming album, Ne-Yo’s upcoming tour will be one of the hottest concert tickets of the autumn.

On Nov. 1, Usher begins “The UR Experience” in Montreal.  After a show in Toronto, the 35-year-old returns to the United States for a gig at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit on Nov. 4.  His North American trudge ends Dec. 14 in Tampa.

In total, Usher has 28 dates scheduled for his fall excursion.  It’s the legend’s first headlining trek in three years.

“With The UR Experience, I want to give my fans an ever-changing live show full of surprises and special guests.  I am really excited to be with my fans and give them an Usher experience like they've never seen or heard before." — Usher

The most anticipated date on his itinerary is Nov. 7.  On that night, Usher will be in New York City for an engagement at Madison Square Garden.  Also look for Usher in Boston on Nov. 13, Los Angeles on Dec. 21, and Dec. 13 in Miami.

Opening for Usher will be August Alsina and DJ Cassidy.

Usher’s upcoming jaunt is certainly good news for his fans and R&B aficionados.  What’s not good news is the status of Usher’s eighth studio album. 

The new collection of songs is called UR and features appearances from Drake, Juicy J, and Nicki Minaj.  It was supposed to see the light of day sometime in September, but Usher has postponed the album’s release date indefinitely. 

In pushing back UR’s release date, Usher said that he’s taking his time with the album and “…at the end of the day, all of this is just about having fun.”

That’s a bad sign.  When an artist starts talking about having fun and breaks out the phrase “at the end of the day” it’s because the recording process is not going well. 

After making Confessions, Usher didn’t spew clichés and wax poetically about the merriment to be had in the recording studio.  He talked about the awesomeness of his new album (that went on to sale 10 million copies).  This doesn’t mean UR is going to be disappointing, but it does mean Usher has a lot of work to do.

Like Ne-Yo, a poor Usher album doesn’t mean a poor tour.  The “UR Experience” will be an experience and you’ll definitely want to get your hands on Usher tickets.  Procuring his next studio album is another matter.

Chris Brown & Trey Songz
Chris Brown’s latest album, X, dropped Sept. 16.   The singer had pushed the release date back twice.  Despite what you might deduce from the title this is not Brown’s tenth studio submission.  It’s his sixth.  Then again “X” looks a lot better than “VI.”

Trey Songz’s sixth album greeted the world on July 1, 2014.  It debuted at number one giving the artist his second straight top platter. 

No idea on when these two juggernauts will begin their circuit except that their joint tour will be launched this fall.  Their ramble has been promoted on Twitter and the singers posted videos on Instagram.

“THIS FALL is gonna be legendary! Get ready for me and @TreySongz Tour!!!!!!” – Chris Brown via Twitter

Ne-Yo, Usher, Chris Brown & Trey Songz
Without an itinerary from Brown and Songz it’s impossible to know which cities, if any, will host all four men.  Right now, Ne-Yo and Usher will both be visiting the following metro areas: San Francisco/San Jose, Anaheim/Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, and Silver Spring/Washington D.C.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the best idea is to put all four of these artists on the same marquee.  If a promoter did that then you could forget about what kind of album they were releasing or if they were releasing one at all.  No one would care.

Hopefully Brown and Songz will visit many of the same cities Ne-Yo and Usher have routed.  Fans won’t be able to see these four R&B singers on the same stage on the same night but some might be able to enjoy them during the same season.

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