2012 Concert Tours - Top 2012 Concerts - Best 2012 Concerts

by Noiz 4. October 2011 13:14

Top 2012 Concerts

2012 is going to be a banner year for major concert tours. From The Rolling Stones to The Black Keys, or from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Radiohead, or from Van Halen to Nickelback, 2012 is going to be a year of the biggest names in music hitting the road on tours across North America and the world.

It will be the biggest concert tour of 2012.  That’s assuming the band actually goes out on tour.  ClickitTicket is of course talking about The Rolling Stones.  The world’s greatest rock and roll band is still deciding if they should tour next year in celebration of their 50th anniversary.  Yes, that’s right.  The Rolling Stones will be half-a-century old in 2012.  

It’s doubtful that Mick, Keith, Ronnie, and Charlie will launch a full-fledged world tour on the scale of a Bon Jovi, U2, or Lady Gaga outing.  After all, the aforementioned foursome is a combined 269 years old.  So for those fans hoping for an extensive North American touring schedule they should probably remember “you can’t always get what you want.”  At the very least, fans should expect at least one Stones concert in London, perhaps at the O2 arena, Royal Albert Hall, or Wembly Stadium.  The site of the band’s first performance, The Marquee, has been razed.   

Even if the Stones decide not to travel, there are still several highly anticipated tours set to launch in 2012 including outings by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, and Radiohead.  Also in 2012, Elton John and Celine Dion will continue their hugely successfully residencies at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  Dion has a slew of dates planned for that venue in 2012 while John has just seven shows on the calendar, all slated for February.  

Dave Matthews Band

Before walking off stage at the end of the band’s set on Sunday Sept. 18, 2011, Dave Matthews told the crowd at New York’s Randall’s Island that he hopes to have new material in 2012.  

That seems about right.  After newly 20 years of touring (especially in the summer), Dave Matthews Band decided to keep the tour bus in the garage for 2011 with the hopes of coming back bigger and better in 2012.  So, if you look at things that way, a new DMB album makes perfect sense.  A new album gives the band something to promote while they’re out on the road next year.

Now, I know what you’re saying.  If DMB didn’t tour in 2011 than what in the heck was all that stuff about “the band’s set” and Dave telling the audience that new music is on its way?  Yes, Dave Mathews Band did not tour in 2011 but they did play a concert or two.  In fact, they played 12.

In 2011, the band hosted four three-day, multi-artist music festivals called “Dave Matthews Band Caravan.”  The Caravan visited Atlantic City, New Jersey: Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York; and George, Washington.  Each day of the Caravan featured a full set from DMB.

Joining Dave Matthews Band for at least one Caravan stop were David Gray, Dispatch, The Roots, The Flaming Lips, John Butler Trio, O.A.R., and Ray LaMontagne.  At the Chicago Caravan, The Flaming Lips played Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon in its entirety.  

While Dave and company took 2011 off to recharge their batteries and gain perspective, they still had to find some way to perform for their fans.  That’s because 2011 was the 20th anniversary of the Dave Matthews Band.

Dave Matthews Band Caravan Artists (At Least Once Appearance)

Alberta Cross

Amos Lee


Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

Ben Folds

Big Gigantic

Blind Pilot

Bobby Long

The Budos Band

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Damian Marley

Daniel Lanois' Black Dub

Dave Matthews Band

David Gray


Delta Spirit

Dirty Dozen Brass Band


Dr. Dog

Drive-By Truckers

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Emmylou Harris

Fitz and the Tantrums

From Good Homes

The Flaming Lips

G. Love & Special Sauce

Gary Clark, Jr.

Gogol Bordello


Grace Potter and the Nocturnals


The Head & the Heart

Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk

The Jayhawks

Jeff Coffin Mu'tet

John Butler Trio

Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band

Kid Cudi

Lindsay Fuller

Lisa Hannigan

Liz Phair


Mariachi El Bronx

Michael Franti & Spearhead

The Moondoggies


Punch Brothers

Ray Lamontagne


Robert Randolph & The Family Band

The Roots

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings



Thievery Corporation


Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

The Wailers

Warren Haynes Band

Vieux Farka Toure

Vusi Mahlasela



If you want to see and hear great live hard rock that’s played at extremely high energy levels, then look no further than Gigantour.  The popular heavy metal music festival, which is the brainchild of Dave Mustaine and headlined by his band Megadeth, is set to launch in late January of 2012.  The tour should wrap sometime in early March.  

Gigantour debuted in 2005 but it hasn’t graced American soil since May of 2008.  Over the years, Gigantour has delighted metal fans in Australia and the U.K.

For this year’s outing, Mustaine has personally selected the three other bands on the marquee: Motörhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil.  That last band was also a part of the Australia 2007 Gigantour.

As for Megadeth, they’re releasing their 13th studio album on Nov. 1.  The opus is appropriately called Th1rt3en and is produced by Johnny K.  That date is no doubt familiar to hardcore Megadeth fans.  Back on Nov. 1, 1994 the band released Youthanasia, their sixth studio work

In September, Megadeth rocked Yankee Stadium in one of two U.S. shows featuring the Big 4 of thrash metal.  The other three members of that illustrious group are Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax.

If you’re a heavy metal fan you have to attend a Gigantour event.  If you’re not a huge aficionado of head banging music don’t automatically give up on Mustaine’s festival.  Gigantour has a long history of interesting things happening, some good and some bad.  Either way, Gigantour is never boring and always a good time.

Past & Future Gigantour Bands


Arch Enemy


Bring Me the Horizon


Children of Bodom


The Dillinger Escape Plan

Dream Theater

Dry Kill Logic


Fear Factory

High on Fire

In Flames

Into Eternity

Job for a Cowboy

Lacuna Coil

Lamb of God

Life of Agony








The Smashup

Symphony X



Fleetwood Mac

They don’t know when and where it will start but they know it will happen.  Fleetwood Mac will tour in 2012.  Stevie Nicks confirmed it in the spring and Mick Fleetwood confirmed it in the fall.  Unfortunately, neither artist had any additional information to provide besides get ready for Fleetwood Mac tickets next year.

In 2010, both Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks released albums and launched tours.  Buckingham’s trek was in support of Seeds We So while Nicks was on the road backing In Your Dreams.

There’s some talk that Fleetwood Mac will release an album of new material next year but if you sift through the comments made by Mick and Lindsey the prospect seems unlikely especially before the band goes out on tour.  The Fleetwood Mac’s last concert series, 2009’s The Unleashed Tour, was the first time the band ever launched a large scale string of concerts without a record to pitch.

Since “anniversaries” seems to be a recurring theme in this article, in 2012 the band will celebrate the 35th birthday of their seminal release Rumours.  In remarks I find particularly amusing, Buckingham said there’s been no talk of doing anything special to commemorate the classic LP’s milestone since their record company (Warner Brothers) has rehashed Rumors so many times there’s nothing left to do.

Amazingly, Fleetwood Mac has been around since 1967 and they’ve released 17 studio albums.

Rumours Track Listing

>>Side One

1. “Second Hand News”

2. “Dreams”

3. “Never Going Back Again”

4. “Don’t Stop”

5. “Go Your Own Way”

6. “Song Bird

>>Side Two

1. “The Chain

2. “You Make Loving Fun”

3. “I Don’t Want To Know”

4. “Oh Daddy”

5. “Gold Dust Woman”


Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour

It’s the music and style of Michael Jackson combined with the artistry and spectacle of Cirque du Soleil.  What could get better than that?

The show is of course Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.  It’s a Cirque du Soleil production that features the music of the King Pop—songs from every phase of his career including his days with the Jackson 5.  

Cirque partnered with the estate of Michael Jackson to bring this show to fruition meaning nothing is held back for copyright reasons. This is about as close to a “real” M.J. production as you can get. 

The show is presented like a rock concert but still contains the classic Cirque elements of acrobatics, dance, high flying stunts, and breath taking costumes.  There’s even a strong fantasy element.  The MJ:TIWT also uses a lot of video elements.  The footage was originally intended for Jackson’s “This Is It Tour” and much of it has never been seen before.

Is there a Jackson impersonator in the production?  Sure, a whole bunch of them, but there’s not one guy who does a full-on Jackson impersonation from start to finish.  This was done on purpose.  Cirque, as well as the Jackson family, wanted it to be clear that there’s only one Michael Jackson.

The Immortal World Tour launched in Ottawa on Oct.  7.  The show will be on the road through 2012 and most of 2013.  After that, the tour heads to Europe while a theatrical version begins a residency at the Mandalay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.  

Highlights of the tour’s robust 2012 calendar include stops in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Nashville, Atlanta, and Chicago.

The production is so massive that it fills 38 trucks.  Three of the vehicles contain nothing except costumes.  The production utilizes the talents of more than 90 artists and musicians.


There’s good and bad news for Phish fans in 2012.  

The good news is according to Trey Anastasio the band will enter the studio to work on a project.  What exactly that project is they don’t know (and they want to keep it that way).  

The bad news is the band won’t be touring as much as they have in the past.  Still, a shortened Phish tour is better than most bands’ lengthy treks.  You can probably count on Phish tickets to at least one big-time music festival.  

In case you’re wondering, the band is taking time off in 2012 to be with their families.  

While speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Anastasio mentioned that he’s interested in the idea of covering Master of Puppets by Metallica.  Maybe we’ll hear the band perform that epic album at Super Ball X or at a musical costume.  

Albums Played At Official “Halloween Musical Costumes”

The White Album by The Beatles in 1994.

Quadrophenia by The Who in 1995.

Remain in Light by the Talking Heads in 1996.

Loaded by The Velvet Underground in 1998.

The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd in 1998.*

Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones in 2009.

Waiting for Columbus by Little Feat in 2010.

*Phish covered this album in a surprise performance held on Nov. 2, 1998



You’ve probably already downloaded King of Limbs from their Web site and you probably DVR’ed their performance on the 37th season premiere of Saturday Night Live.  Coming in 2012, you’ll be able to buy Radiohead concert tickets.

Iconic frontman Thom Yorke informed fans during a recent appearance on BBC Radio 1 that the band plans on touring, off and on, throughout 2012.  Yorke also mentioned that when Radiohead does hit the road next year they’ll be joined by drummer Clive Dreamer.  Dreamer is from another band with the word “head” in its name, Portishead.

Radiohead released their eighth studio album, Kings of Limbs, in February of 2011 but they haven’t really done much to support it.  They played a set at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival, the aforementioned appearance on Saturday Night Live, and then two shows in New York City at the famed Roseland Ballroom.  The upcoming Radiohead 2012 tour will be their fans’ first real opportunity to hear Kings of Limbs performed live.  

No word yet on an itinerary or opening act.

Bands With The Word “Head” In Title

Big Head Todd And The Monsters

Cannibal & The Headhunters (“Land of a Thousand Dances”)

Head (an English band that feature Nick Sheppard who was briefly in the Clash)

Head East

Ian Drury and the Blockheads

The Kentucky Headhunters

The Lemonheads

Machine Head


Murray Head (sang “One Night In Bangkok”)



Talking Heads


Rascal Flatts

Mark this date on your calendar, April 3, 2012.  That’s when Rascal Flatts hopes to release their eighth studio album.  

Who knows if they can actually make that target date—musicians are not renowned for their punctuality.  Still, a new Rascal Flatts album is on its way and that’s great news for their fans.  When it does drop it will be the trio’s first album since their 2010 opus, Nothing Like This.

It was a big year for Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox, and Joe Don Rooney.  They finished up their Nothing Like This Tour with supporting acts Chris Young and Luke Bryan.  They also launched the fan friendly Flatts Fest Tour.  Fans with Rascal Flatts tickets to this all-day event were treated to carnival games, attractions, exhibits and sets by Sara Evans, Justin Moore, and Easton Corbin.

Right now, Rascal Flatts have just two dates on their 2012 calendar: Jan. 13 in Roanoke, Virginia and Jan. 21 in Columbus, Ohio.  If the band does release a studio album in 2012 you can expect a slew of Rascal Flatts concerts to be scheduled all over the country and hopefully another launch of the Flatts Fest (probably in the summer). 

A new album isn’t the only big thing happening for the famous Ohioans.  Rascal Flatts was recently informed that they’re going to receive one of country music’s greatest honors.  During a recent performance at the Grand Ole Opry House, singer Vince Gill came on stage and offered the band a membership to the Nashville institution.  

The band was completely surprised by Gill’s announcement and, despite being in the middle of a concert, began to tear up.  For the members of Rascal Flatts it was a dream come true and the culmination of years of hard work.  

The official ceremony will he held on Oct. 8. 

Notable Members of The Grand Ole Opry

Trace Adkins

Dierks Bentley

Garth Brooks

Johnny Cash

Charlie Daniels

Vince Gill

Tom T. Hall

Emmylou Harris

Alan Jackson

Alison Krauss

Loretta Lynn

Martina McBride

Willie Nelson

Brad Paisley

Dolly Parton

Blake Shelton

Randy Travis

Carrie Underwood

Trisha Yearwood

Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth are actually getting back together for a huge North American rock tour. Don't miss your chance to see the reunion of the decade.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Had it been anyone other than Flea I would probably still be holding a grudge.  As it is, I’ve long since forgiven one of rock’s greatest bassists.

A long time ago, Flea appeared on some VH-1 documentary about “Weird Al” Yankovic.  Flea praised the “permed one” before disparaging his parodied of “Give It Away” (Yankovic’s “Bedrock Anthem”).  

Flea said it was too obvious and thought Al could have done better.

Come on Flea!  You mean to tell me that you’re a “Weird Al” fan until he pokes fun at one of your songs?  I find that hard to believe.  

At the time, it seemed to me that Flea would have disliked any Yankovic parody of any Red Hot Chili Peppers song regardless of quality.  Apparently, Flea’s a little sensitive about his music.  

Fortunately, his band keeps making great music and keeps launching must-attend tours.  That makes it real easy to overlook his pettiness. 

In August of this year, the band released their tenth studio album, I’m With You.  The opus was produced by Rick Rubin and its first single was “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.”  It’s also the debut single for the band’s new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer.  The Chili Peppers were forced to release “Rain Dance Maggie” a few days before it had planned to since the song was leaked to the internet.

RHCP will tour Europe in October and November of 2011 to support I’m With You.  You can catch the band in Paris, Dublin, London, Glasgow, and Berlin—just to name a few stops on their European itinerary.  

As for the States, Blackie Dammett, father of Anthony Kiedis, confirmed on his Twitter account that a Red Hot Chili Peppers tour will go down in 2012.  That might not be the most reassuring of confirmations but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that if the Red Hot Chili Peppers are in Europe until Dec. 17 a U.S. tour is coming in 2012.

Needless to say a concert schedule, on-sale dates for Red Hot Chili Peppers tickets, and venues have yet to be announced.

When the band does launch the North American leg of their “I’m With You 2012 Tour,” their fans should already know whether or not they’ve made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been nominated for induction along with 15 other artists including Guns N’ Roses, The Cure, Heart, Joan Jett, The Beastie Boys, and Donovan.

Generally five artists are inducted.  Since Eric B. and Rakim are eligible this year, and are part of the final 15, they will get one of the spots.  Why?  That’s how Rolling Stone magazine (the entity that’s behind the Hall of Fame) does things.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarists

Hillel Slovak (1983, 1985-1988)

Jack Sherman (1983-1985)

DeWayne McKnight (1988)

John Frusciante (1988-1992, 1998-2009)

Zander Schloss (1992)

Arik Marshall (1992-1993)

Jesse Tobias (1993)

Dave Navarro (1993-1998)


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