concert feature

Here in LA it’s perfectly reasonable to consider summer right around the corner. From what I understand, in other parts of the country that concept may be too much for your frozen, seasonally depressed mind to process at the moment. Trust me — no matter your local temperature, you’re going to want to start planning your booze-filled, hard-rocking summer now, if only to stave off any violent urges that may be cropping up these days.

Fortunately, the gods of rock have smiled upon us this year, delivering a summer classic rock season that I could scarcely have handpicked better. Legends are teaming up to form more than the sum of their parts on summer tours that are sure to leave you banged up and dehydrated. My favorites in all their grandeur lay before you, along with when they’ll be gracing LA with their rockliness.

JOURNEY AND STEVE MILLER BAND
With special guest Tower of Power

May 16th @ Hollywood Bowl – Tickets
August 2nd @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre – Tickets

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Journey and Steve Miller Band, two of my most oft-played jukebox artists, join forces for a 30-city North American tour this summer featuring special guest and fellow San Franciscans Tower of Power. Lucky LA gets them twice! How any single concert could be long enough to contain the hits of both Journey and Steve Miller Band, let alone a third band, baffles me. Do they speed up all the songs really fast? Just play 45 seconds of each iconic treasure of a track? Eliminate all between-song banter? With any luck, we’ll all find out together when we’re leaving the joint at 3:30 AM.

STYX AND FOREIGNER
With the Eagles’ Don Felder

Soundtrack Of Summer Tour
July 26 @ The Greek Theatre – Tickets on sale soon

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Styx was incredible enough when I saw them on their own last summer down in Orange County. Pairing them with Foreigner, another pillar of classic rock with enough hits to fill two nights, should be downright legendary, especially at the awesome outdoor Greek Theatre. And Don Felder, too! I’ve never seen Foreigner, so it’ll be interesting to find out how they hold up against the impressive longevity of other classic rock acts. Something tells me Styx wouldn’t be seen with them if they weren’t worth a shit, though, so I’m quite optimistic.

MÖTLEY CRÜE AND ALICE COOPER
The Final Tour
July 21st @ Hollywood Bowl – Tickets
July 22nd @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Tickets

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Mötley Crüe kicks off their Final Tour in June, and what better way to wrap things up than with the guy who opened the door for twisted fucks like them to prosper, Alice Cooper? The Crüe hits LA with two dates in July, and I’m sure they’re not going to go out quietly. My gut’s telling me this will be an occasion for grain alcohol.

CHICAGO AND REO SPEEDWAGON
August 1st @ The Greek Theatre – Tickets on sale soon

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Chicago’s another band who blew me out of the water live, and REO Speedwagon’s another kick-ass classic rock act I’ve always wanted to see. It’s like the person who schedules the Greek Theatre’s season is reading my mind. Or…my articles? Is that you? If so, get Jackson Browne there next year and I’ll — well, let’s just say I’ll owe you big time. Big time.

KISS AND DEF LEPPARD
July 5th @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Tickets
July 8th @ The Forum – Tickets

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Do I even have to make small talk about this? I saw KISS in 2003 with Aerosmith, and I couldn’t have cared less that KISS was on the premises at that time. They effortlessly blew me away with a stage show that few I’ve seen since have rivaled. And if you don’t know by now how I feel about Def Leppard and the two live performances of theirs I’ve been privileged enough to see — well, then you will never, never, never know me. I tremble to think of Joe Elliott’s still-impeccable voice ringing through the masterful acoustics of The Forum. On the other hand, ain’t no way to see Def Leppard like outside in the summertime sun, so either way, you’ll be set.