Taylor Swift Will launch 5th Concert Tour Before Turning 30

Taylor Swift turns 28 on Dec. 13, 2017.  Less than five months later, on May 8, 2018, she’ll launch the fifth concert tour of her career.

Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour” begins in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium.  From there she goes to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on May 12; the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on May 18 and May 19, CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington on May 22; Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on May 25, and Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois on June 1 and June 2.

Taylor Swift concert

Europe is next.  The continent will host half a dozen Taylor Swift concerts.  She returns to the States on June 30 for additional stops—destinations include Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nashville, and New Orleans.  She has two concerts plotted in Toronto on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4.

The second leg of her North American jaunt is scheduled to end Oct. 6 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  Keep an eye on Taylor’s Twitter feed for additional U.S. shows.

She’ll finish the fall with five gigs in Australia and New Zealand.  Those dates are sure to produce some fodder for her Instagram account.

When it’s all said and done, Swift will be far south of 30 and a veteran of five major concerts tours—an impressive feat.

Yet, how does it stack up to the accomplishments of other divas?  Below, Musicology-101 looks at the touring resumes of five other legendary female singers.


Although she toured in 2003 and 2004, Beyoncé’s first official worldwide solo outing occurred in 2007.  It started when she was 25.  “The Beyoncé Experience” spanned 97 dates and supported her second studio offering, B’Day.

Her very first solo tour, “Dangerously in love Tour,” consisted of just 10 dates, all in Europe.  It received little love from critics.  In 2004, she participated in “The Verizon Ladies First Tour” with Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, and Tamina.

Due to “Dangerously’s” short length, and “Ladies First’s” crowded marquee, we decided to highlight “The Beyoncé Experience.”

Queen Bey’s former group, Destiny’s Child, embarked on three headlining tours as well as several more in support.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears was just 17 when she undertook her first headlining odyssey, “…Baby One More Time Tour.”  Her itinerary featured 56 concerts.

Spears’ fifth pilgrimage went down in the middle of her 23rd year.  It began March 2, 2004 and ended June 5, 2004.  In total, Spears endured 54 performances in Europe and North America.

She was on the road again promoting her fourth studio album, In the Zone.  If you’re wondering why her studio albums and concert treks are off, Spears toured twice behind …Baby One More Time.

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera turned 20 in the middle of her first headlining campaign, “Christina Aguilera in Concert Tour.”  Her schedule included six legs and 82 shows.

Her inaugural concert circuit started in mid-May of 2000 and ended Feb. 1, 2001.  Headlining acts included a bunch of artists you’ve never heard of, and one you have, Destiny’s Child.

How old was Aguilera during her sixth concert voyage?  We’ll let you know when it happens.

The diva has only hit the road four times.  Her last roadie was from November of 2006 through October of 2008.  It started a month before her 26th birthday.


Madonna was 26 when she launched her first musical crusade.  “The Virgin Tour” spanned from early April to early June of 1985.  The trek supported her first two albums: her self-titled debut and Like a Virgin.

Critics were “meh” on the production but fans bought concert tickets in droves.  And why wouldn’t they?  Her opening act was The Beastie Boys!

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey’s initial headlining tour, if you can call it that, was just six shows long.  It started on Nov. 3, 1993 and ended on Dec. 10, 1993.  Carey was 24.

Her fifth headlining excursion, “Charmbracelet World Tour,” lasted from mid-June of 2003 through late February of 2004.  She turned 35 the following month.

The “Charmbracelet World Tour” grossed more than $6 million and was #83 on Pollstar’s top 100 concert tours of the year.

There is some debate as to when Carey was born, 1969 or 1970.  For this article, we choose the 1969 date.

Andrea Bocelli Continues Classical Music’s Long Line of Successful Recording Artists

If you’re in Europe this fall, you might want to set aside an evening and catch an Andrea Bocelli concert.

According to Bocelli’s website, the tenor will be performing in Jordan on Sept. 18, Amsterdam on Oct. 14, and Krakow on Nov. 11—just to name a few of his upcoming gigs.

While Bocelli performs all over the world, there’s certainly no better place to hear and see him then in Europe, the birthplace of opera.

The Zalgiris Arena in Kaunas, Lithuania, where our hero will be on Nov. 4, sounds like a venue and city that should host an Andrea Bocelli performance—Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland does not.

Yet, Bocelli is scheduled to croon at QLA on Dec. 1.  It’s the first of seven dates that the then 59-year-old singer has planned for the United States in the final month of 2017.

From Cleveland, Bocelli’s tour takes him to Detroit on Dec. 3, Chicago on Dec. 6, Philadelphia on Dec. 8, and Washington D.C. on Dec. 10.  His final two dates are plotted for Dec. 13 and 14 in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

If you thought Quicken Loans Arena was bad, when he’s in Detroit, Andrea Bocelli tickets will be collected at Little Caesars Arena.

That’s not right.

Can’t they change the name of that venue for the day he’s there?  Maybe call it “Aria Arena” or “Arioso Arena?”

Andrea Bocelli should not have to apply his craft inside a building named after mediocre pizza (I wanted to say bad pizza, but let’s face it, pizza is never bad).

Why am I praising Andrea Bocelli so much?  Isn’t he that singer that everyone’s great-aunt likes?

Andrea Bocelli sings opera—more specifically light opera or pop opera (or as I like to call it “popera”)—but he’s definitely not stuffy or boring.  He has an angelic voice and regardless of what type of music you normally enjoy, seeing Bocelli live will blow your mind.

Besides being a bona fide artiste, Bocelli is insanely successful.  Sure, classical music isn’t duking it out with hip hop for the number one genre in young people’s music collections, but don’t assume Bocelli lacks an audience.

He’s probably the best-selling classical artist of all-time.

In the industry, Bocelli is referred to as a classical crossover artist.  The term, coined in the 1980s, describes operatic music that’s been popularized as well as popular kinds of music performed in an operatic or symphonic style.  The term also applies to collaborations of operatic stars with artists from other forms of music.

Classical crossover artists generally dominate Billboard’s Classical Albums chart.

Whatever you call Bocelli, classical or classical crossover, there are few artists in his genre that have ever come close to matching his commercial success.

Bocelli has reportedly sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.  That would put Bocelli in the same stratosphere as Van Halen, The Doors, Barry Manilow, and Tom Petty.

I wrote “would” because Bocelli is not actually on the same list as those aforementioned artists.  Bocelli suffers from a phenomenon known as a lack of certified sales.

The trend hinders artists with large fan bases outside of the United States and/or English-speaking countries—artists like Charles Aznavour, Scorpions, and Gloria Estefan.  Although the phenomenon does affect artists like Cliff Richard, Dolly Parton, and Tom Jones.

A dearth of certified sales opens the door for detractors to say that Bocelli really hasn’t sold a lot of albums.  There is, however, historical precedent that classical artists, namely operatic singers, know how to sell albums.

Luciano Pavarotti probably had the title of best-selling classical artist before Bocelli.  The rotund Italian recorded operatic music for more than half a century and was a member of the popular group Three Tenors with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras.

Pavarotti died in 2007 at the age of 71.

Before Pavarotti there was “La Divina,” the Greek-American soprano Maria Callas (1923 to 1977).

Although her off-stage antics, and an affair with Aristotle Onassis, is what people usually remember about her, Callas did amass a collection of studio recordings that filled 39 albums.  They have since been remastered at Abbey Road Studios.  Callas’ catalog includes Aida, Madama Butterfly, and The Barber of Seville.

Callas’ recordings were very successful and helped make her one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.  She’s arguably the bestselling female classical artist of all-time.

Of course, the big difference between Bocelli and Pavarotti/Callas is the former doesn’t act (besides a few roles here and there).  He just sings arias and similar music.  Pavarotti and Callas typically starred in the operas they recorded.

Long before Bocelli, Pavarotti, and Callas, classical music’s biggest name was Enrico Caruso (1873 to 1921).

During the first two decades of the 20th century, Caruso made around 260 commercial recordings.  He made his recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company which later became RCA Victor.

His first recordings were made in a hotel room in 1902.  For all of Caruso’s career, his recordings were done through mechanical processes.  The first electronic recording issued to the public didn’t occur until 1920, the last year of Caruso’s career.

When Caruso began putting his voice to wax, many of his contemporaries scorned the new technology.  That all changed when they saw the copious amounts of money he was making from his recordings.

Caruso recordings propel him to become one of the world’s first “global media celebrities.”

He was also one of the first radio stars.  Caruso participated in the first public radio broadcast in the United States.

The cool thing about the four classical artists mentioned in this article is you can still listen to their recordings and that includes Caruso.  Granted, his recordings are pretty rough, but they hold up amazingly well for being a hundred years old.

Obviously, the only classical performer mentioned in this article you can still see live is Andrea Bocelli.

Justin Bieber’s or his Fans’ Apathy Responsible for Canceling Purpose World Tour?

Justin Bieber has cancelled the last 14 concerts of his massive “Purpose World Tour.”

Of the 14 scratched shows, only one was a sellout.  Most concerts still had 5,000 to 12,000 tickets available on the secondary ticket market and many sections within each venue had yet to be sold on the primary market.

Seven of the cancelled concerts were in the United States, two were in Toronto, and two were planned for Tokyo.  He also had one concert scheduled in Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Promoter AEG Presents isn’t sweating the cancellation.  After all, Bieber played more than 150 dates and made a boatload of money.  We’re talking north of the $200 million mark.

By the way, Bieber is 23.

AEG, Bieber, and manager Scooter Braun are all saying the right things.  Braun insinuated on Instagram that the cancellation had something to do with Bieber’s well-being.

Bieber apologized to his fans and said he was exhausted.  CNN said it was “due to unforeseen circumstances.”  TMZ said he “rededicated his life to Christ.”

Insiders believe Bieber overestimated his popularity by trying to play stadiums at the end of his tour and without releasing new material.  He released Purpose in 2015.

There is another possibility.  That possibility is Bieber’s immense disinterest caught up with him.

If you read reviews, the singer appeared to be disinterested for most of his tour.

The Guardian proclaimed: “That’s Justin Bieber in 2017: distant…”

The Willamette Week made this observation of his show in Portland, Oregon: “…it was hard to feel like we haven’t been getting catfished this whole time.”

An Australian reviewer noted that Bieber “managed to look bored.”  The reviewer’s counterpart in Dublin asked, “Can I blame [Bieber] for phoning it in?”

Perhaps the most demanding critique came from Now Magazine’s Kevin Ritchie: “Bieber only seemed fitfully engaged throughout the 90-minute-plus set of song.”

In past eras, these kinds of reviews would have destroyed a performer’s career.  Nowadays, where your status as a celebrity is more important than your voice, no one seems to care.

Bieber fans seem content just to be in the same zip code as their hero.  They don’t care if he’s not giving one-hundred percent.  At least they were able to live-Tweet their concert experience and pick up a tour t-shirt.

So, are Bieber fans finally starting to care?  Is that why he was struggling to sell tickets?

Well, his last concert was July 2 in London.  He played to a sold-out audience, just like he had for his entire tour.  That’s right, every single show of his “Purpose World Tour” was a packed house.

I find it hard to believe that between July 2 and July 29, his fans suddenly woke up to his jaw-dropping nadir of vapidness.

His lack of new material, and the fact that he toured the U.S. just a year ago, probably had more to do with the cancellation then any uprising by his fans.  Add exhaustion and religious awakening to the mix and you have a recipe to terminate 14 concerts.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Drummers That Are Performing Live In 2016


Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Drummers That Are Performing Live In 2016

It was released the day before April Fools’ but it still had some jokes in it.   Meg White ranked ahead of Larry Mullen, Jr. and Charlie Watts placed outside the top ten.

I’m talking about Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.  It was published on their web site on March 31, 2016.

As they mentioned in the final paragraph of their introduction, it’s actually the 100 greatest pop and rock drummers of all-time.

Now, I’ve written a lot of articles about music and I’ll admit I’m not afraid to bite off more than I can chew or argue positions that are a bit out of my comfort zone.  When it concerns popular music, I’m not afraid to give an opinion.

Yet, the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time makes me ceremoniously brush off my hands and excuse myself from opining.  There’s no way I can effectively parse this list.  

I have no idea if #80 Steve Jordan is properly placed behind #79 Mick Avory or if #47 Dave Lombardo and #46 Dave Garibaldi are slotted too high or too low.

Ranking drummers is nearly impossible.  They are taken for granted.  They’re not asked to be “lead” and are usually not up “front.”  They keep time and maybe, every once in a filler track, they get to do a solo. 

Unless they are one of the few legendary session musicians, members of a hall of fame band, or can regularly “wow” fans in the percussion-stifling genres of rock and pop then drummers are fairly anonymous. 

Still, your average rock fan (myself included) knows enough about drumming to know if Rolling Stone’s list is well thought out or a bunch of rubbish. 

Overall, it’s a fairly solid list.  There are enough noodle scratchers to get you the right amount of angry and enough “good picks” to satiate your rock snobbery.

John Bonham is #1.  Keith Moon is #2.  Ginger Baker is #3.  Neil Pert is #4.  And George Hurley actually made the list.

As for the noodle scratchers: Tommy Lee is not only included but he’s #85 and David Grohl is probably a bit too high at #27.

Not making the list are Don Henley, Nick Mason, Lars Ulrich, Mike Joyce, Peter Criss, Chris Frantz, and Paul Cook.

Also, the list isn’t the top 100, it’s the top 103.  Three of the entries are actually two drummers. 
>>Allman Brothers Band’s drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson come in at #71.
>>Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann comprise pick #34. 
>>And at #6 are James Brown’s drummers, John "Jabo" Starks and Clyde Stubblefield.

The first question fans will have when learning about the existence of Rolling Stone’s list is who is number one?  We’ve already answered that.  The second question they’ll have is “Where is Ringo Starr?”

Ringo Starr is #14.

While Starr and his musicianship have been the butt of a lot of jokes, he is, without a doubt, one of the greatest drummers of all time.  I’d put him in the top ten but I’ll take #14.

Where the list really shines is placing John Bonham at number one.  His work with Led Zeppelin is phenomenal.  There are several Led Zeppelin songs you wish you could mute the other musicians and just listen to him.  That’s saying something since Bonham’s Zeppelin bandmates were Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones.

Bonham is the best rock drummer we’ve ever heard.

Of course, the best way to experience a virtuoso drummer is live and in person.  Fortunately several of the top 100 are on this road this year. 

Below, are 15 of Rolling Stone’s top 100 drummers who will be playing live sometime in the 2016…

#10 Stewart Copeland Former Police drummer has a few dates planned including several with Jon Kimura Parker & Co.

#14 Ringo Starr – Ringo is touring the United States this June with his All-Starr Band.

#18 Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste – Zigaboo is a busy drummer in 2016.  Check out his web site for more details.

#20 Bernard Purdie – Look for Purdie at the Newport Vermont Jazz Festival on July 8, 9, and 10.

#21 Ian Paice – Paice is touring with his band Deep Purple.  In May and June, they have dates scattered all over the world.

#27 Dave Grohl – Doubt you’ll see him behind the drums but a rumor has Grohl replacing Brian Johnson’s as AC/DC’s front man for a string of upcoming U.S. dates.

#28 Carmen Appice – Appice will play with King Kobra on June 4 in Las Vegas.

#34 Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann – This June and July you can catch Hart and Kreutzmann performing live in Dead & Company.

#36 Steve Smith – All summer Smith will be out and about with his band Journey. 

#40 Jack DeJohnette – Look for DeJohnette in Santa Fe on May 22, Northridge on May 26, and Baton Rouge on June 3.

#41 Carter Beauford – This year, as member of Dave Matthews Band, Beauford will be performing live from May 7 to Sept 4.

#46 David Garibaldi – Garibaldi and Tower of Power have 27 shows planned for the rest of the year.

#49 Vinnie Colaiuta – Colaiuta will be playing with Sting during his June and July tour of the United States.

#53 Jimmy Chamberlin – Chamberlin rejoined The Smashing Pumpkins in 2015.  In April of 2016, the band will launch a tour of North America.

#61 Clem Burke – Burke joined Blondie in 1975 and has been with them ever since.  Blondie has a handful of dates scheduled in 2016.

Justin Bieber And His Musical Accomplishments

Justin Bieber Purpose Tour

Justin Bieber And His Musical Accomplishments

Justin Bieber launches his “Purpose World Tour” on March 9, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  The singer has already routed 58 concerts in North America.  The trek culminates July 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The tour starts just eight days after Justin Bieber’s 22nd birthday.

Amazingly, he’s been the most famous pop singer for the past five years; he’s been the one singer everyone can name.

Due to the current nature of celebrity, one’s fame can far outstrip one’s accomplishments.  Much of Bieber’s fame comes from things he says and does away from the microphone.

What exactly has Bieber accomplished?  Is he nothing more than a “Kardashian” with a recording contract?

Actually, Bieber has achieved a lot—a whole bunch.  That would be true for an artist of any age but it’s especially true for a pop singer that’s just 21.

Below, Musicology-101 looks at Justin Bieber’s musical accomplishments.  After perusing our list, you’ll view Bieber more as a musician and less as a tabloid headline.

Four For Four
Justin Bieber has released four studio albums…

…My World 2.0 (2010)
…Under The Mistletoe (2011)
…Believe (2012)
…Purpose (2015)

All four LPs debuted at number one.  That’s quite an accomplishment.  It’s also a feat that Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Usher weren’t able to do.

Six Number One Albums
Besides the four aforementioned number one platters, Bieber also saw two of his remix albums top the charts.

Never Say Never: The Remixes went to number one in February of 2014.  Believe Acoustic did the same in January of 2013.

In total, Bieber has six number one albums to his credit.  That’s more number one albums than Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, The Who, or Bon Jovi ever achieved.

Bieber’s first three studio albums have all been certified platinum.  His latest offering, Purpose, is well on its way to the million units sold plateau.

Purpose sold 649,000 “equivalent album units” in its first week on the streets.  That’s the best sales week of Bieber’s career.

In other words…

…the demise of “Bieber Fever” has been greatly exaggerated.

A Single Number One “Single”
One of the areas where Justin Bieber has not performed like you’d expect the most famous pop singer in world to perform is number one singles.

Bieber has placed only one single on top of the Billboard Hot 100.  That lone single is “What Do You Mean” released Aug. 28, 2015.

Bieber does have 14 Top 20 singles and 8 Top 10 singles.  He’s been a part of five other Top 20 singles either as a featured artist or via promotional singles.

What’s really impressive is in his young career, Justin Bieber has already charted 63 singles on the Hot 100—that includes singles as a feature artist and promotional singles (including the cringe worthy “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”).

To put that 63 in perspective, The Beatles landed 71 singles on the Hot 100.

Big Time Debut
One of the songs you’ll probably hear during the upcoming Justin Bieber tour is “One Time.”  That’s the artist’s debut single.

“One Time” peaked at #17 on Billboard’s Hot 100.  It went on to be certified 5x Platinum.

That’s a better debut than The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Adele, or Taylor Swift had.

Road Warrior
The Purpose World Tour will be back in the U.S. in 2017 and you’ll be able to see Bieber at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on 8/29/17.

Already, the singer has made nearly 300 tour stops and grossed more than $53 million.  That’s a lot of concert tickets for a seasoned performer much less one that’s still too young to rent a car.

The “Purpose World Tour” is Bieber’s third major trek.  His first major outing was the “My World Tour” which began in 2010.  His second was the “Believe Tour” launched in 2012.

Get this…

…Bieber has performed on every continent but Antarctica.

The Big Rooms
Bieber has not only played a bunch of shows, but he has done so at the world’s biggest venues.

We’ve already mentioned that he’s performing at Madison Square Garden, also during his upcoming tour Justin Bieber will be at Staples Center in Los Angeles, American Airlines Center in Dallas, the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

In past tours, Bieber has performed London’s O2 Arena, Dubai’s The Sevens Stadium, and the Foro Sol in Mexico City.

Number One Artist
For the first time in his career, Justin Bieber topped Billboard’s Artist 100 chart (for the week ending Nov. 28, 2015).  That’s a list Billboard created in July of 2014 that measures an artist’s sales, airplay, and social media fan interaction.

Since its inception, the chart has been dominated by Taylor Swift (31 total weeks), The Weeknd (8 weeks), and country artists (5 weeks).

Landing on the top of the Artist 100 isn’t Bieber’s greatest accomplishment but it’ certainly another feather in his cap.

Also, it says that more than five years into his career, the pop singer is showing no signs of slowing down.