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Nostalgia Takes Over Summer Concert Season

'60s, '70s and '80s stars celebrate anniversaries, retirements and friendships

Rod Stewart and  Cyndi Lauper

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Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper perform at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill., last summer.

If you grew up on music from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, this is the summer for you. 

As the weather heats up, so does the tour circuit, and veteran acts dominate. Some are doubling up, many are celebrating anniversaries and a few are taking a last bow. Here’s who to look for on stages from coast to coast.

Paul Simon

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Paul Simon performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sept. 30, 2017.


James Taylor and Bonnie RaittThe longtime pals and peers, who toured together last year, regroup for the summer with shows from May 8 in Jacksonville, Fla., to July 1 in Buffalo, N.Y. During a subsequent run of dates in Europe, they’ll perform with Paul Simon at his farewell tour stop July 15 in London. Now that will be a show! 

John Fogerty and ZZ Top. The Blues and Bayous Tour showcases two titan guitarists: Creedence Clearwater founder Fogerty and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. The acts head out May 25 in Atlantic City, N.J., and finish June 29 in Welch, Minn.

Steve Miller and Peter Frampton. After their 2017 jaunt and a nine-date run of Canadian shows in April, the space cowboy and talk box guitarist return for another tour, launching June 12 in Evansville, Ind., and ending with a pair of concerts Aug. 25-26 in Woodinville, Wash. 2018 marks the Steve Miller Band’s 50th anniversary. Can you believe it? 

Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. The two bands, billed as The Summer of Living Dangerously, tour together from May 10 in Charlotte, N.C., to July 14 in Bethel, N.Y. Steely Dan, led by Donald Fagen with a new lineup, is undertaking its first major outing since the death of cofounder Walter Becker last September. 

Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers. Singer Rodgers, best known for fronting rock bands Free and Bad Company, and guitar wizard Beck will co-headline the Stars Align tour starting July 18 in West Valley City, Utah, and closing Aug. 26 in Tampa, Fla. Ann Wilson of Heart will open the shows, making it even more worth the price of admission.

Def Leppard and Journey. The’80s behemoths will share a marquee from May 21 in Hartford, Conn., to Oct. 6-7 in Los Angeles. Their last road partnership in 2006 was a hit parade and a cash bonanza. 

Hall & Oates and Train. The pop duo best known for "Maneater," "Kiss on My List" and "Rich Girl," coheadline with the rock band that exploded with Drops of Jupiter. And to commemorate the tour, the two groups have released a single, "Philly Forget Me Not." They tour arenas from May 1 in Sacramento, Calif., to Aug. 11 in Seattle. 

Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper. Two wild-haired rockers armed with loads of radio hits pair up on a tour running from July 24 in Hollywood, Fla., to Sept. 1 in Seattle. Los Angeles fans get a preview at shows June 25-26 at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Chicago and REO Speedwagon. The Illinois bands join forces from June 13 in Concord, Calif., to Aug. 12 in Detroit. Chicago plans to perform Chicago II, with classics "25 or 6 to 4," "Colour My World" and "Make Me Smile," in its entirety, followed by a lengthy encore of hits. 

U2 perform during the World Stage event as part of the MTV EMAs 2017

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The Edge (left), Larry Mullen Jr. (back center), Bono (front center) and Adam Clayton (right) of U2 perform during the World Stage event as part of the MTV EMAs 2017 at Trafalgar Square in London.

The Monoliths

U2. Last year, the Irish quartet revived The Joshua Tree on stage. After releasing the personal Songs of Experience album in December, U2 returns to the here and now for its Experience + Innocence Tour, running from May 2 in Tulsa, Okla., to July 3 in Uncasville, Conn., before heading to Europe. Expect the usual brilliance and wow factor. 

Paul Simon. The storied singer/songwriter launches his final tour, Homeward Bound, on May 16 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The summer leg ends June 20 in Nashville, Tenn. He’ll return for a final batch of U.S. dates Sept. 5 in New Orleans, performing his last three shows in New York in September.

Ringo Starr. The newly knighted ex-Beatle resurfaces with his All-Starr Band June 2 in Atlantic City, N.J. Returnees Steve Lukather, Gregg Bissonette, Gregg Rolie and Warren Ham are on board, along with newcomers Colin Hay and Graham Gouldman. They’ll play a string of dates in Europe before resuming U.S. dates from Sept. 1 in Tulsa, Okla., to Sept. 29 in Los Angeles. 

Robert Plant. The Led Zeppelin belter, who shape-shifted into a folk/blues crooner later in life, takes to the road June 8 in Atlanta and wraps up June 29 in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Jeff Lynne's ELO Jeff Lynne’s reiteration of the Electric Light Orchestra, which lay dormant since 1986 until he resurrected it briefly in 2000 and again in 2014, will tour North America from Aug. 2 in Oakland, Calif., to Aug. 24 in Philadelphia. ELO hasn’t toured the U.S. since 1981. 

Eagles. The long-running California band’s first major tour since the 2016 death of founding member Glenn Frey enlists Frey’s son Deacon and Vince Gill to fill the void. The trek, already in progress, ends Oct. 20 in Cleveland. 

Ozzy Osbourne. The metal god’s No More Tours 2, a solo farewell that comes on the heels of Black Sabbath’s The End tour, is underway and concludes in Las Vegas on Oct. 13. 

Roger DaltreyThe singer takes the Who’s Tommy on tour, beginning June 8 in Bethel, N.Y., and ending July 8 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The full rock opera will be performed at each stop with members of the Who’s backing band and a local orchestra. Talk about nostalgia. 

Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz. The twosome promises lots of Monkees hits despite the absence of Peter Tork, at work on a tribute album to bluesman Lead Belly, and Davy Jones, who died in 2012. It’s their first outing as a duo. The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show starts June 1 in Chandler, Ariz., and closes June 25 in Red Bank, N.J. 

Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Southern rock institution undertakes a global Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour; the summer stint stretches from May 4 in West Palm Beach, Fla., to Sept. 1 in Atlanta.

Steven TylerThe Aerosmith front man trades his primal scream for a twangy croon on a tour to promote his 2016 solo country album, We’re All Somebody From Somewhere. With Nashville’s Loving Mary as his backing band, he heads out June 12 in Lewiston, N.Y., finishing U.S. dates July 7 in Naperville, Ill. It's barely a tour, but it is Steven Tyler. 

Ian Anderson. The singer/flautist hits the road with the Jethro Tull 50th Anniversary Tour, starting May 30 in Phoenix and ending Sept. 11 in New York. Anderson, Jethro Tull’s only original member, performs with a lineup that includes players from his solo band.  

Yes. The U.S. leg of Quintessential Yes: The 50th Anniversary Tour starts Aug. 26 at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, where the band played its first headlining gig in 1971. Nine additional shows have been announced, with more to come, as well as a two-CD compilation, a live recording and their first studio album since 1991’s Union

Dead & Company. Singer/guitarist John Mayer joins three surviving members of the Grateful Dead — Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — to form this offshoot band that keeps Jerry Garcia’s torch blazing. They kick off a tour May 30 in Mansfield, Mass., and wrap up with a pair of shows July 13-14 in Boulder, Colo. 

Alice Cooper. In support of last year’s Paranormal album, the shock rocker takes to the road in A Paranormal Evening with Alice Cooper, starting Aug. 3 in Milwaukee and continuing through October. Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley will open some shows.

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