How to spend your concert money this summer
We're getting closer and closer to the unofficial "Summer of the '80s" -- when just about every band from our favorite decade has decided to hit the road on mega-tours. Some acts, such as The Police and Asia, haven't played together in a quarter century. Others, including Rush and Genesis, have been laying low and are ready for triumphant returns.
The biggest debate among fans should be: Who am I going to spend my hard-earned change on, because hitting every tour would be more financially devastating than trying to pay Boy George's legal tab.
A quick must-see list:
No. 1: No offense to my detractors, but I'm putting Asia at the top of my personal list of must-see acts. Just found my tickets in the mailbox this weekend in fact. I get the feeling that this may be a one-and-only shot at seeing them perform their best material, and I certainly don't want to jinx them, but they have a habit of not staying together for the long run. So I figure it's now or never. And I can't live with never.
No. 2: Rush has the No. 3 album right now with "Snakes & Arrows." Our favorite Canadian prog-rockers kick off their tour right here in Florida. Expect 20,000 air-drummers following Neil Peart's every stick move. Will the show be diluted by too many cuts off the new disc? Times pop critic Sean Daly and I will let you know on June 15, the night after they play Tampa's Ford Amphitheatre.
No. 3: Genesis sounds like a can't-miss show, currently preparing to tour Europe with their original lineup (minus Peter Gabriel). But unless you live in a major metro area, you're going to have a buy a plane ticket. Their current tour schedule is pretty limited. But, like Asia, they'll be touring on their strength of their greatest hits, with no current album to pimp.
No. 4: The Police fall all the way to fourth on my list. (And to be honest, I'm not planning on seeing their show here in Tampa.) I've always thought their biggest fans were themselves. I can't see Geddy Lee getting on stage at the Grammy's and boasting, "We're Rush and we're back!" But, like Asia and Genesis, fans can at least count on a hit-filled show.
No. 5: Let's wait and see for our final slot. There are a ton of bands out there just starting to fill out their summer calendars, including Heart, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Pat Benatar and more. If you're lucky and just happen to live in the right city, you'll have a rare chance to see acts including Crowded House, Erasure, Squeeze, The Jam, and even my beloved Hoodoo Gurus.
The point is: Save up, because you have some difficult choices ahead.
[Ticket montage courtesy of Debbie Kruger]