And so it begins again -- the annual summertime trek to the venue of your choice to have beer spilled on you, get sunburned (or rained upon) and hear people yammering on their cell phones from the front row. Oh yeah, and shell out megabucks to hear the music you love.
But who's complaining? We love this time of year, when the best of every genre, from pop to punk, rock to reggae, hip-hop to heavy metal, country to folk, hits the road.
While the Stones, Coldplay, and the Who are taking it overseas this summer, folks like Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Radiohead are stepping up to replace them stateside.Festival tours on the circuit include Ozzfest, the Family Values Tour, Sounds of the Underground, the Vans Warped Tour, and the Honda Civic Tour.
The midstate's biggest venue, the Hersheypark Stadium/Star Pavilion/Giant Center megaplex, is welcoming back many of the usual suspects: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Toby Keith on the country side (Kenny Chesney was here in May), and a host of rocking double bills including Lynyrd Skynyrd and 3 Doors Down, Def Leppard and Journey, Counting Crows and the Goo Goo Dolls, and Poison and Cinderella.
Superstar Mariah Carey and smooth singer Michael Buble will stop by, as will a reunited Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. And the stalwart Dave Matthews Band will return for its 10th show here since 1996, this time bringing along O.A.R.
The overall quality of this year's touring season is great, said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar magazine, which covers the concert industry.
"Tons of acts are out working," Bongiovanni said, adding that there was not the usual confluence of huge artists like U2, Paul McCartney, and the Stones touring at the same time.
"It's a great season with plenty of variety," he said.
Of ticket prices, Bongiovanni said there has been no pressure to lower prices at the big, hot shows. But he said outdoor amphitheaters "are making a concerted effort to lower the price of general-admission lawn tickets."
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