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13 Tours We’d Like To See In 2013

From Outkast to David Bowie, here’s our list of dream tours for next year

rage against the machine outkast david bowie

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It's never too early to start thinking about the 2013 touring season. This year has already seen amazing shows from acts including Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Radiohead, while the Who and the Rolling Stones are still on their way. But there are lots of other major acts that have been sitting at home for way too long. Read on for the top 13 artists we'd love to see hit the road in the next calendar year, from David Bowie to Outkast. And while this is a dream list, we've tried not to get too implausible – so that means no Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Smiths or any other long-dormant bands that all signs indicate will never, ever reunite.

By Andy Greene

Van Halen with Sam and Dave

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Van Halen with two lead singers

Few fans prefer Sammy Hagar's tenure in Van Halen to the band's David Lee Roth years. Without any doubt, the songs were better when Diamond Dave was involved – and since he rejoined the fold a few years ago, Van Halen has circled the world on two huge tours and even released a new album. (Sadly, bassist Michael Anthony was pushed out of the band to make room for Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang, preventing the original line-up reunion that fans crave.) But ticket sales were a little soft on the most recent run. Yet another tour with this line-up will be no big thrill. It's time to up the ante and do something unprecedented: hit the road with both Dave and Sammy. 

We'll admit this plan has some complications. Hagar released a best-selling book last year that didn't exactly paint Eddie in the most positive light. Also, he probably wouldn't return to the band without his close friend Michael Anthony, and presumably Ed will never fire his own son. But maybe Wolfie will want to stand on his own two legs eventually – he's currently on the road as part of Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti's solo band. And a dual-singer tour is one of the few truly surprising moves Van Halen could pull at this point. They've done the reunion tour, then another one. This is their last big chip left to play. Sure, it sounds unlikely – but a reunion with Roth was said to be impossible for many years, until it happened. Money makes people do crazy things. 

The Eagles

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The Eagles With All Seven Members

The Eagles have been toying with the idea of a 40th anniversary tour in 2013. One problem: their Seventies albums featured seven core members in various combinations, and only four of them are still in the band. To truly make this anniversary tour special and not just a lame cash grab, they need to suck it up and invite back ex-Eagles Don Felder, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon. 

The show could start with the four original Eagles (Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Leadon and Meisner) playing material from the two albums they made as a quartet. Then Felder can join them when they reach 1974's On The Border, and Joe Walsh can sub in for Leadon after an intermission when they reach 1976's Hotel California. Now, this plan isn't without flaws – mainly the other members' chilly relationship with Felder. Like Sammy Hagar, the guy wrote a book that burned some bridges. So what? To quote a wise band, it's time to "Get Over It."

Buffalo Springfield

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Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds

Neil Young broke a lot of hearts when he pulled the plug on a Buffalo Springfield reunion this year. They managed to play six theater dates in California and a killer set at Bonnaroo in 2011, but plans for a 30-date tour to follow vanished into the air. To his credit, Young had a pretty great excuse: he wanted to reunite with Crazy Horse. When his current tour with the Horse winds down next year, he should really think about getting back to that Buffalo Springfield tour. Richie Furay's singing voice is absolutely amazing, and these songs need to be played one last time.

This tour could be even more awesome if the Springfield toured with the Byrds, fellow veterans of Los Angeles' Sixties rock scene. One roadblock there: while surviving members David Crosby and Chris Hillman are extremely interested in a reunion, frontman Roger McGuinn has remained stubbornly opposed to the idea.

Even if the Byrds somehow did reunite and go on the road with Buffalo Springfield, the double bill would leave Crosby, Stills and Young's friend Graham Nash out in the cold. It's tempting to suggest a Hollies reunion so he could join the tour – but that would just create pressure to wrap up the evening with a CSNY set, and that's not what this dream is about. 

U2

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U2 Arena Tour

There's no possible way for U2 to top the size and scope of their 2009-2011 stadium tour. It grossed $736,000,000 over 110 shows. That's a record that may never be broken. They shouldn't even try. When their next album hits in 2013, they should go back to arenas instead. It also might be time to drop some war horses from the set lists. Sure, "Where The Streets Have No Name" should be played at every U2 gig until the end of time, but maybe we've heard "Pride (In The Name of Love)," "With or Without You," "New Years Day," "Mysterious Ways" and "One" enough times. They're all great songs, but they've been played to death.

It would be even more exciting if U2 considered actually rotating their set lists from night to night. Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen shows are so thrilling because you never know what's coming next. An act with as deep a back catalog as U2 should at least set aside a few slots per night where they mix it up – maybe bring back early favorites like "Drowning Man" or "The Refugee," or forgotten 1990s tunes like "Acrobat" or "Gone."

At this stage in U2's career, it might be tempting to just keep flogging the same old hits in stadiums for enormous sums of money. They need to resist that temptation at all costs. 

Black Sabbath/Iron Maiden/Judas Priest/Motorhead

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Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motorhead

Metal fans around the world saw their dreams come true in recent years when Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer hit the road together as the Big Four. Old rivalries were put aside in order to fill stadiums with one of the biggest shows in metal history. There's only one way to top that: go back a generation and bring Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motorhead together on one stage. Iron Maiden alone can pack arenas, but the combined power of all four bands would make for a truly memorable bill. Things didn't go so well on 2005's Ozzfest tour, when Iron Maiden had to play  before Black Sabbath – but seven years is a long time, and they should be able to pull it off. If for no other reason, this tour should happen so that VH1 Classic host Eddie Trunk can be the happiest man alive. 

Elton John

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Elton John Plays Classic Albums

Everyone talks about Bob Dylan's and Willie Nelson's never-ending tours, but Elton John does just as many shows a year as those guys without getting half the recognition. Maybe one reason is his habit of filling his set lists with well-known hits, ignoring huge swaths of his back catalog. In 2005 he played 1975's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy in full at a couple of shows. It's time to do much more of that kind of thing. Albums like 1970's The Tumbleweed Connection and 1971's Madman Across The Water are total masterpieces that deserve to be revived onstage. People who haven't seen Elton in years will come out to see this. We've all danced the crocodile rock enough. Let's hear "Rotten Peaches" and "My Father's Gun."

genesis with peter gabriel

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Genesis With Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel finally broke down this year and went on his first truly retro tour – a recreation of his 1987 tour in support of So, down to the same band and onstage props. It was a pretty amazing show, but there's something else that the true fans are holding out for: a reunion tour with Genesis. The classic 1970s line-up of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett met in 2004 to discuss such a tour, but Gabriel ultimately backed out. Since then, Collins has suffered nerve damage in his hands that makes it difficult for him to play drums. This makes a Genesis reunion difficult, but Collins has played a couple times in recent years, and he's said he is making slow and steady progress. Maybe he'll be ready to give it a shot in a year or so. If not, longtime Genesis live drummer Chester Thompson can handle his parts. Whatever happens, Genesis should end their career right where it began. The fans have waited long enough. 

Simon and Garfunkel Farewell Tour

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Simon and Garfunkel Farewell Tour

"Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly?/How terribly strange to be 70," Simon and Garfunkel sang on their classic 1968 tune "Old Friends." Well, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel both turned 70 last year. They aren't just sitting around park benches together throwing crumbs at pigeons, though – both have released new music in the last year and gone on solo tours. For Art, it was his first time playing shows since a major vocal ailment forced the cancellation of a Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour in 2009. He seems to be pretty close to recovery these days, and it's time to make up those gigs. Paul has recently said he wants to tour with Art one last time, and Art has made it clear he's down. So what are they waiting for? If they call it a farewell tour, they'll basically be printing money. 

Outkast/Fugees

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Outkast and Fugees

Outkast are technically on some sort of indefinite hiatus, but with every year that goes by without a new album or tour, it looks more and more like they're over. The Fugees, meanwhile, are definitely broken up. They hate each other. While these two situations differ in many ways, they have one crucial thing in common: both of these beloved hip-hop acts have huge fan bases that miss them like hell. Just imagine how awesome it would be if they joined forces for a massive arena tour together – like the Nineties hip-hop equivalent of those Billy JoelElton John tours a few years ago.

It's hard to see Lauryn Hill eagerly signing on for this, but with the IRS on her case, some quick, easy money might not look so bad. And while André 3000 is pretty focused on his movie career right now, he could always change his mind. We can safely say that Pras, Wyclef and Big Boi would all do this tour tomorrow. Now we just have to wait for the other two to come around. (It's probably going to be a while.)

david bowie

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David Bowie Farewell Concert

For those who haven't noticed, David Bowie pretty much vanished sometime around 2006. Sure, he walks the streets of New York with his wife Iman and their daughter and makes the occasional appearance at black tie charity balls and movie premiers – but he hasn't released a new album since 2003 or performed a concert since 2004. He obviously has every right to retire, but the man is only 65. Chuck Berry is a full 20 years older, and he's out there all the time. How great would it be if Bowie did one final tour, giving us all the opportunity to say goodbye? The 2003-4 Reality tour was amazing, but nobody knew it was the end of the line. David, at the very least pull a Led Zeppelin and give us one final concert. Let's end this this properly. Singing "Changes" with Alicia Keys at a charity show is no way to go out. 

Billy Joel Farewell Tour

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Billy Joel Farewell Tour

Billy Joel hasn't released a new record since River of Dreams nearly 20 years ago. The money for concerts, however, was too much to pass up, so he kept touring through the 1990s and 2000s even when he didn't have any new songs to sing. That is, until the tours suddenly stopped with no warning or notice. Billy Joel hasn't played a single real concert since a quick series of make-up dates with Elton John in February and March of 2010. By many accounts, he has no intention of doing shows anytime soon, maybe never again. While his fans certainly had ample opportunity to say goodbye, and the 2008 Shea Stadium shows were pretty spectacular, it would be nice if he did a proper victory lap. He has all the time in the world to fiddle with his motorcycles and hobnob with Howard Stern and Matt Lauer in the Hamptons. The fans need closure. 

rage against the machine

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Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine are, hands down, one of the greatest live bands to emerge in the past two decades. Maybe even of all time. They broke up in 2000 near their peak, but seven years later they started reuniting for live shows here and there. The thing is, most of these shows have been at festivals, often in Europe. By the time Rage hit the stage, many fans have been baking in the heat for 12 hours. It's not an ideal venue for the band – particularly when many of their original fans are no longer so into the idea of a mosh pit full of black-out drunk frat boys. At some point, Rage should really do a proper arena tour so their older fans can chill out and sing along to "Bulls on Parade" without risking life and limb. 

Stone Roses' Ian Brown and Blur's Damon Albarn

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Stone Roses and Blur

Why does England get to have all the fun? In the past year, Blur and the Stone Roses have both reunited for a bunch of triumphant U.K. shows – leaving their American fans to watch them on YouTube if at all. Both of these groups clearly have a bigger fanbase over in their home country, but they'd still sell a lot of tickets stateside. They'd kill at Coachella, and they could even go on a brief American leg together, for the ultimate Anglophile double bill.