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2016’s 20 Hottest Tours

Bruce, Bieber, Black Sabbath and beyond — here are our picks for the year’s must-see live acts


Illustration by Brittany Falussy

Whether it's aging acts taking a final bow, or up-and-comers riding a wave of buzz, the array of talent set to hit the road in 2016 is staggering. Rock titans such as Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen, pop megastars like Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Selena Gomez, and indie-rock faves Yo La Tengo and Kurt Vile will all visit arenas, theaters and clubs across North America. And then, of course, there's the mighty Adele, bringing her record-smashing 25 to life. Read on for our full rundown of the year's essential tours.


SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Matthew McConaughey" Episode 1689 -- Pictured: Musical guest Adele performs on November 21, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Dana Edelson/NBC/Getty


Dates: July 5th–November 9th

Why You Should Go: Hello? Adele's 25 was the best-selling album of 2015, even though it was released in late November. Naturally, the British songstress is following up those staggering sales with some more: Every Adele Live 2016 date is officially sold out, making it the hottest ticket for grandmothers, firefighters and everyone in between. It's the kind of FOMO event that feels mandatory, even if you didn't have three monitors with seven browsers open on the morning the six Madison Square Garden shows went on sale. At minimum, the prospect of experiencing Adele's glittering pipes in person is reason enough to catch one of these shows.

Tickets: $35.50–$149.50

Janet Jackson

Christopher Polk/BET/Getty

Janet Jackson

Dates: TBD

Why You Should Go: Jackson is simply one of the great all-around stars of her generation, with undeniable hits in four decades and a kinetic, tightly wound, impeccably choreographed dance style that has influenced everyone from Beyoncé to Tinashe. Unbreakable, her first album in seven and a half years, arrived in 2015, and it’s her best effort since the 2001 classic All For You. Although the singer recently announced that she's postponing her tour until the spring due to surgery, she's sure to return with a vengeance — after all, this is the Unbreakable World Tour.

Tickets: TBD

Pearl Jam

LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 914 -- Pictured: (l-r) Music guests Mike McCready, Jeff Ament, Eddie Vedder, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam perform on Thursday, October 24, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/Getty

Pearl Jam

Dates: TBD

Why You Should Go: Virtually nothing is known about Pearl Jam's upcoming American tour other than the fact it's going to celebrate their 25th anniversary and that dates will come sometime early in the year. In keeping with all Pearl Jam shows, expect a set list that's basically their entire catalog on shuffle. Their South American shows in late 2015 featured as many as 32 songs, including Nineties classics like "Daughter" and "Why Go," and recent tunes like "Lightning Bolt" and "Mind Your Manners," along with covers like Pink Floyd's "Mother" and U2's "A Sort of Homecoming." 

Tickets: TBD

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