Fall's Hottest Tours and Concerts - Rolling Stone
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Fall’s Hottest Tours and Concerts

From Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to Jay-Z and Madonna, tons of huge acts are on the road this autumn

hottest fall tours

Summertime is traditionally when the biggest tours hit the road, but apparently a lot of major artists missed the memo this year. Tons of top-level acts are hitting the road this fall – including the Who, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and the Rolling Stones. Some of these artists have been plugging away all year, while others are just now gearing up for the road. Here's our guide to 27 of this fall's hottest tours and concerts.

By Andy Greene

bob dylan


Bob Dylan

Dates: October 5th-November 21st

If history is any guide, expect Dylan to play a healthy dose of his new disc, Tempest, on this arena tour. And while opening acts rarely get a chance to share the stage with Dylan, he has a long history with Mark Knopfler, who's joining him this time. Knopfler played guitar during Dylan's set when they toured Europe together last year – and they even sang a duet on "Forever Young" at one show. Here's hoping Bob is that generous this fall.

neil young crazy horse

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Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Dates: October 3rd-December 4th

Young and his longtime backing band are all pushing 70, but they still deliver an absolutely jaw-dropping show. Fans got a short preview of this tour in early August, when Young played a handful of blazing, feedback-drenched gigs with the Horse at places like Colorado's Red Rocks. Chances are they'll be breaking out lots of tunes from their new LP, Psychedelic Pill – plus loads of old favorites from "Powderfinger" to "Hey Hey, My My." Show up early to catch opening sets from Patti Smith and Los Lobos.

the rolling stones

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The Rolling Stones

Dates: TBD

While full details have yet to be confirmed, the Stones are set to play at least two shows in London and two at Brooklyn's new Barclays Center this fall to celebrate their 50th anniversary. These will be their first concerts in over five years. Expect to pay an astronomical fortune for tickets, assuming you're lucky enough to get some during the initial on-sale – this is going to be a mad rush. But don't lose heart if you're shut out. It seems likely that more dates are probably on the way next year.


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Dates: September 28th-October 6th

Jay-Z is going all-out to celebrate the opening of the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, where he's a part owner: He has eight huge shows booked at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Don't be surprised if pretty much every major name in hip-hop joins him onstage at some point during the run – but even if they don't, you're in for a night of masterful MCing and effortless charisma.


Dave J Hogan/Getty Images


Dates: Through November 20th

This year's MDNA didn't quite live up to expectations – but everyone knows Madonna is a force to be reckoned with on the road. Set lists on the monster world tour she launched this spring have mixed MDNA material with re-worked versions of megahits like "Vogue" and "Like A Prayer" – plus a swipe at Lady Gaga during "Express Yourself." Some fans have complained that she's playing too much new music, but we wouldn't like to be the ones to try to convince her to switch it up.

bruce springsteen e street band

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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Dates: Through December 6th

After rocking all over the U.S. and Europe for most of this year, Springsteen has dropped most of the new tunes from this year's Wrecking Ball in favor of fan-favorite rarities like "Thundercrack," "Sherry Darling" and "Lost In The Flood." His marathon sets are going even longer than usual, often stretching close to four hours. And new saxophonist Jake Clemons has more than come into his own. In many ways, the E Street Band is sounding better than ever.

smashing pumpkins

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Smashing Pumpkins

Dates: October 2nd-November 4th

The short-lived Zwan side project included more original members of the Smashing Pumpkins than the alt-rock act's current line-up – but Billy Corgan and his new hires can still deliver the goods live. After a few years playing clubs and theaters, the latter-day Pumpkins have decided to take a shot at arenas again this fall. They plan on playing their new album, Oceania, in the first set, saving the Nineties classics for the second set.

journey pat benatar

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Journey/Loverboy/Pat Benatar

Dates: Through December 14th

Close your eyes at this show, and you might think you've taken a time warp back to 1982. Once you open your eyes and see substitute frontman Arnel Pineda singing "Don't Stop Believing," you'll be right back in the present. But hey, the guy does a better Steve Perry than Perry himself these days. With Loverboy and Pat Benatar along for the ride, you're guaranteed to get your fill of cheese.

guns n roses

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Guns N’ Roses

Dates: October 31st-November 24th

Axl Rose spent the last decade dragging his new incarnation of Guns N' Roses around the world. This Las Vegas residency, kicking off on Halloween, is the logical next step. If it's good enough for Elton John and Rod Stewart, why not Axl? You'll hear all the hits – but the line-up is sort of like Journey in reverse. You get the original singer and that's it.

New Order

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New Order

Dates: October 5th-October 24th

When bassist Peter Hook quit New Order back in 2007, everyone thought the group was done. But last year, the remaining two members (plus original keyboardist Gillian Gilbert) decided to go back on the road. This didn't exactly thrill Hook, but fans are realizing that three-quarters of New Order is a lot better than no New Order at all. Besides, new bassist Tom Chapman does a great job of aping Hook's classic parts.


Didier Messens/Getty Images


Dates: October 5th-December 8th

Morrissey is taking a break from the studio, but he's touring as hard as ever. The setlist is likely to change a fair amount from night to night, but he always plays a handful of Smiths classics like "How Soon Is Now?" and "Meat Is Murder" in addition to a wide variety of songs from his long solo career. Morrissey is so huge in Los Angeles that he's even headlining a show at the cavernous Staples Center – with the Stooges opening! – during Thanksgiving week.

Barbra Streisand

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Barbra Streisand

Dates: October 8th-October 29th

Babs is about as un-rock & roll as it gets, but she sells more tickets than just about anybody on the planet – and at prices that will absolutely shock you. Thinking about buying a pair of nosebleed tickets for her October 11th show in Brooklyn? Prepare to shell out $750. No joke. If you're into Streisand, however, you will almost certainly love this show.

The Who

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The Who

Dates: November 1st-February 26th

Recent Who tours have been focused on the hits, but this time around they're switching it up and doing their 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia straight through. Sure, they already did this back in 1996 (when bassist John Entwistle was still alive), but it should still be a pretty memorable show. Frontman Roger Daltrey is sounding better than he has in years after dealing with his vocal problems. They also promise an encore full of non-Quadrophenia tunes. Here's hoping they drag out some rarities like "Slip Kid" and "Sunrise" as opposed to the umpteenth run-through of "I Can't Explain" and "Behind Blue Eyes."

Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen

Dates: October 31st-December 20th

At 77, Leonard Cohen has more energy than just about any other performer on the road. His shows are three-hour journeys through his entire 45-year catalog. Every moment is absolutely stunning – just ask anyone who saw his last unforgettable tour in 2008 or 2009. Do whatever you can to get tickets.

justin bieber

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Justin Bieber/Carly Rae Jepsen

Dates: September 29th-January 27th

This is Bieber's first major headlining tour, and Jepsen's first time playing to big crowds in America. There will be tons of bells, whistles and costume changes to snazz up their pop smashes. It will either be the highlight of your entire life – or something you do to please your kid. Either way, consider bringing earplugs for all the uncontrollable screaming.

One Direction

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One Direction

Date: December 3rd

One Direction announced their Summer 2013 tour more than a year in advance – and even if their teenage fans lose interest by then, the tickets firmly state "no refunds." In the meantime, the British boy band is playing one night at New York's Madison Square Garden in December. If you have tickets, don't tell a soul: Flocks of young fans might come into your home brandishing weapons.

the monkees

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The Monkees

Dates: November 8th-December 2nd

When Davy Jones died earlier this year, a future Monkees tour seemed about as likely as a Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin double bill. Nobody expected longtime holdout Michael Nesmith to agree to a reunion tour with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz – but that's what happened. They're going to do all the hits, and a huge chunk of psychedelic-era songs from Headquarters and the Head soundtrack. Even without Davy, this is the tour Monkee superfans have been dreaming of for years.

Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel

Dates: September 16th-October 14th

Gabriel's 1986 LP So transformed the singer, briefly, into a superstar.  Songs like "Sledgehammer," "In Your Eyes," "Red Rain" and "Don't Give Up" were absolutely inescapable that year. Now, 26 years later, he's hitting the road with the original So touring band to play the entire thing in reverse order, plus a bunch of other songs from his long career.

Kiss Motley Crue

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Kiss/Motley Crue

Dates: Through September 23rd

If you like your rock big, loud and full of songs about love, guns and heroin overdoes, this is the tour for you. Kiss and Motley Crue put on some of the most bombastic shows in the world. While the Crue has all four original members, Kiss only has two – but they put the two new guys in the same make-up as Ace Frehley and Peter Criss used to wear. To devout fans, that's sacrilegious, but to Kiss it's just business.

Marilyn Manson Rob Zombie

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Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie

Dates: October 1st-October 25th

Manson may not get quite as much media attention as he used to in 1998, but he still puts on a wild show. Original bassist Twiggy Ramirez is back in the band, and they are guaranteed to play "Beautiful People," "The Dope Show" and all their other sleazed-out glam-rock favorites. Zombie's set should include a nice balance of solo screamers and White Zombie hits.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Red Hot Chili Peppers

Dates: September 23rd-November 26th

Losing guitarist John Frusciante was a major blow to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but replacement Josh Klinghoffer has proved to be a remarkable find. The Chilis have been on tour for most of the past year, and they're not stopping yet. Set lists vary, but they never leave the stage without breaking out "Under The Bridge," "Give It Away" and "By The Way."

Alanis Morissette

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Alanis Morissette

Dates: September 24th-November 3rd

Morisette obviously never got any bigger than Jagged Little Pill, but it barely matters. That megasmash gave her enough hits to fill concert halls from now until the end of time. Her latest disc, Havoc and Bright Lights, came out in late August, but that doesn't mean she won't be singing "You Oughta Know" and "Ironic" – wrapping the warm glow of 1996 around you like your favorite blanket.

Fiona Apple

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Fiona Apple

Dates: September 9th-October 21st

When Apple goes away, she really goes away. But when she's back, she seems to be everywhere. Luckily, this is an on year for her. Apple's fourth disc, The Idler Wheel…, arrived earlier this year to strong reviews, and she's been playing lots of shows to support it. Her sets include nail-bitingly intense performances of material from all four of her albums, plus the occasional cover, like Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe."

Black Keys

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The Black Keys

Dates: October 1st-October 12th

The Black Keys are one of the few rock bands that has been able to graduate from clubs to arenas in recent memory. They did it mainly by touring hard year after year, and gradually perfecting their live show – which is heavy on blistering rockers from their newest disc, El Camino.

crosby stills nash

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Crosby, Stills and Nash

Dates: Through October 20th

CSN do about as many shows per year as road warriors like Bob Dylan or Willie Nelson – delivering over two hours of folk-rock classics, plus amazing deep cuts including "Cathedral" and "Lay Me Down." And even without Neil Young to join them, two of the guys can still harmonize to stunning effect. (Sorry, Stills.)

Global Festival neil young foo fighters

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Global Festival

Date: September 29th

Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the Black Keys and Foo Fighters are all acts that could probably fill the Great Lawn of New York's Central Park on their own. All three of them on one night? Now, that's a seriously big deal. This mega charity festival, organized by the Global Poverty Project, will also feature performances by Band of Horses and K'Naan.

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