Summer 2015’s 30 Hottest Tours – Rolling Stone
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Summer 2015’s 30 Hottest Tours

Everybody from the Rolling Stones to Taylor Swift is hitting the road. Here are our picks for this year’s can’t-miss shows

Summer 2015's 30 Hottest Tours

Summer 2015's 30 Hottest Tours

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Titans of rock (the Rolling Stones, the Who), country megastars (Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney) and pop's newest icons (Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran) are taking over stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters across North America this summer. The season is shaping up to be one of the biggest in biz history, and we have the ultimate guide to all the big tickets, from Nicki Minaj to Marilyn Manson to Dave Matthews Band.

U2

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 13: Bono of U2 perform on stage during the Bambi Awards 2014 show on November 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)

Gisela Schober/Getty

U2

Dates: Through July 31st

Why You Should Go: The last time U2 went out on the road, they built a spaceship — the 29,000-square-foot "Claw" that was the centerpiece of their 2009-'11 world tour. This time around, they're playing through custom PA system that employs speakers hung from the ceiling spread evenly throughout the venue. "Everyone up to this point, us included, has always put all the speakers at one end of the stage and blasted all the sound the full length of the venue," says the Edge. "With this, you sit no further than 50 feet from a set of speakers." The show, which opened last week in Vancouver, is also Bono's first since a serious bicycle crash left the 55-year-old unable to wield his instrument. "I miss his guitar playing," says the Edge. "I particularly miss it when I have to go into a solo and there's no Bono there to back me up. I'm like, 'Oh, shit. This is quite a different thing.'"

Tickets: $35-$280

Van Halen

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 30: Eddie Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen of Van Halen performs on March 30, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Jeff Kravitz/Getty

Van Halen

Dates: July 5th-October 4th

Opener: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

Why You Should Go: In celebration of Van Halen's first live album to feature vocals from David Lee Roth, the hard rock band has planned a hefty tour that will cross North America. Performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Ellen previewed the unerring energy that they'll be bring to these summer dates. In fact, the singer had been so enthusiastic on Kimmel that he needed to get stitches following a baton incident that occurred on air. Even more irresistible: the promise of another new studio album, something guitarist Eddie Van Halen has hinted at in recent interviews.

Tickets: $43.50-$166.50

The Who

Josh Brasted/Getty

The Who

Dates: Through November 4th

Openers: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Why You Should Go: To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Who are spending the year on the road with an ambitious show that mixes in deep cuts like "Pictures of Lily" and "A Quick One, While He's Away." "I know this is the last big tour we'll ever do," says Roger Daltrey (Pete Townshend, however, isn't so sure). "We have to be realistic. I want us to stop at the top of our game when we are still really good at what we do."

Tickets: $35-$150

Neil Young

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Neil Young

Dates: July 5th-24th

Openers: Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Band of Horses, Puss N Boots

Why You Should Go: Neil Young's upcoming protest album The Monsanto Years was recorded with Willie Nelson's sons Mikah Nelson as Lukas Nelson, as well as their backing band Promise of Real. They're nearly 50 years younger than Young, but they found an intense musical connection they plan on bringing to amphitheaters all across North America. A rehearsal show at California bar featured the entire new album along with Young classics like "Country Home," "Walk On" and "Down by the River," but trying to predict what Young will want to play this summer, or even if the tour will go past these initial dates, is impossible to know. "Neil could call me up right now and say, 'We're doing a show in Iraq tomorrow,'" says Micah. "We'd be like, 'OK! Here we go.'" No matter what happens, the Nelson boys are extremely pumped. "As much as you can imagine how fun it would be, just amplify that by 10,000," says Lukas. "And that's close to how we feel as a band. It's almost spiritual."

Tickets: $34.50-$165

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