A photographic look at the 1983 Us Festival and a guide to everything you need to know about the season’s major concert tours, music festivals, album releases, movies and books.
Rock & Roll Tours
This year’s summer-concert season had its loud, smoggy launch over Memorial Day weekend, when the Us Festival took place in Southern California. Nothing else this summer will draw as many people (about 735,000 for the three days of rock & roll) or bands (25), get quite as much media attention or, probably, lose as much money (the amount is still uncertain, though $3 million seems a reasonable estimate). But as is the case every summer, a lot of acts will be hitting the road during the next few months: the kids are out of school and on the loose, and performers from the Police to Simon and Garfunkel to David Bowie will be competing for their dollars.
Some of the artists who played the Us Festival won’t be on the road this summer: For the Clash, Van Halen and the Pretenders, Us was an isolated show rather than part of a tour. But for others — Stevie Nicks and Bowie, to name two — the festival was simply the prelude to a summer tour. Sure, nobody who played the Us Festival is liable to make as much money at other dates, but it was those extravagant paydays that killed festival organizer Steve Wozniak’s chance to turn a profit. (Bowie and Van Halen each picked up about $1.5 million, while even a midlevel band like the English Beat showed just how generous ”Woz” has become: The group made a reported $10,000 playing the 1982 festival, $100,000 nine months later.)
With Us out of the way, booking agents like Premier Talent’s Barry Bell say they’re expecting a stronger-than-usual summer. You’ll even find optimistic predictions from West Coast promoter Brian Murphy of Avalon Attractions, who admits, ”We got killed by the Us Festival. They took all the bands, and May was a disaster — seven shows, as opposed to 24 in April. But now, things are going to start picking up, and come July, August and September, we’ll see lots of shows. For us, the summer’s starting a little later than usual, but we now expect to be doing outdoor shows into October.”
The summer months, of course, are the time when such regional outdoor venues as L.A.’s Greek Theatre, Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Detroit’s Pine Knob, Cleveland’s Blossom Music Center and New York’s Pier 84 see all of their business, booking, for the most part, big-name acts in an effort to make the short season pay.
For those with a taste for larger concerts, Bill Graham will be presenting at least two of his usual Day on the Green events at California’s Oakland Stadium: On July 30th, Bryan Adams, Journey, Triumph and Eddie Money will perform, and on August 20th, Simon and Garfunkel will appear.
The last two are embarking on a tour that will certainly have the biggest average crowd: Their 19 shows will take place exclusively in huge stadiums. Another band that is noted for a somewhat delicate sound but is taking to the stadiums this summer is the Police, whose tour will hit a mixture of stadiums and large indoor arenas. But David Bowie will stick to indoor arenas on his first stateside swing since 1978. And across the country, fans will be able to choose between best-selling newcomers (Men at Work, Asia), old hands (Styx, Supertramp, Journey), generally reclusive performers (Neil Young, Jackson Browne) and even a couple of longtime group members on their first extensive solo tours (Stevie Nicks and Robert Plant). A partial listing follows. —Steve Pond and Erik Hedegaard
A Flock of Seagulls will be touring through August 1st, playing an outdoor show in Los Angeles (July 6th) and New York’s Radio City Music Hall on July 28th.
Joan Armatrading‘s 41-date tour will include a show at Pier 84 in New York City (July 27th) and a series of Canadian shows ending August 14th.
Asia will hit the road on July 26th for 70 shows in almost four months. The tour kicks off in Dayton, Ohio, concentrating on the Northeast and the Great Lakes area until early September.
The B-52’s will tour through early August. Dates during July will be concentrated in the Northeast, with shows at Pine Knob near Detroit (July 16th) and the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in New York (August 5th).
David Bowie launches his American tour at the Montreal Forum on July 12th and will stay on the road well into November. The first swing of Bowie’s tour will take him to arenas in Philadelphia (the Spectrum, July 18th-21st), New York City (Madison Square Garden, July 25th-27th) and Detroit (Joe Louis Arena, July 30th and 31st).
Jackson Browne hits the road in early July for two months of dates. His tour will alternate between summer theaters and indoor arenas, and will include dates at the Nassau Coliseum (July 31st) and Madison Square Garden (August 2nd).
Eric Clapton will finish his American tour on July 16th and 17th at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver. The tour includes stops in Cleveland (July 7th), Milwaukee (July 10th), Chicago (July 11th) and Cincinnati (July 13th).
Elvis Costello will begin on the East Coast in early August. With the Attractions, he will be playing a mixture of large clubs, theaters and arenas, including New York’s Pier 84 on August 10th and Los Angeles’ Universal Amphitheatre on September 18th and 19th.
Def Leppard will begin their July dates in the South, move to the Midwest early in the month and spend the rest of the summer working their way west.
Daryl Hall and John Oates, who have been on the road since February, will continue to tour into August. Shows include New Jersey’s Meadowlands (July 14th), the Boston Commons (July 15th) and two dates in Forest Hills, New York (July 22nd and 23rd). Scandal will open the July shows.
Joan Jett is scheduled to begin what she calls World Tour II in early July. No specific dates were available at press time.
Journey has been on the road since March. Their tour will wind up at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on August 28th.
Loverboy will be on the road until the end of October. Most of July’s dates will be on the West Coast; the group will then move into the Midwest in late July, and wind up on the East Coast in September and October.
Men at Work return from a European tour to kick off American dates on July 21st in Nashville. The band will primarily play arenas, spending most of August near the East Coast, and then heading west near the end of the month.
Bette Midler will perform at a mixture of outdoor summer theaters and indoor arenas, including Cleveland’s Richfield Coliseum (July 20th), Kansas City’s Starlight Amphitheatre (August 3rd) and Denver’s Red Rocks (August 5th).
Joni Mitchell will be concentrating on summer theaters and outdoor amphitheaters during her two-month tour, which began in early June and will wind up at Pier 84 in New York City on July 29th.
Willie Nelson begins two solid months of touring on August 1st in Detroit. His 36 dates in August and September include shows in Chicago (August 12th and 13th), Minneapolis (August 25th and 26th) and Boston (September 10th-12th).
Stevie Nicks and Joe Walsh have been touring together since mid-June. Among their July shows are Washington D.C. (July 7th), Atlanta (July 11th), Chicago (July 18th) and Detroit (July 23rd). Additional dates are expected to follow.
Robert Plant will follow the release of his second solo album with a late-summer tour, his first without Led Zeppelin. Plant will be joined on the tour by drummer Phil Collins, and at press time negotiations were under way to include a third musician of similar stature. Specific dates were not yet set for the tour, which is expected to kick off in late August.
The Police are tentatively set to go on the road July 23rd for 27 shows, ending up in Oakland September 10th. Many of the dates are scheduled to be outdoor stadium shows, including New York’s Shea Stadium (August 18th), the Los Angeles Coliseum (September 3rd) and Boston’s Foxboro Stadium (August 20th).
Linda Ronstadt returned to the road on July 2nd at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. Her tour will stick to a mixture of outdoor theaters and large arenas in the Midwest and Northeast.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel hit the road for a 19-date tour beginning July 19th at the 40,000-seat Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio. Three shows will be in 80,000-capacity stadiums: the Canadian National Exposition in Toronto (July 21st); Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, outside New York City (July 31st); and the Dallas Cotton Bowl (August 18th). Other shows include New York’s Shea Stadium (August 6th) and Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium (August 27th).
Rick Springfield‘s summer tour covers 85 cities in nearly four months. Springfield began the tour in mid-June; his schedule includes six nights at L.A.’s Universal Amphitheatre (September 6th-11th).
Styx will be on the road through July 31st. The schedule for July includes shows in Philadelphia (July 7th), Detroit (July 14th), Cleveland (July 15th), Pittsburgh (July 16th and 17th) and Los Angeles (July 21st and 22nd).
Supertramp‘s last tour with their current lineup begins August 5th in Philadelphia and ends September 25th, 26 shows later, in Los Angeles.
James Taylor hits the outdoor-amphitheater circuit on August 1st at the Blossom Music Center near Cleveland. Other stops include Chicago’s Poplar Creek (August 4th and 5th) and three at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre (September 13th-15th).
Neil Young is set to go on the road with a full band, as opposed to his last tour, which he did as a solo performer. His dates are scheduled to begin in Wichita, Kansas, on July 1st and cover the Midwest, Southwest and South before hitting the Northeast in late August.
ZZ Top‘s itinerary for the last two months of their tour includes swings through the Midwest and the Northeast, ending at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Arena on August 6th.
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