Reunions and Annual Events Top 2012 Concert Season

With the dawning of a new year, questions and rumors arise of what to expect from the 2012 concert scene as music lovers buzz with excitement of what is to come. Based on the successes of last year’s music scene and the newest artists’ announcements, I present the top 10 most anticipated musical events of 2012.

10.) Van Halen

Formed in the 70’s, Van Halen was praised for their signature shrieks of Eddie Van Halen’s electric guitar and the unmistakable energy of front man David Lee Roth. After great success with number one hits like “Jump,” tension between the band members led to replacing their main vocalist.

Van Halen continued to play together without Roth, but did not achieve their original success. Just before all hope had been lost of the band reuniting, Van Halen played a surprise show at a café in New York City with Roth as their lead on January 6.

The band has announced the release of their new album, A Different Kind of Truth, for February 7 and their plans to go on tour. Local shows include two at Madison Square Garden February 28 and March 1, or at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia March 5. This epic opportunity is not inexpensive however (cheapest tickets at MSG run about $60).

9.) Red Hot Chili Peppers

 Grammy-winning band The Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) are going on a world tour for their newest album I’m With You (2011) starting April 27 at venues such as the Prudental Center in Newark (May 4). The album concerned many fan due to the absence of lead guitarist John Frusciante. Feature guitarist Josh Klinghoffer plays on the album and will be playing on the 2012 tour.

Although Frusciante will be missed, the RHCP never put on a dull show. Lead singer Anthony Kiedis and legendary bassist Flea are an unstoppable mixture of punk and funk. Sure, the newest album may not match up to the perfection that is Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), but this band never seems to leave hungry fans unsatisfied.

8.) Mayhem Fest

Rockstar Energy Drink Presents Mayhem Fest is considered one of the most popular metal festivals today and will be coming to Philadelphia late July 2012. This moving festival will be making stops throughout the US from June 30 to August 5; it plans to be one of the best years yet. The line up of bands playing the 2012 event will be announced today.

Previous bands that have played include Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth, Rob Zombie, and Lamb of God. Metal heads have crowded forums with supposed headliners yet nothing has been confirmed. The event promises to be a head banger’s dream with enough trashing and mosh pits to satisfy the heaviest metal fans.

7.) The Beach Boys

50th Anniversary Reunion

The Beach Boys announced they are releasing a new album and tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first album, Surfin’ Safari (1962).

According to the official press release on Brian Wilson’s website, the remaining members Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks are working in the studio and plan to announce a 50-date world tour starting with headlining The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. This is the first time the members have played together on an album in decades.

The Beach Boys have won the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award as well as been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The chance to see these legends live will be a huge moment in 2012.

6.) Bamboozle

The festival returns to its homeland of Asbury Park for 2012. Bamboozle is an annual three day festival which will be taking place May 18 to 20. According to Bamboozle’s website, the festivals goal was to help launch musicians’ careers and provide great live entertainment. This year’s Bamboozle announced one of the best line-ups yet.

A few artists performing are the Foo Fighters, Incubus, Blink-182, Mac Miller, Skrillex, Jimmy Eat World, and many more. The timing and location of this festival is also perfect for Monmouth students.

Tickets are pretty pricey for a three-day pass (currently $216 with fees) however, single day passes are available for about $90 a day. Regardless of the high-price, the amount of music to be seen and its location makes Bamboozle well worth the money.

5.) At the Drive-In Reunion

After 11 years of hiding, heavy post-hardcore rock band At the Drive-In announced reunion shows in 2012. First formed in 1994, the band split after the release of the remarkable third album titled Relationship of Command (2000). The split created two new bands, The Mars Volta and Sparta, both were successful.

No word of At the Drive-In getting back together surfaced until the announcement of Coachella’s line-up was released with the band on the list. However, stay tuned for tour dates. Cult fans are surprised and thankful for the reunion and expect nothing but greatness from the band in the future.

4.) Madonna

Move over Lady Gaga, the sensei of shock-pop wants her spotlight back. Madonna has been confirmed to play the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI halftime show and is rumored to be considering touring. According to MTV News, the halftime show is being created with the help of Cirque du Soleil and extensive chorography. This show could be the kick-start Madonna needs to bring forth a brilliant comeback or a complete embarrassment to the Queen of Pop.

Speculations of a possible tour have been leaked online by sources such as Perez Hilton and other blogs but nothing has yet to be confirmed. If Madonna does tour as wished, the shows could potentially be historic.

3.) Camp Bisco 11

Since the first Camp Bisco in 1999, the festival’s attendance has gradually increased annually. What started as a tiny camping event hosted by jam band The Disco Biscuits, erupted into one of the most hectic sold out events of 2011.

According to Seatgeek.com, Camp Bisco 10’s attendance rose 75 percent from the previous year at Camp Bisco 9. With the rise of Electronic and Dub-step music, the festival sold out with over 25,000 attendees crammed on a reservation in Mariaville, New York.

Camp Bisco 11 promises to be more prepared for 2012. Camp Bisco has become one of the craziest experiences a person can have at a musical event and will be only more insane this year.

2.) Tool Reunion Tour

After about 18 months of hibernation, Tool has finally returned to play a 2012 tour. Tool is considered one of best metal bands of our time and is known for their unique live performance both musically and aesthetically.

The lead singer Maynard Keenan has recently been on tour with his side project, A Perfect Circle, which left fans to believe that he would not be working with Tool anytime soon.

The surprise tour began January 21 in Texas. Tickets for the show at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden have sold out, however, tickets for the show at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford on January 31 are still available for about $70, but not for long.

1.) Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

This Californian music festival has always seemed remarkable due to the beauty and warmth of the location, but this year seems too good to be true. Coachella is a camping included festival that is being held twice on two separate weekends of April 13 to 15 and the 20 to 22.

A variety of different camping options are available from traditional tent camping to swanky safari honeymoon tents. What makes this event highly anticipated is the extremely impressive list of artists playing. Headliners are The Black Keys, Radiohead, and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg while other artists include Swedish House Mafia, Explosions in the Sky, Florence and the Machine, Bon Iver, At the Drive-In, Santigold, and more.

Unless you are willing to spend about a grand to attend a music festival, this show is already sold out. Although this festival may be over crowded, with quality of the music offered, no attendees should have any complaints. The music makes this festival the most anticipated musical event of 2012.