Home » Retro rock is hot

Retro rock is hot

While video may have killed the radio star, the Internet certainly has repurposed the classic rock star. Your grandfather’s rock band is now a Rock Band video game. Older acts like Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones are hot these days. Classic albums are topping iTunes charts, and bands with AARP cards are embarking on successful tours filled with fans of many ages. Heck, even Black Sabbath had a No. 1 album on Billboard last month.

Bands from the ’60s to the ’90s enjoying chart and touring success

Stevie Nicks, left, and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 3, 2013. (Associated Press)
Stevie Nicks, left, and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 3, 2013. (Associated Press)

On the fringes of computer science, a prediction exists that within the next century, every human will be able to upload the entirety of his or her genome to a computer program. The upshot: We’ll all live forever in virtual reality.

The prediction might be far from the mainstream, but what naysayers fail to recognize is the Internet has already begun the first phase of human immortality. As comedian Patton Oswalt put it in an editorial for “Wired” magazine, “We’re on the brink of Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was — Available Forever.”

Yes, in the Internet age, nothing has to die, which is particularly good news for aging celebrities whose best work is far behind them. After all, with our endless market for nostalgia and ability to access just about anything from the past — from “Leave It To Beaver” episodes to footage of Fats Waller to 1980s Pepsi commercials — past glories can now be raised from the dead like so many zombies and made present again.

So it is with the ever-changing pop music landscape. While video may have killed the radio star, the Internet certainly has repurposed the classic rock star. Your grandfather’s rock band is now a Rock Band video game.

Older acts are hot these days. Classic albums are topping iTunes charts, and bands with AARP cards are embarking on successful tours filled with fans of many ages. Heck, even Black Sabbath had a No. 1 album on Billboard last month.

In fact, according to Pollstar, a group that tracks concert earnings, out of the top 20 grossing tours in the world right now, nearly half are acts that peaked at least 30 years ago. Next to Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, for example, are Styx and New Kids On The Block, which makes quite a motley crew. Speaking of which, Motley Crüe recently ranked at No. 13.

Silver Springs attraction in recent years has added many classic rock bands to concert seasons traditionally powered by country acts. The Marion County park has presented Styx, Foghat, Night Ranger, Kansas, Foreigner, KC and the Sunshine Band, .38 Special, Loverboy, Joan Jett and REO Speedwagon. The concerts attract tens of thousands from around North Central Florida.

“We’re going after that 35-to-45 age demographic, and they like to rock,” said the park’s marketing director Brooks Jordan a few years back, shortly after the park booked Eddie Money and Rick Springfield.

Next up at Silver Springs: 1980s metal-pop band Whitesnake.

“It’s all about connecting people with some memory of a happy time in their life,” said William McKeen, former professor and chairman of the journalism department at the University of Florida (and currently holding that position at Boston University).

McKeen also has published many acclaimed books on music, including 2011’s “Mile Marker Zero.” He said he recently saw Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in Boston and that there seems to be an active circuit for nostalgia acts.

“I think they’re playing on the nostalgia of the Baby-Boomers,” he said. “I was a young swain in the early-’70s when we were going through that first great rock ‘n’ roll revival. Chuck Berry and Little Richard, and all those people were touring again and they weren’t selling new product. They were selling the nostalgia.

“And the funny thing was, all these kids like me who were born in the ’50s and therefore couldn’t remember the originals, we embraced that time and that culture. My wife was born in the ’70s, and she loves disco because that was the music around the time of her birth. It’s kind of like everyone tries to fall in love with maybe the music we were conceived to.”

Silver Springs resident and rock ‘n’ roller Pam DaCosta is a regular concertgoer, although she says her reasons go beyond simple nostalgia.

“I’ve been this way forever,” said DaCosta, who grew up in the 1980s. “My sister thinks I’m going through a midlife crisis, but I said to her, ‘You know I’ve always been this way. I just love going to concerts.’”

DaCosta favors the bands that were popular when she was a teenager — groups such as Kix and Tesla, both of which she saw on the Monsters of Rock Cruise, a four-day jaunt from Miami to the Bahamas and back. DaCosta went on the cruise in March and is planning on going again next March, when the cruise will feature Cinderella, Winger, Ratt and many others of the 1980s hair metal period.

“It brings you back to another time, reliving your youth so to speak,” said DaCosta, who also attended the packed Styx concert at the Ocala Entertainment Complex in 2011. The gold-and-platinum selling band returned to Marion County about a year later for a packed gig at Silver Springs.

Yet, many artists contend, the adults who grew up with them decades ago are not the only ones fueling the retro resurgence.

Mike Reno, lead singer of chart-topping ’80s band Loverboy, noted the band’s music continues to resurface in modern pop culture. Twentysomethings also flock to Loverboy concerts.

“I guess they just love the energy, you know? That’s the only thing I can imagine,” Reno told the Star-Banner in 2010. “They come in droves. It’s really quite amazing.”


(The Top Concert Tours as of July 8, 2013. Data provided to Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.)

1. The Rolling Stones
2. Taylor Swift
3. Kenny Chesney
4. Fleetwood Mac
5. Dave Matthews Band
6. Justin Bieber
7. New Kids On The Block
8. Tim McGraw
9. Brad Paisley
10. Jason Aldean
11. Carrie Underwood
12. Widespread Panic
13. Barry Manilow
14. Motley Crue
15. Styx/REO Speedwagon/Ted Nugent

Travis Atria / Gainesville Sun / Sunday, July 28, 2013


LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

FEB 10, 2024
Mark G Etess Arena
Atlantic City, NJ

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR

MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel

MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO

MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO

Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, England

Two Icons One Night presented by Live Nation
^ Non-Live Nation show

Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center

2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton