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Aging Rock Stars Take the Stage: How Musicians Over 60 Outshine the Young

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Photo: Superstar tours, Source: Collage by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: Superstar tours, Source: Collage by Leonid Lukashenko

This summer's farewell tour, "Farewell Yellow Brick Road," by Elton John, set a global record, earning over $900 million in ticket sales. In an era of disposable one-hit wonders, the 76-year-old artist (who started his career in the 60s!) proved that real songs never grow old. However, Elton John isn't the only musician from the generation of today's grandparents who can still pack stadiums around the world.

Peace Out

Source: Wikipedia

We could have lost Steven Tyler of Aerosmith back in the 70s due to his alcohol addiction. In the 80s, it was his habit of riding motorcycles without a helmet. In the 90s, it was his struggle with heavy drug dependency. In the 2000s, he could get tangled in the scarf that usually hangs on his microphone stand, fall off the stage, and get injured. And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Tyler was in the high-risk category, being over 70 years old.

However, this unique individual, who for decades passionately shouted to us from the stage with his huge mouth, "Dream on, dream on, dream on / And dream until your dream comes true…" has managed to avoid any major mishaps. And now, half a century after the musicians of Aerosmith started their journey, fans have an incredible opportunity to rock out one last time at their concert. The promotional video for their farewell tour, "Peace Out," features not only the Aerosmith members themselves but also stunned celebrities like Eminem, Slash, Ringo Starr, Dolly Parton, Bill Burr, and many others, reacting to this simultaneously sad and joyful news.


The 40-day Aerosmith tour across North America (yes, Europeans might have to hop on a plane, but it's worth it) will kick off on September 2nd in Philadelphia and conclude on January 24th, 2024, in Montreal. Unfortunately, the final gigs will be without drummer Joey Kramer (due to health issues, he'll be replaced by John Douglas), but all other band members will be in attendance. As for Tyler himself, he intriguingly promises that he'll "pull all his toys from the attic…"

The Long Goodbye

Source: Wikipedia

When something has lasted for a very long time, it seems rather foolish to end it abruptly. This might have been the logic behind the Eagles when, after 50 years in the spotlight, they announced their farewell tour, "The Long Goodbye." It begins on September 7th at Madison Square Garden and will continue all the way to 2025. In the world of music, bidding farewell has always been a lucrative business strategy, and interestingly enough, the Eagles declared the end of their career 20 years ago, yet before the pandemic, they ranked fourth on the list of highest-earning musicians, raking in $100 million in a year.

However, it seems this time the group is truly gearing up for the final sprint before a well-deserved break. Circumstances are pushing them in this direction. For instance, Glenn Frey, co-author of the iconic song "Hotel California" for which the Eagles are adored, passed away in 2016. Moreover, the vocalist of the song, 75-year-old Don Henley (the sole remaining member from the original 1971 lineup), stated during a 2020 Congressional hearing that he's in the "final chapter of his career." You can't lie in Congress—that's something every American knows.

The first leg of "The Long Goodbye" tour will take place in the US this fall. As for European concerts, their schedule is still in the planning stages.


End of The Road

Source: Wikipedia

Another band caught in an endless farewell tour is the legendary shock-rockers, KISS. Their "End of The Road" tour began in 2019 and was supposed to conclude in 2021, but due to the pandemic, all plans went awry. The band canceled many shows, and at the ones they did perform, fans suspected their idols were using lip-syncing and backing tracks. It's hard to pinpoint whether it's related to some respiratory infections or simple exhaustion due to their age (most of KISS's members are over 70). Nevertheless, the band promises that this year their tour will wrap up with a 100% guarantee.

After the summer leg in Europe, KISS will hold two dozen shows in the US and Canada before concluding their spectacular journey where it all began—in their hometown of New York. Fire-breathing guitars, explosive fireworks, levitating drum sets, and, of course, their signature costumes and makeup— if you were born to love all of this, don't miss your final chance to see the legendary KISS with your own eyes.


M72

Source: Wikipedia

All the members of Metallica are around 60, but none of them are considering retirement anytime soon. On the contrary, this spring, James Hetfield and company released their 11th studio album, "72 Seasons," and embarked on a worldwide tour, performing two concerts in the same city. How do these heavy metal veterans handle this double-duty strain? While it's difficult to speak for others, it seems that James Hetfield's vitality is aided by mate—a Paraguayan drink once popularized by Che Guevara. This summer, Instagram has been inundated with fan videos of Metallica's frontman taking breaks between songs, sitting under the stage, wiping sweat from his brow, enjoying a cigar, and sipping mate through a straw.

Interestingly, the tracklist of the first evening differs entirely from the second. So, attending a Metallica concert might mean hearing "Nothing Else Matters" and "Master of Puppets," but not getting to "Enter Sandman" and "The Unforgiven." Which, of course, is not quite right. What's right is to buy a ticket for both nights and experience the thrill of the best old and new hits from the greatest heavy metal band in history.

In June, Metallica played a concert in Gothenburg, Sweden. Now, the band will tour cities across North America. But in May of the following year, the group will return with the M72 tour to Europe, performing in Germany, Finland, Denmark, Poland, and Spain.


The Celebration

Source: Wikipedia

Madonna's last tour was before the pandemic. However, earlier this year, the 64-year-old singer decided to embark on "The Celebration Tour" to mark the 40th anniversary of her breakthrough hit, "Holiday." The tour was planned for the summer and fall. However, at the end of June, Madonna unexpectedly found herself in the intensive care unit due to a bacterial infection. Interestingly, as part of the tour promotion, the singer posed for a special project called "Icon Issue" for Vanity Fair magazine, which some faithful took as sacrilegious. In one of the photos, Madonna poses with a heart pierced by seven daggers (reminiscent of an icon of the Virgin Mary). In another photo, the singer intriguingly reinterprets Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper." Nonetheless, we hope Madonna's illness is not divine retribution but merely a medical setback that she will undoubtedly overcome. Currently, the singer is undergoing rehabilitation, and her tour (spanning 35 cities across Canada, the US, and Europe) will likely commence in late autumn or early winter. 


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