Harry Styles, Lizzo, Kendrick, Aerosmith, Ohana and more of the most anticipated musical events of the rest of 2022
Most publications choose their most anticipated music and tours around the new year. That’s cool and all, but did anyone know on January 1 that legendary Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers Roxy Music was going on a fiftieth anniversary tour? No.
Now that we’ve reached April, most major festival lineups have been announced (except for Austin City Limits and Voodoo Fest in New Orleans) and we know that Eddie Vedder’s Ohana , which will star Vedder, Stevic Nicks, Pink and Jack White, is spectacular. Just like Bourbon And Beyond, in September in Louisville. Chris Stapleton, White, Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette and Brandi Carlile on the same poster, come on!
The musical landscape of 2022, or at least the next few months, is becoming clearer. And there’s a ton to look forward to, from new albums to summer tours and major festivals. Here’s a guide to five of my most anticipated festivals, tours and albums announced for the rest of 2022 so far.
Ohana, September 30 – October 2, Dana Point, CA
As I wrote last year, there’s something really special about Vedder’s Ohana Festival, held right on the beach in Dana Point, California. The lineup continues to grow in stature each year, befitting the festival’s rise to the top of the festival circuit. Who doesn’t want to play on the beach at a high-profile festival led by one of music’s most respected artists? Not a lot of people. This year’s absurd lineup, where Vedder and White will play on the same day, reflects the Ohana buzz. Among the many highlights were the incredible Joy Oladokun, Brittany Howard, Bomba Estereo, Gang Of Youths and many more. And there will almost certainly be a moment during Nicks’ Friday night set where she sings “Landslide” on the beach, thousands of fans sing it along with her, and it will be perfect.
Bourbon and Beyond, September 15-18, 2022, Louisville, KY
What better way to celebrate bourbon culture for four days than with a ridiculously stacked multi-genre lineup? Can you think of a better soundtrack to accompany bourbon, food, wine and beer tastings than Pearl Jam, Morissette, Stapleton, Carlile, Greta Van Fleet, St. Vincent, Crowded House, Japanese Breakfast, Reignwolf and Moreover ? As far as music and alcohol pairings go, it’s going to be very hard, if not impossible, to beat this one in 2022.
New Orleans Jazz Fest, April 29-May 1, May 5-8, 2022
Coachella may be the biggest festival in the United States, but Jazz Fest is arguably the granddaddy of them all, having started in 1970. Fifty-two years later, the two-weekend festival has one of its best lineups to date, once again bringing the best of music, rock, jazz, soul and more together. The first weekend features Lionel Richie, The Who, Arturo Sandoval, Nelly, Jason Isbell, Tab Benoit, The Avett Brothers and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, replacing the originally announced Foo Fighters. While weekend two features Luke Combs, Bettye LaVette, The Black Crwes, Elvis Costello, Busta Rhymes, Boz Scaggs, Stevie Nicks, Erykah Badu, Melissa Etheridge, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and closing the festival, the Trombone icon New Orleans Shorty. Over both weekends there is literally something for every music fan, which is why Jazz Fest is an American institution.
Cruel World, May 14 and 15, Pasadena, CA
This is becoming the year of the niche festival. Whether it’s the hugely popular emo festival, When We Were Young, in Las Vegas in October or the R&B and hip-hop festival, Lovers & Friends, on May 14 and 15, always in Vegas, specific events to the genre turn out to be huge draws, and with good reason. The Cruel World Festival, at Brookside at the Rose Bowl, is monstrous new wave programming led by Blondie, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bauhaus, DEVO, The Psychedelic Furs, The Violent Femmes and headliner Morrissey. If you’re an 80s kid, or just wish you were there, this is a day in heaven for you.
Aftershock, October 6-9, Sacramento, CA
Speaking of genre festivals, this four-day hard rock and metal festival is incredibly packed. From classic metal, Judas Priest and KISS to newer rock bands like Yunglbud and Falling In Reverse, to punk mainstays Bad Religion, Aftershock is guaranteed to keep the mosh pits and the frenzied crowd for four full days. If you are looking for a place to lose your mind, this is it.
Roxy Musical Tour
This instantly jumps to my most anticipated tour list of 2022. The legendary Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers haven’t toured the US in 11 years, but the Bryan Ferry actor will return to North America. North to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. The opportunity to see songs like “More Than This”, “Love Is The Drug”, “Avalon” and many more live is an incredible opportunity that no true music fan should pass up.
Residence Aerosmith Las Vegas
Aside from the obvious fact that Aerosmith is in the conversation for America’s Greatest Band of All Time, the other thing that makes this so exciting is the Vegas residency. Although I’m not the biggest fan of Vegas, there’s something about being in Sin City that brings out the best in bands. Quite simply, playing the same city night after night encourages bands to be more creative in their set lists. Bands from Cheap Trick to Def Leppard have shown it time and time again. So maybe being in Vegas will bring out songs like “Kings And Queens.”
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Fourteen years after rightfully winning the Grammy for Album of the Year for their debut collaboration, raise sandthe unlikely couple of ultimate rock god and queen of bluegrass finally reunited last year for the equally jaw-dropping Raise the roof. And now they’re following that up with what’s sure to be one of the best tours of the year. Krauss is a perfect musical companion for Plant, as both have achieved their status as musical royalty through their vast musical knowledge and sense of adventure. So we can be sure that every show will be musically daring and exciting.
Rod Stewart / Cheap Tip
If you want showmanship, iconic songs, flair, flair, rockers, power ballads and a night that combines over a century of experience rocking audiences around the world, this is the double bill of your dreams. When you can see classics like “Surrender” and “I Want You To Want Me” by Cheap Trick in the opening set and still have “Maggie May” and amazing deep cuts like “The Killing Of Georgie ( Part I and II)” look forward to you won’t even get a chance to get into the beer line.
Duran Duran/Nil Rodgers & CHIC
Duran Duran and Nile Rodgers touring together reminds me of old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials, “Two great tastes that go together.” Friends, collaborators, innovators, I guess soon to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (Rodgers is in attendance and I bet Duran enters this year), Duran and Rodgers have a long history together, dating back to “The Reflex” in 1984. And they both feature great musicianship and great hooks. It’s going to be one of the biggest dance parties in the aisles not just this year, but many years.
Let’s start with this. It’s not if Mandy Moore doesn’t win an Emmy for this final season of It’s us because she will. What she’s done this season, playing Rebecca Pearson, has been nothing short of amazing. So what does this have to do with his music? Simply this, Moore has always been underrated as a singer-songwriter. And now that the world has seen her acting talent, what better time than to bring attention back to her musical gifts and remind everyone that besides being Rebecca Pearson, she is a true musical talent.
We don’t know for sure if Lamar will have new music in 2022. But after his Super Bowl halftime appearance and announcement that he’ll be one of the headliners at Glastonbury, as well as Rolling Loud and the Milan Summer Festival, speculation is strong that there will be new music to accompany the dates. So call it wishful thinking that the Pulitzer Prize-winning, yeah, Grammy-winning rapper will indeed be sharing new music in 2022. Without knowing anything about it, what we do know is that Lamar has won the Pulitzer for, in part, being the most socially conscious outspoken and eloquent artist of this century. And given what we’ve seen in the world since his last album, 2017’s DAMN, one can only imagine what Lamar would have to say in 2022.
Ahead of the release of his first solo album, The Hardest Part, which will be released on July 15, Cyrus has just released the first single, “I Burned LA Down”. Like everything she’s done before, the song is light years away from her 22 years. Wise, deep and insightful, the song foreshadows great things from The hardest part as Cyrus, who was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys, continues her rise among the leading singer-songwriters of that era.
For more than three decades, the Afghan Whigs have been music’s best-kept secret. One of the best alternative bands of the 90s, they broke up in 2001. But when the Whigs reunited in 2012, they picked up where they left off in terms of being both a great band of studio and one of the top five rock live bands. In 2022, they’ll be able to show off with both new tour dates and the recently released single, “I’ll Make You See God,” which hopefully portends more new music this year.
I cheat a bit by putting them together. But they’re BFFs who adore each other and at this point are probably the two most anticipated pop albums of 2022. So why not? Both are charismatic, musically savvy and, most importantly, 1000% shameless. So one thing we can all be sure of is that these albums will be interesting, adventurous and will continue to develop their unique sounds and styles.