Yusuf, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, is returning to the U.S. for a tour for the first time since 1976. The five date "Peace Train... Late Again" tour will begin December 4 at Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston, MA, and end December 14 at Nokia Theatre Live in Los Angeles, CA. Yusuf is promoting his upcoming album, Tell 'Em I'm Gone, which will be released in October.
As Stevens, Yusuf was a popular artist in the early-mid 1970s, releasing albums such as Tea for the Tillerman and singles such as "Peace Train." In 1977, Yusuf converted to Islam and left the music industry for nearly 20 years. He re-emerged in 1995 with a series of spoken-word albums, and in 2006 released An Other Cup, his first since 1978.
See below for tour dates and visit the Cat Stevens page for more information on tickets.
If you guessed that Ringling Bros. would still hold strong in August, you'd be exactly right. So like last month, we'll skip right to the juicy stuff: Garth Brooks. Last month I noted that despite the slow, drip drip way Garth Brooks has announced his tour dates, he wasn't doing so bad. Now that we're a month later, it's time to take a look at how things are going overall.
How has the tour done so far? Well, in order to compare, let's take a look at the other hugely amped tour from this year: Jay-Z & Beyonce. So far, the number of Garth Brooks tickets sold TicketNetwork.com is 71% of the number of tickets sold for the entirety of the On The Run Tour*. That's for a tour that had almost the same number of dates that Brooks' tour currently has released. When you take that into account, it doesn't look so good at first. However, when you remember that he's only released dates for two cities, it starts to look a little better. 71% of the other biggest tour of the year for two cities? I think that's not bad.
According to The Guardian, rock pioneer Chuck Berry, whose contributions to music set the scene for an entire generation of the art form, was made a laureate of the Polar Music Prize, the Swedish award founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, who managed ABBA.
Up until now, I had never heard of this award, but I really like the idea. Like the Nobel, it is awarded for overall contributions, but this one fills a gap in recognition that other music organizations don't consider. For example, the big music academies tend to award for specific songs, albums, or artist/band achievement. There are also several lifetime achievement awards out there. Then there's the Germany-based Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, which is similar in nature but seems to focus more on orchestral and symphonic music and not modern popular music, though composers and conductors of these forms have been among Polar Music Award recipients.
Berry was joined this year by opera director Peter Sellars. Past recipients include Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Yo-Yo Ma, and Elton John.
Everybody's heard of the British Invasion, the period in the mid-1960s when a bunch of artists and bands, led by The Beatles, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to perform in front of audiences in America for the first time. That two year span of time brought us now-household names like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbrids, The Kinks, The Who, Small Faces, and many more. The period had a large influence on popular music and culture in the United States, and British artists have been a major part of the American music scene ever since.
Is the same thing that happened in the 1960s now happening with artists from Australia and New Zealand? Are we seeing an Australasian Invasion? I believe so.
I might say I'm surprised that the Ringling Bros. circus secured another month in the first spot of the TicketNetwork.com Top 10*, but as we all know by now, it's been in a stride for most of the year. So instead of focusing on Ringling Bros. for the discussion about July, I'll skip to the runner-up, Garth Brooks.
Single City and Late Announcement Success
The number of tickets for Brooks sold in July here at TN.com showed that, despite the somewhat unique manner of announcing his tour dates, fans can't wait to see him again. Although the number of tickets sold weren't at the same level as say, Jay-Z & Beyonce from earlier this year, they were at a point where I'm pretty confident saying that, had he released his entire schedule all at once, it likely would have been one of the biggest months for concerts we ever saw.