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Hamilton

With the Broadway debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s much anticipated opus Hamilton coming up on July 13 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the Great White Way is abuzz with praise for the new musical. Ben Brantley of The New York Times, the paper itself a bastion of restraint and the last word in theatre reviews, gushed, “HISTORIC. HAMILTON is brewing up a revolution. This is a show that aims impossibly high and hits its target. It's probably not possible to top the adrenaline rush. A MARVEL.” Fellow Gray Lady mainstay David Brooks similarly decreed, “BRILLIANT. HAMILTON is one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had in a theater. Bold, rousing, sexy, tear-jerking and historically respectful — the sort of production that asks you to think afresh about your country and your life.” And the reviews gush on, and on, and on.

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It was less than a month ago that Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl took a nasty spill off the stage while performing in Sweden, breaking his leg so severely that he needed to have six metal screws inserted into his leg. Unfortunately, the band was forced to cancel their remaining European tour dates that were scheduled to span through the end of June, including a headlining slot at Glastonbury Festival. Soon after Grohl’s surgery, the band released a press release that announced that “Dave’s full recuperation time is still to be determined,” which led many to speculate if the band’s North American shows were also going to be cancelled. Luckily, cancellation wasn’t in the cards, thanks in part to good spirits by the band and a custom throne designed by Dave himself.

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The July 4 holiday might mean that a lot of us are off work having barbecues, swimming in pools, and enjoying some company, but as the old saying goes, "The show must go on." There are a bunch of artists with tours starting this weekend and during the coming week. Here are just some of the highlights:

Grateful Dead

The legendary jam band is playing the final three concerts on their Fare Thee Well Tour today, tomorrow, and Sunday at Chicago's Soldier Field Stadium.
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Foo Fighters

Despite breaking his leg in Sweden, Dave Grohl and band are still scheduled to begin the U.S. leg of their tour tomorrow, beginning in Washington, D.C.
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Van Halen

Veteran rock band Van Halen will be hitting the road on Sunday, July 5, for the start of their North American tour. The band, which boasts a collective 40 years as a touring act, will feature David Lee Roth as their front-man and 16-year-old Wolfgang Van Halen (son of guitarist Eddie, and nephew of drummer Alex) as their bassist. They will be bringing Kenny Wayne Shepherd as their supporting act, as well.

The 40-date tour kicks off in Seattle, Washington, will criss-cross the continent, and will conclude on October 4 in Hollywood, California. This tour marks the third time this incarnation of the band has taken to the road as a unit, and previous tours have been notably successful. In 2012, the Different Kind of Truth tour grossed $54.4 million, according to the Billboard Boxscore, and ranked No. 8 among all tours.  Van Halen is used to touring indoor arenas, and so the amphitheater tour will be a bit of a change for them. Nevertheless, the tour should reel in their core fan base despite the fact that they will not be touring in support of any new material. Although it was a huge success, the band’s 2012 tour ended on a negative note after they were forced to cancel the 30-date final leg, and so their upcoming tour should be a positive effort in regathering fans.

On the secondary ticket market, ticket prices are competitive. Across the board, the average<>ticket price to see Van Halen is $208.61. The cheapest show available is their August 23 date at Hershey Park Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania. For that show, tickets are going for an average of $128.99, with a get-in price of $35.  The most expensive date on the tour is their August 9 show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, where the average secondary price is $321.64, with a get-in price of $40.  Not far behind Holmdel’s pricing are Van Halen’s scheduled dates in Hollywood, California and Houston, Texas.

According to Billboard, LiveNation is projecting that the tour could gross more than $30 million and finish as one of the top-grossing outdoor tours of the summer. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise for the classic rockers to break new ground, given their past history on the road and their known ability to sell tickets.

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MLB All-Star Game

The 2015 MLB All-Star Game is less than three weeks away and is being hosted this year by the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Baseball fans should expect some runs to be scored, as the ballpark ranks seventh in park factor, a stat created by ESPN that determines if a stadium favors hitters or pitchers. Even without that statistics, Great American Ball Park has always had the reputation of being more of a hitter’s park, featuring more home runs than most stadiums.

There’s plenty more to enjoy than just the 86th edition of the game on Tuesday, July 14. The day prior, Yoenis Céspedes of the Detroit Tigers will look to win his third consecutive Home Run Derby. On Sunday, the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, and the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game will be at the stadium, providing three uniquely different ways to experience baseball at the ballpark.

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