If you think that the only reason to buy a band's poster is to show your support for them, you're doing it all wrong. Coming home from a concert with the gig's poster not only gives you a memento, but it lets you relive the show every time you look at it hanging on your wall. Over the years, show posters have become more than just something you hold on to - they are now seen as pieces of art in their own right, and there are a few bands in particular who have taken this to the next level.
In years past, it might have been OK for bands to offer posters that contained nothing more than just the date, location, and their name. Such is no longer the case, and today's posters often feature innovative, and sometimes inspiring, designs. The Decemberists have become particularly famous for this. The Portland, Ore., band, led by enigmatic singer Colin Meloy, have clearly put a heavy emphasis on their posters. No two pieces are exactly alike, and it often takes a few minutes to realize that you're even looking at a band's poster and not a piece of artwork on its own.
The Decemberists are not the only act that puts a lot of thought in their poster designs. The Dave Matthews Band, for instance, regularly makes a point to include something relating to the show's location in its poster, so it's no wonder why it's so difficult to get your hands on one. There are plenty of examples to choose from, but one of the best we've seen came from the band's summer 2011 performance at Bader Field in Atlantic City. Paying homage to the city's casinos, the poster features the band's famous firedancer logo deftly blended into a roulette wheel - certainly a look that resonates with fans.
Anyone who needs convincing of the value of band posters need look no further than how difficult it is to pick up pieces from classic shows. A poster for the Rolling Stones' iconic 1972 tour in support of Exile on Mainstreet will run you upwards of $250. While this may seem like a lot, for a famous work of art, it's practically a bargain.
What are some of your favorite band posters? Check out our ever-growing gallery on Pinterest! Follow the page, and you might just be invited to pin your favorites on our board! And when you're ready to see your next show and grab a poster of your own, just head on over to TicketsNow.
Image courtesy of Redferns / Getty Images
Most people look forward to the holiday season and it's easy to understand why. With friends, family, presents and delicious food, what else could you ask for? Holiday concerts have also become a staple of the Christmas season, with shows popping up all over the country during December. And it's not just holiday standards either, there are shows for everyone, whether you like hip-hop, country or classical music.
The Holiday Pops concert, put on each year by the Boston Pops Orchestra, stands out as one of the best, and most well-known, shows in the United States. Since its inception back in the 1970s, people have traveled to Boston from all across the country to experience the legendary show firsthand.
Held at legendary Symphony Hall, the show takes audience members through numerous holiday standards from Handel's "Hallejuah Chorus" to the crowd favorite "Sleigh Ride." The tradition is also famous for incorporating a timeless Christmas story into the performance. In years past, it has ranged from 'Twas The Night Before Christmas to Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.
Although the Holiday Pops is famous for its Christmas classics, there are a number of other concerts that put a less traditional spin on the holiday season. Among the most popular is the Jingle Bash, which is held each year at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, and this year's event (slated for December 15) has an impressive lineup.
Some of the biggest names in pop music will be heading to the Chicago area for the show, including teen sensation Justin Bieber and hip-hop star Pitbull. "Call Me Maybe" singer Carly Rae Jepsen, fresh off her Grammy nomination, will also be among the headliners. World-famous DJ Calvin Harris will take the stage as well.
Many of the best holiday shows are hosted by local radio stations, such as Hartford, Connecticut's, annual Jingle Jam, which is put on by 93.7. Held at the XL Center, the Jingle Jam has attracted some of the biggest hip-hop names in the industry and this year is no different, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross and Ne-Yo will all be making their way to the popular concert.
It's hard to find someone who doesn't enjoy Christmas music, whether they prefer the John Lennon staple "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" or the WHAM! classic "Last Christmas." There's no denying that holiday concerts are here to stay.
Of all the legends of classic rock, Eric Clapton is among the most successful over the last two decades. Though his time with the Yardbirds, Derrick and the Dominoes and Cream made him an icon of the 1960s and 1970s, he has maintained a place in contemporary music while some of his peers may have faded from view.
Over the last decade, Slowhand has continued to tour and record new music, and he's planning on furthering the trend in 2013. Clapton recently announced an extensive U.S. tour that kicks off on March 14 before culminating at the much-anticipated Crossroads Guitar Festival on April 12 and 13 at Madison Square Garden.
Clapton's resurgence as a force in the industry began more than 20 years ago. He was years removed from songs like "Crossroads" and "White Room," but when he recorded his now-legendary Unplugged album, Clapton was once again atop the music world. The 1992 album perfectly showcases Clapton's technical skill and songwriting prowess, taking listeners through an acoustic take on classics like "Layla" and newer songs such as "Tears in Heaven," an emotional eulogy to his deceased son.
Clapton's unplugged album earned him six Grammy awards including Album of the Year and Song of the Year, and helped set the stage for what would prove to be an impressive decade. He released a number of popular tunes throughout the 90s that helped introduce him to a younger audience. Songs such as his cover of "Change the World" and 1998's "My Father's Eyes," made were hits among a diverse audience.
More recently, Clapton has not slowed down. He continues to perform with some of the most talented guitarists from across generations. Over the last several years he has played with the likes of Keith Richards, Jeff Beck (who was also a member of the Yarbirds) and Gary Clark, Jr., one of the most skilled emerging guitarists. His 2010 album, Clapton, was a critical and commercial success and peaked inside the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts.
In 2013, Clapton's participation in the Crossroad Guitar Festival is especially important because it marks his 50th year in the music industry. Since it first launched in 2004, the festival has brought together some of best guitarists in history and 2013's is no different. The two-day event will feature the likes of Buddy Guy, John Mayer, BB King and Vince Gill.
There aren't many genres more uniquely American than country music. However, despite being an integral part of Americana for decades, the style has changed drastically over the years. From its earliest days of old-timey music to the outlaw country of the 70s and today's fusion of country pop, the style has certainly spanned a wide range of areas expanded over time.
More recently, some bands have emerged that have bridged the gap between old and new country music including North Carolina's own The Avett Brothers. Fronted by Scott and Seth Avett, the band blends elements of folk, bluegrass, country and pop together to create a sound that appeals to a large swath of listeners across the country and helped create a genre all their own, known in some circles as "newgrass."
The Avett Brothers first gained recognition for their energetic live shows and the success of 2007's album Emotionalism. That was followed up by 2009's I and Love and You, which was considered to be among the best albums of that year. In 2012, they were back with another hit album, The Carpenter, along with a popular U.S. tour.
Though The Avett Brothers have put a new spin on contemporary country music, there are some musicians who have been immensely successful for decades without having to change their style too much, including Kenny Chesney. The 44-year-old Tennessee native has seemingly been doing the same thing since the early 1990s, and can you really blame him? He is one of the most decorated country musicians in history and won four consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards from the Academy of Country Music.
Much like The Avett Brothers, Chesney has become a legend thanks in large part to his live shows, which are a summer staples in seemingly every city across the country. Most recently, he teamed up with fellow country icon Tim McGraw for the Brothers of the Sun Tour.
One of the most noticeable trends in country music over the last decade or so has been the increase of standout female performers. In years past, there was usually just one or two women dominating the scene, whether it was Faith Hill or Shania Twain. Now? Everywhere you look there is a talented female performer coming onto the scene. Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Nettles have all left their mark on the modern country world.
In a twist of irony, it's become cool to like bands that are seemingly less popular than more mainstream acts. Though some people value certain musicians based on how popular they are, the fact is that there are many acts out there that don't get nearly as much attention as they should.
For me, this is most highlighted by singer-songwriter The Tallest Man on Earth. The 29-year-old Swede, whose real name is Kristian Matsson and actually stands at an average height, is among the most talented guitarists in music today. He manages to weave complex rhythms and catchy melodies all by himself, which lends a raw, unrefined sound during a time when songs have become even more produced.
The Tallest Man on Earth had standout albums in 2005 and 2008, but his 2012 release There's No Leaving Now opened my eyes to what an impressive performer he had become. From the opening notes of the lead track "To Just Grow Away" to the introspective crooning of "Revelation Blues," the album stood out to me as one of the best released so far this year.
Tallest Man on Earth isn't the only lesser-known performer to have an incredible album come out this year. I've also been listening to the Dirty Projectors album Swing Lo Magellan almost nonstop since it dropped in July. The band is fronted by enigmatic lead singer and guitarist David Longstreth, whose innovative guitar playing and songwriting has helped them stand out.
Longstreth is surrounded by a stable of talented musicians, most notably guitarist and vocalist Amber Coffman, who has been a staple of the band since its earliest days. When I caught a show of theirs in August, the level of technical proficiency and passion the band displayed was arguably the best I've seen.
Over the last several years, the Fleet Foxes have been one of my favorite bands, so when I heard their former drummer was leaving to start a solo project, I was certainly intrigued. Under the stage name Father John Misty, Joshua Tillman released the solo album Fear Fun in 2012.
Tillman stepped out from behind the drums and left the ethereal folkiness of Fleet Foxes behind for a more psychedelic sound with songs like "Nancy from Now On" and "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings," standing among some of the best - yet mostly unheard of - tunes in the music world today.
There's no questioning the fact that The Rolling Stones are part of rock royalty. They just celebrated their 50th anniversary by announcing a mini-tour and though they're quickly approaching their 70s, the guys show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. While their latest tour marks their first time they've been on the road together since 2007, each member of the band has kept themselves busy in the meantime - some in more positive ways than others.
Always the most visible member of the Stones, Mick Jagger has stayed that way over the last several years. The 69-year-old rocker continues to be among the most prolific pop culture icons. In the last year, he even hosted the season finale of Saturday Night Live, where he closed out the show with a rendition of the Stones' classic "She's a Rainbow." He has also been busy working on his side project SuperHeavy, a supergroup with Joss Stone, Eurthymics singer Dave Stewart, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman. The band released its self-titled debut in 2011.
The band's legendary guitarist Keith Richards has kept himself busy as well, but in much different ways. He penned the much-anticipated autobiography "Life," which was released in 2010. He also appeared alongside Johnny Depp in 2007's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and then once again in 2011's sequel "On Stranger Tides." Rumor has it that Depp used Richards' now-famous mumbled-delivery as part of the inspiration behind his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Richards and Jagger may have been in the spotlight for positive reasons, but the same can't be said for every member of the Stones. Guitarist Ronnie Wood has been a tabloid staple since 2007, when rumors began swirling that he was leaving his wife for Ekaterina Ivanova, a young Russian waitress. He and his wife eventually divorced and in 2008, he entered rehab for the seventh time. However, he seems to have his life back on track and just announced he is set to marry once again. This time to a woman 31 years his junior.
With the announcement of their 50th anniversary tour, which has them performing two shows in London and two shows in New Jersey, the Stones seem poised to make a comeback, and there's no reason they can't. Anybody who has seen Jagger, Richards and the rest of the boys perform lately knows that there are still few things better than watching the Stones play "Sympathy for the Devil."
For as long as there has been popular music, trends from overseas have been making their way to the United States. The British Invasion - typified by the likes of The Beatles, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones - defined the 1960s. More recently we've seen electronic dance music, a longtime staple of the European music scene, make its way to American shores where it has been welcome with open arms. But a new genre of music is making its way to the U.S. - K-pop.
Emerging from South Korea, K-pop is a unique blend of hip-hop, electronic, rock and R&B that's unlike anything we have in the States. The early signs of a pop music takeover are beginning to show up, and nowhere is that more evident than with Psy's "Gangnam Style."
By now, you're probably familiar with "Gangnam Style." The song's bizarre video has been parodied by seemingly everyone imaginable, football players are doing the dance as a victory celebration, and PSY himself has been a staple on American talk shows over the last several weeks and months.
The interesting thing is, while Psy's catchy tune may have gained attention the U.S. as an internet meme, it has swelled to become one of the most popular songs in the country. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, Psy has been a popular performer in South Korea for more than 10 years.
Though Psy has attracted much of the attention, he is certainly not the only K-pop performer making his way to audiences outside South Korea. The boy band BIGBANG has also gained a growing following overseas. The quintet has been a staple in South Korean pop culture since the mid 2000s, but they also made waves recently when they became the first Korean band to crack the Billboard 200 charts.
But the first South Korean superstar to make an impact on the United States was Rain. The young performer made waves several years ago thanks in large part to his Rainy Day 2005 Tour, which culminated in a sold out concert at Madison Square Garden. Though it may not seem like an impressive feat to longtime American favorites, he was the first Korean performer to ever sell out the venerable venue.
The music industry as a whole has the Grammy Awards, but when it comes to country music, the most coveted statues come from the CMA Awards. The event, which has been held every year since 1967, attracts some of the biggest names in country music, and this year is certainly no different. One look at the nominees and you'll see the who's who of country superstars, from Taylor Swift to Kenny Chesney. That being said, there are several categories that have attracted the most attention.
The competition in Female Vocalist of the Year is about as high as you can get. Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood are all up for the award. Each of these veteran performers has already won their fair share of awards, and all but McBride have taken home multiple Grammys. You could argue that Swift is the favorite to come home with the win given she has been at the top of the country world for much of the last three years, but it may not be quite that cut and dry.
The biggest argument against the "Love Story" singer is that her sound has transitioned from country to mainstream pop, and anybody who has heard her latest single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" can attest to that. Meanwhile, performers such as Underwood and Lambert have maintained their popularity while still staying true to their country roots. Of course, you can never count out McBride either, a true icon of country music who has been performing for well over 20 years.
Though solo performers sometimes get much of the attention, this year's crop of nominees for Vocal Group of the Year is especially impressive. Gone are the gimmicky days of bands like Big & Rich and Montgomery Gentry, and there has been a noticeable shift to more old school country sound in groups with Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band all up for the award.
Each of these groups has seemingly equal claim to the honor, with Lady A and ZBB being among some of the most popular performers over the last several years. Not only that, but Zac Brown Band's latest album, Uncaged, was a critical and commercial hit. The Band Perry might surprise some people, however, having carried the success of their 2010 hit "If I Die Young" into mainstream appeal.
Whoever comes home with a win, the CMAs are a must see for country fans, and they kick off on November 1 with Underwood hosting alongside Brad Paisley.
We are just tickled pink about the upcoming The Truth About Love Tour from veteran superstar P!nk!
Hitting up arenas around the country, P!nk will be kicking off the tour on February 13, 2013 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. As of now the tour will be closing at TD Garden in Boston on March 28, 2013, but who is to say since we all know how stars love to add tour dates after the fact.
Anybody who remembers the emergence of punk rock in the mid-1970s knows how inventive it was for the time. Bands like The Clash and the Sex Pistols helped shape a brand new genre. However, after more than 35 years the style has changed dramatically and thanks the rise of alternative and grunge rock in the 1990s, many people have been wondering: Is punk rock dead?
Of course, it's not an easy question to answer. What is exactly defined as punk rock is hard to pin down in the first place. Though it has elements of garage rock, it also incorporated other genres as well including folk and ska. While it has changed over the years, does that mean the genre as a whole no longer exists? I think the answer is no.
There are plenty of bands performing today who still carry the punk banner, though it might be a bit different than when Johnny Rotten sang "Anarchy in the U.K." back in the 70s. Against Me!, Catch 22 and the Dead Kennedys have all brought punk rock into the mainstream but have not diverged much from their original sound.
Punk rock old school:
Although punk bands still touring today, including the Alkaline Trio and NOFX, there are some who argue that the rise of alternative rock has blurred the lines between the two styles of play, and it's certainly a discussion worth having, especially with bands such as Green Day and The Offspring who can fall into both categories.
Punk rock new school:
Despite the similarities between punk and alternative rock, I maintain there are still two distinct camps, and all you need to do is look at a band like Incubus. The California-based band has been a mainstay on the alternative rock scene since the mid-90s with hit tracks like "Drive," "Wish You Were Here" and "Dig," but nobody would consider them even remotely punk.
Has punk changed since the earliest days of its existence? Of course it has, but you could say that about every genre of music. After all, the rock songs of today sound nothing like the earliest hits from Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and don't we still consider rock 'n roll alive and well? As long as there are still musicians making rock music that's firmly rooted in the anti-establishment sentiment of the Sex Pistol and The Clash, punk rock will be around for years to come.