Perhaps it was a way of making up for all those years that he refused to play Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, but in 2014, John Fogerty embraced his past like never before. He spent much of the second half of the year celebrating the 45th anniversary of the band's most productive year. He toured the U.S. and Canada, focusing on material from the three albums Creedence released in 1969, ‘Bayou Country,’ ‘Green River’ and ‘Willy and the Poor Boys.’ He has announced plans to bring the same show to the rest of the world in 2015.
Foreigner / Styx / Don Felder
The Soundtrack of Summer tour, which packaged Foreigner, Styx and former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, crisscrossed the U.S. from mid-May through late-July. Felder opened each show, with the other two switching spots on a nightly basis. The tour gained national headlines in Philadelphia when two of the tour buses caught fire while in a parking lot. They thanked the Philadelphia Fire Department by donating $10,000 to the department’s Widows Fund.
Judas Priest / Steel Panther
Once again, Kiss’ summer tour saw them bring another heavyweight band on the road with them. With Def Leppard opening, the nine-week, 40-date jaunt across North American found Kiss, as they’ve done in the past, donate one dollar from every ticket sold to assorted charities that benefit military families. We saw them in August at a show that also included the Dead Daisies, a band comprised of veterans of such bands as Guns N’ Roses, INXS and Whitesnake.
After a handful of spring shows in South America, Paul McCartney’s 2014 hit a snag. A virus landed him in the hospital, forcing him to cancel an entire week of dates in Asia and postpone the start of his U.S. tour. But he rebounded by repeatedly delivering marathon concerts with his customary enthusiasm. The tour reached a poignant note in August when he played the final event at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the same spot as the Beatles’ last-ever concert on Aug. 29, 1966.
Motley Crue / Alice Cooper
Motley Crue began 2014 by announcing their ‘Final Tour,’ complete with tombstones, a jazz funeral procession and even signing a legally binding ‘Cessation of Touring Agreement’ at the press conference. As befits the macabre tone, they invited Alice Cooper along as their opening act. Tommy Lee unveiled a new drum roller coaster, the Cruecifly, that was so big, it couldn’t even be performed at some venues. We’re not sure exactly when it will end -- we’ve heard New Year’s Eve, but then Vince Neil said he hopes that their last-ever show will be Jan. 17, 2016, which will be their 35th anniversary.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers / Steve Winwood
After years of one-off dates and shows in Europe, Queen + Adam Lambert finally brought their live experience to North America. This past summer, they played 19 shows in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada over the course of a month. They ended 2014 by playing a high-profile New Year’s Eve show at London’s Westminster Central Hall that was broadcast on the BBC.
The Rolling Stones weren’t kidding when they called their 2012 return to the road 50 and Counting. Their 14 on Fire tour took them to three continents. Unfortunately, the Australia and New Zealand leg was twice derailed, first with the death of L’Wren Scott, Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, and one of the rescheduled dates was canceled when Jagger picked up a throat infection.
Another tantalizing tour for classic rock fans paired ZZ Top and Jeff Beck. Their shows became noteworthy when the two acts combined forces in the encore for some guitar-based fireworks. Unfortunately, an injury to Dusty Hill forced ZZ Top to bow out of the last 13 shows, but they rescheduled several of those dates for 2015.