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Back in 2020, the conventional wisdom held by booking agents, promoters and music managers was that the concert industry would not return to normal until 2022. Those predictions were made in hushed tones – it was the dark truth nobody wanted to hear.
But now 2022 is upon us, and the future is as unclear as ever. The live music business, which had just begun to get back on its feet this past fall, has been thrown back into chaos with the Omicron variant. Who knew that yesterday’s catastrophic forecasts were actually best-case scenarios?
In the near term, concert cancellations and postponements will be the norm, with Jim Morrison’s “the future’s uncertain, the end is always near” being the order of the day. With that in mind, here’s a list of five live events that might happen in 2022, or not.
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Jack White: Supply Chain Issues Tour
The name of the worldwide schedule from the former White Stripes rocker is fitting, given the unreliable nature of the concert business these days. White has two new albums apparently in the pipeline. The first of which, Fear of the Dawn, is expected out April 8, the same day his tour is launched with the first of two small-venue hometown shows at Detroit’s Masonic Temple. Of note: As he’s done in the past, White has banned cellphones for the concerts.
April 16, Place Bell, Laval, Que.; June 7, Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver; Aug. 19, Budweiser Stage, Toronto.
Adele: Weekends With Adele
Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Do you know what else stays in Vegas? Adele does. The British pop star, who recently released her blockbuster album 30, will perform two shows a weekend at the Coliseum at Caesars Palace Hotel for more than two months. Other coming roulette-related residencies feature Rod Stewart and Sting.
Jan. 21 to April 16.
Tapestry Opera: Gould’s Wall
We’re not sure if the world premiere opera by composer Brian Current and librettist Liza Balkan will defy expectations, but it will defy gravity. As a metaphor for Glenn Gould’s fierce drive to reach the top of the classical piano world, performers in this production will be suspended in the atrium of Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, where bricks in the wall are the path upward.
Jan. 12 to 16.
Olivia Rodrigo: SOUR
Who’s sour? All the fans who tried and failed to snag tickets for the tour by pop ingénue Olivia Rodrigo to promote her Grammy-nominated album Sour. By deciding to play small venues, the California singer, Disney actress and newly licensed driver disappointed ticketless fans and left money on the table, but the hype she’s created with a completely sold-out tour is priceless.
April 7, Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver; April 29-30, Massey Hall, Toronto.
Primus: A Farewell to Kings
The alt-metal American trio originally planned a tour in tribute to Rush’s 1977 album A Farewell to Kings for 2020, before the COVID-19 interruption. The schedule finally began in August, with a second leg of dates announced recently. Primus will play the classic album by the Canadian prog-rock legends in full (including the hit Closer to the Heart), as well as a set of its own material.
May 13-14, Massey Hall, Toronto; May 16, L’Olympia, Montreal; May 17, Videotron Centre, Quebec City; June 4, Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg; June 6, Capital Auto Theatre, Regina; June 7, Sid Buckwold Theatre, Saskatoon; June 9, Grey Eagle Event Centre, Calgary; June 10, Edmonton Expo Centre, Edmonton; June 12, Orpheum, Vancouver.