Washingtonians will have to wait until late summer or early fall for what is clearly the year's hottest tour: Bruce Springsteen reunited with the E Street Band. How hot a ticket will this be? Well, New York-area fans bought more than 300,000 tickets -- that's 15 sellouts at New Jersey's Continental Airlines Arena -- in 13 hours. The American portion of the tour kicks off there July 15 and will probably wind through our area in late August or September. The big question right now is whether the shows -- and there will be multiple nights -- will take place indoors at MCI Center or outdoors at Nissan Pavilion.
Nissan has some other premium boomer shows: Bob Dylan and Paul Simon (the latter touring for the first time in eight years) perform there July 16, while Cher, who hasn't toured in almost a decade, shares a bill with Cyndi Lauper on July 11. There will be several reunion shows at Nissan, too: The J. Geils Band, together for the first time in 16 years, is there July 5, while Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who haven't toured as a foursome in 25 years, will likely be there in September. R.E.M. tours for the first time since drummer Bill Berry's departure, with a Merriweather Post Pavilion concert Sept. 10.
The multi-act, day-long touring festival, a staple of recent summers, is an endangered species. The granddaddy of them all, Lollapalooza, couldn't find a viable headliner and bailed out this year, as did the Furthur, H.O.R.D.E. and Smokin' Grooves road shows. Lilith Fair, which brings Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, Pretenders and Me'Shell NdegeOcello to Merriweather Post Pavilion July 28, has already announced that this is its grand finale.
That leaves us with today's Ozzfest at Nissan Pavilion, built around the reunion/farewell tour by Black Sabbath; the Vans Warped tour July 27 at RFK Stadium, featuring Suicidal Tendencies, Ice-T, Cypress Hill and others; and the Nickelodeon-sponsored All That Music and More festival at Nissan Aug. 21, featuring 98 Degrees, Monica and Tatyana Ali -- the first kid-powered pop festival.
Other teen-fare includes Brandy with Tyrese, Silk and 702 (Merriweather Post Pavilion June 26), Britney Spears (Constitution Hall July 6), 'N Sync and Jordan Knight (Nissan July 28) and the Backstreet Boys (late summer or early fall, details not yet final).
Nonetheless, the majority of the acts playing the major outdoor venues this summer are veterans, including Jimmy Buffett (at Nissan June 10 and 12, Merriweather Post Aug. 26 and 28), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Nissan June 25) and the Allman Brothers (celebrating their 30th anniversary, at Merriweather Post July 1). The music industry's most controversial newcomer -- MP3 -- is sponsoring a tour featuring Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos (Aug. 25 at Merriweather Post Pavilion), but there are relatively few '90s acts playing the major outdoor venues, mostly because younger acts seldom are able to carry a major tour. That's what spurred the touring festival scene in the first place. Among the newer acts on the road: Jewel on July 30 and a Sugar Ray/Goo Goo Dolls/Fastball triple bill Aug. 24, both at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Country fans have some good prospects, including a June 26 Nissan concert featuring Randy Travis, Deana Carter, the Kinleys, Sara Evans and others; the 20th Bull Run Country Jamboree in Manassas June 27, headlined by Neal McCoy, Aaron Tippin, Confederate Railroad and Chely Wright; and a slew of Wolf Trap shows: Wynonna Judd and Radney Foster (July 11), Faith Hill (July 29), Kathy Mattea and Collin Raye (Aug. 3), Vince Gill and Jo Dee Messina (Aug. 13) and Dwight Yoakam (Aug. 18).
CAPTION: The singers of summer: (clockwise from top) Sarah McLachlan, Faith Hill, Baaba Maal and Alanis Morissette are all performing here this summer.