Who are the oldest bands still touring today?
15 January 2022, 18:00 | Updated: 2 February 2022, 10:48
Which of the longest-serving rock 'n' roll acts have dates on the calendar for this year? And who can we reasonably expect to make a comeback?
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COVID-19 has scuppered a great many tours over the past two years, but there are many groups that are still a going concern when it comes to live work. In reverse order, then. here are some of the most experienced bands you'll be able to see performing soon...
Red Hot Chili Peppers - established 1983
The LA rockers began their career as Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem almost forty years ago, which is incredible considering the ups and downs they've had over the years. They cleared their diary in 2021 to head back to work on their forthcoming twelfth studio album and have booked a series of enormous dates for '22, with shows in Manchester, London, Glasgow and Dublin in June and July this year.
Metallica - established 1981
The hardcore metal pioneers will hit the European festivals again, with sets at Pinkpop, Firenze Rocks, Rock Wertcher, Mad Cool and NOS ALive.
U2 - established 1978
Before they were U2 they were Feeback and The Hype, but for four decades Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Junior have been playing together. The band took their Joshua Tree show to Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other countries in 2019 and showed that the group were still as popular and proficient as ever.
The Cure - established 1978
July 2018 saw Robert Smith and his crew play a special show in London’s Hyde Park to mark 40 years since their first gig under the name The Cure - but the history of the group goes back to 1976. The band will play their first dates in three years with a European tour that kicks off in October and makes its way to the UK in December - and there's also a promise of that long-awaited new album, too.
Def Leppard - established 1977
The British metal legends have 2022 all mapped out - an enormous stadium tour of the US, over 40 years since they began their life in downtown Sheffield.
Iron Maiden - established 1975
The metal legends have been doing their unique thing since the mid-70s and will headline Download Festival 2022 on 11 June. Then they're off around Europe to perform to thousands of loyal fans on their Legacy Of The Beast tour.
KISS - established 1973
It's nearly 50 years since Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley changed their name from Wicked Lester to KISS. They're still fronting the band, and they'll be at it all over again starting in Australia in March, with a headline slot at Download Festival on 10 June. After which, they'll be replaced by cyborgs or something.
Aerosmith - established 1970
Aerosmith will belatedly mark their 50th anniversary in September 2022 with a huge show at Fenway Park in their hometown of Boston. Unfortunately, they've cancelled their European dates this summer, saying "We have continued to monitor the ongoing COVID situation, and with the related uncertainty around travel logistics and the continued presence of COVID restrictions and other issues, it has become clear that it will not be possible to go ahead with our summer shows in the region."
The Who - established 1964
Now just the duo of Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, the band’s website names the Paradise Club in Peckham in July 1962 as the scene of the Oo’s first show. They changed their name to The Who in February ’64 and have been playing in some shape or form ever since.
The band had to reschedule some shows intended to mark their first album in 13 years to Spring 2021, but the ongoing pandemic meant the whole tour was called off. Roger Daltrey has a solo tour lined up for June 2022, and we fully expect The Who to stage another comeback.
The Rolling Stones - established 1962
Despite the death of stalwart member Charlie Watts last year, 2021 saw the Stones named as the highest-earning live act in rock. Their rescheduled No Filter tour ended in Hollywood without the drummer in November, with Mick Jagger saying "anything could happen" in the future. The band celebrate 60 years in the business in 2022.
The Beach Boys - established 1961
Death, illness and mental health issues haven’t soured the American Dream and surf seems to be continually up for this legendary act. The "boys" - all now approaching their 80s - will be taking place in a "Good Vibrations cruise" to the Bahamas in March with a line-up that features veterans Mike Love and Bruce Johnston. Love is also working his way around the country with his own show.