2012 was a fantastic year for classic rock, as many legendary artists hit the road for major tours and stopped in Cleveland (and Akron) along the way. Here, we recap the year in classic rock concerts with the top 10 concerts of 2012.
Honorable mention: Aerosmith, Ian Hunter, Steve Miller Band, Slash, Moody Blues, Alex Bevan Tribute Concert and the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Take a look at our list and let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments below.
10. American Music Masters Tribute to Chuck Berry at the State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare – 10/27/12
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University honored rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry during the 17th annual American Music Masters® series this past October. The weeklong celebration titled Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry was capped off with a concert featuring Lemmy Kilmister, Merle Haggard, Ronnie Hawkins, JD McPherson, Joe Bonamassa and Berry himself! See more photos from the concert HERE.
9. ZZ Top at the Akron Civic Theater – 10/3/12
Sure there were a few minor sound issues with the concert, but “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” put on a great show that was full of fan favorites, classics and a few tunes from their latest album La Futura. See photos from the concert at the Akron Civic Theater HERE.
8. Styx/REO Speedwagon /Ted Nugent at Blossom Music Center – 6/30/12
The 2012 Midwest Rock N’ Roll Express Tour made a stop at Blossom Music Center on Saturday, June 30th for a show reminiscent of rock’s glory days. Of course Nugent vocalized his political views during his set while Styx highlighted the evening with a powerful 70-minute set. Read a full concert review & view photos HERE.
7. Journey/Pat Benatar at Blossom Music Center – 9/22/12
One of the last show’s of the year on the Blossom concert calendar, fan’s braved chilly fall weather for this show. The packed lawn and pavilion kept the outdoor concert season alive and energized while Neal Schon, Arnel Pineda and the rest of Journey ripped through a set full of favorites like “Lights,” “Wheel in the Sky,” and “Any Way You Want It.” View photos from this concert HERE.
6. KISS/Motley Crue at Blossom Music Center – 9/12/12
You may have wanted the best, but unfortnatley this concert does not crack the top 5. However, the pyro, showmanship, solos and a “Rock and Roll All Nite” encore helped make this concert memorable. And not to forget, Motley Crue’s Vince Neil suffered a broken foot a few songs into their set and kept on going! See more photos from this concert HERE.
5. Dukes of September at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica – 8/14/12
Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Donald Fagen and one hell of a backing band! It’s hard to rank this show any higher on the list. With an evening built around honoring 60s rhythm and blues, the Dukes of September put their touch on classic tunes. Noticeably absent were the aforementioned pyro and showmanship. The Dukes wanted you to focus on the music, not a rock and roll spectacle. Read a full concert review & see photos HERE.
4. RUSH at Quicken Loans Arena – 10/28/12
Sure, this was not the Time Machine tour they put on in 2011 where they featured Moving Pictures in its entirety (and filmed a live DVD here in Cleveland), but the Canadian prog-rockers put on a fantastic concert that proved they deserved induction into the Rock Hall. Their set highlighted classics like “Subdivisions,” “The Spirit of Radio” and “YYZ,” alongside newer songs off of Clockwork Angels. The encore was equally as spectacular as it featured “Tom Sawyer” and parts I, II & VII off of 2112.
3. Neil Young & Crazy Horse at the Wolstein Center – 10/8/12
The recently reunited grouping stopped by The Wolstein Center on the Cleveland State Campus in early October. The set focused heavily on newer material off of the Psychedelic Pill album with songs including “Twisted Road,” “Ramada Inn,” “Born In Ontario,” “Walk Like A Giant” and the title track. The Godfather of Grunge also delivered a Buffalo Springfield cover and popular songs like “Needle & The Damage Done,” “F*ckin’ Up” and “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black).” Read a full review and see photos HERE.
2. Crosby, Stills & Nash at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica – 6/10/12
Stephen Stills declared the band was back on the shores of the Cuyahoga to “set this river on fire again” and that they did, immediately launching into their first set with “Carry On” off their 1970 album Déjà Vu. Despite the members of the folk trio ‘getting up there’ in age, the harmonies were still pure and Stills proved to be master on the six-string, howling out solos that would bring the crowd to their feet.
1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at Quicken Loans Arena – 4/17/12
The Boss returned to Quicken Loans Arena in promotion of his latest release, Wrecking Ball. Still, the heartland rocker and the E Street Band shook the Q with a twenty-song set highlighted with newer songs and five-song encore that included “Born To Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” It was the groups first show back in the rock capitol without saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2011. Clemons’ nephew, Jake Clemons, now fills the Big Man’s shoes. Midway through the set, an eleven-year old Westlake girl got the chance to sing on stage with the band during “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day” after she was spotted waiving a sign saying “Please sing with me.” (VIDEO HERE) Plus, the Boss did a little crowd surfing! Local photographer Joe Kleon has some great shots of the Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band April 17th concert HERE.