Longtime classic rock fans in Phoenix will remember seeing acts like REO Speedwagon, Heart and Yes in Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum back in the 1970s and ’80s. The arena was the city’s prime large indoor concert venue at the time and the list of stars that performed there is lengthy and impressive. The Celebrity Theatre was rocking back then too, and now many of the same bands that played the Coliseum back in the day have shows scheduled to take place in the intimate confines of Phoenix’s beloved theater in the round. Here’s a look at some of the big names set to play Celebrity Theatre in the near future.
Apr. 25 – Willie Nelson & Family
Nelson has such an immense catalog that a good portion of his show usually consists of medleys; that way he can squeeze in more of the hits and favorites that his fans want to hear. There’ll be new music too as Willie has a new album called God’s Problem Child scheduled to drop just a few days after this show. Nelson’s co-writer on that album’s title track was the late Leon Russell.
May 5 – REO Speedwagon
These guys have seen their share of line-up changes over the decades and guitarist Gary Richrath passed away a couple years ago. But founding member Neal Doughty remains in the band as does longtime lead singer Kevin Cronin, so hits like “Roll With the Changes,” “Keep on Loving You,” “Time for me to Fly” and “Ridin’ the Storm Out” will sound just like you remember them. Paul Gurvitz and the New Army open the show.
May 22 – Brian Wilson
Look at any list of rock’s all-time greatest albums and you’ll find Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys near the top. In celebration of the album’s 50th anniversary, Wilson is touring with fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine and longtime sideman Blondie Chaplin in what is billed as the final performances of Pet Sounds. A performance of the album closes the show after Wilson and company have played a set of about 15 other Beach Boys hits and favorites.
May 23 – Ann Wilson of Heart
While sister Nancy is busy with new band Roadcase Royale, Ann is touring and playing a set that includes some of Heart’s biggest hits like “Barracuda,” “Crazy on You” and “What About Love.” But most of the set is covers, and a recent set list had Wilson interpreting cuts by the Who (“The Real Me,” “Love, Reign O’er Me,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again”) the Animals (“We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place”) and Peter Gabriel (“Don’t Give Up”) along with cuts associated with Aretha Franklin, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Yes and the Black Crowes.
July 21 – Happy Together Tour 2017
Flashback time! This revue-style show overflows with stars and big hits from the ’60s and includes the Turtles with Flo & Eddie (“Elenor,” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” “Happy Together”) The Association (“Cherish,” “Windy,” “Along Comes Mary”) Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night fame (“One,” “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” “Never Been to Spain”) the Box Tops (“The Letter,” “Cry Like a Baby”) the Cowsills (“Indian Lake,” “The Rain, the Park and Other Things”) and the Archies featuring Ron Dante who are of course best-known for their bubblegum smash hit “Sugar, Sugar.”
Aug. 25 – Yes
Celebrity Theatre recently hosted a show by ARW, the half of Yes that features Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman; now “the other half” of the legendary prog band with guitarist Steve Howe, singer Jon Davison, drummer Alan White, keys man Geoff Downes and bassist Billy Sherwood will play a selection of Yes hits and deep album cuts. But that’s not all; the show is billed as Yestival: A Full Festival Experience and to that end Todd Rundgren will be on hand to perform a full set as will Emerson, Lake & Palmer drummer Carl Palmer who’ll perform a tribute to his late band mates Greg Lake and Keith Emerson
For a complete list of shows coming to Celebrity Theatre go here.