The 10 biggest concerts of 2013

Ringo Starr

New Zealand attracts its fair share of major international music artists, and 2013 is no exception.

Already a slew of hugely popular acts have announced shows, with more sure to be announced as the year progresses.

Here is a rundown the biggest concerts announced so far.

10. Santana and Steve Miller Band - The Sentient Tour

March 17, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
March 19, Vector Arena, Auckland.

Santana and The Steve Miller Band formed in the same year, 1967. Since then, both have achieved remarkable longevity, selling tens of millions of albums.

Santana – the latin-influenced rock band led by guitarist Carlos Santana – have sold more than 90 million records. Their big break came at Woodstock 1969 where a huge crowned watched them play the song 'Soul Sacrifice' before they'd even released their debut album. That album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 pop chart, and since then the band have released 21 more albums. Carlos Santana is the only surviving original member, but his stage band comprises at least 10 members.

The Steve Miller Band – which has released some 21 albums, three of them live – were at the height of their fame in the mid-70s with hits such as Fly Like an Eagle, The Joker, and Rock'n Me. Since then, the band have been a regular feature of 'classic rock' radio stations worldwide. But while they haven't had any major commercial successes since the 1970s, The Steve Miller Band have toured regularly and still attract thousands of fans to their shows.

9. Deep Purple & Journey

February 24, Vector Arena, Auckland

Now in its 40th year, British band Deep Purple have sold more than 100 million albums since forming in 1968, with a new record due to be released in 2013. The band's hits include Black Night, Highway Star, Space Truckin, Perfect Strangers and Smoke on the Water. Although they have only one of their original members left – drummer Ian Paice – the band still manages to pull the crowds.

They'll be joined by San Francisco-based Journey, famous for such songs as Don't Stop Believin', Any Way You Want It and Who's Cryin' Now. The band have earned 19 top-40 singles from 17 albums since forming in 1973. As with Deep Purple, however, this isn't quite the band that was such a big deal in the 1970s. In 1998, lead singer Steve Perry was replaced with Steve Augeri after he injured his hip, requiring hip replacement surgery. Augeri was dropped in 2006 after experiencing throat problems, being replaced by Filipino singer Arnel Pineda who was in a covers band. He was hired after the band saw a YouTube clip of him singing versions of Journey songs. 

8. Weezer

January 11, Vector Arena, Auckland

The alternative pop-rock outfit from Los Angeles last toured New Zealand in 1996 in support of their second album, Pinkerton. Since then, the band have released seven more albums. They achieved huge success with their first self-titled album – dubbed 'the Blue album' because of its cover – which included singles such as Buddy Holly, Undone (The Sweater Song) and Say it Ain't So. Arguably, they were never as big as they were in the 1990s, but they have continued to produce a steady stream of albums, never straying too far from their feel-good, up-beat brand of California rock. Their most recent album, Hurley, was released in 2010. 

7. Neil Young with Crazy Horse

March 19, TSB Arena, Wellington
March 21, Vector Arena, Auckland

Canadian rocker Neil Young has toured New Zealand relatively consistently throughout his career, mostly recently headlining the Big Day Out in 2009. But he hasn't been here with Crazy Horse since 1989. The 67-year-old – who has released 35 studio albums over his more-than 40 year career – got together with the band Crazy Horse in 1968 after his first band, Buffalo Springfield, dissolved. Young recorded his second album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere with Crazy Horse, which included hits such as Cinnamon Girl, Down by the River and Cowgirl in the Sand. He joined Crosby, Stills & Nash as a fourth member in 1969 and recorded sporadically with Crazy Horse over the next 20 years. Since then, he has alternated between performing and recording with Crazy Horse and working solo. His most recent album with the band, Psychedelic Pill, was released in October 2012.

6. Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band

February 7, CBS Arena, Christchurch
February 9, Vector Arena, Auckland

Ringo Starr hasn't performed in New Zealand since he came here with The Beatles in 1964. The 72-year-old drummer – real name Richard Starkey – has released 17 studio albums since The Beatles disbanded in 1970, and has toured with 12 variations of his All Starr Band since 1989.

The band features Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr Mister), Todd Rundgren, Mark Rivera, Gregg Rolie (Santana & Journey) and Gregg Bissonette.

‘The tour this summer was just GREAT - I love playing with this band and I can’t wait to get back out and play with them again,” Ringo said. “I am looking forward to revisiting Japan with the All Starrs and of course New Zealand and Australia. Peace & Love!”

Concerts will feature Ringo classic’s such as “It Don’t Come Easy”, “Photograph”, “Little Help From My Friends”, “Yellow Submarine” and “Wings”, from Starr’s recently released 17th solo record, Ringo 2012 (Hip-O/Ume). All Starr’s hits include “Rosanna,” “Broken Wings,” “Hello It’s Me,” “Black Magic Woman.”

5. Pat Benatar, Bachman & Turner and America

February 16, Riverside Park & Unison Amphitheater, Taupo
February 17, Matakana Country Park, Matakana
February 20, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
February 23, Gibbston Valley Station, Queenstown

Pat Benatar – who performs with her husband, guitarist/producer Neil Giraldo – has put out 10 platinum-selling albums, 19 top-40 singles and a string of 80s hits including Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Love Is A Battlefield and Heartbreaker. The 59-year-old has not released an album of new material since 2003, but has toured consistently since 1995, capitalising on her strong back-catalogue of hits.

She is joined by Randy Bachman and Fred Turner, who have reunited after their band, Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO), went on hiatus in 2005. The Canadian band, which was at its most popular in the mid-1970s,  was behind such hits as Taking Care of Business and You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, which reached number one on the Billboard singles chart.

America formed in London, England in 1970, producing several no 1 hits including A Horse with No Name and Sister Golden Hair. The trio of Gerry Beckley, Dewel Bunnell and Dan Peek were launched into the spotlight in 1972, but in 1977 lost Peek, who quit as their popularity declined. They never officially replaced him, continuing to perform as a duo but hiring touring musicians for live performances. The band have released 16 studio albums to date, only two of those in the past 10 years. However, they have retained a loyal fan base, regularly performing more than 100 shows per year.

4. The Hollies - 50th Anniversary Tour.

January 30, Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North
February 1, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
February 3, Church Road Winery, Napier
February 4, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton
February 5, Ascension Wine Estate, Matakana

Since forming in Manchester, England in the early 1960s, The Hollies have never officially broken up, continuing to record and perform almost constantly. The band has had 30 charting singles in the UK and 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, including 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', 'Carrie Anne', 'Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress' and 'The Air That I Breathe'. The band still have two original members; guitarist Tony Hicks and drummer Bobby Elliot. They have produced just two studio albums since the 1980s, but have been a regular feature on the touring circuit, capitalising on their early hits.

3. The Red Hot Chili Peppers

January 14 and 15, Vector Arena, Auckland

Although the Red Hot Chili Peppers' most successful album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, was released in 1991, the band's popularity has never really waned, especially in New Zealand. Each one of their five albums released since 1995 has topped the charts here. Testament to their popularity is the fact they had to add a second show at Vector Arena in January after the first sold out so quickly. Since forming in 1983 the band have recorded and toured almost constantly. Their biggest hits include Under the Bridge, Scar Tissue and By The Way. They are touring in support of their 10th studio album, I'm With You, released in 2011.

2. Cliff Richard

January 26, Vector Arena, Auckland
January 28, TSB Arena, Wellington
January 31, CBS Arena, Christchurch

Sir Cliff Richard – the life-long, clean-living bachelor – is touring in support of his 40th studio album, released last year. The 72-year-old has enjoyed a career spanning 54 years, selling more than 250 million records, 130 singles and consistently getting hits in the charts. His biggest hits include Miss You Nights and Devil Woman from the 1976 album I'm Nearly Famous. He was last here in 2010 on a reunion tour with his band, The Shadows, but the crowds will surely come out again to see the enduring performer who keeps on coming back.

1. Black Sabbath

April 20 and 22, Vector Arena, Auckland

Three of the original four members of Black Sabbath – Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi – return to New Zealand in 2013 for the first time in nearly 40 years. They performed, with original mamber and drummer Bill Ward, at the Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival in 1973. That concert has become famous for including the song Changes, which they only ever played live on one other occasion. Formed in Birmingham, England, Black Sabbath have sold more than 70 million albums since their self-titled debut in 1970. Consistently ranked among one of the greatest metal bands in history, Ozzy Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979 due to his heavy drug use. But he went on to form a successful solo career, eventually rejoining Sabbath in the 1990s. After continuing to record new music and perform live, the band went on hiatus in 2006. A reunion of the original members was confirmed in 2011 but Ward later dropped out. The band's 2013 tour coincides with the release of their 19th studio album in April.

Anyone else worth hearing and seeing in 2013, let us know in Comments below.

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