Confirming one of the worst-kept secrets in live music, sources tell Billboard that the Rolling Stones will tour North America this summer. The group will play single dates, primarily in stadiums, in secondary markets that they did not visit on either their brief run of 50th anniversary shows late in 2012, or the 19-date 50 and Counting tour of 2013. AEG Live will be the primary promoter of the tour.
The announcement is expected on Tuesday, sources say.
The Stones spent last year touring in Europe, Asia, and Australia, bringing their total take since the 2012 launch of this run to $291,376,954 gross and 1,189,898 tickets sold to 48 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore. While no official announcement has been made, several cities have already leaked or hinted at summer dates, including Nashville, where Mayor Karl Dean jumped the gun by telling WKRN, "Don't 'start me up' on that topic. I can't give you any 'satisfaction' today answering your questions, and if you bug me about it I'm going to tell you to'" get off of my cloud.'" Indianapolis and Oakland, Calif. are also rumored to be on the route, although sources did not confirm any specific markets.
"Is this the last time?" is a question that’s been asked -- and dodged by the band -- on the eve of every Stones tour since the 1980s. But despite the vitality of their recent shows, biology is bound to catch up with them in the not-too-distant future: Mick Jagger is 71, and drummer Charlie Watts, who drives the band throughout the two-plus-hour-long shows, will be 74 come summer, so the opportunity to see this most quintessential rock band will not present itself too many more times.