Cher, Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith/Kiss are among the tours that will take the day off Sept. 11, in memory of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“It’s going to be a while before we see [all] artists have events on that day,” says Larry Vallon, senior VP at House of Blues (HOB) Concerts. He predicts that widespread Sept. 11 shows will not happen “in my lifetime.” Vallon says HOB does not have any shows slotted for that day at the 31 venues it exclusively books.
Unlike the sweeping coverage of the first anniversary of the tragedies last year, few major TV networks are planning significant two-year anniversary coverage. CBS, for example, is sticking with its usual Thursday lineup of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Without a Trace” during prime-time that night.
But the concert industry is continuing to treat the date as one to avoid, for reasons that include lingering fear of attacks on highly populated public places.
“It’s out of respect, coupled with uncertainty of what could happen on that date,” says John Marx, booking agent at the William Morris Agency, whose artists are primarily taking Sept. 11 off. Godsmack, for example, deliberately avoided the date by starting its tour Sept. 12.
Still, some top acts will be playing on Sept. 11. R.E.M. has a show at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, and Willie Nelson will perform at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, W.Va.
“Personally, being a Vietnam veteran, I think it’s totally important to forge ahead and not succumb to the pressures of terrorists,” explains Buck Williams, booking agent for R.E.M. at Progressive Global Agency.