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Wednesday
Feb042015

Noel Gallagher Would Rather "Drink Petrol” Than Listen to Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner

Images Courtesy of Domino Records; Lawrence WatsonThe notoriously outspoken Noel Gallagher has taken a shot at the frontman of one of the world's biggest rock bands.

"I would rather drink petrol straight from the nozzle at a garage than listen to an interview with Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys," the former Oasis guitarist tells British tabloid London Evening Standard.  Petrol of course is what the English call gasoline. "Wouldn't you? Alternative thinking is on its way out. They just don't make for great copy."

Gallagher says that today's music scene lacks the "great characters" of generations past, such as The Smiths.

"Is it any coincidence that all the indie labels got bought up by the major labels and things have started to get boring?" he continues.

Gallagher's post-Oasis band, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, will release their second album, Chasing Yesterday, on March 3. The band will be touring North America in support of the album starting in May.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Jimmy Page Says He Plans to Start Performing Again Later in 2015; Talks "Physical Graffiti" Reissue

Credit: Ross HalfinJimmy Page says he's "warming up" in preparation to return to the stage sometime later this year.  Rolling Stone reports that the Led Zeppelin guitarist revealed a bit about his plans to play live again at a U.K. event in West London celebrating the upcoming reissue of his old band's 1975 double album Physical Graffiti.

"How it starts off is, you have to play guitar and get match-fit first," Page explained to the magazine during a public Q&A session.  "So currently I'm in the process of doing that -- but I'm also in the process of doing this [reissue series] too.  It'll be closer to the end of the year rather than next month.  I'm definitely warming up on the touchlines!"

As for what the fans can expect from his performances, Jimmy noted, "What I'm doing is something that's going to be quite different.  It wouldn't be anything that hopefully you'd imagine I would do."

Of course, Page also discussed the updated Physical Graffiti, which -- as with the five previously released Led Zeppelin reissues -- will be available in expanded form augmented with a companion audio disc featuring unreleased outtakes and alternate mixes.

"It's so good to be able to present this, because you can see the bare bones of it, but you also know what it becomes," the 71-year-old rock legend said of the bonus tracks.  "It's a really good illustration of why this whole companion disc series is so good."

Recalling Led Zeppelin's objective while he and his band mates were recording Physical Graffiti, Page said, "We were thinking about putting out an album that was going to knock everybody's socks off.  It's a tour de force, the whole of it."

The Physical Graffiti reissue will arrive on February 24, the 40th anniversary of the record's original release, and that will be followed be remastered versions Led Zeppelin's final three studio efforts, 1976's Presence, 1979's In Through the Out Door and 1982's Coda.  Jimmy revealed that plenty more sonic treats will be included on the upcoming reissues.  "It's been a real fun project to do because I know what's coming," he declared, "and there's some great surprises."


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Madonna to Perform at the BRIT Awards Later This Month

Credit: Stephen KleinMadonna is making the awards show rounds this year in preparation for the release of her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart.  She'll be performing at the Grammys this weekend, and later this month, it's been confirmed that she'll take the stage at the BRIT Awards.

The Queen of Pop announced her BRIT Awards performance with an Instagram post Tuesday, showing a BRIT statuette wrapped in black wire, similar to how she is wrapped in black rope on her Rebel Heart album cover.  Madonna's highly anticipated return to the BRITs, 20 years after she last performed on the awards show, will serve as a preview of her new music.  Rebel Heart drops in the U.S. on March 10.

"We're delighted to bring Madonna back to the BRITs," BRITs chairman Max Lousada said in a statement.  "She's an icon, an innovator and, above all, an entertainer.  Having her as part of the show will guarantee an unforgettable night of music."

Madonna's been nominated for 12 BRITs over the course of her career, and she won the Best International Female award twice, in 2001 and 2006.

The BRIT Awards 2015 will take place on February 25 at The O2 in London.  Contemporary pop stars Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran are also set to perform.

 


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Jennifer Hudson and Rita Ora to Guest Star on Fox's "Empire" 

Anthony Mandler/ RCA RecordsEmpire just added two big guest stars to its roster. Jennifer Hudson and Rita Ora have both been cast for guest appearances on the hit Fox drama, according to E! News.

Jennifer, who won an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls, and Rita, who’s set to make her acting debut in Fifty Shades of Grey, will both be appearing on the show before the season ends. No details have been released yet regarding their roles, though there’s a good possibility they’ll just be playing themselves.

E! News also reported that producers of the series reached out to Iggy Azalea and tried to make a guest spot happen, but the scheduling didn’t work out.

Empire stars Terrence Howard as a hip-hop music mogul and Taraji P. Henson as his outspoken ex-wife.  The show has already been renewed for a second season.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Garth Brooks Sells More Than 100,000 Tickets for This Weekend's Shows in Pittsburgh

Image Courtesy Country Music Hall of FameGarth Brooks has already sold more than 100,000 for his upcoming six concerts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which start Thursday night and run through Sunday. Even though he's beat his previous ticket sales record from his 1997 run of shows in Pittsburgh, tickets are still available for all six of this weekend's shows at Ticketmaster.com/GarthBrooks.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Alabama Shakes Announce New Tour Dates

Credit: Brantley GutierrezIn addition to appearances at this year's Coachella and Bonnaroo festivals, Alabama Shakes will be touring North American this spring as they ready the release of their sophomore album. The tour will begin with a two-night stand at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on March 11 and 12, and it'll wrap up April 18 in Las Vegas. Visit AlabamaShakes.com for all ticket info.

If Alabama Shakes won't be shaking your city on the upcoming tour, have no fear -- the band promises that more dates will come.

"Don't worry there will be plenty more dates to be announced and new music very soon," reads a statement on the band's website. "Stay tuned!"

The new music will be Alabama Shake's followup to their 2012 album, Boys & Girls, which featured the hit single, "Hold On."

In other Alabama Shakes news, the band's episode of Live from the Artists Den will begin airing on public television February 6. You can watch a trailer for the episode, featuring the band's performance of their song "Always Alright," on the program's website.

Here are all the new Alabama Shakes tour dates:

3/11 -- New York, NY, The Beacon Theatre
3/12 -- New York, NY, The Beacon Theatre
3/14 -- Chicago, IL, The Chicago Theatre
3/15 -- Milwaukee, WI, The Riverside Theater
3/17 -- Madison, WI, Overture Center for the Arts
3/18 -- Champaign, IL, The Virginia Theatre
3/20 -- Memphis, TN, Minglewood Hall
3/21 -- Knoxville, TN, Historic Tennessee Theatre
4/8 -- Tempe, AZ, Marquee Theatre
4/11 -- Berkeley, CA, Greek Theatre-U.C. Berkeley
4/18 -- Las Vegas, NV, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Miranda Lambert Sharing Her Grammy Awards Experience with Fans in a Personal Way

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is sending personal photos from this Sunday's Grammy Awards to fans who sign up at TextMiranda.com. Miranda is set to perform on the show, where she's up for four trophies including Best Country Album for Platinum. Fans will receive the photos after they take a photo or screenshot of Miranda's "Little Red Wagon" single cover and text it to Miranda@PicFly.me.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will broadcast live Sunday night at 8 ET on CBS.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Rick Rubin Annotates Lyrics by Beastie Boys, Hozier & More

Credit: Phil AndelmanProducer extraordinaire Rick Rubin has taken to the lyric annotating website Genius to give some background on the artists he's worked with, including Beastie Boys.

Of the Beasties' AC/DC sampling song, "Rock Hard," Rubin writes, "This was in the days where no one knew what sampling was. I remember playing it for Malcolm Young on headphones backstage at an AC/DC concert, and he was like, 'Who played guitar on that?' And I was like, 'I did.' I mean it’s a combination -- there’s samples involved too, but I’m definitely playing. And I programmed the drums. You couldn’t do it today."

Rubin also gives his thoughts on artists he hasn't worked with, including current alternative rock star Hozier.

"It’s a classic, great song. Just the way it makes me feel," Rubin says of the Irish musician's Song of the Year Grammy-nominated "Take Me to Church." "It’s a guitar-based song that is acceptable in today’s world. That’s interesting. I love the dynamics in it. The lyrics are dark, but spiritual. It’s one of the songs where if Johnny [Cash] was alive, we might try that one. It’s a weighty song."

Rubin also worked with Cash, who he convinced to cover Soundgarden's grunge classic "Rusty Cage."

"I remember playing [Cash] the Soundgarden version and him saying 'What do you want me to do with this? This has nothing to do with me,'" Rubin writes of the country legend. "And then I made a demo of how I imagined him doing it, and he was like, 'Oh.' I gave him the lyric sheet and he said they were really good words."

For more of Rubin's annotations, including his thoughts on Slayer, Vampire Weekend, Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers, visit Genius.com/RickRubin.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg & Ice Cube Confirmed for BET Experience 2015

ABC/Lou RoccoNicki Minaj is scheduled to headline the BET Experience 2015.

The network confirmed that Nicki will join Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and "special guests" when the three-day event takes place June 25 through June 27 at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

Comedian Kevin Hart will also be on hand for the festival, which leads up to this year’s BET Awards. Additional performers will be announced at a later time.

Tickets for the BET Experience go on sale February 20.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Rick Ross, K. Michelle Announce Valentine's Day Concert 

Image Courtesy JimmyFontaine/AtlanticIf you're still looking for something to do on Valentine's Day, K. Michelle and Rick Ross have you covered. The duo are scheduled to perform a one-night-only show on the most romantic night of the year.

The singer announced via Instagram that she will hit the stage with Rozay for their Heart of a Billionaire concert, taking place on February 14 at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton,New Jersey.

"Valentine's me and the homey are shutting down Trenton, NJ! A Grown and very sexy concert!" she wrote in the caption.

The duo will likely showcase their recent duet, "If They Knew," lifted from Ross' latest album Hood Billionaire, as well as her 2013 hit "V.S.O.P."

Tickets range from $35 to $125 for VIP seating, visit ComCastTix.com for more information.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Katy Perry's Super Bowl Costumes Cost Tens of Thousands of Dollars, Will Never Be Worn Again 

Christopher Polk/Getty ImagesThe number of people watching Katy Perry’s blowout Super Bowl halftime show wasn’t the only record set Sunday night. She also wore more outfits than any previous Super Bowl performer, pulling off a record-setting four costume changes.

“We were both ambitious,” Perry’s friend and fashion designer Jeremy Scott, who collaborated with the superstar singer for two months on each design, told ABC News

Her red hot opening dress was made of detailed patent leather worth $15,000 to $20,000.  Katy was strategically able to take it off in just 20 seconds backstage, revealing her "California Gurls" look underneath without missing a beat.

Scott says the secret to these quick costume changes is the “hiding of the looks, and trying to plan how you could have something under it and not be seen,” adding that he’s the one who convinced Perry to add a fourth, oversized hoodie costume at the last minute when rapper Missy Elliott joined the show.

But the show-stopper of the night was Katy's $15,000 silver star gown, which she wore for the big finale, and which had to be easily slipped on in just 45 seconds.

“We both agreed it should be a glamorous, kind of red carpet bonanza moment,” said Scott. “She wanted for sure to have a leg moment.”

And Scott didn’t just design Katy's outfits. He also calmed her nerves, telling the singer, “You are born for this. You’re born for this day and you are going to own this.”

And she sure did, despite any anxiety over the costume changes and high-flying stunts. Super Bowl halftime executive producer Ricky Kirshner explained that the most stressful part of the entire performance was getting  Katy safely secured on the flying star for her big finale, all in less than one minute.

“When we rehearsed the first time, the platform was a little smaller and she didn’t feel comfortable,” said Kirshner. “So you figure out different harnesses and give her a big enough platform and she’s a trouper. After two or three times, she nailed it.”

Kirshner also credits Perry for the elaborate ideas and themes behind the performance.

“The puppets, the trees, the sharks just all came from the crazy mind of Katy Perry,” he said. “Everything you saw was original to this show.”

The lighting designs on the floor during her performance of “Dark Horse” were created using 88 projectors, and her big entrance on the lion was controlled by a group of 10 puppeteers.

And as for Katy's now-iconic Super Bowl costumes, Scott says they will never be worn again. They are being archived in the singer’s personal collection.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz Enjoy Baby-Free Date Night

Image Courtesy Christian Lantry/Universal; RCA RecordsAlicia Keys and Swizz Beatz enjoyed their first night out after welcoming their second child, Genesis Ali Dean, who was born in late December. However, instead of a fancy dinner, the happy couple opted to hit up Branch Brook Park, a roller skating facility in Newark, New Jersey.

The producer shared an Instagram video of himself and Keys cruising on roller skates with '80s music playing in the background.

"1st Date Night out post #Genesis#skatetime [heart] of my life @aliciakeys#funtimes," Swizz posted along with a black-and-white photo of himself sitting next to Alicia, who also re-posted the image with a caption that reads: "Aww man!!! Skate time!!!!"

Their fun outing comes just a week after Swizz surprised Alicia with a House Party-themed birthday celebration. "Thank you soooo much my love @therealswizzz for loving me on a whole other stratosphere #mygreatestinspiration," she wrote to her husband of five years.


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1st Date Night out post #Genesis #skatetime ❤️ of my life @aliciakeys #funtimes

A photo posted by therealswizzz (@therealswizzz) on Feb 1, 2015 at 10:14pm PST

 

Tuesday
Feb032015

Kanye West Confirmed for Two Grammy Performances 

Image Courtesy Peter Kramer/NBCKanye West is scheduled to take stage not once, but twice at the 57th annual Grammy Awards.

The rapper is expected to appear alongside Paul McCartney during Rihanna's a debut television performance of "FourFiveSeconds" and he'll also deliver a "never-before-seen" solo performance, which could mean that 'Ye will perform his brand new single, "Only One," am ode to his late mother and daughter, North West.

The rapper's appearances mark the first time in six years that he's performed on the Grammy stage -- he appeared with Jay Z, T.I. and a pregnant M.I.A. for "Swagger Like Us" in 2009.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards take place this  Sunday, February 8, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and air on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

 


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Is Nicki Minaj Claiming Meek Mill Via Instagram? 

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABCNicki Minaj and Meek Mill can't seem to hide their affection for one another any longer.

Following her split from longtime boyfriend Safree Samuels last year, Nicki seems to have moved on with the Philly rapper, with whom she appears in an Instagram image posted Monday.

In the intimate shot, Meek has his arms wrapped around Nicki and kisses her on her cheek while she flirtatiously looks to the camera. Unlike her Instagram image with Meek last month, which featured him in the background only, her latest post has many fans believing the couple is officially an item.

The pair, who've collaborated on two songs from Nicki’s The Pinkprint, are scheduled to perform together February 28 at Charlotte's Oasis Tent.


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A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

Tuesday
Feb032015

Madonna to Perform at the BRIT Awards 

Stephen KleinMadonna is making the awards show rounds this year in preparation for the release of her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart. She’ll be performing at the Grammys this weekend, and later this month, it’s been confirmed that she’ll take the stage at the BRIT Awards.

The Queen of Pop announced her BRIT Awards performance with an Instagram post Tuesday, showing a BRIT statuette wrapped in black wire, much like she's wrapped in black rope on her Rebel Heart album cover. Madonna's highly-anticipated return to the BRITs, 20 years after she last performed on the awards show, will serve as a preview of her new music. Rebel Heart drops in the U.S. March 10.

“We're delighted to bring Madonna back to the BRITs,” BRITs Chairman Max Lousada said in a statement. “She's an icon, an innovator and, above all, an entertainer. Having her as part of the show will guarantee an unforgettable night of music.”

Madonna’s been nominated for 12 BRITs over the course of her career, and she won the Best International Female award twice, in 2001 and 2006.

The BRIT Awards 2015 will take place on February 25 at The O2 in London. Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran are also set to perform.

 

 


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Gwen Stefani Says She Never Expected to Marry a “Hot Guy”

Matthias Vriens-McGrathSporting a star-spangled outfit and a sexy smirk, Gwen Stefani graces the cover of Cosmopolitan’s March issue. In the accompanying article, she discusses her “hot” husband, Gavin Rossdale, and how she’s still surprised at her success.

Gwen, who’s been married to the British rocker for 12 years, said the key to a healthy relationship is making sure your individuality stays intact. “It's good to have those days when we both do our own things,” she says. “I think that's what keeps relationships going, when both people can be themselves and have their own individuality. That's especially important for women -- it's hard to find time for yourself."

She admits it’s a “miracle” she and Gavin have been together this long, and says she never imagined herself landing such a hot guy. “I don't know if I was a nerd in high school, but I definitely wasn't the super-cute cheerleader so I never saw myself getting somebody like that,” she says. “But I do think he's quite handsome. It's not the most important thing about him, but it is nice...and he makes really cute babies!"

Not only does Gwen have a long-lasting marriage and three beautiful sons, she also has a musical career that has spanned decades. She just finished a stint as a coach on The Voice and is currently working on the release of her third solo album, a follow-up to 2006’s The Sweet Escape. "My parents taught us, '[music] is your hobby. People don't make it. It just doesn't happen,’” she says. “It still shocks me that people care about me. I trip out about it all the time. It's mind-blowing!”

Despite all her success -- both with No Doubt and as a solo artist -- Gwen says she still doesn’t feel like she’s made it. “It's an amazing feeling to hit number one, but it's not that different a feeling from not being number one,” she explains. “It's really about the journey -- that's where the joy comes. It's not about the end result, because there isn't really ever an end."

The March issue of Cosmopolitan hits stands February 10.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Mastodon to Reissue Last Four Albums on Vinyl

Credit: Travis Shinn Mastodon will be reissuing their Reprise Records catalog on vinyl throughout 2015. The band's titles with the Warner Music Group-owned label include 2006's Blood Mountain, 2009's Crack the Skye, 2011's The Hunter, and their most recent release, 2014's Once More 'Round the Sun.

Blood Mountain, which earned Mastodon their first Grammy nomination with its Josh Homme-featuring single "Colony of Birchman," will be released on a mix of solid yellow and transparent green vinyl March 3. Crack the Skye will be reissued on baby blue vinyl June 2.

The Hunter, Mastodon's first foray into the Billboard 200 top ten, will be released on a mix of solid white and solid red vinyl August 4. Once More 'Round the Sun, Mastodon's highest-charting release and home to the Grammy-nominated single "High Road," will be reissued October 5 on a mix of transparent green and solid white vinyl.

Finally, December 8, Mastodon will release a limited-edition box set -- only 500 will be made -- containing all four of the band's Reprise Records titles on vinyl.

In other Mastodon news, the band will release a new song, "Atlanta," as a 12-inch picture disc on Record Store Day, April 18. "Atlanta" features guest vocals from Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes. The record's b-side will be an instrumental version of "Atlanta."

In the midst of all this reissuing, Mastodon will be touring with Clutch on "The Missing Link" tour, which begins April 16 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The tour will conclude May 24 in Columbus, Ohio.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Modest Mouse Push Back Album Release Date, Release New Song 

Image Courtesy of Epic RecordsModest Mouse fans have been waiting eight years for a new album, so what's another 14 days? Strangers to Ourselves, Modest Mouse's first album since 2007's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, will now be released March 17 -- two weeks after its original announced release date, March 3. To celebrate the new release, Modest Mouse will perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon March 17.

To further satiate the desires of long-suffering Modest Mouse fans, the band has released a third song from Strangers to Ourselves, entitled "The Best Room." The new track follows lead single "Lampshades on Fire" and "Coyotes," the latter of which was accompanied by an adorable video. You can stream "The Best Room" on YouTube.

Modest Mouse has also revealed the Strangers to Ourselves track list and collaborators. The 15-song record, which contains colorfully-titled songs like "God Is an Indian and You're an A**hole," will feature contributions from The Shins frontman James Mercer and Cold War Kids guitarist Dann Gallucci.

Here's the track list for Strangers to Ourselves:

"Strangers to Ourselves"
"Lampshades on Fire"
"S**t in Your Cut"
"Pistol (A. Cunanan, Miami, FL. 1996)"
"Ansel"
"The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box"
"Coyotes"
"Pups to Dust"
"Sugar Boats"
"Wicked Campaign"
"Be Brave"
"God Is an Indian and You're an A**hole"
"The Tortoise and the Tourist"
"The Best Room"
"Of Course We Know"


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Kip Moore Admits He's Wrong in New Single, "I'm to Blame"

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleIt's not always easy for a man to admit he's wrong in a relationship, but that's exactly what Kip Moore is doing on his brand-new single, "I'm to Blame." He says that level of honesty is essential for keeping a relationship moving forward. The single also gives a taste of what fans will hear on Kip's upcoming studio album.

Says Kip, "I thought that sort of truth-telling was a good way to set the tone for the new album.  I'm excited about the new path we're taking for this next record."

Kip has been writing for the new project for the past two years, so he had to make some tough decisions about which ones made the album, and which ones got cut.

He explains, "It has turned out to be a totally different record than the one I set out recording, and I think a better one."

Kip's new single is now available at all digital outlets.


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Tuesday
Feb032015

Rod Stewart Adds Summer Dates to Las Vegas Residency; Plays 100th Show of the Engagement This Friday

Credit: Penny LancasterThis Friday, February 6, Rod Stewart will give the 100th performance of his ongoing Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and the lauded singer has just announced that he'll be back at the venue this summer for a new series of concerts.  The just-added run of Rod Stewart: The Hits shows features eight dates -- July 28 and 31, and August 1, 5, 8, 9, 12 and 15.

Tickets for the summer performances will go on sale on Friday at 10 a.m. local time.  They can be purchased at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace box office, by calling 866-320-9763 and online at TheColosseum.com and AXS.com.

Stewart's current Vegas engagement also includes concerts on Tuesday night, February 3, as well as on February 7, 10, 14 and 15.  Rod also has lined up a spring tour Down Under that's mapped out from a March 21 concert in Perth, Australia, through an April 13-14 stand in Auckland, New Zealand.

To check out Rod's full list of show, tour schedule, visit RodStewart.com.


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