The 10 Biggest Classic Rock Moments and News In 2023
via Roger Waters/YouTube
The classic rock world has seen a wide range of events as we say goodbye to 2023, from new music releases and unforeseen scandals to the last performances of renowned bands. Let’s delve into the most significant moments of the year in loose chronological order.
1. 2023 Deaths
The year marked the passing of several revered artists, including David Crosby, Jeff Beck, Gary Rossington, Robbie Robertson, Gordon Lightfoot, Sinead O’Connor, Denny Laine, Jimmy Buffett, Shane MacGowan, Tom Verlaine, Marshall Tucker, and more. Individual tributes to these influential figures can be found here.
2. Roger Waters and the Antisemitism Controversy
In February, Roger Waters faced accusations of antisemitism, leading to the cancellation and subsequent rescheduling of one of his concerts in Frankfurt, Germany. Despite the controversy, Waters continued his global tour and released a new album, The Dark Side of the Moon Redux.
3. Journey’s 50th Anniversary Tour Drama
The drama unfolded for Journey as bandmates Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain engaged in a legal battle. Despite public disputes, the band successfully embarked on a 50th-anniversary tour, emphasizing unity during the opening night.
4. U2 Unveils The Sphere in Las Vegas
U2 inaugurated the state-of-the-art venue, The Sphere, in Las Vegas, marking a unique addition to the music landscape. Their residency, U2: UV Achtung Baby Live, will run until early March 2024.
5. Aerosmith Postpones Farewell Tour
Aerosmith’s Peace Out farewell tour was briefly underway, but health issues forced them to halt after just three shows. The remaining dates are postponed to 2024, featuring the Black Crowes as the opening act.
6. Iconic Farewells: Elton John, Kiss, and the Eagles
Elton John and Kiss bid farewell to their touring careers with final shows in Stockholm and New York City, respectively. The Eagles commenced their Long Goodbye farewell tour, scheduled to extend into March 2024.
7. The Rolling Stones Drop Hackney Diamonds
The Rolling Stones defied expectations by releasing Hackney Diamonds, their first album of original material in nearly two decades. The absence of Charlie Watts did not hinder the album’s success, with collaborations featuring Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and Lady Gaga.
8. AC/DC Returns to the Stage
AC/DC returned to live performances at the Power Trip festival, showcasing their musical prowess after a seven-year hiatus. The festival also featured other metal giants like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Tool, and Judas Priest.
9. The Beatles’ Last Song, “Now and Then”
In a surprising turn of events, a new Beatles song, “Now and Then,” emerged in early November. Stemming from an old demo tape of John Lennon’s, the track was completed by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, becoming a Top 10 hit in both the U.S. and U.K.
10. 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony brought together music legends, with Sheryl Crow taking the stage alongside Peter Frampton, Stevie Nicks, Olivia Rodrigo, and Willie Nelson. A noteworthy surprise occurred when Jimmy Page made a rare appearance, performing Link Wray’s “Rumble.”