Planning ahead for ’14 concerts

By Malcolm X Abram
Beacon journal pop music writer

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Demi Lovato is one of the judges of The X-Factor on Fox. (Nino Munoz/Fox/MCT)

As 2013 winds down, artists, managers, promoters and venues are looking ahead and beginning to fill in their schedules for the first half of 2014.

For the Cleveland market, that means some big shows featuring big artists are coming our way and in many cases tickets are already or soon will be on sale for shows that aren’t happening until next spring.

For some, the long lead time may seem silly but ask anyone trying to get a Justin Timberlake ticket for this Thursday’s show if they wish they had whipped out the credit card way back in May, when tickets initially went on sale.

With that in mind, here are a few nationally touring artists, mostly pop stars, whose upcoming area shows are sure to be very hot tickets.

• Rap star/entrepreneur/Mr. Beyonce Jay-Z will be one of the first of the big-name stars to come to Cleveland in the new year, bringing his already successful Magna Carta Tour to Quicken Loans Arena on Jan. 18. Tickets to see Blue Ivy’s daddy are $32.50, $59.50, $99.50 and $125.

• Singer/actress/X-Factor judge Demi Lovato’s tour doesn’t come to Quicken Loans Arena until March 27, but tickets went on sale in October. Lovato’s latest album, Demi, peaked at the top spot on iTunes in 50 countries and hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Ticket for the Neon Lights Tour are $29.50, $45 and $59.50.

• Arcade Fire has grown from a critically hailed and musically ambitious Canadian indie folk-pop group into a famous, arena-folk/pop group, and its new album, Reflektor, with its Electronic Dance Music leanings has been enchanting some listeners and confounding others.

Nevertheless, the group is embarking on an arena tour that stops at Quicken Loans on March 16. Tickets are $30.50, $46.50 and $60.50.

• If you somehow missed Cher’s early 2000s The Farewell Tour, which after a few years became “The Never Can Say Goodbye Tour,” will be ecstatic to know that the 67-year-old singer/actress will be hitting the road in 2014. Cher's 26th solo album, Closer to the Truth, was released in late summer, and the tour will stop at Quicken Loans Arena on May 2. Tickets are $25.50, $45.50, $85.50 and $105.50.

Coincidentally, a few weeks later on May 18, Lady Gaga, an artist who has followed in Cher’s jewel-encrusted, stiletto-heeled footsteps will bring her latest audio/visual cornucopia artRave: The ARTPOP Ball Tour to town. Gaga’s riding high with her No. 1 album ARTPOP and its Top 5 single Applause, plus a well-received appearance on Saturday Night Live and even a holiday special, Lady Gaga and the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular.

Gaga’s first three tours sold more than 4 million tickets, so if you’re one of her “little monsters” don't dawdle. Tickets are $35, $49.50, $85 and $200.

• Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls already has two shows on its summer pop schedule. Journey, along with the Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power, will perform on July 8. Tickets are $36, $58, $91 and $151. The long-running Van’s Warped Tour will once again stop in the Falls on July 17 and though no bands have as yet been announced, you can already buy tickets for $32.50.

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at or 330-996-3758. Read his blog, Sound Check Online, at, or follow him on Twitter @malcolmxabram.

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