The incredibly popular 50th Anniversary British Invasion Tour that circulated along the East and West Coasts last fall is returning for another go-round this spring. Featuring hitmakers from across the pond including Billy J. Kramer, Chad & Jeremy, Denny Laine, Mike Pender of the Searchers, and Terry Sylvester of the Hollies/Swinging Blue Jeans, this leg will also add Peter Asher as emcee and sixth headliner. So far, dates span the East Coast and the Midwest, hitting areas and venues bypassed last fall.
Those who caught the tour can attest that it’s truly one for the ages, with a lineup unlike any in history. To say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event is a severe understatement; it’s simply unmissable, plain and simple. Not only is this a veritable who’s who of one of the most important movements in music history, but each and every artist is still in top form, making the whole show a non-stop, high-energy extravaganza. As if I haven’t hammered the point home enough, if you skip this one, you’ll be sorry.
The full list of dates is below, but before you scamper off to buy your tickets, take a closer look at the group of artists gracing the stage this winter.
1) Peter Asher
In his role as half of ’60s duo Peter and Gordon, Peter Asher scored mega-hits with songs like “World Without Love” (penned by Lennon/McCartney), “I Go to Pieces,” and “Lady Godiva.” In the ensuing five decades, he’s become a music industry icon as a Grammy-winning producer, artist, and manager. Last fall, Asher performed a select few dates of the tour; this time, he’ll be a mainstay.
2) Chad & Jeremy
Possibly the most folk-ish of the British Invasion artists, Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde topped the American charts with songs like “Yesterday’s Gone” and “A Summer Song,” yet were relatively unknown in England. On this leg of the tour, expect both a range of popular and under-the-radar tracks, plus a bit of storytelling thrown in, just for good measure.
3) Billy J. Kramer
Not only was Billy J. Kramer one of the most famous faces — and voices — of the original wave of British Invasion artists, he was also managed by Brian Epstein and scored hits with songs specially written for him by Lennon/McCartney. Among them were the chart-topping “Bad to Me,” “I’ll Keep You Satisfied,” “From a Window,” as well as stellar covers of “I Call Your Name” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” Last fall, he treated audiences to a few tunes from his great new record I Won the Fight as well.
4) Mike Pender
The original voice of the Searchers, another fab Liverpool band that heated up ’60s airwaves, Mike Pender featured on smashes like “Love Potion No. 9,” “When You Walk in the Room,” and “Needles and Pins”-uh. Last year, Pender was busier than ever with not only the tour, but also his first-ever appearance at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans.
5) Denny Laine
Though an important part of the Moody Blues’ original lineup, Denny Laine is also best-known as a member of Paul McCartney’s Wings in the ’70s. Singing lead on tunes like “Go Now,” his distinctive vocals became one of his career trademarks, and have remained strong throughout the years. His electrifying guitar playing and great R&B style infuse the entire lineup with Northern Soul and a dash of blues.
6) Terry Sylvester
A last-minute addition to last fall’s lineup (after Gerry Marsden dropped out due to health issues), Terry Sylvester may be best remembered as a latecomer to the Hollies’ lineup after Graham Nash’s departure, but the Liverpool native was also active in bands like the Escorts and Swinging Blue Jeans during the British Invasion. Look forward to him touching on the many facets of his career within his set.
Sun., Feb. 22 ANNAPOLIS, MD Rams Head Onstage
Wed., Feb 25 RAHWAY, NJ Union County Performing Arts Center
Thurs., Feb. 26 BOSTON, MA Wilbur Theatre
Fri., Feb. 27 LANCASTER, PA American Music
Sat., Feb. 28 TARRYTOWN, NY The Tarrytown Music
Sun., March 1 ALEXANDRIA, VA Birchmere
Wed., March 4 KENT, OH The Kent Stage
Fri., March 6 MILWAUKEE, WI Pabst Theater
Sat., March 7 CHICAGO, IL City Winery
Sun, March 8 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Pantages Theater