New Orleans now seems firmly established as a destination for arena tours, not just a second-tier stop between Houston and Atlanta. As such, local fans have many more options for how to blow their concert budget.
That persistent 2019 New Orleans Jazz Fest rumor about the band with the multiword name that starts with “R”? It is absolutely true.
Based on the initial outlook, 2019 is shaping up to be another big year. The Smoothie King Center, the region’s busiest concert venue, has already announced 13 shows, with more to come.
Here’s a preview of the major concerts and festivals to look forward to in 2019.
Jan. 15, Smoothie King Center
JT’s latest album, “The Man of the Woods,” was something of a departure. Hopefully his upcoming show is as skillfully executed, and fun, as past appearances.
S.O.S. Band, Lakeside, Con Funk Shun
Jan. 26, UNO Lakefront Arena
A night of straight-up old-school funk on the lakefront.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Jan. 28-29, Saenger Theatre
Blues-based singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and her husband, former Allman Brothers Band slide guitar wizard Derek Trucks, spend two nights at the Saenger, where they first met years ago.
On a foggy night in December, Galactic bassist Rob Mercurio paused on the corner of Tchoupitoulas Street and Napoleon Avenue, pondering the en…
Panic! At the Disco
Feb. 9, Smoothie King Center
At this point, Panic! At the Disco qualifies as the modern rock equivalent of a classic rock band.
Feb. 15, Smoothie King Center
The country band, which scored dozens of hits in the 1970s and ’80s, is back in the saddle for a 50th anniversary tour.
Feb. 15-16, The Fillmore New Orleans
The new 2,200-capacity venue on the second level of Harrah’s Casino downtown throws itself a grand opening party featuring two sold-out nights of the Foo Fighters, with help from Trombone Shorty on Feb. 15 and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Feb. 16.
Feb. 16, Smoothie King Center
Like the Eagles, Journey, Queen and Kiss, Fleetwood Mac has pressed on despite the absence of key members. Longtime Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham’s bandmates fired him and replaced him with Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Crowded House singer/guitarist Neil Finn.
Feb. 19-20, The Fillmore New Orleans
The Fillmore’s huge opening week continues with two nights of the ever-stylish Duran Duran.
That Art Neville is cosmically connected to the great New Orleans piano tradition is abundantly clear.
Feb. 22, Smoothie King Center
The first KISS farewell tour in the mid-1990s didn’t really take — though, truth be told, that was the farewell for the (temporarily) reunited original four members — so Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and latter-day fill-ins Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are saying goodbye for real this time. Really. Probably.
Zac Brown Band
March 9, Smoothie King Center
When he’s not peddling his line of custom knives, the bearded, intense Zac Brown revs up contemporary country jams that owe a debt to Jimmy Buffett.
March 15-16, The Fillmore New Orleans
The contemporary bluegrass/rock band rolls into the Fillmore for two sold-out shows.
March 17, Smoothie King Center
Since becoming an arena headliner more than a decade ago, ever-colorful pop star Pink has somehow managed to avoid New Orleans. She’ll finally rectify that oversight on the third leg of her Beautiful Trauma World Tour.
Buku Music + Art Project
March 22-23, Mardi Gras World
The festival's lineup is, as usual, heavy on underground hip-hop and electronic dance music DJs. Topping the bill are Lana Del Rey, A$AP Rocky, Dog Blood (Skrillex and Boys Noize), Excision, Kevin Gates, GRiZ, RL Grime and New Orleans’ own $UICIDEBOY$.
French Quarter Festival
April 11-14, French Quarter
The massive free festival takes over much of the Quarter and riverfront with hundreds of mostly local musicians.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 25-May 5, Fair Grounds
The roster for the 50th anniversary Jazz Fest, which expanded to eight days at the Fair Grounds, will be revealed in January. But if only some of the rumors are true, expect a blockbuster schedule, especially on the second Thursday, May 2.
New Kids on the Block
May 11, Smoothie King Center
All grown up now, the revived boy band’s aptly named Mixtape Tour also features fellow ’80s hitmakers Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Naughty By Nature.
May 23, Smoothie King Center
The ageless Sir Paul and his able band will showcase his Beatles back catalog and solo albums in a mass singalong.
May 25, Smoothie King Center
The pop diva will bring “The Sweetener World Tour” to New Orleans and will feature songs from her fourth album, of which the tour is named after, and her to-be-released fifth album, “Thank U, Next.”
Weird Al Yankovic
June 13, Saenger Theatre
Everybody’s favorite pop music prankster lovingly puts his twist on popular songs from across the musical spectrum.
Twenty One Pilots
June 19, Smoothie King Center
In March 2017, the innovative duo electrified a sold-out Smoothie King Center with a hybrid of live and prerecorded music boosted by a smart, contemporary visual presentation, unflagging enthusiasm, and obvious respect for the audience. They return as part of the Bandito Tour.
July 4-7, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Coming off one of the biggest years in its history, the Essence Festival returns to the Superdome for three nights of concerts and to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for several days of seminars and fan activities.
Queen + Adam Lambert
Aug. 20, Smoothie King Center
With the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” once again reminding everyone how awesome Queen was, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor will once again hit the road with “American Idol” alumnus Adam Lambert filling in for the late, irreplaceable Freddie Mercury.
Aug. 30, Smoothie King Center
Three months after New Kids on the Block, fellow boy band survivors the Backstreet Boys bring their DNA World Tour to town.
Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
Oct. 25-27, City Park Festival Grounds
With Halloween falling on a Thursday in 2019, Voodoo Fest producers opted to schedule the 21st edition of the festival on the previous weekend. You’ll likely still see lots of costumes along with Voodoo’s mix of familiar and cutting-edge rock, rap and electronic dance music.