Rick Wakeman Adds to 2019 North American Tour

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Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman has announced his new dates for his first North American solo tour in 13 years. Eight October shows have been added and the tour announcement promises dates through November. (U.K. dates are scheduled for December.)

From the original May 9 announcement: “Wakeman’s ‘The Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour’ will combine spellbinding piano music with sidesplitting jokes and revealing insights into his 50-plus-year career. Expect an evening of superb musicianship, featuring music from YES, Wakeman’s own solo epics and early David Bowie hits, plus arrangements of Beatles’ tunes, and more, interspersed with his sometimes bawdy typically British humor.”

The 25-city tour begins September 21 and will continue through November. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

Wakeman, who turned 70 on May 18, is the second of the trio of Yes alums – which also included Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin, who performed together in recent years – who is now touring as a solo act. Anderson began a 2019 tour in March to support a new solo album, 1000 Hands.

Wakeman’s career started as a much-in-demand session player, who performed on recordings by Bowie, Elton John, Lou Reed, and Al Stewart among many others. His big break came in 1971 when he joined Yes, who went on to become the most successful prog rock band in the world, but Wakeman has also always gone his own way outside the framework of that group.

In the ’70s, he achieved chart-topping success with the solo albums Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

His irreverent acceptance speech when Yes was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 had the audience in stitches.

Related: Our interview with Wakeman

That same year, he made British chart history when his Piano Portraits record became the first solo piano instrumental album to enter the U.K.’s Top 10 on release – a feat he then repeated with last year’s Piano Odyssey. Both records feature classic rock songs that have a special connection with Wakeman’s personal musical journey with such recordings as “Stairway to Heaven,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Space Oddity.”

Rick Wakeman – The Grumpy Old Rock Star 2019 Tour

Sep 21 – Annapolis, MD – Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
Sep 22 – Derry, NH – Tupelo Music Hall
Sep 23 – Boston, MA – The Wilbur
Sep 24 – Huntington, NY -The Paramount
Sep 25 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere
Sep 27 – Quebec City, PQ – Palais Montcalm
Sep 28 – Montreal, PQ – Olympia Theatre
Sep 29 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
Oct 02 – Harrisburg, PA – Whitaker Center
Oct 03 – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theatre
Oct 04 – St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre
Oct 08 – Allentown, PA – Miller Symphony Hall
Oct 10 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen PAC
Oct 11 – Collingswood, NJ – Scottish Rite Auditorium
Oct 13 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
Oct 16 – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
Oct 17 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
Oct 19 – San Francisco, CA – Castro Theatre
Oct 20 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – Coach House
Oct 22 – Los Angeles, CA – Theatre at Ace Hotel
Oct 25 – Atlanta, GA – City Winery
Oct 26 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theatre
Oct 27 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live

U.K. Dates

Jul 13-14 – London – Royal Festival Hall
Dec 06 – London – Cadogan Hall
Dec 07 – Watford – Watford Colosseum
Dec 09 – Birmingham – Town Hall Birmingham
Dec 10 – Harrogate – The Royal Hall
Dec 13 – Buxton – Opera House Buxton
Dec 15 – Poole – Lighthouse
Dec 18 – Liverpool – Grand Central
Dec 19 – Manchester – RNCM Concert Hall

More to come…

Related: Where does Wakeman rank in our list of rock’s 13 best organists?

Wakeman also has performances in London on July 13 and 14. Tickets for those shows are available here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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