Rick Wakeman Sets 2021 U.S. and U.K. Tours

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Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman has announced the follow-up to his sell-out Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour with… The Even Grumpier Old Rock Star 2021 Tour. The news arrived ten days after his career in music was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II, who named him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in her recent annual Birthday Honours.

The 24-city U.S. tour will kick-off on October 14 and continue through November. Tickets go on-sale to the general public starting June 25 at 10 a.m. local time here. When the U.S. tour concludes, Wakeman then returns to the U.K. for his The Not Quite as Grumpy as Last Xmas Tour.

From the June 21 announcement: Having made his name creating prog rock extravaganzas, in his solo shows Wakeman returns to his roots with a program packed with virtuosic piano performances and hilarious anecdotes, inspired by his 50-plus-year career. Repertoire will range from his solo works and his stints with YES through to his early days as a session musician playing keyboards on such classics as David Bowie’s Life On Mars, plus surprises like his unique interpretations of Beatles’ hits and many more memorable tunes, adapted for the grand piano. The music is punctuated by riotous reflections on his life and the people he’s met along the way.

Wakeman’s career started as a much-in-demand session player, who performed on recordings by Bowie, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Lou Reed, Al Stewart and hundreds more artists. 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 Seventies, he achieved chart-topping success with solo albums such as Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which cumulatively sold millions of copies in North America alone.

His wickedly irreverent acceptance speech when YES was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 has become legend.

Related: Our coverage of that induction, including Wakeman’s speech

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 2018’s Piano Odyssey.

Watch Wakeman perform in 2019

The Even Grumpier Old Rock Star 2021 Tour (Tickets are available here)

Oct 14 – Derry, NH -Tupelo Music Hall
Oct 15 – Northampton, MA – Academy of Music
Oct 16 – New London, CT – Garde Arts Center
Oct 19 – Full River, MA – Narrows Center for the Arts
Oct 22 – Huntingdon, NY – The Paramount
Oct 23 – New York, NY – Concert Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture
Oct 24 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere
Oct 26 – Buffalo, NY – Asbury Hall
Oct 27 – Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theatre
Oct 28 – Red Bank, NJ – The Vogel @ Count Basie Center for the Arts
Oct 29 – Collingswood, NJ – Scottish Rite Auditorium,
Oct 30 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
Nov 01 – Kent, OH – The Kent Stage
Nov 03 – St Louis, MO – The Sheldon
Nov 04 – Chicago, IL – Copernicus Center Theater
Nov 05 – Minneapolis, MN – Pantages Theatre
Nov 09 – Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theatre
Nov 11 – San Francisco, CA – Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
Nov 12 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Nov 13 – El Cajon, CA – Magnolia
Nov 15 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
Nov 17 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
Nov 18 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Broward Center for the Perf. Arts
Nov 19 – Clearwater, FL – Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre

Related: Links to 100s of current classic rock tours

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