hard rock Concerts

Find upcoming concerts of popular hard rock touring artists.

Hard rock is a genre of music known for its heavy sound, aggressive guitar riffs, and vocals. It emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a subgenre of rock music, incorporating elements from blues rock and psychedelic rock. Hard rock is characterized by its energetic and intense musicality. In the 1970s, the hard rock genre became a significant form of popular music, with bands like The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple joined by newcomers such as Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, KISS, Queen, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, and Van Halen. As the 1980s unfolded, some hard rock bands started to shift away from their original hard rock style and moved more towards pop rock. Established bands experienced a resurgence in the mid-1980s, and hard rock reached its commercial peak during that decade. Glam metal bands like Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard, along with the rawer sounds of Guns N' Roses, achieved great success in the later part of the 1980s.


Musically, hard rock is defined by its loud and distorted guitars, rhythms, and a strong emphasis on instrumental prowess. The genre often features intricate guitar solos, pounding drums, and bass lines. The genre draws inspiration from various musical styles, including blues, classical music, and even elements of folk and jazz. This diverse range of influences adds depth and complexity to the sound of hard rock.


Lyrically, hard rock explores a variety of themes, often reflecting a rebellious and defiant attitude. The lyrics can touch upon topics such as personal struggles, social issues, love, freedom, and self-expression. Hard rock songs often convey messages of empowerment, resilience, and standing up against adversity. Following the success of Nirvana's Nevermind in 1991, which blended elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal to create a "gritty" sound characterized by intense guitar distortion, fuzz, and feedback, along with darker lyrical themes distinct from their "hair band" predecessors.


Some bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, and Soundgarden, drew stronger influence from 1970s and 1980s rock and metal. Stone Temple Pilots also managed to transform alternative rock into a stadium rock experience. However, all grunge bands avoided the macho, anthemic, and fashion-focused aesthetics commonly associated with glam metal. In the UK, Oasis stood out among the Britpop bands of the mid-1990s by incorporating a hard rock sound. The Welsh band Manic Street Preachers, emerging in 1991 with a sound described by Stephen Thomas Erlewine as "crunching hard-rock," gained significant popularity worldwide by 1996, although they faced commercial struggles in the U.S.

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