Co-authored by Nancy Davis Kho of www.midlifemixtape.com.
Video may have killed the radio star, but never fear, music fans! Bands that were big in the '80s are coming to a stadium near you this summer, for "reunion," "farewell," and "redux" tours -- because the radio star needs to pay for college for his kids, and rebuild the retirement account that was wasted on hookers and blow back in the peak earning years. Here's a helpful reminder of who's on tour this summer, why you may want to go, what to wear if you do, and the substance that'll help you drown your sorrows when you remember that you first listened to most of this music on a cassette tape.
Fleetwood Mac: Why is this the most expensive concert of the entire summer? Baby, I don't wanna know-oh. But we're guessing there's some kind of hazard pay involved to lure five musicians with a history of infighting back to the same stage. Will there be any songs that WON'T lead to sing-alongs and interpretive Stevie-ish dancing by audience members? Oh, God, no. This audience will even lose their s*** over "Tusk." Therefore, dress yourself in your gypsy-thrift-shop finest for maximum twirling. Or, if you're a man, pull your black leather blazer out of the attic and join Lindsey Buckingham in looking like a 65-year-old Narc.
Recreational substance: Grass.
Rod Stewart: Can't afford to take the kids to see Mount Rushmore this summer? Take them to see 69-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stewart instead. The Scottish grandfather has a visage as weathered and interesting as the four presidents, plus his hips still move well enough to bring home songs like "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy." (Tip: If your answer is "yes," throw some Viagra on stage!) As far as fashion goes, sometimes Rod's fans wear kilts to his concerts, but you don't have to do that. Unless the breeze helps your prostate feel better.
Recreational substance: Scotch. Or a '70s-inspired Mai Tai. Just not together because that would be stupid.
Echo and the Bunnymen: Remember these classic alternative rockers with an edgy synth sound? Lead singer Ian McCulloch was once a skinny, pale hottie, but now he's taken to wearing dark, wraparound shades and bulky, black clothes on stage so he can better preserve the illusion of youth. Why not follow his lead and disguise your middle-age spread at the concert with a Hefty Lawn and Garden Bag? Slimming and waterproof, which is helpful because you're probably not as easygoing about being puked on as you were in the '80s.
Recreational substance: A clove cigarette purchased from the kid your teenage son tutors.
Morrissey: The former lead singer of The Smiths is on tour, yes, but only to gather up enough anecdotes of misery so he can glumly write his next record. It's not like he wants to be there with you, so don't flatter yourself, babe. (Related: his proclivity for cancelling concerts means that you may want to have a Plan B ready for the same night. Maybe you can still make it to an early bird dinner?) As for what to wear, simply match your clothes to Morrissey's mood: dark and full of holes. And while you may not have as much hair to tease and spray into a matching black pompadour as you once did, you still have eyes, so grab a pencil and go full-on raccoon, mate. Just don't get any on your bifocals.
Recreational substance: Absinthe. Or cold pressed vegan juices, whose virtuous properties you should crow about to everyone in your immediate vicinity.
Boyz II Men: This Philly hip-hop doo-wop quartet made the transition into Men in the '90s, so maybe this tour should actually be titled "Boyz II Men II Grandpaz." But these guys were doing a cappella way before "Pitch Perfect" was even a thing. We know! Can you a-ca-believe it!? We're not sure if the Boyz are still dressing like a prep school gang from the '50s, but you certainly can if you simply throw on an argyle vest, beanie, and pastel walking shorts for the concert. (Bow tie optional.)
Recreational substance: A 40 to pour out during "End of the Road." Duh.
Cher: There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes and Cher breaking her promise to retire. Seriously, how many farewell tours does a person have to have for it to finally work? But listen -- if Cher and her wig collection can hit the road again, you can certainly buy a ticket to see this legend sing her hits and change her costume 1,240 times in a 90-minute show. And be sure you choose your own outfit carefully because the aisle at a Cher concert isn't just an aisle. It's a runway.
Recreational substance: Any cocktail normally served at brunch.
Air Supply: Believe it. The Australian soft-rock super duo of the '80s is really coming back for another round. And while we're not going to sink low enough to say that their band name now describes what most of their fans are now in dire need of, we will say that their first hit album was titled "Life Support." (BAM.) There's absolutely no way to hear hits like "Lost in Love" or "All Out Of Love" without flashing back to slow dancing with a handsy brace-face at a junior high school dance, so just give in to the feeling and put on your best Gunne Saxx dress for the show. (But remember, it's probably flammable at this point, so no lighters!)
Recreational substance: Hawaiian Punch
Bret Michaels: The rocker-turned-reality-star-turned-rocker, former frontman of Poison, is on the road again, with his insouciant bandana and extensions keeping him company. (And seriously, dude, we know what you're hiding under the hats and bandanas, so just own it already. Male pattern baldness is, like, the least embarrassing thing about you.) Fans of Brett should note that this time around he won't be traveling on the Rock of Love bus. Because that bus is still being tested by the CDC for new strains of STDs.
Recreational substance: Penicillin
KISS: The makeup-wearing gods of heavy metal went with a more natural look in the '90s (Well, who among us didn't? Thanks for nothing, Grunge) but considering the members are old enough to collect Social Security now, don't be surprised if they start slathering on the greasepaint again. Call it the "Re-Masking Era." The newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers used to sing to "Beth" that they'd be playing all night, but we seriously doubt the show will last past 11 p.m. because all of those jumps in the '80s have taken a toll on the knees. Plus, the Kiss Army now likes to get back to the barracks before traffic gets too crazy.
Recreational substance: Fake blood mixed with a shot of Metamucil.