Cher, Elton, Carrie and more: 30 must-see shows of 2019

Credit: Ethan Miller

Credit: Ethan Miller

Once the holiday hangover is past, you’ll need to pick yourself up off the couch, throw away that unused gym membership, and start planning for all the fun the new year will bring. With that in mind, here are the biggest and baddest concerts and theatrical shows coming your way in 2019.

>> 3 of our favorite award-winning moments from local celebrities in 2018


“Finding Neverland”

What inspired the young playwright J.M. Barrie to pen the children’s classic, “Peter Pan?” Find out in this musical based on both the 1998 Allan Knee play and the 2004 film adaptation starring Johnny Depp. (Jan. 15-20, Schuster Center, $26-$89)

Metallica: Worldwired Tour

This heavy metal band went from being unofficially banned from radio to one of the biggest bands in the world. Jim Breuer, a comedian who specializes in heavy metal impressions, will warm up the crowd beforehand, and each ticketholder will get a physical or digital copy of their 2016 album, “Hardwired … To Self Destruct.” (Jan. 30, U.S. Bank Arena, $65-$135).

>> Did one of your favorites close? Restaurants that shut their doors in 2018



This musical comedy that explores how murder was a form of entertainment in Prohibition-era Chicago won six Tony Awards and a Grammy. The 2002 film adaptation won the Oscar for Best Picture. (Feb. 1-2, Schuster Center, $26 and up)

James Taylor and his All-Star Band, and Bonnie Raitt and Her Band

James Taylor has 40 albums that either went gold, platinum, or multi-platinum. Bonnie Raitt is 10-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter. (Feb. 5, U.S. Bank Arena, $70-$104).

Cher: Here We Go Again Tour

The pop superstar will be singing all her hits, including her renditions of ABBA songs inspired by her appearance in “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again.” (Feb. 10, Nationwide Arena, $52.95 and up)

“The King and I”

This Rodgers & Hammerstein classic about the unusual relationship between a British schoolteacher and the king of Siam has been revived so many times and adapted in so many different ways it’s hard to keep track. This production is based on the 2015 Lincoln Center revival. (Feb. 12-17, Schuster Ceter, $26-$89)

Eric Church: Double Down Tour

This country music singer/songwriter is known for his marathon sets. Indeed, he will be performing six albums of material (his entire catalog to date) over two nights. (Feb. 22-23, U.S. Bank Arena, $49-$149)

Shinedown Attention Attention World Tour

The hard rock band responsible for several radio hits, most recently “State of My Head,” “Cut the Cord,” and “Get Up,” is touring in support of their sixth album, “Attention Attention.” Opening are nu-metal stars, Papa Roach, and English rockers, Asking Alexandria. (Feb. 26, Erwin J. Nutter Center, $43-$78.50)

>> Stivers grad makes Broadway debut in ‘Play That Goes Wrong’

Credit: Ian Gavan

Credit: Ian Gavan

Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

The legendary pianist/songwriter is hanging it up. Aptly named for his most iconic album, this final tour will take audiences on a musical and highly visual journey across John’s 50-year career. (Feb. 27, U.S. Bank Arena, $49.50-$224.50)


Mumford & Sons

This popular rock band is touring in support of their fourth album, “Delta.” Their stage show will consist of a new, in-the-round style. Maggie Rogers will open. (March 11, Nationwide Arena, $44.50 and up)

TobyMac Hits Deep Tour

TobyMac is a Christian hip-hop artist who has sold 10 million albums and won seven Grammy Awards. He is headlining a massive bill that includes Jeremy Camp, Jordan Feliz, Ryan Stevenson, We Are Messengers, and Aaron Cole. (March 22, Erwin J. Nutter Center, $21-$92.75)

Justin Timberlake: Man of the Woods Tour

Touring in support of his latest album, “Man of the Woods,” the show will consist of an extended, winding walkway, simulating a walk through the woods. You’re sure to hear all the chart-topping Timberlake hits as well. (March 31, Nationwide Arena, $52.50 and up)


“Les Miserables”

The classic Broadway musical based on the classic Victor Hugo novel about love, poverty, and war in 19th-century France. Some things just never get old. (April 2-7, Schuster Center, $26-$109)

Tyler Perry’s Madea Farewell Play Tour

Tyler Perry will be saying goodbye to the beloved Medea character in 2019, partially, Perry half-joked, because he himself is getting uncomfortably close to Medea’s age. This final play is the 21st in the Medea canon, the national tour coinciding with the final Medea movie, “A Madea Family Funeral,” to be released in March. (April 9, Ervin J. Nutter Center, $48-$113)


Like most 1980s hair metal bands, these hitmakers fell out of favor for a while. However, they reformed in 2002 and have released four albums since. While they’ll presumably perform a great deal off their latest, “Flesh & Blood,” we’re sure you’ll hear “Here We Go Again” and “Is This Love.” (April 29, Rose Center, $23.50-$59)

>> December restaurant news: 7 restaurants now open or coming soon



The rock band with horns whose style famously mutated from political, progressive rock songs in the 1970s to arena ballads in the 1980s, has released 36 albums to date, the latest being 2014’s “Chicago XXXVI: NOW.” (May 5, Rose Center, $49-$79)

“The Book of Mormon”

This hilarious comedy by the “South Park” duo chronicles what happens when well-meaning Mormon missionaries try to spread the Word to impoverished Africa. It won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book. (May 21-26, Schuster Center, ticket prices TBA)


Travis Tritt and the Charlie Daniels Band: Outlaws & Renegades Tour

Travis Tritt, one of the biggest country stars of the 1990s, and Charlie Daniels, best known for his 1979 hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” will co-headline this show with The Cadillac Three opening. (June 1, Rose Center, $39-$79)

Ozzy Osbourne No More Tours 2

Ozzy has been claiming retirement since about 1986, but at age 70, the rocker considered to be the all-time greatest menace to society might actually mean it this time. Megadeth, a member of the Big Four of Thrash, will open. (June 6, Riverbend, $29.50-$250)

Credit: Jason Kempin

Credit: Jason Kempin

Carrie Underwood Cry Pretty 360 Tour

The pop country superstar is touring to support her sixth album, “Cry Pretty.” Maddie & Tae and Runaway June will open. (June 15, U.S. Bank Arena, $48-$203)

Kidz Bop World Tour 2019

2018 was reportedly the biggest Kidz Bop tour so far, so we’re curious to see what 2019 will bring as a fresh cast of children sings your favorite radio hits. (June 21, Rose Center, $23.50-$53.50)


Nominated for four Tony Awards, this musical, adapted from the movie of the same name, concerns a pregnant small-town waitress who sees a pie contest as a way out of her abusive marriage. (June 25-30, Schuster Center, $26-$89)

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles

The world’s premiere Beatles tribute band will perform a note-by-note rendition of the Fab Four’s classic album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” (June 27, Fraze Pavilion, $29-$59


The prog rock band responsible for “Mr. Roboto” and “Come Sail Away” released their 16th album, “The Mission,” in 2017. (June 29, Rose Center, $36-$78)

>> 5 Midwest winter getaways near Dayton that will make you WANT cabin fever

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri


“Weird Al” Yankovic’s Strings Attached Tour

Coming off a 2018 tour where “Weird Al” performed mostly originals, he’s back to singing the parodic hits (“Like a Surgeon,” “Smells Like Nirvana”) that made him famous. His show will be backed up by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. (July 3, Fraze Pavilion, $41.50-$61.50)

Country Concert 2019

It’s one more point of Ohio pride that one of the biggest country festivals in the U.S. is held in Ft. Laramie. Thousands will converge for four days of camping, partying, and country music on two stages with six giant screens. The headliners are Kid Rock, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, and the Jimmie Allen Band. (July 10-13, $95-$659)

Train, Goo Goo Dolls

Commemorating the recent release of their greatest-hits album, Train is co-headlining a tour with the Goo Goo Dolls, who have their own the still-played hits, “Iris” and “Shine.” (July 24, Riverbend, $29.50-$125)

Air Supply

These soft rockers were hard-pressed to write a song that didn’t have “love” somewhere in the title. Their last album of new material was 2010’s “Mumbo Jumbo.” (July 26, Rose Center, $23.50-$52)

Credit: Christopher Polk

Credit: Christopher Polk


Queen + Adam Lambert

Coming on the heels of the hit film, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen, featuring original members Brian May and Roger Taylor, are hitting the road with “American Idol” alumnus, Adam Lambert, taking on Freddie Mercury duties. (Aug. 13, Nationwide Arena, $68 and up)

KISS: End of the Road World Tour

After nearly five decades and 100 million albums sold, the sometimes face-painted, sometimes not hard rock band is calling it a career. Judging from ticket sales, this is not due to a lack of fan demand. (Aug. 29, Riverbend, $39.50-$250)

About the Author