As hard as Kendrick Lamar works churning out new music, he doesn't actually go on the road that often. For that reason, it's important to sit up and take notice when he does. And, maybe this is a little dramatic, but Kendrick's Summer 2017 Damn. Tour is just what 2017 needs. Not only is he a kickass musical artist, but he's socially conscious in a way that's crucial right now.
Kendrick's music and lyrics let no one off the hook, even himself; he questions authority, confronts preconceived notions, and brings the weighty subjects of race and class front and center. His is the kind of music that you can have a good conscience about listening to, because he's making true art. He is an artist, and Damn. is an album that both challenges and changes the world around it. The tour should be no different, and, in 2017, with the world in such a perilous moment of transition? That's exactly what we need.
When Kendrick dropped the album, it felt like the whole world stopped to listen to it. People had something to talk about that was not only frivolous, but that also made them think about the issues. Kendrick serves up pop culture with power, so I don't think I really need to sell you on this tour.
Plus, I'm not trying to throw shade or anything, but 2016 was a huge huge year for tours, and, so far, 2017 hasn't quite been measuring up. I have high hopes that Lorde will get her butt out to hype her long-awaited Melodrama, the music festivals are stacked this summer, and, of course, Bruno Mars has been out there doing the dang thing. But, overall, I haven't been blown away by 2017 so far. Probably because 2016 set the bar way too high.
Thankfully, Kendrick announcing The Damn. Tour is a step in the right direction, so we can all rest a little easier. It's a surprisingly short tour, though, with only 17 dates between Jul. 12 and Aug. 6. So don't sleep on this, because this is our only hope to get 2017 on track to rival 2016, music-wise.
Check out the full list of tour dates below, and keep your fingers crossed that other artists start to follow his lead and announce a tour in 2017.
Kendrick Lamar - The Damn. Tour
July 12 - Phoenix, AZ @ Gila River Arena
July 14 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
July 15 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
July 17 - Duluth, GA @ Infinite Energy Arena
July 19 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
July 20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
July 21 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
July 22 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
July 25 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
July 26 - Auburn Hills, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
July 27 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
July 29 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
August 1 - Seattle, WA @ Tacoma Dome
August 2 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
August 4 - Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
August 5 - Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
August 6 - Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center