The Boss is the boss. And we don’t doubt that some 45 years after he scored his first Top 40 hit, Bruce Springsteen is still running these streets.
But when the Orioles announced earlier this week that Springsteen and the E Street Band would play Camden Yards Sept. 9, just months after christening the new CFG Bank Arena downtown, we started thinking about why Baltimore seems to attract mostly older music artists to play our largest venues.
The new, renovated CFG Bank Arena launches in April with a lineup that includes the Eagles, Janet Jackson, Anita Baker, blink-182, Bryan Adams and New Edition. While talented, they’re really not that new. The arena’s glaring non-geriatric exception is a date with the 34-year-old Grammy Award-winning pop star Lizzo set for May 9. (Perhaps she should call her agent.)
Stadium concerts in Baltimore have seen even less diversity in recent years with Paul McCartney (Camden Yards), Billy Joel (Camden Yards) and now, Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks (M&T Bank Stadium). It’s been years since the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé or Justin Timberlake graced a local stadium with their youthful presence.
If we had our way as the city’s concert promoter, here are five performers under 50 that we would book — and buy tickets to see — in Baltimore.
Yes, she’s been here as recently as 2016, but that’s decades in beyhive years. Last time Beyoncé was in Baltimore, “Lemonade” was bittersweet on our lips but now “Cuff It” has us shaking our TikTok hips. Her Renaissance World Tour launches later this year in North America and promptly skips Baltimore in favor of either Philadelphia or Washington D.C., the latter serving up two shows in an effort to meet overwhelming demand.
2. Taylor Swift
Swifties came out in force to support The Eras Tour, so much so they practically broke Ticketmaster to the consternation of fans and the delight of lawyers everywhere. The tour makes stops in 20 cities with multiple performances in each. But with no stops in D.C., Baltimore fans must head north to Pennsylvania — either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.
3. Harry Styles
Either of our stadiums could have served as “Harry’s House” for his Love ON Tour that skipped through North and South America in 2022, playing more than 80 concert dates but not a single one in Baltimore. Being a former member of One Direction, which played M&T Bank Stadium in 2015, the British singer has already had a taste of Charm City and can surely feel the love.
4. Bad Bunny
Reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny, Spotify’s top-streaming artist and one of the most popular and highest-grossing tours in 2022, could surely hop into the local arena and quickly sell out. The Puerto Rican purveyor of poppin’ (and sometimes political) dance, trap and hip-hop grooves launched The World’s Hottest Tour with stadium dates in cities like Miami, New York and Los Angeles, places with a large base of Latino fans. But Baltimore also has a growing Latino population that could boost a show. Maybe after he performs at Coachella in April, Bad Bunny will bounce this way.
5. Drake and 21 Savage.
There’s no official announcement that the rap artists, who marked their most recent collaboration with the album “Her Loss,” will hit the road this summer, but fans and social media are certain it will happen. When it does, Baltimore should be on the tour. The last time Drake performed here he did a show at Pier 6 Pavilion. Now, he could fill M&T Bank Stadium. That’s a rich flex.