Odds & Ends: Ann Wilson, Blur, Billy Joel, Stromae

Heart’s Ann Wilson announces her first-ever solo shows … Blur locks in shows on East and West Coasts … Pope Francis’ NYC visit causes Billy Joel to tweak his Madison Square Garden residency.

Photo: Paul A. Hebert / Invision / AP
"Brian Fest: A Night To Celebrate The Music Of Brian Wilson," The Fonda, Los Angeles, Calif.

The message posted on Heart-Music.com may only be one paragraph but it represents a milestone for the band in that Ann Wilson will tour solo for the very first time in Heart’s decades-long career.

Described as a passion project, “The Ann Wilson Thing” will play Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, Md., Oct. 9-10.  The two shows will “give Ann an opportunity to sing songs different from Heart, in intimate venues where she can be ‘up close and personal’ to the audience.”  Heat’s website adds that the setlist will “run the gamut from blues and soul to rock (of course!!).”

So far the Rams Head shows are the only ones to be announced.  Tickets for the 21-and-over gigs went on sale today.  Click here for more information.

Blur has announced two shows in the U.S, covering both coasts but only days apart.

Photo: Johannes Granseth
Oya Festival, Middelalderparken, Oslo, Norway

A brief message on the group’s Facebook site says Blur will play Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl Oct. 20 and New York’s Madison Square Garden Oct. 23.

An American Express presale is going on now through 10 p.m. June 19. General onsales start June 20 at 10 a.m.  All times local.  Follow this link to more info.

Illness has forced Belgian rapper/singer/songwriter Stromae to nix his summer shows, including July 8 at the Rock In Roma festival in Rome; July 13 at Moon & Stars in Locarno, Switzerland; and July 17 at FIB Benicassim in Spain. On this side of the ocean Stromae has canceled his July 31 gig at Montreal’s Osheaga Festival Musique Et Arts and his Aug. 2 appearance at Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Photo: John Davisson

An email from the artist’s publicist says Stromae is dealing with side effects from receiving treatment for malaria.

Stromae’s next scheduled show isn’t until Sept. 12 when he plays the James L. Knight Center in Miami.

There are not many people in the world that carry enough weight and are powerful enough to force Billy Joel to move one of his Madison Square Garden residency gigs in New York.  But one man has caused the piano man to reschedule his Sept. 25 show by one day.

Photo: Jason Squires / jasonsquires.com
Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.

Who’s behind the move?  None other than Pope Francis.  His Holiness will be visiting the U.S. in September and is scheduled to make a special appearance at MSG Sept. 25.  This means Joel will perform the next night on Sept. 26. Click here for details.