Double Header – 25 Blistering Co-Headlined Tours


Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z will be donning their suits and ties for a co-headlining stint at Wireless festival in London this weekend, but it’s not the first time two globe-straddling acts have shared top billing. Here’s some of history’s greatest and strangest musical couplings:


Fleet Foxes and Beach House joined hipster-pleasing forces for a co-headline tour of the UK. It was so impossibly cool it even got its own stop-motion tour advert.


Looking to the future, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake will be teaming up for a co-headline tour in 2014. Gazing into our crystal ball, we predict “horns”, “smoking pot” and “ill-advised 3/4-length shorts”.



The Pop Disaster Tour saw blink-182 and Green Day spend two months on the road together in 2002. Jimmy Eat World and Saves the Day also joined them.


Back in 2003, two of the hottest bands in the world at that moment, The Strokes and Kings Of Leon, teamed up for a short American tour that helped set them up on the road to mega-stardom.


Speaking of The Strokes, their co-headline set with Pulp at Reading and Leeds 2011 was rather stolen by Jarvis Cocker coming on with them to cover ‘Just What I Needed’ by The Cars.


The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne attributes some of the success of their breakthrough album ‘The Soft Bulletin’ to a co-headline tour with Mercury Rev in 1999. ‘The Soft Bulletin’ and Rev’s ‘Deserter’s Songs’ were recorded simultaneously in the same studio.



Sometimes you have to start with the pun and work backwards. ‘Of Death And Dismemberment’ is such a good title for a Death Cab For Cutie/The Dismemberment Plan tour that they just had to do it, and in the end it resulted in raising the profile of both bands.


Alanis Morissette invited Tori Amos to join her on a 28-date co-headlining tour of the USA in 1999. While often co-headliners rotate their set times, in this instance Tori always went onstage first because her piano could not be moved after being tuned.


The Guns N’ Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour took place in 1992. The tour’s opening acts were Faith No More and Motörhead. It’s rumoured that Axl Rose wanted Nirvana to be the opening act, but Kurt Cobain refused. Still, a line-up beefier than a cow eating a hamburger.


That man Jay-Z again: ringing in 2013 with a New Year’s Eve double bill at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre.



Lily Allen and Dizzee Rascal played co-headline dates in Manchester and London in 2009, brought together by mutual respect and, presumably, a love of LDN.


More Jay – he just can’t get enough. Here he is teaming up with Linkin Park for ‘Collision Course’.


Blondie and Cheap Trick’s co-headline tour in 2010 had very specific ground rules, as the latter band laid out: “Some shows Cheap Trick will open, some shows Cheap Trick will close. All bands will play a 75-minute set — regardless of who opens or closes.”


Much talked-about at this year’s Coachella was the decision for Blur and The Stone Roses to switch set times to allow the Britpop band to headline the second weekend. This was always going to be the case, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Roses’ disappointing crowd on the first weekend.


The xx’s North American tour earlier this year featured a co-headlining run with Grizzly Bear.


Meanwhile, last year’s wittily named ‘The Tour’ featured Kiss and Mötley Crüe. Imagine if they’d got their riders mixed up with The xx and Grizzly Bear, eh?


In May2010, Kelis and Robyn tweeted each other so much that eventurally Kelis asked Robyn if she would want to “hit the road together.” The resulting real-life tour was named ‘All Hearts’.


Another tour with a name so good they just had to do it… Aerosmith and ZZ Top together on the road? It’s the ‘A to Z Tour’.


With posters referencing the James Brown-era all-star shows at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars’ f’Hooligans in Wondaland Tour’ took its cues from the old-school.


Labelmates and dance legends LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip joined forces for a globe-straddling Australian, UK and USA tour in 2010.


Back in 2001, The Coral and The Music were fast-emerging bands and a co-headline UK tour made perfect sense.


‘The Brotherly Love Tour’ – In one corner, Chris and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes. In the other, Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis. What could possibly go right?