Today’s recap includes a concert industry analysis for 2008, event and tour announcements, and more as compiled by TicketNews on December 31, 2008.

Over the past weeks and months, various concert industry sources have been releasing their numbers for top grossing tours and concert ticket sales, and all have projected a faily optimistic look at the state of the industry in 2008, despite the nation’s economic woes. However, some industry analysts say that 2009 will really be the year to watch and that recent concert attendance trends have been troubling. Read TicketNews’s full 2008 concert industry analysis and 2009 forecast.

For the first time since a fatal September plane crash claimed four lives, musicians Travis Barker and DJ AM will perform live on stage tonight. … It seems like he never stops touring, but Willie Nelson will be “On the Road Again” in 2009 and has just added more dates to his itinerary. … The Doobie Brothers will perform at the NAIAS’s annual Charity Preview concert to benefit children’s charities in the Detroit area. … Punk rock crew The Damned have been forced to cancel a string of North American dates due to an undisclosed “severe illness,” according to promoter Live Nation.

Those are the final concert and tour stories for the day — and the year. Before waving goodbye to 2008 and ringing in ’09, we’ll leave you with a few more exciting updates in brief:

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Bill Cosby will be laughing it up in 2009 with his upcoming comedy tour. The adventure begins January 16 at Horseshoe Southern Indiana in Elizabeth, IN, and currently has shows booked through October 24 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. Highlights for the comedy icon’s trek include a January 23 performance at Penn State in University Park, PA, a February 21 set at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, MA, a March 21 show at Orpheum Theater in Omaha, NE, an April 4 gig at Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre in Atlantic City, NJ, a May 9 performance at Morongo Casino in Cabazon, CA, and a September 12 set at American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA.

Joe Cocker has unfurled plans for a spring tour of North America, with 14 shows currently confirmed. The outing will open April 17 at St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL, and is scheduled through May 30 at River Rock Show Theater in Richmond, BC. Other announced shows include an April 22 concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL, an April 24 set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA, an April 26 session at State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, and a May 22 performance at Sonoma Jazz Festival in Sonoma, CA. A total of five dates are booked in Canada, including the last confirmed concert, and May 1-2 gigs at Casino Rama in Rama, ON.

Margaret Cho has a handful of comedy shows slated for the first few months of 2009. The comedienne will begin her run of North America on January 17 at Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam, BC. The remaining confirmed dates are January 27 at Largo in Los Angeles, CA; January 30-31 at The Improv in San Jose, CA; February 24 at Largo in Los Angeles, CA; March 6 at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ; March 7 at Carnegie Library Music Hall in Pittsburgh, PA; and April 4 at Treasure Island Event Center in Red Wing, MN.

Corey Smith has added more than ten new shows to his upcoming winter tour. The outing is scheduled to begin January 29 at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC, and has dates booked through April 18 at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. Newly announced gigs include a February 7 concert at Jupiter Bar & Grill in Tuscaloosa, AL, a February 10 show at Antone’s in Austin, TX, a February 19 set at Canopy Club in Urbana, IL, a February 22 performance at The Pageant in St. Louis, MO, and a February 28 gig at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH.

Have a safe, happy and healthy New Year from all of us at TicketNews!

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