We're well into 2018, and tours are starting to pick up. From the towering classic rock of Def Leppard to the blistering hard sounds of Five Finger Death Punch, this year is certainly looking up when it comes to blockbuster tours. Read on for five bands on the road this year that rock Gibson guitars with some of my favorite photos. Keep rocking!

Def Leppard

photo by Anne Erickson

After months of rumors, the guys of Def Leppard and Journey have finally confirmed a 2018 North American tour. The trek will keep the bands on the road from May through October, making this a very meaty run.

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell is a Les Paul guy. "I think it’s a real simple design. The most enduring design elements are simple," he told Gibson.com. "It’s got a perfect feel and balance for me. I like the way it sits on my body. For me, I started on a Les Paul and went through years of playing other guitars and just came back full circle to what was more natural to me."

Five Finger Death Punch

photo by Anne Erickson

The guys of Five Finger Death Punch have been hard at work on a new album, but they're taking some time to play live this spring. The band will tour with Shinedown in May, and that means Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook will have his Jason Hook M-4 Sherman out in full display.

When asked by Gibson.com how his M-4 Sherman is holding up, Hook said, "Excellent. Anybody that knows Gibson knows it's a premium, American-made instrument. So, I've always been a fan. I have several Gibsons. When I had the opportunity to make my own-- it's a very rare thing. They hand select people to whom they want to offer signature models. It's a big honor. I took the history of the basic Explorer and gave it a 45-degree arm contour. I made it a shredding machine."

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters unleashed a new album last year, Concrete and Gold, and performed on a handful of fall 2017 tour dates, but not many. Now, Dave Grohl and company are staring at a lengthy 2018 tour schedule, with shows booked from April through September. The guys will be headlining major venues, such as Madison Square Garden in New York City and Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Grohl has been spotted with a plethora of Gibson guitars over the years, but he's most spotted with a Gibson Memphis ES-335 in his hands.


photo by Anne Erickson

Gibson Explorer-playing Lzzy Hale and her band Halestorm will headline a tour of female-fronted rock bands this spring. In This Moment, Stitched Up Heart and New Years Day are also on the bill.

Hale is a longtime Explorer player and rocks her own signature Lzzy Hale Explorer. Check it out here.

"I've always been attracted to the classic design," she told Gibson.com. "It's a metal guitar, but for whatever reason, it's always that nice in-between for me, which is kind of reflective of all of my influences. Yes, I love my ‘70s and ‘80s hard rock and metal, but I'm also a girl, so I don't want to have something that's super dude-like. For whatever reason, it was just that nice balance for me. It also got the most attention out of all the guitars that I've played over the years. Everyone would always comment on the Explorer, so it became my thing."

Judas Priest

photo by Anne Erickson

Classic metallers Judas Priest have a new album on the way, Firepower, due out March 9, and of course they're taking those new tunes on the road. The band's North American headlining tour in support of Firepower will kick off in mid-March and wrap up in early May.

“Gibson is part of who I am as a player,” Faulkner, a Flying V player, told Gibson.com. “It's been synonymous with rock 'n' roll and blues and wherever you can imagine.”

Photos by Anne Erickson