Rock Bands That Started in the '80s and Are Still Playing Today

Times, they are a’changing. The music scene has shifted wildly from the rise of metal and hard rock in the '80s, but many of our favorite bands are still out there and doing their thing all these decades later. Here are several bands that you might be able to catch on tour today.

The Changing Scene

Of course, it’s a wildly different time from the '80s. Back then, we saw the rise of electronic music and styles were experimental and loose among genres. Today, we have a music scene that’s weathered the manufactured boy and girl band craze and is rife with nuanced genres with touring becoming both more commonplace but less of a major event. We’ve seen the rise of digital copies, the evolution of copyright free music, and the fight for artists to retain creative control in an age where piracy is easier than ever.

Still, some iconic rock bands that formed in the '80s are still out there, breaking new ground and producing fantastic records. Most have evolved over the years while maintaining their signature sound and playing their hits.

Bon Jovi

The famous New Jersey stadium rockers themselves. Formed in 1983, this rock band quickly became one of the highest selling bands of all time. They’ve numbered over 100 million albums and 2,700 concerts across 50 countries. While they tour less than they once did, they still sell out stadiums on a regular basis. Whether you love or loathe their music yourself, no one can deny the influence- or the success- they have had on the music that followed.

Nine Inch Nails

Once the pioneers of industrial grunge rock, you might be surprised to learn that NIN frontman Trent Reznor has recently moved into scoring for films. All the same, he’s still going strong with the band itself, as well as How to Destroy Angels, his side-project. Their music remains as genre-pushing and challenging as it was in the 80s, even though it’s taken an intense and moody turn.


Phish is a classic example of how keeping it fresh keeps you relevant. From psychedelic rock to jazz, funk, bluegrass, and folk, they’ve done a little of everything. With fantastic performance energy, they tour every year and still sell out their gigs, recreating their best hits differently every time. While they’re not the most well-known rock band on our list, they have unmatched live success, and their set changes to suit their destination. This has kept them fresh and new despite their familiar favorites.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Funky alt-rock band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is still going strong. Making it to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame hasn’t slowed them down, either. Today, they lean more to funk, psychedelic rock, and a sprinkling of punk, but it’s their live shows that keep fans coming back for more.


While some see Radiohead as icons of the 90s, they formed in 1985 and haven’t stopped since. They’re still pulling in new fans with their alternative rock stylings, keeping it fresh and interesting personalities on-stage and off. They’re icons of reinventing their style without losing their style and their live shows focus on artistry and visual glory as well as their music. Plus, they are even widely covered by newer bands.

Are you a fan of one of these epic rock bands that are still touring today? Let us know which ones you've seen live and more bands to add to the list in the comments!

Photos courtesy Depositphotos

Post a Comment


Close Menu