Merle Haggard among 2006 Stones openers

Dec. 16, 2005 at 4:45 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The Rolling Stones gathered an eclectic batch of opening acts for 2006 ranging from country veteran Merle Haggard to female rockers Antigone Rising.

Canadian rockers Anik Jean will open Jan. 10 at Montreal's Bell Centre, followed by Sloan Jan. 13-15 in Boston, Billboard.com reported. A third Canadian group, Metric, will warm up the crowd for shows Jan. 18 and 20 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Antigone Rising will open the Jan. 23-25 Chicago dates as well as the Feb. 1 show in Baltimore, while Soulive takes the slot Jan. 27 in St. Louis. Country superstars Brooks & Dunn will take over Jan. 29 in Omaha, followed by Queens of the Stone Age March 4 in Las Vegas and March 6 in Los Angeles.

Haggard will perform March 9 in Little Rock, Ark., and New Orleans funk pioneers the Meters will open March 12 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The Stones are scheduled to kick off the European leg of their "Bigger Bang" tour May 27 in Barcelona.

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