The Rose Quarter typically isn't one to play coy. If you get a press release from them, it's usually about an event you already knew was happening, and it's probably, like, a bull riding competition or monster-truck rally or something.

Today, though, we received a rather cryptic message from the proprietors of Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum—an invite to a press conference scheduled for Thursday at 2 pm, announcing the "grand return" of a "Rock and Roll legend" and "one of the best-selling artists of all-time" who hasn't played Portland "in over 10 years." That's all they're telling us for now.

Naturally, this has provided those of us in the local music media who've been spending way too much time on Twitter lately worrying about things in the world that actually matter with a pleasantly distracting brain-puzzle.

To reiterate, here are the clues:

  • It’s a “Rock and Roll legend,” with wording suggesting it’s a solo artist.
  • They haven’t played Portland in at least a decade, but they 
  • have 
  • played before.
  • They’ve sold a lot of records.

While that seems like not a lot to go on, it actually narrows the field quite a bit. My mind immediately went to Elton John, who's playing Eugene in March, but he was just here in 2014. Of course, that then leads to Billy Joel, but he and Elton were here together in 2010. My counterpart at The Oregonian suggested the halfway coming-out-of-retirement Phil Collins, who's doing some European dates in the summer, but he doesn't appear to have ever played Portland as a solo artist. Eric Clapton? Played in 2011. Carlos Santana? His last local gig was 2005, but he's playing nearby Maryhill Winery in June. Jay-Z? The press release emphasizes "Rock and Roll legend," but that would be…something.

My money right now is on Rod Stewart. He hasn't played since March 2007, so I imagine it would be "over 10 years" by the time the show actually happens. He's going on the road this summer, and while he's doing theaters as opposed to stadiums, there's nothing in the press release determining where he'll be playing, so it could be Moda Center's Theater of the Clouds configuration.

One additional wrinkle: The press conference is happening at the airport for some reason. Could that be a clue? Some seem to think so:

Nice try, Ian.

Anyway, we'll know tomorrow at 2 pm, so check back here for the "grand" reveal. In the meantime, any guesses?