Whether you’re looking for somewhere to take your kid who’s too frequently bored once school’s out or you’re dreaming of rocking out under the night sky, these summer concerts are money well spent. From acoustic heart-breakers to hip hop storytellers, country superstars to rock legends, there’s a little something for everybody. We can only hope that each is coming to a city near you.
The lineup: Foo Fighters, Gary Clark, Jr.
What to expect: Searing vocals, head banging, and slashing riffs! Every performance from the Foos is soaked in sweat (in the best way possible) and you’ll have to pump your fist in appreciation. Their US tour dates begin on the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. ‘Merica.
Tour dates: foofighters.com/tour
The lineup: Bleachers, Charli XCX, BØRNS
What to expect: Indie pop paradise with 80s synth beats and dance rhythms. Her mega-smash “Boom Clap” is a thumping crowd-pleaser, just like their surf rock hit “I Wanna Get Better.” XCX and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff covered each other’s songs late last year for a Kia commercial. If you cross your fingers hard enough, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to witness a duet on stage. The tour kicks off in San Diego on July 21.
Tour dates: bleachersmusic.com/tour
The lineup: J. Cole, Big Sean, Jeremih, YG
What to expect: A rousing personal story told via smooth-flowing rap. Cole takes the stage to let us in on his journey to stardom, and we’re captivated by every bit. He’s bringing his labelmates along with him to conquer amphitheatres and arenas alike this summer. Act 3 of the tour (aka, the second US leg) begins in Washington state on July 12.
Tour dates: jcolemusic.com
The lineup: Zac Brown Band
What to expect: An all-out country jam fest with Southern-rock stompers and eclectic influences. They’re supporting their newest release Jekyll + Hyde, so expect to hear some experimental stuff, including EDM-fused tracks and breezy R&B tunes. And, of course, you don’t want to miss their cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Sheer brilliance. Their next stop will be Friday in Nashville.
Tour dates: zacbrownband.com/shows
The lineup: Ed Sheeran
What to expect: Goosebump-inducing vocals and an astonishing use of the loop pedal. Sheeran puts on a one-man show unlike any you’ve seen before, complete with sugary sweet ballads as well as biting lyrics. He’s been touring nonstop for a year now, so don’t miss the chance to catch this show before he likely takes a break to write his next record. The tour continues tonight for a sold-out crowd in South Dakota.
Tour dates: edsheeran.com/live
The lineup: Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick
What to expect: A throwback, two-for-one concert featuring 70s rock legends. Don’t let their age convince you they don’t still seriously rock. Guitars will be ringing, hips shaking, and everyone will be on their feet for “I Want You to Want Me.” They take on the San Diego Fair tonight and move on to venues across the country through the end of summer.
Tour dates: frampton.com/live
The lineup: Shania Twain, Gavin DeGraw
What to expect: Massive country gimmicks, glitzy costumes, and hit after hit after hit. Some songs see her 90s pop influence pull through and others beckon back to her roots with slide guitars and twang-y vocals. Both are infectious. After two years of residency in Las Vegas, this is Twain’s farewell tour and she’s not about to disappoint. She plays her homeland of Canada for a couple weeks before making the move to the east coast of the US on June 30.
Tour dates: shaniatwain-tour.org
The lineup: Imagine Dragons, Metric, Halsey
What to expect: Massive sing-alongs (“Radioactive”), high energy, and larger-than-life drum solos. The new album Smoke and Mirrors is aptly named with the amount of stadium-ready production that’s sure to dazzle the crowd. But get there early because opening acts Metric and Halsey are female-fronted indie acts also guaranteed to wow. The tour is currently going strong, with a stop in Nebraska tonight.
Tour dates: imaginedragonsmusic.com/tour
The lineup: Taylor Swift, Vance Joy, *Haim (*Select dates)
What to expect: Fireworks, lasers, screaming fans, and captivating dramatics. Between a slew of costume changes and intermittent videos of her famous friends and equally famous cats, Swift will pull you in to each song’s background story and wholeheartedly entertain you. You’ll walk away wanting more. Don’t say she didn’t warn you. The 1989 Tour kicked off last month in Japan, but Swift is currently in the US, playing Philly on Saturday.
Tour dates: taylorswift.com/events
The lineup: Lindsey Stirling, Olivia Somerlyn, *Echosmith, *Lights (*Select dates)
What to expect: A hypnotizing violinist with bouncing theatrics and a welcome grab-bag of supporters. Her on-stage appearance is typically a cross between superhero and ballerina, which doesn’t seem far from Stirling’s true self. She’s playing New York tonight, but “Cool Kids” Echosmith won’t make an appearance until June 20 and Canadian powerpop musician Lights will open beginning August 10.
Tour dates: lindseystirling.com/tour
The lineup: Incubus, Deftones, Death From Above 1979
What to expect: A mammoth summer rock fest. As co-headliners, Incubus and Deftones undoubtedly pleased their fans when they decided to team up on one mega-ticket. Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd offers superb emotive vocal delivery and Deftones singer Chino Moreno masters the whisper-to-a-scream trick. Set back-to-back, the night is sure to be exceptional. The US leg of the tour begins on July 22 in Michigan.
Tour dates: incubushq.com/events