Whether you’re tailgating before the show or rocking out inside the venue, summer concerts are a ready-made soundtrack that is just awaiting your participation to build memories. Here are the biggest and best bets for your concert dollar.
KISS 108 FM Concert
While we usually use this space to lightly make fun of a concert bill, there’s just so many great acts on this bill that we need to use all of the space here to tell you who’s playing: Demi Lovato, Cher Lloyd, Ne-Yo, Olly Murs, Krewella, Sammy Adams, Jason Derulo, Chris Wallace, Icona Pop, Ariana Grande and Emblem3.
May 18, Comcast Center
Ellen DeGeneres once introduced Sir Paul at the Grammys by saying, “The next performer needs no introduction.” True to her word, she left the stage and let it be for one of the last living Beatles. We’d like to do the newspaper equivalent of that introduction.
July 9, Fenway Park
The Rolling Stones
Ah, from a Beatle to the Stones. Both visit the Hub in July. It is impossible to refute naysayers’ complaint that the Stones are old. Their current string of shows is celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary of their formation and first album. But it’s also impossible to refute that the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band is still worth seeing. Switching up sets to dip into obscurities in their deep catalogue, you’ll get to hear some classic tunes. Whew! We did that without using either a “Satisfaction” or “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” reference.
June 12 and 14, TD Garden
Bruno Mars has turned his “Unorthodox Jukebox” into a 1980s time machine, which works out just fine for his opening act, Fitz and the Tantrums, who have also set the dial for the 1980s with their brand new “More Than Just a Dream.” Wear your neon jams and join them.
June 26, TD Garden
If seeing the New Kids/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men show bummed you out, go check out this British boy band. It's a boy band with actual boys in it!
June 26, Comcast Center
Americanarama Festival of Music
For a genre that takes itself a little too seriously when its at its worst, these three giants of Americana prove that a sense of humor is necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff. By calling their Americana tour Americanarama, Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket are not taking theselves too seriously. The only bummer is that this is on the same night as Bieber. So many people in this city will be so torn! This is tougher than deciding between Bruno Mars and One Direction!
July 20, Comcast Center
Who would have thought at this time last year that the Justin Bieber tour would become the equivalent of the Rolling Stones' 1972 tour in terms of rumored debauchery? We can only hope he’s still around for his own 50 and Counting tour in 2060.
July 20, TD Garden
Beyonce was going to release a new album this year. Remember that? Seems like she might not have remembered either, as Mrs. Carter sets out on the Mrs. Carter Tour before her new songs have hit the market. It seems almost like when it’s the end of the school year, and absolutely everybody’s psyched to be done with exams, but you’ve still got one left that you totally forgot to study for.
July 23, TD Garden
It wouldn’t be summer without a stadium and TaySwi (people call her that, right?) This year she brings with her that lovable British muppet Ed Shearan as well as Austin Mahone and Joel Crouse.
July 26 and 27, Gillette Stadium
Under the Influence of Music Tour
Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, B.o.B., Trinidad James are a stellar lineup, but we have to wonder: Now that marijuana is pretty much totally legal, when are musicians going to stop titling their tours with little winking references to weed?
Aug. 7, Comcast Center
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z: The 20/20 World Tour
Arguably the biggest tour of the summer, it remains to be seen how Jay-Z and JT will split the stage on the 20/20 World Tour. We can only hope that there are 20 songs from each artist, rather than a staged recreation of the best moments of ABC’s most popular investigative journalism TV show. That said, it would be awesome if they did that for the first few shows and then by the time they got here, they were playing the hits, because wouldn’t that create some great tension?
Aug. 10 and 11, Fenway Park
One thing that has not changed in America for the past 100 years: Cowboys are still really good at herding large groups of mammals into confined open-air structures. Eric Church, Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves round out this rootin’-tootin’ bill.
Aug. 23 and 24, Gillette Stadium