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.
Hot 97 Summer Jam
While we usually use this space to lightly make fun of a concert bill, there’s just so many great acts on here that we need to use all of the space to tell you who’s playing: Wu-Tang Clan, Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Miguel, Wale, Fabolous, A$AP Rocky, French Monatana and Joe Budden!
June 2, MetLife Stadium
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.
June 8 and 10, Barclays Center
If seeing the New Kids/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men show bummed you out, go see a boy band that includes actual boys.
June 28 and 29, Nikon at Jones Beach
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 29, Barclays Center
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z: 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 switched it up by the time they got here.
July 19 and 20, Yankee Stadium
Americanarama Festival of Music
For a genre that takes itself a little too seriously when 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 tour Americanarama, Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket are having a good ole time.
July 27, Nikon at Jones Beach
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.
Aug. 2, Barclays Center
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 Show World Tour before her new songs have even hit the market. It’s kind of like when it’s the end of the school year, and absolutely all of your friends are psyched to be done with exams, but you’ve still got one left that you totally forgot to study for. But in this case, Beyonce can just say, “I’m Beyonce, I don’t have to take the final.”
Aug. 3, 4, 5, Barclays Center
Under the Influence of Music Tour
Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, B.o.B. and 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 giving their tours titles with little winking references to weed?
Aug. 6, Nikon at Jones Beach
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. 10, MetLife Stadium