These acts are booked into enormous venues for a reason. A sampling of where you can get your rock on, your rap on and your nostalgia on.
May 31 and June 1, Prudential Center
Before you write off Radiohead as music that's strictly for earbud listening, you should know that they've been busting out a lot of "OK Computer" songs at recent shows. They've also retooled most of the songs from last fall's "King of Limbs" to rock way more.
June 8 and 10, Jones Beach
Need two reasons to check out this concert? How about "Shilo" and "Sweet Caroline"? Not only did he write these hits, but he sells them so hard in concert, wearing glittery garments that should (but don't) contradict his status as a top-notch songwriter.
Dave Matthews Band
June 12 and 13, Jones Beach
On one hilarious sketch on the "Saturday Night Live" finale, Bill Hader began by saying, "Hi, I'm Dave Matthews. Remember me? From college?" Apparently a lot of you do, as Dave-demand is high enough for a two-night stand.
June 16, Jones Beach
The Canadian-based rapper has loaded his “Club Paradise Tour” with such a giant entourage of openers that it was tempting to put this concert in the “festivals” category. But as great as openers J. Cole, Meek Mill, Waka Flocka Flame and 2 Chainz are, this is Drizzy’s show. Recent set lists have shown that he performs more than 20 songs each night, drawing heavily from last fall’s “Take Care.”
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The Beach Boys
June 24, Jones Beach
Celebrating their 50th anniversa-ry, this touring incarnation actually features all surviving members of the Beach Boys. This is note-worthy because over the past few years, a "Beach Boys" concert could mean just one Beach Boy or another on the stage with a bunch of younger dudes in Hawaiian shirts. But this lineup actually features Brian Wilson, the group's resident genius songwriter who is touring with the band for the first time in more than 25 years. Whether they're picking up good vibrations or just picking up bags of cash, the tour is a rarity not to be missed.
July 3, Rumsey Playfield
Just because your mom loves Norah doesn’t have to mean that you can’t like the versatile songstress. With her recent album, “Little Broken Hearts,” she’s gone through a reinvention of sorts. Sure, your parents will still love it, but producer Danger Mouse has snuck some sinister sounds into the mix. Plus, Norah even sings about murdering somebody here!
July 6 and 7, Yankee Stadium
The most enduring wonder about "The Wall" is that it's an album about isolating yourself, but it continues to reach out and find new audiences. When Pink Floyd attempted to tour for the album shortly after releasing it in 1979, their production was so elaborate that they could only stage the show at four venues. Thankfully, Floyd founder Roger Waters figured out how to bring it to more venues. And if the indoor show that came around in the fall of 2010 is any indication, it was definitely worth the wait. Run like hell to get a ticket!
Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez
July 20 and 21, Prudential Center
J-to-tha-Lo! E-to-tha-Ig! OK, the second one doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it? But this co-headlining tour really has high potential for spicy duets.
July 24, Izod Center
Aerosmith is a national treasure! Think about it: In an age where it's a possibility that a Tupac ghost could appear on any stage any-where, it's a marvel that a real live classic band like the bad boys from Boston have all of their original members after all the years of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Not only are they all still living, but they're all still rocking and continuing to make vital music.
Aug. 3 and 4, Izod Center
Coldplay continue to rise to the occasion and be the arena band that Gen Y needs them to be. Most recently, they busted out a spirited and sweet cover of the Beastie Boys' "Fight for your Right" on the day that MCA died. Plus, word is that they hand out light-up wristbands to attendees that makes for a cool concert effect.
Brothers of the Sun Tour
Aug. 11, MetLife Stadium
Don't you dare call what Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw have got going on between them a bromance! These two country giants have cultivated a relationship that they say makes them "Bro-thers of the Sun." The tour marks the first time these two cowboys (both of whom "Feel Like a Rock Star") have hit the road together in 10 years, and they've brought along Jake Owen and guitar-shredding woman Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
Sept. 6 and 8, Yankee Stadium
The "Girl Gone Wild" mood of Madonna's most recent release, "MDNA," feels like the soundtrack to a midlife crisis. For a concertgoing audience, this can be a good thing if she indulges in over-the-top stunts and theatrics and plays a set that lives in the present rather than getting hung up on nostalgia. Yeah, she'll make it feel shiny and new.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
Sept. 19 and 21,
Experiencing the Boss in concert is a rite of passage. Yes, it's mostly wealthy white men in khakis who continue to honor this ritual, but don't let them distract you. The magic is on the stage, where the 62-year-old Springsteen some-how summons an energy that could wear out a performer one third of his age.