Home / Music & Arts / Ultimate Summer Guide: Best concerts in and around NYC

Ultimate Summer Guide: Best concerts in and around NYC

Taylor Swift will play MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., July 10 and 11.Jun Sato

Taylor Swift will play MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., July 10 and 11.

Summer always brings with it a live music marathon. But this year’s pile-on features a number of firsts: We’ll see One Direction’s first post-Zayn tour (say it ain’t so!), Taylor Swift’s first post-country/full-on pop extravaganza, as well as U2’s first jaunt since that free album fiasco last fall.

At the same time, this summer will bring the last ever shows by The Grateful Dead. Happily, they’ll be streamed over pay-per-view and unspooled in movie theaters for those who can’t make the dates in Santa Clara and Chicago.

Here’s a look at this steamy season’s most talked about and/or worthy concerts:

TOP DRAWS:

D’Angelo with Gary Clark Jr. (Forest Hills Stadium, June 21): D’Angelos’ New York comeback show at the Apollo a few months back drew some of the most enthusiastic reviews of the year. This time, the newly politicized, neo-soul funkateer will play Queens’ crown jewel venue.

Lady Gaga/Tony Bennett (Radio City, June 22 and 23):

020715110420, 21334631,Mark Von Holden/Invision

D’ Angelo and the Vanguard will perform at Forest Hills Stadium Sunday.

Following two dates from Friday and Saturday, the fashion queen and the standard bearer will recreate their “Cheek To Cheek” album live. In the studio their pairing proved ideal, with Gaga’s athletic vocals bringing out the youth in 88-year-old Bennett. At live shows, they’ve been proving just as zesty.

Bette Midler (Madison Square Garden, June 25 and 26):

It’s the divine Miss M’s first national show in more than a decade — too long a time to spend away from the stages she was born to play.

Grateful Dead (Streams starting June 27):

No need to buy a pricey ticket (with the highest resale prices of any show this summer) to see the Dead finally die. Anyone can pay to stream the five final shows — events, you should be warned, that promise to last more than five hours each.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will perform hits from their collaborative album Monday and Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall. R Chiang / Splash News/R Chiang / Splash News

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will perform hits from their collaborative album Monday and Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall. 

Morrissey/Blondie (The Garden, June 27):

Some have questioned the billing — with the mopey cult-star headlining over the one-time hot pop act Blondie. But that just shows how insane is the love of true believers for the Moz.

Shania Twain (The Garden, June 30; Nassau Coliseum, July 1; Prudential Center, July 7):

Years before Taylor Swift popped up in Nashville, Shania’s candy-coated hits expanded the definition of what constitutes country.

Taylor Swift with Haim (MetLife Stadium, July 10 and 11):

052615111479, 21334631,Rich Fury/Invision/AP

U2 takes over Madison Square Garden on July 18, 19, 22, 23, 26, 27, 30 and 31.

Songs from her new “1989” album will dominate a show set to certify Taylor as our area’s top draw. She’s the sole star able to fill a stadium twice, with a total audience of over 100,000 fans.

Kelly Clarkson (PNC Bank Arts Center, July 14; Radio City, July 16, 17): On her album, Clarkson makes too many compromises to chase radio play. Live, you can hear those American Idol pipes more purely.

Foo Fighters (Citifield, July 16):

The last rock band that regularly goes platinum will play its biggest New York show ever here.

U2 (The Garden, July 18, 19, 22, 23, 26, 27, 30, 31):

Nicki Minaj comes to PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., and the Barclays Center in July.Kevin Mazur/BMA2015/WireImage

Nicki Minaj comes to PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., and the Barclays Center in July.

Fans may nave treated their gratis “Songs of Innocence” album like spam. With any luck, that will mean these fat cats will finally play like a band with something to prove.

Nicki Minaj (PNC Bank Arts Center, July 24; Barclays Center, July 26):

Minaj’s third major tour will be her fanciest production to date. It should receive its most rapturous response at the Brooklyn date, which has the highest re-sale price of any show on Minaj’s tour.

Culture Club (The Beacon, July 27):

After cancelling the local date of their reunion tour last fall, Boy George and his reunited band will once again tumble for ya.

One Direction will play without Zayn Malik on Aug. 5 at MetLife Stadium.Kevin Mazur/BMA2015/WireImage

One Direction will play without Zayn Malik on Aug. 5 at MetLife Stadium.

One Direction (MetLife Stadium, Aug. 5):

Can they cut it without their best singer (and hottest guy), Zayn? Chances are the fans will be too busy shouting for the others to care.

Motley Crue (Barclays Center, Aug. 12):

They may rank among hair metal’s most atrocious bands. But look on the bright side: The Crue promise that, after this, they’ll never tour again.

Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean (MetLife Stadium, Aug. 15):

The Kooks play July 24 in Central Park.David Wolff – Patrick/Getty Images

The Kooks play July 24 in Central Park.

Like Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney has gotten rich by creating odes to relaxation made for summer nights like this one. Aldean sells even more than Chesney, so the two make country’s hottest local ticket.

AC/DC (MetLife Stadium, Aug. 26):

They’ve got a new drummer (subbing for the legally challenged Phil Rudd), as well as a new rhythm guitarist (in for the ailing Malcolm Young). But nothing can change the essential AC/DC sound. They never alter their crunch for a great reason: It was perfect the first time.

Madonna (The Garden, Sept. 16, 17; Barclays Center, Sept. 19):

Her “Rebel Heart” album bombed big time, mainly because of the theft of its tracks during the recording process. But Maddy always rallies for her shows. Unlike most stars of her seasoning, and stature, she never delivers a safe, hits-filled night. Even for someone who will turn 57 in August, Madonna still knows how to keep things fresh.

First Aid Kit plays in Central Park on July 27.

First Aid Kit plays in Central Park on July 27.

ULTIMATE SUMMER GUIDE: BLOCKBUSTER AND INDIE MOVIES HIT THEATERS

OFF THE POP RADAR

The Kooks (Rumsay Playfield, Central Park, June 24): Neo-Brit-pop at its best.

Dawes and First Aid Kit (Central Park, July 27): Dawes recalls the best of the Laurel Canyon folk-rock scene of the ’60s and ’70s, while Sweden’s First Aid Kit play country-folk that sounds convincingly American.

Lucinda Williams (Prospect Park Bandshell, June 25): The queen of alterna-country returns.

Latin Alternative Music Conference (Various venues, July 7 to 11): For the 16th year, LAMC will skim the best of cutting edge music from Latin America.

Punch Brothers (Prospect Park, July 9): Imagine bluegrass re-figured as American classical music.

Rhiannon Giddens (Prospect Park, July 18th): The leading light of the Carolina Chocolate Drops explores the history of banjo music, beyond poor white Appalachia. She emphasizes its connection to American slave life as well as its roots in Africa.

George Ezra (Terminal 5, July 28): Baby-faced British singer Ezra has the barrel-chested voice of a seasoned troubadour.

Brasil Summerfest (Various venues, July 30 to Aug. 8): In the last half-century Brazil has birthed more original genres than any country outside of our own. This annual fest makes that manifest, with debuts for Brazilian musicians both classic and new.

Lake Street Dive (Central Park, Sept. 2): Aided by Rachel Price’s powerful and agile voice, Lake Street Dive blend jazz, blues and soul into some of today’s best-written songs.

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Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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