Album sales may be down but music lovers are still doling out money to see their favorite artists. Even in the face of escalating ticket prices, the concert business is booming and never more so than in the summer. Given the hotbed of venues throughout our region, it can be hard to narrow down a can’t-miss lineup. Our picks for the top shows bring together the best acts, a wide range of genres and our favorite places to experience them.
Joe Walsh/Bad Company
Jones Beach, June 14
This will be the first solo tour for Joe Walsh since the Eagles disbanded following Glenn Frey’s passing. Bad Company will be without the services of both its original bass player Boz Burrell, who died in 2006, and its original lead guitarist Mick Ralphs, who bowed out in March due to touring travel demands. Rich Robinson, the former lead guitarist and founding member of the Black Crowes, will replace Ralphs. Robinson’s inclusion completes a Kevin Bacon-esque connection: Jimmy Page toured as a member of the Black Crowes in 1999 and Bad Company’s debut album in 1974 was the first U.S. release by Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label. The combination of these talents should make for some interesting musical texture.
Florence + the Machine
Barclays Center, June 14
The bewitching machine, headed by the indomitable force known as Florence Welch, make the trip to Brooklyn as part of their summer tour. The band will play hits from its third studio album—and first No. 1 album in the U.S.—How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. The release garnered the group with five Grammy nominations. Expect an eccentric, rich performance and some of the best Brit art rock to move audiences this summer.
Jones Beach, June 24; MSG, June 27; Coney Island, July 3
In perhaps the most anticipated double bill of the summer, two artists that became solo superstars after emerging from iconic British rock bands (The Police, Genesis) will share musicians, perform together and choose some songs not from their own catalogs. The shows will be similar in format to those Sting performed with Paul Simon last year.
Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy
Madison Square Garden, July 20
The two guitar icons will take the stage at the Theatre at MSG for a night of mind-blowing riffs. It will be a busy month for Beck, who will perform in New York City days after he releases his new as-yet-untitled album, his first in six years. He’s also publishing his first book, an autobiography entitled BECK01.
Gregg Allman’s Laid Back Festival
Jones Beach, July 23
Allman returns to Jones Beach for the second year in a row with his Laid Back Festival, which features multiple stages and a plethora of vendors and food options. He is joined this year by Jason Isbell, America, the Marshall Tucker Band, Gabriel Kelley, Levon and his son Devon Allman. Also returning is Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, featuring fellow Allman Brothers Band founder Jai Johanny Johanson.
Madison Square Garden, July 26 and 27
The English rockers make their way to the World’s Most Famous Arena for two nights in July as part of a world tour that starts in Amsterdam and ends in Mexico City. The tour comes in advance of the band’s ninth album, the details of which (title, release date, etc.) are still unknown.
Counting Crows and Rob Thomas
Jones Beach, July 31; Coney Island Amphitheatre, August 16
Two of popular music’s most recognizable acts will unite for the first time in a co-headlining tour this summer. The multiplatinum-selling Counting Crows will be performing hits from their complete discography spanning the past two decades. Rob Thomas (of Matchbox 20 fame) will perform in support of his third solo effort, The Great Unknown, which was released last year to critical acclaim.
Other notable summer concerts include: Dave Matthews Band at Jones Beach on June 21 // Sara McLachlan at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on July 5 // Melissa Etheridge at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on July 3 // Jackson Browne at the NYCB Theatre June 12 and the Beacon Theatre on June 17 and 18 // Ziggy Marley at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on June 24 and the Coney Island Amphitheatre on June 25 // Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at the Beacon Theatre on July 5 // Ryan Adams and the Shining at the Central Park Summerstage on July 20 // Bryan Ferry at the Beacon Theatre on July 27 and 29 // Coldplay at Met Life Stadium on July 16 and 17.