By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
Summer is here, and as temperatures rise, many look for ways to beat the heat. No need to worry, because music can soothe even the most sweltering beast, and there is a surplus of good bands coming to town over the next few months, from the Delaware River Waterfront to the Atlantic City Boardwalk. So grab a cold one, turn up the volume on your favorite song and let’s look at what is in store for the region.
Lincoln Financial Field
The Linc is the most polarizing place to be this summer, so let’s get it out of the way first. Either you dropped a ton of dough on One Direction — playing two sold-out gigs Aug. 13-14, for your kid who won’t be into them a year from now — or you’re a massive country fan who can’t wait to don the 10-gallon hat and oversized belt buckle for Luke Bryan with Dierks Bentley and Lee Brice to back him up.
Wells Fargo Center
Queen is back on the road, and despite the success the group experienced with Paul Rodgers at the helm, the band recently said that “American Idol” vet Adam Lambert is much more in the in the vein of late frontman Freddie Mercury. See for yourself at the Wells Fargo Center on July 16. Having postponed a date in April, Miley Cyrus finally twerks her controversial ways into the WFC on Aug. 2, while one of her peers, Katy Perry, follows with two shows, Aug. 4-5. British folk sensation Ed Sheeran performs Sept. 8, while a rejuvenated Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have Steve Winwood in tow for a gig on Sept. 15.
Citizens Bank Park
Across the street at the ballpark, power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z team up for a show July 5. Less than a month later, on Aug. 2, Billy Joel makes a long-awaited return to the park with opener Gavin DeGraw.
Susquehanna Bank Center
Across the river in Camden, N.J., Backstreet Boys and Avril Lavigne search for fans Saturday, while Journey and the Steve Miller Band will have fans looking for some of that ’70s and ’80s nostalgia Sunday, with Foreigner and Styx following in those same footsteps July 3.
The annual Vans Warped Tour takes over the Susquehanna Bank Center on July 11 with dozens of bands, including Saves the Day, Anberlin and Yellow Card. Grammy winner Bruno Mars will shimmy across the stage on July 17, while the following night, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd will try to count on one hand the amount of original members they have combined onstage.
It’ll be R&B old and new when Lionel Richie has Cee-Lo Green opening up for him on July 23. WXPN’s XPonential Music Festival will take over the grounds July 25-27 with acts as diverse as Ryan Adams, Wiz Khalifa, Beck and Band of Horses making appearances. July 30 has a throwdown between ’90s heroes Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, while the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival kicks off Aug. 1 with heavyweights Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium and Il Nino, among others.
Kiss and Def Leppard have teamed up for a tour full of hits that hits Camden on Aug. 3, and 20 days later, Motley Crue takes a supposed final bow with Alice Cooper providing support. The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival closes out the month on Aug. 26 with Godsmack, Seether and Buckcherry headlining a full day of rock.
Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
Back on this side of the Delaware River, the Fray and Barcelona come to Festival Pier on July 12, O.A.R on July 18 and Dirty Heads with Pepper on July 22. The next month has Slightly Stoopid on Aug. 2 and Panic! At the Disco Aug. 9. And it’s likely to be a high time Sept. 9 with Bob Weir & RatDog bringing along Black Crowes’ frontman Chris Robinson and his Brotherhood to the waterfront.
Theater of Living Arts
Edging away from the water to the TLA on South Street, girl-power highlights include the original lineup of Veruca Salt stopping by July 22, while Taylor Momsen’s The Pretty Reckless will dirty up the joint Sept. 13.
Shows are always being announced at the TLA, some only a few weeks ahead of time. Keep checking back at this spot for on-sale dates, or head over to www.tlaphilly.com for a full rundown of gigs.
Further downtown, the Electric Factory has a smattering of shows like Say Anything on June 26 and the This is Hardcore Fest July 24-27 featuring Lucero, Title Fight and Code Orange Kids. But it’s the punk-rock show of the year that has fans most excited as the Summer Nationals Tour brings The Offspring, Bad Religion, Pennywise and the Vandals to the Factory on Aug. 2.
The Tower has a nice rundown, starting with Peter Frampton and the Doobie Brothers this Tuesday. Yes comes back around July 19, followed the next night by 311. David Gray softens it up on Aug. 5, and Chevelle does the opposite Aug. 29.
Made in America
The Jay-Z-curated Made in America goes bi-coastal this year, but Philadelphia is still representing on the East Coast Aug. 30-31. Artists are still being chosen, but among the highlights over the two days are Kanye West, The National, Girl Talk, Spoon, Tiesto, Kings of Leon and De La Soul. Watch this space for much, much more as the event draws nearer.
Atlantic City, N.J.
Chances are, you’re going to want to escape the heat of the concrete jungle this summer, and that means heading to the shore. Thankfully, Atlantic City, N.J., remains a real beehive of activity when it comes to rock ’n’ roll.
The House of Blues kicks summer off proper with a throwback to the ’90s Saturday with the Summerland Tour, featuring Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog. July 11 has people liking Huey Lewis and The News, while the following night, TLC continues a comeback with surviving members Chili and T-Boz.
Caesars jumps right into the deep end with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band Saturday, this time around featuring Todd Rundgren, among others. The Jacksons light it up on July 6, missing Michael, of course.
The Borgata Event Center has it wired as usual, with Avril Lavigne going solo June 27 and Counting Crows hooking up with Toad the Wet Sprocket the next night. John Mellencamp does whatever he wants July 6, and Crosby, Stills & Nash trio it up without Neil Young on July 12. Keith Urban brings his perfect hair to the Event Center July 17, while John Fogerty brings the same hairstyle he’s had since 1971 two nights later.
Finally, it’s the big names coming to Boardwalk Hall: Lady Gaga will be there Saturday, June 28, with Queen + Adam Lambert making it to the beach on July 26. Kiss and Def Leppard do the same Aug. 2, and Aerosmith makes its only area appearance of the summer, with Slash opening, Aug. 31.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out his blog at our sister publication www.delcotimes.com
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER