Upcoming Spring Concerts in Boston

With Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake coming to Fenway and the Boston Calling Music Festival just announced, check out these and other musical acts coming to Boston this season.

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys photo via Asterix611/Flickr

With the recent announcement of what’s sure to be the hottest show of the summer—the surefire pairing of Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake at Fenway on August 10—this upcoming spring concert season looks to be as exciting as ever. With gigantic pop stars invading the town alongside smaller indie acts, Boston finally looks like it’ll be heating up again very soon.

Before jumping into the lineup though, it’s worth mentioning that tickets for Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s Legends of Summer Tour will be available Thursday via Ticketmaster. So get your credit cards ready, ladies. JT and Hova will perform in Boston on August 10 at Fenway Park.

There. Now check out these big concerts coming to Boston this spring, including the lineup (led by Fun. and other big names) for the Boston Calling Music Festival in May, which was just announced today.

MARCH

Rihanna

Photo via Eva Rinaldi Photography/Flickr

Rihanna at TD Garden, March 10

There’s no denying it: no one in the music industry more consistently releases hit after hit than Rihanna, a Barbadian success story the likes the country has never seen before. Whirling into TD Garden on her “Diamonds” world tour, the “We Found Love” songstress promises a bombastic, nonstop dance festival with pyrotechnics and special effects on the most massive of scales. With a catalogue of hits like “Rude Boy,” “Disturbia,” and “Umbrella,” Rihanna’s party is a can’t-miss. Don’t miss the opener, Harlem-born-and-raised A$AP Rocky, one of rap’s most exciting new talents.

$35+, Sunday, March 10, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com

Jewel at The Wilbur, March 12

One of country’s leading ladies in her heyday, Jewel has come a long way from the days of worrying about her future while making ends meet living in her car. With smash hits like “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “Foolish Games” in her repertoire, Jewel remains a tasteful and charming artist whose performances are worth revisiting. Though the Wilbur Theatre is known more for its comedic leanings than musical offerings, the storied venue has the perfect acoustics for Jewel’s “Greatest Hits Tour.” In 2007, the “Hands” singer busked her way across town on the T. Is it too much to ask for an encore?

$55+, Tuesday, March 12, Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston, 617-248-9700, wilburtheatre.com

Dropkick Murphys

Photo via Ceedub13/Flickr

Dropkick Murphys, March 15-17

A true citywide tradition, Boston’s hometown heroes return for their annual series of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, including stops at the House of Blues, Brighton Music Hall, and of course, TD Garden. The band broke it big with “Shipping Up To Boston” in Martin Scorcese’s The Departed, but Dropkick Murphys has been using the time since to demonstrate some true staying power: this January’s Signed and Sealed in Blood debuted at number 9 on Billboard charts in its first week.

$35+, Friday, March 15, 7:30 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050, ticketmaster.com

Price TBA, Saturday, March 16, Time TBA, Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-779-0140, brightonmusichall.com

$32.50+, Sunday, March 17, 6 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583, livenation.com

Emmylou Harris at the Orpheum Theatre, March 23

An icon in the music world, Emmylou Harris has worked alongside the likes of Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, John Denver, Dolly Parton, and Neil Young. She brings her years of singing-songwriting experience to the Orpheum Theatre on March 23 in support of Old Yellow Moon—a collaborative album with country legend Rodney Crowell—a collection that Harris recently told Rolling Stone has been “30 years in the making.” As her show at the Orpheum will prove, the 12-time Grammy Award winner hasn’t aged a bit, her voice still every bit as elegant as it was years ago.

$38+, Saturday, March 23, Orpheum Theater, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston, 617-482-0106, ticketmaster.com

Sigur Ros

Photo via Pennello/Flickr

Sigur Ros at Agganis Arena, March 26

If you’re looking for some ambient Icelandic rock to signal the end of one of the seemingly longest winters in Boston’s history, strap on your glockenspiels and get tickets to one of the weirdest concerts to grace the city this year (now that Lady Gaga’s cancelled her spring tour). Though its name might sound like an IKEA product, Sigur Ros has now trimmed itself down to a three-piece outfit following the departure of longtime band member Kjartan Sveinsson. Lead singer Jonsi is still firmly at the helm, however, and the band promises a set as electric and eclectic as ever, complete with falsettos and banjos.

$40+, Tuesday, March 26, Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-358-7000, agganisarena.com

Pink

Photo via Marcgo/Flickr

P!nk at TD Garden, March 28

Simply put, P!nk is the most engaging, introspective, and exciting live pop performer of this generation. Unwilling to sacrifice vocals for flashy performances, P!nk has become known for knock-’em-dead vocals on top of eloquently executed live shows, including aerial stunts in the vein of a much classier, less French-Canadian Cirque du Soleil. It’s impossible to count the star’s hits on both hands—think: “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” “So What,” “Sober,” “Glitter in the Air,”—and those are just the ones from the past few years. P!nk has become one of the most respected artists working today, and her Boston extravaganza will prove why.

$37+, Thursday, March 28, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com

APRIL

Alicia Keys at Agganis Arena, April 10

Fresh off a rather lackluster performance at the NBA All-Star Game, America’s “Girl on Fire” returns to Agganis Arena in celebration of her 2012 album of the same name. With massive hit singles like “Fallin’,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “No One” under her belt, Keys promises a steady mix of ballads and up-tempo jams. Expect an emphasis on simple but elegant instrumentation, Keys’ forte. Get there when the doors open for opening act Miguel, whose sultry 2012 Kaleidoscope Dream made countless critics’ year-end lists and recently garnered the “Adorn” crooner a Grammy Award.

$45+, Wednesday, April 10, Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-358-7000, agganisarena.com

Muse

Photo via NRK-P3/Flickr

Muse at TD Garden, April 12

Matt Bellamy may be better known as Kate Hudson’s partner these days, but British rockers Muse demonstrated an itch to evolve with The 2nd Law, a modern-day epic filled with arena-ready cuts like the dubstep embracing “Madness.” Though the concert is certain to be packed with tweens hoping for a glance of the band that brought them “Supermassive Black Hole,” the song’s a Twilight staple that manages to hold its own as a dramatic little pop tune. Muse’s live show is all spectacle and flash, however, so be prepared for flashing lights and a little bit of nasally but good-intentioned wailing.

$42+, Friday, April 12, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com

Fleetwood Mac at TD Garden, April 18

It’s a modern miracle that four of the greatest folk-pop musicians of the past century—that would be Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and Christine McVie, for the uninitiated—have all collectively kissed and made up just in time to tour what they claim is “one last time.” With decades of hits that could easily fill up oodles of “Greatest Hits” compilations, Fleetwood Mac is spending a night in Boston. It would be a crime to miss “The Chain”—or any of Rumours for that matter—so don’t squander this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

$47+, Thursday, April 18, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com

MAY

Ben Harper at the Orpheum Theatre, May 4

Ben Harper is no stranger to the Boston area, having headlined the Life is Good Festival in Canton in the fall of 2010. His bluesy rock songs are at times inspiring and at others simply enchanting, his voice weary but enduring and melodic. Last fall, he released a career-spanning retrospective disc entitled By My Side, a collection of ballads that also include the new single “Crazy Amazing.” Showcasing a more raucous side, the “Better Way” singer brings “An Evening of the Blues” to the Orpheum this May as a reward to longtime fans yearning to hear some of the artist’s more rollicking tunes.

$38+, Saturday, May 4, Orpheum Theater, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston, 617-482-0106, ticketmaster.com

Alex Clare at Paradise Rock Club, May 9

Will Alex Clare ever be able to shake passersby harassing him with comments like “Hey, you’re the guy from that dumb Windows ad, right?” Regardless, it’s almost certain that Clare will play the chart-topping “Too Close” as his encore song—how else is he going to get people to stay? But arrive early to hear other songs off his debut album The Lateness of the Hour, including “Up All Night,” “Treading Water,” and “Hummingbird.” If nothing else, it’ll be worth the price of admission to observe all the other people who actually bought tickets to see the “Internet Explorer dubstep commercial guy” in concert.

$25, Thursday, May 9, Paradise Rock Club, 969 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-254-2979, thedise.com

Vampire Weekend

Photo via Scurrvy/Flickr

Vampire Weekend at Agganis Arena, May 15

The last time the Columbia University graduates graced our city, they performed to a sold-out crowd at the Bank of America Pavilion in support of their second album Contra. This spring, the band is set to release the oh-so-quirkily-titled Modern Vampires of the City. Lead singer Ezra Koenig has one of the wackiest warbles around, so expect some truly eclectic echoing in BU’s cavernous arena. Be forewarned: Vampire Weekend fans go all out with their hipster concert-going attire, so don’t be the only one caught without a cardigan.

$34+, Wednesday, May 15, Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-358-7000, agganisarena.com

Smash’s Megan Hilty at Symphony Hall, May 23-24

Known most recently for her role as the conniving Ivy on NBC’s weak melodrama Smash, Megan Hilty is much more talented than the middling material that her show-runners force upon her. Rising to fame in the role of Glinda in Broadway’s long-running hit Wicked, Hilty will release her debut album on March 12. Called It Happens All The Time, the album extends her reach far beyond the world of theater with some extremely personal songwriting. Here’s hoping that her BSO performance demonstrates just why audiences across the globe have fallen in love with the bombshell entertainer.

$22+, Thursday, May 23 & Friday, May 24, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-266-1492, bso.org

Fun

 Fun. photo via Wikimedia Commons

Boston Calling Music Festival at City Hall Plaza, May 25-26

Finally, Boston will get a music festival within 20 miles of city limits that it can call its own (no offense to the sterling Canton-based Life is Good Festival). Set to take place in City Hall Plaza, the two-day extravaganza promises no overlapping sets, a beer garden, and food trucks for expected crowds of 20,000 eager fans. Massive acts like Fun., the National, Marina and the Diamonds, the Shins, Matt and Kim, and Of Monsters and Men will bring their eclectic mix of indie rock and pop sensibilities to town alongside local bands including Bad Rabbits and Caspian. Up-and-comers MS MR take the stage Saturday evening, and if their recent cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean” is any indication, their set should not be overlooked.

$75+, Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26, City Hall Plaza, Boston, bostoncalling.com

Fall Out Boy at House of Blues, May 26

It was certainly a shock to music fans when Fall Out Boy dusted off their Hot Topic vests and announced a brand new album with an ensuing tour. With their most recent music video—the succinctly titled “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ’Em Up)” starring 2 Chainz—Fall Out Boy has clearly embraced a whimsical “anything goes” attitude toward its upcoming release. Those looking to ensure a middle school throwback can look forward to classic pop-punk emo hits like “Dance, Dance” and “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,” spelling errors and all.

$35+, Sunday, May 26, House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583, houseofblues.com

Glee’s Matthew Morrison at Symphony Hall, May 28-29

Morrison arrives at the BSO right in the middle of its “Best of Hollywood Film Music” season, and who better to take on some showtune classics than the star of Fox’s still-thriving musical success Glee. Sure, his character Will Schuester might be a bland, dumbed-down Justin Timberlake with less pizzazz, but Morrison is a classically trained veteran of the theater, and his work in shows like South Pacific demonstrate a skill unparalleled by many on the modern stage. He’ll most likely play a mix of Broadway standards, Glee hits, and cuts from his most recent self-titled solo effort. Here’s hoping he’ll bust out the ukelele for his “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” cover.

$22+, Tuesday, May 28 & Wednesday, May 29, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-266-1492, bso.org

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