Upcoming Summer Concerts in Boston

Here's your 2013 summer concerts preview. Everyone will be in Boston, from the Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones, to Justin Bieber and One Direction. Plus: Beyonce. Plus: JT and Jay-Z. Also: Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, and more.

Consider the summer concert season started. If you’re suffering from post-Boston-Calling-Boston-Strong-NKOTB-tour stress disorder, fear not. A stacked season of live music has only just begun.

This weekend, it all kicks off with two freebies: Karmin at the Boston Pride Festival, and Weezer at the opening of the Microsoft Store in Natick. And just wait until you scroll down to July 20—Justin Bieber, Cody Simpson, and Bon Jovi on the same day? Good luck, multitaskers…

—Additional reporting by Regina Mogilevskaya

Karmin at the Boston Pride Festival

Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, a.k.a. Karmin, met while attending Berklee College of Music. They got their big break when they were invited to perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They’re YouTube and Reddit darlings, and while their covers are great, their singles “Brokenhearted” and “Hello” have also topped the U.S. dance charts. Karmin will perform at the free Boston Pride Festival this weekend.

June 8, Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square, karminmusic.com


Why is this 21-year-old band playing a free concert at the Natick Mall this weekend? Why, to help celebrate the opening of the new Microsoft Store, of course. Say what you will, Mac lovers, but there’s no denying that Microsoft has had some pretty good taste in music lately.

June 8, Microsoft Store, Natick Mall, 1245 Worcester St., Suite 3072, Natick, 508-903-4500, microsoftstore.com

The xx and Grizzly Bear

The only thing better than getting to experience The xx live…is getting to experience The xx live with Grizzly Bear. The bands will meet up for an unforgettable musical experience in a few lucky cities, ours included. With The xx still riding high on the success of their sophomore album Coexist, a cavernous foggy world of lost love and emotional affliction, they’re sure to put on a haunting show full of growing orchestrations, harrowing lyrics, and genuine vocals, which will be complemented with the sweet clashing of Grizzly Bear’s alternative sound.

June 8, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com

The Postal Service

We might as well coin this the summer of nostalgia. The Postal Service, an electronic music side project by Death Cab for Cutie front man Benjamin Gibbard, Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis, and Jimmy Tamborello, hasn’t really made a peep since their successful 2003 debut album, Give Up, which featured the popular tracks “Such Great Heights” and “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.” After volleying rumors about a new album for the last couple of years, the group finally released a 10th anniversary re-issue of Give Up, a two-disc project with 15 rarities in addition to two new songs by Jenny Lewis. The group also chose to reunite for their first world tour in more than a decade. They’ll be swinging by Boston fresh from Toronto this month.

June 12, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com

The Rolling Stones

What can we say about the greatness of the Stones that hasn’t been said already? Seeing them live will be the chance of a lifetime, unless of course, you owned the North Brookfield farm where the band recorded back in the day.

June 12, June 14, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com

Dave Matthews Band

As any devoted Dave Matthews fan will tell you, a Dave concert is what makes summer, summer. Considering the award-winning band has been together since 1991 and has been touring strong for more than two decades, rest assured that the rockers know how to put on an incredible show, particularly during the sweet summer months. Head over to Mansfield for a night of saxophone solos, rousing guitar jams, and that signature Dave Matthews drawl.

June 15, June 16, Comcast Center, 885 South Main St., Mansfield, 508-339-2333, livenation.com


Photo by Daniel Kedinger/Flickr

JAM’N 94.5 Presents LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, and De La Soul

LL Cool J and Ice Cube have a lot in common. For one thing, they’re both badass rap artists who act. Let us not forget that LL Cool J is in NCIS: Los Angeles and that he played Queen Latifah’s love interest in Last Holiday. And let us not forget Ice Cube’s moving performances in Are We There Yet?, Are We Done Yet?, and BarberShop. LL and Ice Cube will be in town with Public Enemy and De La Soul later this month.

June 19, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com


Twenty-five American Music Awards. Eleven Grammy Awards. Sometimes numbers speak for themselves. Sting also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was even made a Commander of the British Empire in 2003.

June 21, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com

Harry Connick Jr.

Born and bred in New Orleans, Harry Connick Jr. is a talented actor and musician known for his classy, jazzy style (and for being Grace’s boyfriend Leo on Will & Grace). Later this month, the singer will perform at Symphony Hall on his Every Man Should Know tour.

June 21, June 23, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., 617-266-1492, bso.org


It felt a bit strange when Juanes sang Elton John’s “Your Song” in Spanglish at the Grammys earlier this year. It’s not that he didn’t sound good, but it was an odd choice, followed by a stuttering introduction of Frank Ocean. But that night, Juanes walked away with the award for Best Latin Pop Album (and he has won 20 Latin Grammy Awards), so assuming he sticks to what he’s best at, his show at the House of Blues will be a can’t-miss for anyone interested in Latin music. A Dios Le Pido, anyway.

June 23, House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., 888-693-2583, houseofblues.com

Bruno Mars

All a girl wants is for a man to croon lyrics like “You’re amazing just the way you are,” to her. It’s just that simple, and Bruno Mars knows it. How he somehow manages to maintain that romantic image while simultaneously singing “The Lazy Song” surrounded by dancers in chimp suits is beyond me.

June 26, June 14, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com


Photo by Eva Rinaldi Photography/Flickr

One Direction

Boy band madness in Massachusetts continues this summer with One Direction. If you don’t know who they are, don’t go to the concert. If you know who they are and are reading this without having heart palpitations, you’re not their target demographic. But if you’ve already left this story to go hunt down stray tickets, you’re probably a 14-year-old girl who also attended the One Direction 1D World pop-up store earlier this year. How is that 1D onesie working out for you anyway?

June 26, Comcast Center, 885 South Main St., Mansfield, 508-339-2333, livenation.com

Paul McCartney

That’s all you need to know.

July 9, Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, 877-733-7699, ticketmaster.com

She & Him

She is Zooey Deschanel and him is M. Ward. Between the two of them, perhaps one can tell you if it’s raining right now (hint: it’s not she). But as much as people love to hate or hate to love Deschanel, you can’t deny the girl’s got chops. And she’s quirky as hell!

July 10, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com

Justin Bieber

Fans will be fans. I’ll be the writer who reminds you that the kid got booed (again) after winning a Billboard Music Award recently. During the acceptance speech, he reminded people he’s only 19, that it should be about the music, that he deserves to be taken seriously, and…seriously, Justin Bieber, are you really asking people take you seriously while wearing those seriously hideous drop-crotch pants?

July 20, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com

Cody Simpson

He’s the Justin Bieber of Australia, but to my knowledge, not as hated, so perhaps I should rephrase: Justin Bieber is to Harry Styles as Cody Simpson is one of the other One Directioners. I don’t know, let’s say Niall. He’s blond.

July 20, House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., 888-693-2583, houseofblues.com

Bon Jovi

In March, Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s girlfriend hosted an impromptu Twitter Q&A session with the coach. One person asked what his favorite Bon Jovi song was. The answer was “Bounce.” Hey Bon Jovi, how about playing one for the home team when you visit Gillette in July?

July 20, Gillette Stadium, One Patriot Place, Foxborough, 508-543-8200, ticketmaster.com

Jonas Brothers

It seems like a lifetime ago that these three brothers were at the height of their Disney-esque careers. These days none of them, to public knowledge, are dating a Miley or a Taylor, which begs that age-old publicist question: Is no news good news?

July 22, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com


Photo by Asterix/Flickr


Beyonce in Boston? It can’t be…can it? Yes, Mrs. Carter is, in fact, strutting her way to TD Garden in a pair of heels that probably boast a cost equivalent to one month’s rent. Considering the majority of us have only admired the diva on our computer or television sets (never forget: Super Bowl 2013), no excuse is good enough not to see one of our generation’s most talented performers live. It’s sure to be worth every penny. Besides, you know you’ll want to be in the audience when everyone absolutely loses it at the starting notes of “Run the World (Girls).” Watching clips on YouTube just doesn’t cut it when it comes to Queen Bey.

July 23, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, 617-624-1050, tdgarden.com

Imagine Dragons

Rolling Stone called “Radioactive” the biggest rock hit of the year. The song’s popularity could be credited to its widespread use in commercials and trailers including the video game Assassin’s Creed III, the movie The Host, and more. Oh, the power of media.

July 24, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com

Taylor Swift

Oh, T. Swift. Tease her all you want about her love life, but Taylor Swift is a true songstress. She writes her own songs, you guys!

July 26, Gillette Stadium, One Patriot Place, Foxborough, 508-543-8200, ticketmaster.com

Plain White T’s

This American pop punk band from Chicago has been around for a while. Remember “Hey There Delilah?” Remember “1, 2, 3, 4”? The band released a new EP in April, called Should’ve Gone Bad.

July 28, Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave., 617-254-2979, ticketmaster.com


Fun fact about OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder: One of his favorite places in Boston is Hahvahd. We interviewed the band when they were in town recently for a private performance at the Westin Boston Waterfront. He said, “I can’t think of another campus—other than maybe Yale—with so much history.”

August 1, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com

Esperanza Spalding

Spalding won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011. The singer and jazz bassist was a surprise to many—she was nominated against Drake, Florence + The Machine, Justin Bieber, and Mumford & Sons. But once people knew who she was and heard her perform, all bets were off.

August 4, Tanglewood, Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, 617-266-1492, bso.org


Photo by Edwardk662/Flickr

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z

JT and Jay-Z at Fenway Stadium sounds like the kind of thing that’s too good to be true, except in this case it’s too good and too true. Try as we might, it’s hard to even imagine the spectacular madness that the duo will be bringing to Boston on their Legends of Summer tour. Fireworks? Swanky suits and ties? Perhaps a rap battle or two between the superstars? All possibilities.

August 10, August 11, Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, 877-733-7699, ticketmaster.com

Backstreet Boys

Backstreet’s back! And don’t act like a very specific, nostalgia-oriented part of you isn’t thrilled, because we know it is. You probably still have that BSB poster rolled up in the back of your closet somewhere. The black-and-white one of the gang looking pensive atop some parking garage. You know the one. In their prime, the Backstreet Boys were one of the best-selling, best-dancing, best-sounding boy bands around. Check them out at the Pavilion to see if they’ve still got it!

August 12, Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., 617-728-1600, livenation.com

The Goat Rodeo Sessions

A collaboration by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile, the Goat Rodeo Sessions was a 2011 album that combined classical and bluegrass music. Ma, in case you weren’t aware, is an internationally known cellist. Aside from all his Grammys and other music awards, Ma has also been awarded the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Polar Music Prize.

August 15, Tanglewood, Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, 617-266-1492, bso.org

John Mayer

It’s the legend himself, Berklee drop-out John Mayer. Last year, Mayer encountered a serious vocal injury and was forced to postpone his Born & Raised Tour, but this summer the talented vocalist and guitarist is back, stronger than ever. Hashtag: #MayerIsBack. (No, really. That’s the hash tag.) Though his latest studio album has a heavily influenced booze-rolling country sound to it, Mayer’s got a knack of putting on a well-balanced show, crooning out early 2000 crowd favorites and rocking out to his more contemporary hits.

August 17, Comcast Center, 885 South Main St., Mansfield, 508-339-2333, livenation.com

American Idol Tour

Just recently, it was announced that the American Idol tour for this year would be scaled back. Stops in major cities including Detroit and Las Vegas were canceled. But all we care about is Boston, and that show is still scheduled to happen in August. Fans will likely be especially excited to see finalist Angie Miller of Beverly.

August 19, Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave., 617-358-7000agganisarena.com


And since we’ve been talking about the New Kids, the Jonas Brothers, One Direction, etc., let’s top off our summer of concerts with a little Hanson. Without their long blond tresses, they are practically unrecognizable compared to their iconic look from their teenage years. But as Bieber said, it should be about the music! So… mm… bop.

August 31, House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., 888-693-2583, houseofblues.com