Summer's Must-See Concerts

It's time to hit the road and catch these 12 awesome acts. (Oh, hi there, Katy!)

Before summer even started, one of the all-time greatest live acts—better known as Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band—had already wrapped up their tour. But even if you missed Bruuuuuuuce, or you went to Bruuuuuuuce and want that kind of fun to carry all through the summer, rest easy: There's still plenty of live music to catch on the road over the next couple of months. From rock to hip-hop, from country to pop, there's a little bit of something for everyone. Here's a rundown of some of summer 2014's can't-miss tours.


Why You Should Go: Because it's the Summer of the Outkast Reunion, that's why. After a seven-year hiatus, you'll get to be reacquainted with Big Boi and Andre 3000 and all of their greatest hits.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Hey Ya." Pretend all you want that you're still sick of their mammoth 2003 hit, but you'll be shaking it like a polaroid picture just like everybody else as soon as they start performing it.

Where You'll See Them: You'll actually have to actively go out of your way to not see the reunited Outkast. The hip-hop duo is playing every conceivable music festival this summer. Check out the full list of dates here.

Jay-Z and Beyonce

Why You Should Go: Because do we really need to give you reasons to see Jay-Z and Beyonce live in concert? Fine, you still need a reason to see the world's most famous couple, who have created some of the best hip-hop and pop jams over the past decade, in what will be one gigantic summer blowout concert? We'll give you two good reasons: Surf. Bort.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Crazy in Love." Yeah, you've heard it -- and will continue hear it -- at every wedding until the end of time, but there's a reason for that. It's catchy as hell.

Where You'll See Them: Hopefully not in an elevator near you. We keed, we keed. Check out the full list of dates for the On the Run tour here.

Jason Aldean

Why You Should Go: Because country music concerts can often feel like the best beach party you've ever gone to (minus all the trouble of actually having to go to the beach) and Jason Aldean has quickly become one of the must-see country acts over the past few years. Just slap on a cowboy hat, pack the beer cooler, and practice your "Howdy, ladies" and you're good to go.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Big Green Tractor." Hey, this is a country concert, what exactly did you expect?

Where You'll See Him: Check out the full list of dates here, y'all.

Kiss and Def Leppard

Why You Should Go: Because two of the most popular (not to mention loudest) rock n'roll acts of of the 70's and 80's are touring together and because you still want to rock and roll all night and party ev-er-y-day. Also, you definitely wanna see what melted Kiss makeup looks like in the sweltering heat.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Rock and Roll All Nite" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me," respectively. Both turned to 11.

Where You'll See Them: Relive your denim-clad youth and check out the full list of dates here.

Arcade Fire

Why You Should Go: Because make fun of annoying hipsters all you want, but Arcade Fire is -- pound for pound -- one of the best live rock acts you'll see out there today.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Wake Up." Trust us, you'll want to sing it at the top of your lungs. Don't worry, everyone else there will be doing it, too.

Where You'll See Them: Brooklyn, of course. And all of these other places.

Queen (Featuring Adam Lambert)

Why You Should Go: Because even though nothing would have ever compared to getting the chance to see Freddie Mercury perform live, Queen is still rocking arenas after all these years. And we can hate American Idol for a ton of reasons, but giving us a worthy Freddie imitator like Adam Lambert isn't one of them.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: It's a three-way tie. "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" are the obvious answers, but who doesn't want to live out all their greatest headbanging Wayne's World fantasies to "Bohemian Rhapsody"?

Where You'll See Them: Check out the rest of the dates here. Guaranteed to blow your mind.

Katy Perry

Why You Should Go: Because…look we know why you want to see Katy Perry in concert, okay? Just don't be obvious about it, ya big creep.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Firework." Good luck not mouthing along every single last word of this song when she inevitably belts it out.

Where You'll See Her: You mean outside of your daydreams? She's playing here.


Why You Should Go: Beck-ause you desperately want to let your inner-90's alt-rock kid out again for what will be, essentially, one big outdoors karaoke session.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: Soyyyyyyyyyyy un perdedor, it's "Loser," baby.

Where You'll See Him: Where it's at.

Pharrell Williams and Bruno Mars

Why You Should Go: Because this seems like the ideal place to buy your novelty Pharrell hat. Not to mention the fact that these two guys, aside from being two of the coolest and biggest musical acts out there right now, both know how to put on a show.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Locked Out of Heaven" and, hold on to your hilariously oversized hats, the ubiquitous "Happy."

Where You'll See Them: New York and Los Angeles, naturally.

Dave Matthews Band

Why You Should Go: Because you've been going with your best buds since 1996 and why stop now? (Don't say financial and personal responsibilities.) Besides, that hacky sack isn't going to kick itself in the parking lot.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Ants Marching." Sure, you've heard it roughly 78,624 times since college, but once those drums kick in, it still takes you right back to the first time you heard it on a crummy bootleg cassette in your dorm.

Where You'll See Them: "Where are you going?" Oh, right, all these places.

Jimmy Buffet

Why You Should Go: Because you want to see what you and your DMB-loving buddies will look like in thirty years. And because the guy has built an empire on boozing, taking it easy, and not giving a shit about what you look like in a Hawaiin shirt. Jimmy Buffet's not only a summer music essential, he's an aspirational goal.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Margaritaville." Come on, was there ever any question?

Where You'll See Him: Other than Margartivaville, he'll take you away here.

Motley Crue and Alice Cooper

Why You Should Go: Because Motley Crue has declared this their farewell tour and if you're gonna ride off into the musical sunset, it might as well be with Alice F**king Cooper by your side.

The "Free Bird" Equivalent: "Girls, Girls, Girls" for Motley Crue, and "Schools Out." Doesn't get much more summer anthem-y than that, does it?

Where You'll See Them: For the very last time, here.

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