Top concerts to check out this summer

Multi-day festivals are becoming increasingly popular summer event for music lovers.

Daily News Managing Editor Darrin Clark and Staff Writer Kelli Ameling are both passionate about their music and spend a lot of their free time seeing live music. The similarities probably end there. They’ve both been asked to provide their top 10 concerts to see for the summer of 2013. We trust their lists will be vastly different.

Darrin’s Top 10 summer concerts

Darrin Clark

Friday is the first day of summer and the summer concert season is well underway. 2013 has already been a great year for music and it seems like just about every band worthwhile is performing this summer. When presented with the task of choosing my top 10 summer concerts, I decided to choose a variety of venues and locations within a reasonable driving time. Reasonable to me, at least.


10. One of these multi-day music festivals:

Pitchfork, July 19-21, Union Park in Chicago, (Don’t miss: Savages, Waxahatchee, Phosphorescent and The Breeders),

Common Ground, July 8-14, Lansing (Don’t miss: Probably The Avett Brothers night)

Electric Forest, June 27-30, Rothbury (Don’t miss: Yeasayer, Passion Pit, Pretty Lights and Knife Party)


9. Rush, June 30, Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids

Notes: Rush just entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they can still actually play and record decent music.


8. Kurt Vile, July 10, Magic Stick in Highland Park

Notes: “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” is the best album I’ve heard this year … and 2013 has been a great year for music.


7. Caveman, July 7, Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids

Notes: Check out a veteran under-the-radar band in an intimate and great sounding environment with an amazing selection of Short’s brews. It’ll be dreamy.


6. Lollapalooza, Aug. 2-4, Grant Park in Chicago (Don’t miss: Disclosure, Death Grips, Crystal Castles, Band of Horses, Alt-J, Beach House, Vampire Weekend and Nine Inch Nails)

Notes: Grant Park can be a hot and dirty venue and it may present the best lineup the Midwest’s biggest music festival has ever had, but it’s a great chance to see tons of acts that you’d be hard-pressed to find in West Michigan.


5. Local Natives, Sept. 20, Royal Oak Music Theater

Notes: With only a pair of albums under their belt, this is probably the best “newer” live band right now.


4. Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, Aug. 6, Ford Field in Detroit

Notes: Two of the biggest names in entertainment, nothing else needs to be said.


3. St. Vincent and David Byrne, July 7, Fred Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids

Notes: Annie Clark and a Talking Head? I have no idea how these two got together, but I like it. And the Gardens are probably the best place to see a concert in West Michigan.


2. Americanarama, July 14, DTE Energy Music Theatre (Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket)

Notes: A legend and a pair of the most amazing live bands you’ll ever see.


1. St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Sept. 14, Meadow Brook Music Festival in Rochester Hills (Don’t miss: Sigur Ros, The National, Phosphorecent, Frightened Rabbit and Washed Out)

Notes: This Australian-based festival makes its United States debut in Michigan. It has the lineup quality of a bigger festival, condensed into one day and at the beautiful Meadowbrook Music Festival venue. The show will be topped off by Sigur Ros, who blow people away every time they play.


Kelli’s Top 10 summer concerts

Kelli Ameling

One of my favorite things to do is go concerts of any genre (although my favorite is country music). I’ve seen close to 200 concerts in my life. During the summer, to me, is the best time to see some of the best artists whether through headlining tours, music festivals or fairs. Here is my top 10 of must see concerts of this summer.


10. Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls, July 6, DTE Energy Music Theatre.

Notes: A nice flashback to the ‘90s with some of their newest hits as well.


9. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift (Red), Aug. 10, Soldier Field Stadium, Chicago.

Notes: Ed Sheeran has been climbing the charts in short time within the spotlight with his songs like “Logo House” and “The A Team.” Unfortunately, in order to see him, you have to see Taylor Swift, which I am not a fan of. She is a phenomenal song writer, but not performer.


8. Jason Aldean (Night Train), July 20, Wrigley Field, Chicago.

Notes: The country-rocker has shown time and time again that his tour is worth seeing. From awesome guitar sessions to a great set, his fans can’t get enough.


7. Carrie Underwood, Aug. 18 Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.

Notes: Performance wise, Carrie Underwood can be a hit or miss. The first concert I saw was phenomenal, the second become boring when she played songs that no one had heard of before. However, her vocals and passion for the music makes it worth seeing.


6. Blake Shelton (Ten Times Crazier), Sept. 28, The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Notes: As most can see on “The Voice,” Blake Shelton is a true entertainer and keeps everyone on their toes during his concerts. Don’t be surprised to see special guests or called out audience members as he cracks jokes about them.


5. Fun. (North America), July 16, Meadow Brook in Rochester Hills.

Notes: The group has a lot going for them with a wide range of vocals. With Andrew Dost being from Michigan (and a CMU alumnus), I am expecting a good show.


4. Beyonce (Mrs. Carter), July 20, The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Notes: The Super Bowl half time show was just a small glimpse of the action ticket holders will see.


3. Bruno Mars (Moonshine Jungle), July 11, The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Notes: A true musician who does a wide variety of music and great dancing. Although it might be a little racy for the younger audience, he would not disappoint concert goers.


2. Justin Timberlake and Jay Z (Legends of the Summer), Aug. 6, Ford Field.

Notes: Although I have yet to see Jay Z, both are huge entertainers that would make any ticket worth the price.


1. Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves (No Shoes Nation), Aug. 17, Ford Field.

Notes: Highest energy tour I have ever been to (attended Grand Rapids show). A party setting with no limits.

  1. Jerry Hoye says
    01 Aug 13 at 3:02pm

    What about BB King, Buddy Guy, ZZ Top, Delilah Dewylde and the Lost Boys, Greg Allman, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper.

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