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Summer 2015’s 30 Hottest Tours

Everybody from the Rolling Stones to Taylor Swift is hitting the road. Here are our picks for this year’s can’t-miss shows

Summer 2015's 30 Hottest Tours

Summer 2015's 30 Hottest Tours

Robyn Beck/Getty

Titans of rock (the Rolling Stones, the Who), country megastars (Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney) and pop's newest icons (Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran) are taking over stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters across North America this summer. The season is shaping up to be one of the biggest in biz history, and we have the ultimate guide to all the big tickets, from Nicki Minaj to Marilyn Manson to Dave Matthews Band.

Mick Thompson of Slipknot and Randy Blythe of Lamb of God.

Mick Thompson of Slipknot and Randy Blythe of Lamb of God.

Daniel Boczarski/Redferns/Getty; Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty

Slipknot & Lamb of God

Dates: July 24th-September 5th

Openers: Bullet for My Valentine, Motionless in White

Why You Should Go: For the heaviest double-bill of the summer, look no further than metal titans Slipknot and Lamb of God. This year is big for both acts: Lamb of God are releasing their first album since lead singer Randy Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter charges, and Slipknot is recognizing the fifth anniversary of founding member Paul Gray's death.

Tickets: $30-$80

Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson

Victor Moriyama/Getty; David A. Beloff/Getty

Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson

Dates: July 7th-August 9th

Why You Should Go: Billy Corgan promises career-spanning sets when he tours with his old Nineties pal Marilyn Manson. But don't get it twisted: "Anyone who calls this a nostalgia tour doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about," Corgan says. "Believe it or don't — but if you don't, then you will miss something rare, which is three hours of really powerful music."

Tickets: $35-$110

Taylor Swift

Jun Sato/Getty

Taylor Swift

Dates: Through October 31st 

Openers: Haim, Shawn Mendes, Vance Joy (varies by date)

Why You Should Go: Taylor Swift says she was on a mission to make her current arena and stadium tour every bit as much of a pop experience as last year's 1989 album. "I was very adamant that every decision I've made creatively in the past had to be almost flipped," Swift says. "You're not going to see me playing the banjo." Producer Max Martin was enlisted to teach her live band how to re-create the 1989 sound. The set list draws most from the record but also includes revamped versions of some old favorites — "'Love Story,' 'I Knew You Were Trouble' and 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' are completely different," Swift says.

Tickets: $33-$250

Shania Twain

CALGARY, CANADA - JULY 10: Shania Twain performs at the Calgary Stampede at Scotiabank Saddledome on July 10, 2014 in Calgary, Canada. (Photo by Melissa Renwick/Getty Images)

Melissa Renwick/Getty

Shania Twain

Dates: June 5th-August 24th

Openers: Gavin DeGraw (U.S.), Wes Mack (Canada)

Why You Should Go: When Shania Twain's two-year run in Las Vegas concluded in December, the 49-year-old pop-country hitmaker knew her performing days were almost over. "I just feel like there are so many other things to do musically," says Twain. This summer, she'll bid farewell not in a casino theater but with the Rock This Country trek, which launches June 5th in Seattle. "I thought it would be more satisfying to end it on tour and not in a static environment," she continues, promising a show emphasizing the guitar-heavy country music she recorded with producer and then-husband Mutt Lange. "I want to focus more on the rock vibe and the punch and edge that the music naturally has. I'm going to stick to the hits and let the energy go and rock."

Tickets: $45-$151

U2

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 13: Bono of U2 perform on stage during the Bambi Awards 2014 show on November 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)

Gisela Schober/Getty

U2

Dates: Through July 31st

Why You Should Go: The last time U2 went out on the road, they built a spaceship — the 29,000-square-foot "Claw" that was the centerpiece of their 2009-'11 world tour. This time around, they're playing through custom PA system that employs speakers hung from the ceiling spread evenly throughout the venue. "Everyone up to this point, us included, has always put all the speakers at one end of the stage and blasted all the sound the full length of the venue," says the Edge. "With this, you sit no further than 50 feet from a set of speakers." The show, which