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Summer 2017’s Hottest Tours: Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Metallica and More

Also: Bruno Mars’ funk party, U2’s ‘Joshua Tree’ encore and other must-see shows making the rounds

2017 Tours: Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga

Read our round-up of the summer's hottest tours, including Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and many more.

Al Pereira/WireImage/Getty, Chelsea Lauren/Rex, Christopher Polk/Getty

Summer is when music’s biggest names hit the road with their grandest spectacles, and 2017 is no exception. The coming months will see tours from pop superstars (Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars), rock heavyweights (The Who, Metallica, Green Day), hip-hop chart-toppers (Future, Kendrick Lamar) and tons more. Read on for the highlights of what’s shaping up to be a stellar season for live music.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 11: John Mayer performs at The O2 Arena on May 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Baker/Getty Images)

John Mayer

Matthew Baker/Getty

John Mayer

July 18th–September 3rd
Tickets $36–$150

“I
stumbled into one of the coolest setups a guy could have in a music career,”
says Mayer, who will play shows all summer as a guitarist in Dead & Company
and as a solo act. He says last year’s Dead tour has caused him to rethink
performing: He is breaking the night into “chapters” that include
full-band and acoustic segments. His favorite part? A set with his blues trio,
which includes Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino. “The first time the trio
makes a sound, even I’m not ready for it,” Mayer says.

INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 11: Billie Joe Armstrong of the band Green Day performs onstage at 106.7 KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2016 - Night 2 at The Forum on December 11, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)

Green Day

Kevin Winter/Getty

Green Day

August 1st–September 16th
Tickets $15–$99

Lately,
the band has toned down political talk for new songs, fun Sixties-rock medleys
and Nineties hits. “I want people to have a great experience away from the
news,” says Billie Joe Armstrong. “Let’s have a human experience and
rub up against each other.”

EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 20: Lionel Richie performs onstage at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 party at The Creeks on August 20, 2016 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images); NEW ORLEANS, LA - JULY 02: Recording artist Mariah Carey performs on stage during the 2016 Essence Festival at the Louisiana Superdome on July 2, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Lionel Richie; Mariah Carey

Patrick McMullan, Paras Griffin/Getty

Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey

July 21st–September 5th
Tickets $39–$399

Richie
says he was shocked when Carey agreed to tour with him. Though they’re still
working out the set, they will each perform separately, with likely duets in
the middle. “I think this is going to be one of the most exciting tours I’ve
been on – next to the great Tina Turner,” Richie says. 

CHULA VISTA, CA - JULY 27: (L-R) Musicians John Mayer, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir of Dead & Company perform on stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on July 27, 2016 in Chula Vista, California. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/FilmMagic)

Jay Blakesburg

Dead & Company

Through July 1st
Tickets $35–$175

Expect
a different experience than last year, though Bob Weir is cryptic on details: “The
premise we’re working with is when most people go to a show, they’re watching a
movie on the big screen in their head. We’re going to try to play to that.”

INDIO, CA - OCTOBER 09: Musician Roger Waters (C) performs during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 9, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Desert Trip)

Roger Waters

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Roger Waters

May 26th–October 28th
Tickets $32–$249

Waters
is promoting his first rock album in 25 years, but he’s promising a “75-25”
ratio of Pink Floyd and solo gems to new songs, and “over 400 feet of
projection.” “We’re doing rock & roll, but it’s also theater,”
he has said. “We care about it.”

NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT - JUNE 12: Adam Lambert, Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen + Adam Lambert perform on stage at Seaclose Park on June 12, 2016 in Newport, Isle of Wight. (Photo by Mark Holloway/Redferns)

Queen - Adam Lambert, Brian May and Roger Taylor

Mark Holloway/Redferns

Queen + Adam Lambert

June 23rd–August 5th
Tickets $43–$270

“There will be no holograms,” Queen guitarist Brian May assures fans of how the band will be paying tribute to Freddie Mercury on the band’s upcoming arena dates with Adam Lambert. “But there will be a retrospective element that connects to the glory days of when Freddie was with us. There will be echoes from the past in a new way.” As for just what that means, though, he’s keeping silent so as to surprise fans. That said, he says set lists will skew toward “vintage Americana Queen,” meaning classics like “We Will Rock You.” “I remember Prince saying, ‘Too many hits, too many hits,’ which is a good problem to have,” he says, “but we’ll be throwing in a few songs people won’t have seen live for a very long time.” That’s all right with Lambert, who has been singing with the band since their 2009 American Idol performance together and likes the collaborative nature of the pairing. ” We are a band when we get onstage at this point,” he says. “We have that thing where you can look at each other and there’s an unspoken communication that happens. It’s pretty exciting.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Don Henley performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Tom Petty at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

Don Henley

Lester Cohen/WireImage

Don Henley

June 6th–July 29th
Tickets $72–$185

Henley is taking a 15-piece band on a solo tour, playing Eagles songs, solo cuts and telling the stories behind them. It ends with a 70th-birthday gig on July 22nd in Dallas with special guests.

DENVER, CO - APRIL 1: Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac performs during the band's "On With The Show" tour at the Pepsi Center April 1, 2015, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/The Denver Post via Getty Images); LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac performs live at The O2 Arena on May 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

Lindsey Buckingham; Christine McVie

Daniel Petty/The Denver Post, Samir Hussein/Getty

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie

June 2nd–July 27th
Tickets $25–$190

The
duo wanted to continue the chemistry they rekindled on Fleetwood Mac’s last
tour. Expect plenty of hits. “They’d run us out on a rail if we didn’t do them,”
Buckingham says.

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 24: Recording artist John Mellencamp performs onstage during CMT Crossroads: John Mellencamp and Darius Rucker on February 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for CMT)

John Mellencamp

Terry Wyatt/Getty

John Mellencamp

June 5th–September 3rd
Tickets $29–$199

It took some convincing to get Mellencamp on board for his first outdoor amphitheater tour since 2005. “I don’t like playing for people drinking, fighting,
trying to pick up girls,” he says. To make it more tolerable, he has invited
Emmylou Harris, Jewel and Carlene Carter to open and join him onstage. Expect
lots of new material and Dylanesque re-imaginings of old songs. “I always
play ‘Jack and Diane,’ but not in the way people know,” he says. “I’m
not a fucking jukebox.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 18: Donald Fagen of Steely Dan performs at the Hollywood Bowl Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl on June 18, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/WireImage)

Donald Fagen

Mathew Imaging/WireImage

Donald Fagen and the Nightflyers

August 8th–September 24th
Tickets $45–$80

Given the name of his new band, longtime Donald Fagen fans might assume his upcoming tour will focus on music from The Nightfly,
his classic 1982 solo debut. But the Steely Dan singer/keyboardist
claims the
moniker was simply the most original one he could come up with. “There’s
so many bands now that it’s hard to find something that doesn’t show up
when you google it,” he tells Rolling Stone. “So I just ripped
off my own invention from 1981.” Rounded out
by younger musicians he first encountered around his current home of
Woodstock, the Nightflyers will perform songs from all four of Fagen’s albums under his own name. And much like the Dukes of September – Fagen’s
loose collective with fellow yacht-rock survivors
Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs – they’ll round out their sets with some
Steely Dan favorites TBD and a few choice covers. “We’ve already played
around with a few things: a Chuck Berry tune, a Beatles tune,” Fagen
says.

CLARKSTON, MI - AUGUST 23: Rob Thomas performs at DTE Energy Music Theatre on August 23, 2016 in Clarkston, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images); CLARKSTON, MI - AUGUST 22: Adam Duritz of Counting Crows performs at DTE Energy Music Theatre on August 23, 2016 in Clarkston, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)

Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20; Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Scott Legato/Getty

Counting Crows / Matchbox 20

July 12th–October 1st
Tickets $30–$115

“If you’re lucky, you’re going to have nostalgia appeal, because that means you’ve been around long enough to be someone’s nostalgia,” Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas says. “There’s nothing bad about that.” This summer, Thomas and his bandmates will be steeping their fans in Nineties nostalgia by playing once-ubiquitous VH1 fodder like “Push,” “3 A.M.” and “Real World,” alongside their alt-rock–era tourmates in Counting Crows on what singer Adam Duritz has dubbed the A Brief History of Everything tour. It’s been five years since Matchbox put out an LP and three since the Crows offered up something new, so Thomas is excited to play what he’s calling a “victory lap.” That said, Duritz likes to keep fans on their toes. “We have 85 songs in rotation on our set lists,” he says. “We’re playing most of our music over the course of a summer. The bigger problem is what not to play on any given night.”

GULF SHORES, AL - MAY 19: Thomas Mars (L) of the band Phoenix performs during the 2017 Hangout Music Festival on May 19, 2017 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. (Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)

Phoenix - Thomas Mars

Erika Goldring/WireImage

Phoenix

June 2nd–November 19th
Tickets $35–$90

In the three years since Phoenix last performed in the U.S., the French synth-pop group recorded a new album, Ti Amo – out June 9th – and devised a new stage production that frontman Thomas Mars says will add an “extra dimension” to the songs. “Concerts these days seem to be less and less about the instruments and more about pyrotechnics and light shows – it’s very cliché,” he says. “So we’re bringing instruments back, along with the sort of embellishment, fantasy and aura they can have. We’re giving them strength almost in a Kraftwerk way.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02: (L-R) Musicians Tommy Victor, Glenn Danzig, Johnny Kelly and Steve Zing of Danzig perform at the 5th annual Revolver Golden Gods award show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

Danzig

Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Danzig

Blackest of the Black: May 26th–27th
Tickets $39–$399

One of metal’s darkest bands will mark the release of new album, Black Laden Crown, this month with its own two-night Blackest of the Black festival in California, alongside Ministry and Suicidal Tendencies and attractions that include a castle, a bondage stage, a “blood bath” and freak show, among others. “I try to make Danzig concerts not just a show but some kind of experience that transcends going to a rock concert,” singer Glenn Danzig says. “You’ve got to get more out of it than just a rock concert, and this is going to take it the next level – or a couple levels.” They’ll then play a “limited number” of yet-to-be-announced gigs this summer, where they’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1992 LP How the Gods Kill.

NORTH ADAMS, MA - SEPTEMBER 17: Bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show performs during the FreshGrass Music Festival 2016 at Mass MoCA on September 17, 2016 in North Adams, Massachusetts. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)

Old Crow Medicine Show

Douglas Mason/Getty

Old Crow Medicine Show

Through August 26th
Tickets $35–$50

The
folk band has been marking the 50th anniversary of Blonde on Blonde by
playing the entire LP. “What a perfect jug-band song ‘Leopard Skin
Pill-Box Hat’ is,” says frontman Ketch
Secor.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 14: Noelle Scaggs and Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and The Tantrums perform at The Greek Theatre on October 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images)

Noelle Scaggs and Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and The Tantrums

Timothy Norris/Getty

Fitz and the Tantrums

July 7th–September 23rd
Tickets $20–$151

The Motown-influenced band is promising “hot, sweaty summer dance parties,” says frontman Michael Fitzpatrick.

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