Summer Concert Guide: If You Only Go To 20 Shows This Summer…


Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

July 8

One of the more interesting concerts this summer is the return of the Seattle grunge band Soundgarden. The group was of the most successful acts in the ‘90s until they decided to call it quits while still on top of the world. More than 12 years passed since the band broke up in 1997 and a return looked bleak until they announced their surprising reunion in 2010. Soundgarden will now be playing a very special show at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ with Coheed And Cambria opening up. I would not want to miss this one, folks. More information at


Seaside Music Fest

Seaside Heights, NJ

May 19 – 21

Alright, let’s forget about the brutal winter we experienced and get this summer started! Head on down to the Jersey shore from Thursday through Saturday to catch shows at several different venues all over town. Live music will be played all over Seaside, including appearances at The Beach Stage, The Aztec Bar, Jimbo’s, JR’s and Hemingway’s. Now in its fourth year, the festival features over 120 bands, including many of the most promising local talents. And don’t worry about spending a lot of money attending these shows, they are all free admission. More information available at


Festival For Humanity

Mountain Creek, Vernon, NJ

May 27 – 30

What’s better than hearing some great tunes while helping people in need? That’s what the first ever Festival For Humanity is all about. More than 20 charities including Feeding America, American Red Cross and Vet2Vet will be stationed in Humanity Village handing out information to those who wish to get involved by helping out in any way that they can. Touring bands for the festival include Third Eye Blind, Good Charlotte, Soul Asylum and New Jersey natives The Misfits. Ten percent of the ticket sales will be spread out across the charities so come out and enjoy a nice four-day weekend. More information available at


Take Action Tour

Best Buy Theater, NYC

May 28

Headlining bands Silverstein and Bayside will certainly give the Best Buy Theater all it can handle on May 28. Presented by Hot Topic, the annual Take Action Tour will come to a halt after the bands wrap up their sets, concluding what should be yet another successful event. The tour also informs guests about various topics that young people can relate to. The Rutgers-based nonprofit organization Sex, Etc., has been selected as this year’s charity. The group is dedicated to raising teen awareness of STDs while encouraging safe sex. Other bands for the tour include the Polar Bear Club, The Swellers and Texas In July.


Mountain Jam 2011

Hunter Mountain, Hunter, NY

June 2 – 5

Looking for one of the largest festivals this summer? Mountain Jam 2011 is your answer. The festival has grown substantially since its inception in 2005 and this year will be even bigger. Now a four-day event, the concert takes place on four different stages, indoors and outdoors, to ensure that you won’t miss a minute of the action. More than 50 bands will be in attendance, including Gov’t Mule, My Morning Jacket, the Warren Haynes Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead. You can camp there, stay at nearby luxurious condos or hotels, or just go for a single day. If you’ve been craving for a weekend away at a dazzling resort in the mountains, than attend Mountain Jam 2011. Information at


Black Label Society

Irving Plaza, NYC

June 4

The legendary New Jersey native Zakk Wylde will be bringing both his guitar and his beard to NYC on Saturday, June 4. The former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist formed his band Black Label Society in 1998 with guitarist Nick Catanese and drummer Phil Ondich. With eight studio albums, Zakk is established as one of the world’s finest guitarists. New York’s hard rockers Rev Theory and the Canadian foursome Hail The Villain will be supporting BLS on the tour. Tickets, as well as meet and greet packages available at



Black Country Communion

Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

June 18

Talk about the rock supergroup tour of the summer. Black Country Communion will be making their way to Central Jersey to show just why these four rockers got together in the first place. The band, which was formed in 2010, features singer Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple, ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, Jason Bonham and guitarist Joe Bonamassa. After releasing their first full-length album, Black Country, in September, the group has announced that they will be releasing their second, cleverly titled 2, in June. I have an hunch that these guys are going to put on a truly remarkable show. More information at



Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

July 8

The Christian metalcore band Underoath will be bringing their talents to Sayreville, NJ. While the group has undergone a slew of lineup changes over the years, they have perhaps never been as popular or as accomplished as they are now. Each of their past three albums have reached the Billboard top 25, with 2006’s Define The Great Line launching up to number two on the list. Other bands on the bill include Times Of Grace, Stray From The Path and Letlive in what will surely be one of the more bigger metal shows of the summer. Tickets available at


Kid Rock

PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

July 12

What can you say about the always exciting Kid Rock? The man has been nominated for numerous Grammy awards in addition to winning many others, including outstanding national album for Rock n Roll Jesus. Born Robert Ritchie, Kid can sing, play guitar, rap and cause the crowd to erupt into mosh pits. The multi-talented country rock star will be accompanied by the nine-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow for their summer festivities at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. The two previously worked together on the smash hit “Picture,” which went gold. This will be an entertaining night of living legends performing some of their most memorable hits. More information available at


Children Of Bodom

Best Buy Theater, NYC

July 16

Hailing from Finland, the metal capital of the world, are Children Of Bodom. Led by one of the best musicians on the planet, Alexi Laiho, the band plays speed and death metal while incorporating riveting keyboards and explosive guitar melodies. Released in March, Relentless Reckless Forever was their seventh studio album, and with songs such as “Was It Worth It?” and “Not My Funeral,” the band reaffirmed that they are a force to be reckoned with. Supporting Bodom will be Canada’s Devin Townsend, Greece’s Septic Flesh and Germany’s Obscura, in what will be the most global rock show of the season. More information at


Taking Back Sunday

Best Buy Theater, NYC

July 17

Trying to find the standout emo/hardcore show of the summer? Look no further than July 17 at the Best Buy Theater in NYC when Taking Back Sunday headlines what should be an awfully memorable Thursday night. Presented by Coca-Cola, TBS will be touring in support of their new album, Taking Back Sunday, which is set to be released on June 28. What’s even better about this show is that it will feature the original lineup from their 2002 CD, Tell All Your Friends. Also, did I forget to mention that the opening acts are New Jersey’s Thursday, as well as Colour Revolt and We Are The In Crowd? It’s heavily advised that you buy tickets before it most certainly sells out. More information available at


WDHA’s Rock The Park 2011

PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

July 17

Waiting to hear about the hair metal highlight of the season? If you are, then you’re going to love what 105.5 WDHA has in store for you on Sunday, July 17. Featuring Mötley Crüe, Poison and The New York Dolls, Rock The Park 2011 is sure to put a smile on your face. An all ages show, this is the perfect opportunity for glam rockers to take their kids out and show them what real rock music is supposed to sound like. These three bands alone have gone on to sell well more than 100 million albums worldwide. This is not a show that should be missed by any rock fans. More information at



Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY

July 20

Now, this is the badass show that you should be looking forward to. By attending the Brooklyn Bowl on July 20, you will be doing your ears a favor, giving them the opportunity to hear the hard rock bands Clutch, Corrosion Of Conformity and up and coming trio GroundScore. Clutch’s last four albums have each outdone the previous one on the Billboard charts and the group is finally getting the recognition that they deserve. If you’ve never seen Clutch live, you will be shocked at how lead singer Neil Fallon actually sounds better on stage than in studio. Keep your eye on this one. More information at


U2 360° Tour

New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

July 20

With all due respect to the other concerts this summer, this one will be much, much bigger than all of them. Originally scheduled for last year, the show was postponed due to Bono having to undergo emergency back surgery. Fully recovered, the legendary Dublin band U2 will now continue their worldwide trip by making an appearance at the prestigious New Meadowlands Stadium. The current 360 Tour is their highest grossing one of all time, selling more the seven million tickets spanning across five continents. Interpol will be the opening act. Consider yourself incredibly lucky if you are able to come across tickets for the show. More information at


Gathering Of The Vibes

Seaside Park, Bridgeport, CT

July 21-24

Get ready to bring your friends, a car and a tent with you to the annual Gathering Of The Vibes festival. The Thursday through Sunday event lets fans have a relaxing four-day weekend on the waterfront or in the woods, while camping out and seeing some talented jam bands. If you are unavailable to attend each day or don’t wish to camp, don’t sweat it, single day tickets are on sale as well. Some of the featured acts are Furthur, featuring Phil Lesh & Bob Weir, Jane’s Addiction, Elvis Costello & The Imposters and the John Butler Trio. Don’t you want to get away for a little bit this summer? Let this be that time. Information at


Vans Warped Tour

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

July 23

Monmouth Park, Oceanport, NJ

July 24

Ah, yes, it’s now time for some of the biggest metalcore, rock and punk bands from around the world to gather and play in front of many thousands of fans. I’m talking, of course, about the annual Vans Warped Tour. Each year the packed festivities include performances from many different genres, satisfying nearly everyone’s desires. One of the most stacked lineups in recent memory, this year’s Warped Tour is going to leave fans salivating. Scheduled to appear are The Devil Wears Prada, 3OH!3, A Day To Remember, Paramore, We Came As Romans, Simple Plan, Dance Gavin Dance and many others. You are bound to have a good time at this event, no matter your music preference. More information at


Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival

PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

July 27

Wow, who else is ready to witness some of the best metal bands from the past 20 years? Many have been eagerly awaiting the start of the annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival since the groups were announced. While it is always a great turnout, fans will be exceptionally happy with this year’s show. Just a few of the bands that will make their way to the PNC Bank Arts Center are Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth, In Flames and Trivium. The Living The Dream Foundation will also be giving one worthy fan, who has been diagnosed with a serious illness, the ultimate VIP experience. Metalheads know this is a concert one should not miss. Details can be found at


The Summer Slaughter Tour

Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

August 14

Paging all death metal fans, this is the moment you have all been waiting for. The yearly Summer Slaughter Tour will be making its way to the Starland Ballroom, in what should be an extraordinary day full of darkness. Dubbed “the most extreme tour of the year,” expect mosh pits, tons of young people dressed in black, crowd surfing and plenty of artists that will cause the crowd to erupt in a frenzy. Headlining are The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel, while Darkest Hour, Six Feet Under and Dying Fetus are just some of the opening acts. So take a ride down to Starland on August 14 and also bring a pair of earplugs because this place is going to be loud! More information at


The Beach Boys

Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ

August 17

It isn’t often that we see a band of this caliber still grinding out a few tours. Celebrating their 50th anniversary, The Beach Boys have announced that they will be playing at the Bergen Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, August 17. Often regarded as one of the best rock or doo wop bands of all-time, The Beach Boys have been soaking up the sun for a few decades, though they haven’t gone on a full tour like this one in some time. Give the Jersey shore a rest for one day and come on out and see the hall of famers for what could very well wind up being their last tour. Additional information at


Kings Of Leon

PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

August 17

It looks like PNC is back at it again with yet another quality sho this summer. They have secured the alternative rock band Kings Of Leon for one night only. The quartet has achieved so much the past few years that I’m fairly convinced that they are trying to do all they can to take over the world. They’ve had albums go platinum in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the U.S. Not bad at all. How much bigger will the group from Nashville continue to be? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for sure: Holmdel will be packed with fans trying to get a glimpse of one of the biggest bands on the planet. Details at