While schools let out and the weather gets warmer, your favorite bands are planning their summer tours. Everyone from Mac Miller to Aerosmith will be playing and events like the Mayhem Fest, which features the likes of Slipknot, Slayer and Motörhead, are just the tip of the iceberg! Additionally, the Vans Warped Tour and Camp Bisco 2012 will be returning this July. With beachside festivals, city concerts and smaller gigs, music lovers will not be short of things to do. We’ve compiled an itinerary of must-see shows and festivals to ensure you an eventful summer. So keep reading and start planning your next three months.
5/31: Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
Lukas Nelson is featured on Willie Nelson’s newest album, Heroes, which came out on May 15. He’s also currently on the Wasted Tour with his band Promise Of The Real. They had a show in Philly earlier this month and will be making a return appearance to the Tri-State Area on May 31. Lukas Nelson and his country buddies head on over to the Highline Ballroom in the city before continuing their North American tour through the end of June.
5/31, 6/1 and 6/13: Radiohead
Thom Yorke, Colin and Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, and Phil Selway of England’s Radiohead just came off their first U.S. tour in over four years. They were out in support of their latest record, The King Of Limbs, which came out in February of 2011. The group comes to NJ this summer with three shows in the area. They have a two-show stay at the Prudential Center on May 31 and June 1, followed by a show at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Jun. 13. After NJ, they head out on a world tour.
6/2: Gavin DeGraw & Colbie Caillat
Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat will be performing together at Rumsey Playfield, in New York, on June 2. Both stars have experienced a great deal of success in the past few months. At the beginning of this year, DeGraw released his newest work, Sweeter. His new song, “Not Over You,” has already become one of his greatest hits. Colbie Caillat’s music consistently plays on the radio and her newest CD, All Of You, received raving reviews. Don’t miss the dynamic duo’s show in Central Park.
6/2: The Machine
For those of you that don’t know, The Machine is one of the oldest U.S. Pink Floyd tribute bands out there. They’ve been hailed all over the place for their uncanny likeness to the sounds of the epic Pink Floyd. For those of you that didn’t get a chance to see the real Pink Floyd in action, this is probably going to be the best you’ll get. This summer they head to the Starland Ballroom on June 2 for an event with Live Culture and Such Is Life.
6/3: I Am The Avalanche
The newest CD from Brooklyn rockers I Am The Avalanche, appropriately titled Avalanche United, received an immense amount of positive reviews. The band has recently supported Paramore on tour, gaining numerous fans in the process. With their hardcore, in-your-face lyrics, I Am The Avalanche is a hard band to miss and is even harder not to like. Their live performances are loud, exciting, and irrefutably entertaining. They will be performing at Asbury Lanes, in Asbury Park, on June 3. I Am The Avalanche will also be at Vans Warped Tour this summer.
6/3: Phone Calls From Home
Boston’s Phone Calls From Home is on the road and extremely busy throughout the entire summer. Since the release of their third studio album, Live. Love., last July, the group composed of Dave Place, Zack Gowan, Danny Stockman, and Jason Vieira, has been touring a lot. Before heading out on the Vans Warped Tour on June 16, the group has a few shows set for the Northeast. As their last performance before Warped, Phone Calls From Home heads to NYC for a June 3 gig at Webster Hall with Paradise Fears. Simply put, they’re pretty much locked in at the moment.
6/9: Counting Crows
Counting Crows is a name most people have undoubtedly heard of. With numerous radio hits, the band is both recognized and admired by fans of all different musical genres. Their newest work, Underwater Sunshine, was released on April 12 and it’s their sixth studio album. The CD is unique because it is composed of cover songs, which includes hits from the 1960s to the 2010s. Counting Crows stated that they did this project both to try something new and to simply have fun. The band will be at The Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, on June 9.
6/9: Hawthorne Heights
The fellows of Hawthorne Heights have been busy for the last year or so. Their newest work, the group has decided, will be released as a trio of EPs, and after each EP release, the band will go on a brief tour. The second of the two EPs, Hope, is scheduled to come out on June 5. Three days after that, they head to Long Island for a June 9 show at Vibe Lounge in Rockville Centre with Life On Repeat, Forever Came Calling, and Failsafe. Their summer tour will continue through mid-July. Details for the third and final EP have not been announced.
Drake will be performing at the PNC Bank Art Center, in Holmdel, NJ, on June 12. He has been immersed in success since he started composing music years ago. He currently secured the second slot on MTV’s Hottest MCs In The Game VII list. Drake also has more number one singles (12) than any other artist on Billboard’s Rap Songs Chart. In addition, he’s the only person besides 50 Cent to ever occupy the top three spots all at the same time. Drake has also recently collaborated with big name artists such as Rihanna. He is currently working on his third studio album.
6/16: Ronnie Spector
Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer and she for whom The Ronettes were named, Ronnie Spector has seen the kinds of ups and downs that only true legends can claim as their own. From a troubled marriage to producer/future-murder-convict Phil Spector to supporting The Beatles on their last tour ever, Spector has inspired generations of female pop artists and groups and recorded some of rock’s most brazenly pioneering hits, among them “Be My Baby” and “Walking In The Rain.” Her multimedia one-woman show Beyond The Beehive hits Union PAC on June 16 in advance of a residency throughout July at City Winery in NYC. You know she’s got stories to tell.
6/19-6/22: Face To Face
This ‘90s SoCal punk band is still coming off of the hiatus they took from 2004-2008. Their seventh album, Laugh Now, Laugh Later, came out about a year ago and the group has been touring for the most part since. They’ll have several local shows this summer in which they will be playing acoustic sets of songs from their 1999 album, Ignorance Is Bliss. You can catch Face To Face on June 19 at Maxwell’s, June 20 at the Gramercy Theatre, June 21 at The Wonder Bar, and June 22 at The Trocadero Theatre.
6/22: The Soul Rebels
The Soul Rebels have been bringing their funky jazz rhythms to venues all across the country. They combine their traditional sounds with a unique, New Orleans flavor. In the beginning of 2012, the band released their first international album ever. It is titled Unlock Your Minds and was released through Rounder Records. The album also features Cyril Neville, Trombone Shorty and Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. It stays true to their original sound while also experimenting with new rhythms and techniques. The Soul Rebels will be playing at the Brooklyn Bowl on June 22 and joining them will be Afroskull.
The highly celebrated Aerosmith is coming to the area on July 1, as they’ll be performing at Nassau Coliseum in New York. In addition to their numerous achievements over the years, Aerosmith has recently indulged in various projects. They were recently featured on 60 Minutes, where they entertained people with their funny interviews and antics. Joe Perry surprised Steven Tyler and hundreds of audience members by singing “Happy Birthday” on American Idol. Of course, the band has also been making plans for their upcoming tour, which will also feature Cheap Trick.
6/27, 6/29 and 7/2: Iron Maiden
The metal masters of Iron Maiden are on one hell of a tour this summer, featuring 30+ shows in just over two months. This is only the beginning of their 2012 Maiden England World Tour with Alice Cooper. They released En Vivo!, a DVD featuring tour footage and a documentary back in March, and now the only thing on their mind is rocking on this tour. They have three shows near us definitely worth checking out. On June 27 they’ll be at Jones Beach, on June 29 they’ll be at the Susquehanna Bank Center, and on July 2 they’ll be at the Prudential Center. Their tour continues through mid-August and they hope to continue touring in 2013.
7/3: The Early November
In 2011, The Early November reunited to perform their first concert in four years. Today, the band is as close as ever and is touring consistently. The band has recently signed to Rise Records and performed at the Never Say Never music festival in Texas. They are expected to release their upcoming album, In Currents, on July 3. On this same day, they will be having a record release party and show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. The night will both celebrate their success and showcase their original, infectious sound to new listeners.
7/6 and 7/7: Roger Waters
Roger Waters will be at Yankee Stadium for two consecutive days this summer. On July 6 and 7, he will be performing Pink Floyd’s legendary album, The Wall, in its entirety. Although Waters hasn’t released any new work lately, he has been touring consistently and acting as a spokesperson for Millennium Promise, a nonprofit organization that fights poverty and malaria. He has also been outspoken about politics and the Middle East. With his public image and renowned fame, Waters is sure to affect people worldwide with both his music and beliefs.
7/14: Falling In Reverse
This band began their first headlining tour just this past February. Falling In Reverse have been touring in support of Skip The Foreplay and Oh, Sleeper. However, at the same time, the group also experienced a negative turn of events. Mika Horiuchi left Falling In Reverse with little comment from the other members. Former I Am Ghost bassist Ron Ficarro began filling in for him on tour and soon became his permanent replacement. Now, the group is coming to New York on July 14, as they’ll be performing at Northern Lights.
7/18, 7/19 and 7/21: Electric Six
The six-piece Detroit rock group Electric Six has been very active the last few months, with frontman Dick Valentine releasing his debut solo album, Destroy The Children, in mid-May. He also announced an acoustic tour of the U.S. and Canada and the group’s working on putting out a live album this fall. Valentine and the rest of Electric Six are coming to the local area for a few shows this summer. On July 18 they’ll be at Maxwell’s, on July 19 they’ll be in NYC for the Rocks Off Boat Cruise Aboard The Harbor Lights, and the last local show will be on July 21 at Asbury Lanes. After that, they head to the UK for the rest of the year.
7/25: The Wallflowers
In November 2011, The Wallflowers reunited, stating that they had never really wanted to break up. Fans were thrilled that they had finally ended their hiatus and are eagerly awaiting their new work. The group recently announced on Facebook that they are recording with the following lineup: Jakob Dylan, Rami Jaffee, Greg Richling, Stuart Mathis, and Jack Irons. The Wallflowers will also be releasing their sixth studio album in September. Don’t miss their performance at The Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, on July 25. The band is on one of their first tours since their reunion.
7/31: 311 & Slightly Stoopid
On what will undoubtedly be a sweltering day in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania gets a taste of Southern Cali when 311 and Slightly Stoopid bring their sunshine grooves. Sure, 311 is actually from Omaha, but their sound is more Californian than half of California, so it still counts. The two acts are well paired. Slightly Stoopid have a little more of a punk mentality, but either way, you can expect much chicanery when they hit The Sherman Theater Summer Stage, which—sneaky sneaky—is actually at Pocono Raceway on July 31. They better put some signs up for something, or there’s going to be a lot of confused stoners come Aug. 1.
8/3: Mac Miller & Wiz Khalifa
Superstars Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa are performing together at the Susquehanna Bank Center, in NJ, on the same night. This Aug. 3 event will be a phenomenal evening for fans of hip-hop and rap. Mac Miller released his seventh mixtape, Macadelic, on March 23, and has been performing all over the country. Similarly, Wiz Khalifa released his first studio album in 2011. His personal life has also been broadcasted on the news due to his recent engagement to Amber Rose and friendships with Snoop Dogg and Miller. Don’t miss the pair’s concert, as it is sure to be a night of fun and entertainment.
8/2, 8/4 and 8/5: System Of A Down
After reuniting in 2011, Serj Tankian and the rest of System Of A Down (or SOAD) have been busy performing at music festivals mostly in the UK. This summer, they’ll be keeping up the pace, as they have announced a tour of the Eastern U.S. and Canada along with special guests Deftones. SOAD and Deftones will be starting a small summer tour with three performances near us. On Aug. 2, the two will be in Camden at the Susquehanna Bank Center, and on Aug. 4 and 5, they’ll be at PNC Bank Arts Center and Jones Beach, respectively. They finish up in mid-August and their future plans, in terms of whether or not they’ll be coming out with a new album or future tour dates, is still unknown.
8/10: Journey & Pat Benatar
Journey and Pat Benatar are perhaps two of the most popular and talented musical acts of all-time. Although both have been through a few bumps in the road, today they are both huge success stories. Journey’s songs are still highly celebrated and are even featured on hit TV shows. Just recently, the Tribeca Film Festival premiered a documentary called Don’t Stop Believing, which followed the band on tour for a year. Pat Benatar still performs all over the country and has fans from various backgrounds and age groups. The two will be having a concert together at Jones Beach on August 10.
8/21, 8/24 & 8/25: Sublime With Rome
What formed in 2009 as the result of former Sublime members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh wanting to move on after the death of Bradley Nowell, the two men teamed up with singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez, and together they have brought the group in a fresh new direction. With Josh Freese now in the place of Gaugh, the group is set to tour the U.S. extensively throughout the summer. Three shows in the area are slated on the tour. The first is Aug. 21 at PNC Bank Arts Center, followed by a performance on Aug. 24 at Williamsburg Park in Brooklyn and another on Aug. 25 in Philly as part of the Hemp Heals Music Festival. Each show will feature Cypress Hill, Pepper, and The Manic Low.
8/27, 8/29 & 9/1: Stone Temple Pilots
They say tumult breeds great art and Stone Temple Pilots have 35 million albums sold to prove it. To gear up for their Sep. 1 performance at the Rock Allegiance festival at Hersheypark Stadium alongside Three Days Grace, Seether, Buckcherry and more, the always chaotic, always fascinating rockers will hit up The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island, for two shows. As an added bonus, 2012 also marks the 20-year anniversary of their landmark debut album, Core, that produced massive hit singles like “Plush,” “Dead And Bloated,” “Creep” and “Wicked Garden.” Come to think of it, just about every song on that record was turned into a single, and rightfully so.
6/2: Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival
Those looking for great folk, country, and blues this summer, look no further than the Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival, an event that hits Salem County on June 2. The festival celebrates the art of the songwriter and features not only great variety of music acoustic and otherwise, but also celebrates other fine arts. Featured this year are the likes of Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dawes, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Jukebox The Ghost, Scrapomatic, Rodney Crowell, Cheryl Wheeler, Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, Brother Joscephus And The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra, Mason Porter, and Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why.
The event takes place on the spacious Appel farm and caters to fans of all ages with the Crafts Fair and “Little Kids Area.” All proceeds go towards benefitting Appel Farm’s summer arts camp scholarship and other community arts outreach programs. So, if you want great music and to spread the joy of giving art to local kids, head down to Elmer, NJ, early this June for a great time that’s fun for everyone.
6/23 & 6/24: Governors Ball
This two-day festival features some of today’s most popular artists. Governors Ball will showcase dozens of performers, including Kid Cudi, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, Big Gigantic, Fiona Apple, Cage The Elephant, and many more. This year it will occur on June 23 and 24 in Randall’s Island, NY. The festival also promises something that many others do not: no overlapping set times! This means that a ticket to Governors Ball will allow you to see every single one of the artists performing. No act will be missed out on! Governors Ball will also feature activities such as ping pong, The Silent Disco, numerous lawn games, beer pong, and photo and video booths. The festival is a must-see for all summer concertgoers.
6/23 & 6/24: Orion Music + More
The Orion Music + More Festival was created by ‘80s rock legends and Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Famers, Metallica, and will be hitting Atlantic City late June. Metallica will be featured on both days of the festival, June 23 & 24, performing a different album each night. On Friday, Metallica will be performing Ride The Lightning and on Saturday, The Black Album, as part of its 20th anniversary. Other notable performers at the festival include The Gaslight Anthem, Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold, Modest Mouse, Cage The Elephant, Lucero, Fucked Up, and many others.
In addition to the musical performances at Bader Field, there will be many other attractions, like a custom car show, a mini ramp with famous skaters, a surfing event, Kirk’s Crypt, a collection of some of Kirk’s cool memorabilia, and Ktulu’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Emporium. For a weekend of awesome rock and an experience like no other, Atlantic City is the place to be for the Orion Music + More Festival.
7/5-7/8: CBGB Music Festival
This year’s CBGB Music Festival will be held from July 5 to 8 in NYC. They will be presenting emerging artist showcases on July 5 and 6 in venues all around Manhattan and Brooklyn. On July 7, they will be having a large free concert at their largest outdoor arena, the Summerstage, in Central Park. The 2012 CBGB Music Festival’s lineup includes Rocket From The Tombs, The Baseball Project, Craig Finn, Willie Nile, The Dirty Pearls, Sick Of It All, Cro-Mags, Vision Of Disoder, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Guided By Voices, Cloud Nothings, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, D Generation, and David Johansen.
7/5 & 7/6: Scream It Like You Mean It Festival
The Scream It Like You Mean It Festival will take place on July 5 and 6 at the Starland Ballroom, in Sayreville, NJ. Similar to the Vans Warped Tour, it is primarily composed of punk rock bands. Attack Attack!, We Came As Romans, The Acacia Strain, Like Moths To Flames, Close To Home, Woe, Is Me and Oceano will be performing this year, among others. The festival is relatively new and is therefore less popular than events like Warped and Bamboozle. However, with a great lineup, it will definitely be worth it. Fans of punk and alternative rock music do not want to miss out on this opportunity.
7/9-7/14: Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
Entering its eighth year this summer will be NYC’s largest hip-hop cultural event, the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (also referred to as BHF). This festival is known for not only looking at the music created by all the artists featured, but all the positive cultural aspects of the hip-hop genre and its use as a means of artistic expression of all kinds and cultural progression. BHF has featured many prolific acts in the past, such as Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, KRS-One, Lupe Fiasco and others. This year, the host of the event will be rapper Busta Rhymes and Brooklyn Bodega will produce it, as always. The event will take place from July 9 through July 14 this year and will feature many talented acts, but as of now, many of the acts have yet to be determined.
7/12-7/14: Camp Bisco 2012
The eleventh annual Camp Bisco is coming to Mariaville, NY, from July 12-14 and it will be held at the Indian Lookout Country Club. Camp Bisco will feature some of today’s most popular artists, including Skrillex, Bassnectar, Lotus, Big Gigantic, Crystal Castles, Atmosphere, Porter Robinson, Kill The Noise, and many more. The event is perfect for fans of music’s newest genre—dubstep. Camp Bisco 2012 will also contribute to a good cause, as a portion of each ticket sold will go to a nonprofit organization called Headcount. Witness one of America’s greatest festivals this summer.
7/13: Vans Warped Tour
Vans Warped Tour is an annual festival that always proves to be extremely popular, as it is both an extreme sports and music festival. This year, on July 13, it is coming to the PNC Bank Arts Center in NJ. Over 90 bands will be performing, including Mayday Parade, Rise Against, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, Yellowcard, Of Mice And Men, Twin Atlantic, Streetlight Manifesto, New Found Glory, Breathe Carolina, Senses Fail, We The Kings, Motionless In White, and many others. The festival is always a fun day where fans of alternative music can come together. It started out as a pure punk rock event but has recently branched out to different genres. This year’s lineup includes rap artists such as T. Mills and pop punk bands like All Time Low and We Are The In Crowd. Vans Warped Tour is the perfect summer event.
7/28-7/29: Catalpa NYC Music Festival
This summer will mark the inaugural Catalpa NYC Music Festival, a tradition that hopes to continue for many years to come. The event will focus as much on the musical entertainment as it will on set artistry, interactive experiences and musical experimentation. The festival will feature over 40 acts from all different genres, including blues, rock, hip-hop, electronic, reggae, and indie. The shows begin July 28 and end the following day. Performers include The Black Keys, former Alexisonfire frontman Dallas Green and his solo project City And Colour, Cold War Kids, Matt And Kim, Snoop Dogg, DJ Girl Talk, Matisyahu, and many more. Catalpa will be on Randall’s Island from 1 p.m. through 11 p.m. on July 28 and 29.
8/4: Rockin’ The Lake 2012
This year’s Rockin’ The Lake festival will take place on Aug. 4 at the Pompton Lakes Elks Lodge in Pompton Lakes, NJ. This event will feature platinum selling recording artists KIX as well as Black Water Rising, Peter Baron, Arenalize and Our Black Friday. The festival is appropriate for people of all ages and is a perfect family get-together. Rockin’ The Lake will feature music, food, and fun. Discounted tickets will be available early on so buy those tickets as soon as possible! Also, kids under 12 are completely free. Rockin’ The Lake even has a rain date to ensure you that your ticket will not be wasted. The rain date is Aug. 5.
8/31-9/2: Electric Zoo 2012
This year, Randall’s Island Park will be hosting the fourth annual Electric Zoo Festival at the very end of the summer. For the last three years, the park has been home to the best electric acts that the industry has to offer for a weekend of blaring bass, sick drops and awesome beats. Jump and dance the night away this Labor Day weekend with great acts like Benny Benassi, DJ Steve Aoki, dubstep phenomenon Skrillex, techno powerhouse Datsik, as well as many other promising acts. If you want to end your summer with one hell of a bang, head on over to Randall’s Island Park from Aug. 31 to Sep. 2. You won’t be sorry.
9/7-9/9: Catskill Chill Music Festival
The Catskill Chill Music Festival will feature two stages that will have live music until 5 a.m. each night. All the while, audience members will be enjoying the lakeside view as well as the sounds of reggae, blues, funk, pop, rock, and country. This year, the Catskill Chill Music Festival will take place from Sept. 7-9 in Hancock, NY. From the first act on Friday to the last chorus Sunday morning, the weekend will surely be exciting and unforgettable. The lineup will include Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, Conspirator, Damn Right!, Lettuce, EOTO, Rubblebucket, Soulive, Break Science, Particle, Cornmeal, Alan Evans Trio, The Indobox, lespecial, On The Spot Trio, Twiddle, Turbine, The Folkadelics, and more. With so many acts, the festival is an eventful experience. You’ll barely have time to catch your breath.