As Summer 2014 rapidly approaches, so does the summer concert season in New Jersey and New York. Major tours coming through the area this year boast some of today’s top pop stars, metal acts and classic rock artists that are sure to please. The Aquarian Weekly has compiled a list of some of the most anticipated shows happening within the next upcoming months so you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your summer with great music.
Giving the Northeast a taste of the Deep South, Michael Arnone’s 25th annual Crawfish Fest returns to Augusta, NJ from May 30 through June 1. Along with a large variety of New Orleans-inspired foods, the festival also boasts vendors from all over the area and offers campsites where patrons can stay for the weekend. This year’s lineup for musicians scheduled to perform consists of JJ Grey & Mofro, Funky Meters, Raw Oyster Cult, Marcia Ball, Royal Southern Brotherhood and many more. For more information, check out crawfishfest.com.
Icona Pop & Guy Sebastian
Icona Pop will be headlining B98.5’s All School Dance at iPlay America in Freehold, NJ on June 6. The Swedish duo formed in 2009, and were quickly signed to TEN Music Group. Their second album, This Is… Icona Pop, was released this past September, which included their summer hit, “I Love It.” Main support Guy Sebastian first made a name for himself in 2003 as the winner of Australian Idol, and continued to achieve success throughout the UK and Europe. Tickets for the show also come with an After Dark Pass, allowing concertgoers rides all night.
The Disco Biscuits
Since their formation at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995, Philadelphia jam band The Disco Biscuits have generated an almost cult-like following. Besides releasing countless EPs and LPs, the group has also put together music festivals, such as the annual Camp Bisco, and a studio previously owned by DJ Jazzy Jeff to help out up-and-coming artists in the greater Philadelphia area. The four-piece band will be doing a handful of shows this summer, including a three-day stint at Irving Plaza in Manhattan from June 12 through 14.
Celebrating some of the most accomplished guitarists in music, the 2014 Guitar Gods tour brings together several of the best players in rock. Created and headlined by Swedish rocker Yngwie Malmsteen, the show also features current Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Uli Jon Roth of the German metal band Scorpions and solo artist Gary Hoey. The event will be making a slew of stops in the area, first at The Paramount in Huntington, NY on June 13, followed by June 14 at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville and lastly June 17 at Bergen PAC in Englewood, NJ.
As one of the breakout stars of the early 2000s, Vanessa Carlton made a name for herself with her debut record, Be Not Nobody, released in 2002. The leading single from that record, “A Thousand Miles,” became one of the most popular songs of the new millennium. Three albums later, the piano rock princess is working on her latest LP, Liberman, set to be released later this year. This summer she will be performing a few stops throughout the Northeast, including Westhampton Beach PAC in Westhampton, NY on June 13, TheNewton Theatre in Newton, NJ on June 15, and the Musikfest Café in Bethlehem, PA on June 20.
For the past three years, the annual Summerland Tour has featured some of the most prominent bands from the ’90s all together on one stage. Created by Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and Art Alexakis of Everclear, this year’s lineup features Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog. The package will be performing at Irving Plaza on June 17 and heading down to Jersey on June 21 to play the House Of Blues in Atlantic City. They will return to New York for a show at The Paramount on June 22.
Becoming a key band in mainstream music during the ’70s and ’80s with several chart-topping hits such as “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It On The Run” off their 1980 album, Hi Infidelity, REO Speedwagon became a fixture in pop culture. Despite the group’s various member changes and assorted drama over their nearly 50-year run, they still manage to continue to tour regularly. The five-piece will be making their way to Bergen PAC in Englewood, NJ on June 18 as part of a nationwide summer tour.
Meshuggah & Between The Buried And Me
In honor of the 25th anniversary of their debut self-titled EP, Swedish metal band Meshuggah are embarking on a limited worldwide tour to play select tracks from over the course of their 25-year career. North Carolina-based progressive rock quintet Between The Buried And Me, who just finished filming a live DVD that will be released in the fall, will be joining the legends for the North American dates, which includes a June 21 stop at Best Buy Theater in New York City.
Fall Out Boy & Paramore
Last year was extremely busy for both Fall Out Boy and Paramore, and neither show any signs of stopping. Fall Out Boy returned from the “indefinite hiatus” they embarked on in 2009 by releasing Save Rock & Roll, and Paramore followed suit with their self-titled album, their first in five years. The two have teamed up to create Monumentour, which they will co-headline, that makes several stops in the area: Nikon Theater At Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY on June 21, Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden on June 27 and PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel on June 28.
Best known for pairing her classically trained voice with refreshing folk and honest lyricism, Jeanne Jolly first gained notoriety in the music world by accompanying world-renowned trumpeter Chris Botti. Her first EP, Falling In Carolina, was released in 2010, followed by her full-length debut, Angels, in 2012. Besides being a successful songstress, Jolly has also earned a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. Jolly will be performing at Union PAC in Rahway, NJ on June 21, Webster Hall in New York City on June 27 and World Café Live in Philadelphia on June 29.
Styx & Foreigner
Classic rock legends Styx and Foreigner will be joining forces this summer, hitting up a number of local venues including the Prudential Center on June 26, Nikon At Jones Beach Theater on June 28, the Susquehanna Bank Center on July 3 and the Toyota Pavilion on July 4. Styx’s latest release, 2012’s The Grand Illusion, Pieces Of Eight Live, was filmed in Memphis, TN and released as a two-CD/DVD set. Earlier this year, Foreigner unveiled I Want To Know What Love Is, a two-disc compilation album.
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers Crosby, Stills & Nash will be taking the stage at The Mac At Monmouth University on July 6, the Beacon Theatre on July 8, 9 and 11, and the Borgata Events Center on July 12. The supergroup, made up of folk rockers David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash (and occasionally joined by Neil Young), have been actively performing together since the ’70s. Though they haven’t released any studio albums since 1999, the trio has put out two live albums/DVDs since, first Deja Vu Live in 2008 followed by CSN 2012.
Freedom Fest State Fair
Celebrating its 11th year, the annual Freedom Fest State Fair will be held July 8-13 at the Horse Park Of New Jersey in Allentown, NJ. Along with holding events such as pig racing, magic shows, daredevil stunts and petting zoos, the fair will also be hosting an array of musical acts, starting with Celtic folk group John Byrne Band. The concerts extend throughout the week, also featuring Rolling Stones tribute band The Glimmer Twins, the Matt O’Ree Band, Molly Hatchet, Gin Blossoms and many others. For more information, go to freedomfeststatefair.com.
Best known for his slew of hits throughout the ’70s including “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold,” as well as his stint as the lead guitarist in the Detroit-based band The Amboy Dukes, Ted Nugent will be playing The Paramount in Huntington, NY on July 21 and The Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ on July 22. In his nearly 50-year career, the rocker has released over 30 albums with several successful bands as well as solo projects. His newest release, a live record titled Ultralive Ballisticrock, came out last October.
Canadian band Barenaked Ladies became a staple on the alternative rock scene throughout the ’90s and early ’00s, climbing their way to the top of the charts with singles such as “One Week” and “If I Had $1,000,000.” The Platinum-certified artists released their 11th LP, Grinning Streak, with new label Vanguard Records last June, and this summer are set to bring their energized stage show to venues across North America starting at the beginning of July. As part of the tour, the group will be playing the MAYO Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ on July 22.
Since its creation in 2008, Rockstar Mayhem Festival has become a summer staple for the metal scene. Growing bigger with each passing year, 2014 offers four stages that include acts like Emmure, Veil Of Maya and Cannibal Corpse, as well as main stage acts like Avenged Sevenfold, Korn and Asking Alexandria. This festival will be making several stops in the area, starting with Nikon Theater At Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY on July 30, followed by Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden on Aug. 1 before heading to Scranton, PA on Aug. 2 to the Toyota Pavilion.
Slightly Stoopid & Stephen Marley
Reggae rockers Slightly Stoopid will embark on a summer tour across North America, which includes a stop at Festival Pier in Philadelphia on Aug. 2 before the band heads to Asbury Park to headline the Stone Pony Summer Stage on Aug. 3. The group will play both shows with Stephen Marley, Grammy-winning artist and son of the legendary Bob Marley, as well as alternative hip-hop trio and friends G. Love & Special Sauce. Slightly Stoopid’s latest record, On Top Of The World, was released in 2012, marking their seventh studio album.
Panic! At The Disco
Las Vegas, Nevada-based rock band Panic! At The Disco formed in 2004, and in support of their latest release, 2013’s Too Weird Too Live, Too Rare To Die! they will be hitting the road this summer, stopping locally at The Theater At Madison Square Garden on Aug. 5, the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River, NJ on Aug. 8 and Festival Pier in Philly on Aug. 9. The group features vocalist/guitarist Brendon Urie, bassist Dallon Weekes, drummer Spencer Smith and touring guitarist Kenneth Harris.
Over the course of their four-decade career, Heart have secured themselves a spot as one of the most notable bands in classic rock, and show no signs of stopping. They released their most recent studio album, Fanatic, in 2012, following it up witha live DVD titled Fanatic Live From Caesar’s Colosseum, where they performed a combination of both new and old songs at the famous Las Vegas venue. The group has two New Jersey dates scheduled for this summer, first at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank on Aug. 8 and at MAYO Performing Arts Center in Morristown on Aug. 11.
Modest Mouse & Brand New
Indie rock heroes Modest Mouse and Long Island-based cult favorites Brand New are set to make history this summer by co-headlining Forest Hills Stadium in Queens on Aug. 9. The stadium held its first concert in more than a decade last year when Mumford And Sons played a special set, and it’s been completely remodeled and upgraded. Though neither band has released any new material in the last several years, Brand New have stated that they are currently working on a follow-up to 2009’s Daisy.
Eminem & Rihanna
Two of the biggest names in music right now, Eminem and Rihanna will be co-headlining the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Aug. 16 and 17 as part of The Monster Tour. First collaborating together on Eminem’s song “Love The Way You Lie” in 2010, the superstars teamed up once again this past winter to release “The Monster” off Eminem’s newest disc, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The tour is to be of an extremely limited run, stopping for only two shows in Pasadena and Detroit before wrapping up.