These acts are booked into huge venues for a reason. A sampling of where you can get your rock on, your rap on and your nostalgia on:
May 31 and June 1, Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
Before you write off Radiohead as music that’s strictly for earbud listening, you should know that they’ve been busting out a lot of “OK Computer” songs at recent shows. They’ve also retooled most of the songs from last fall’s “King of Limbs” to rock way more.
Wired 96.5 Fest
June 1, Susquehanna Bank Center
The hip-hop/R&B station-curated fest brings out the hottest names on the radio and beyond. Catch early sets by up-and-coming rappers with big buzz like Diggy Simmons and Kirko Bangz. And stick around for tried-and-true headliners like Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj. Also filling out the bill are acts who could be headliners, like B.o.B., Big Sean and T-Pain.
June 9, Susquehanna Bank Center
The Canadian-based rapper has loaded his “Club Paradise Tour” with such a giant entourage of openers that it was tempting to put this concert in the “festivals” category. But as great as openers J. Cole, Meek Mill, Waka Flocka Flame and 2 Chainz are, this is Drizzy’s show. Recent set lists have shown that he performs more than 20 songs each night, drawing heavily from last fall’s “Take Care.”
Brothers of the Sun Tour
June 16, Lincoln Financial Field
Don’t you dare call what Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw have got going on between them a bromance! These two country giants have cultivated a relationship that they say makes them “Brothers of the Sun.” The tour marks the first time these two cowboys (both of whom “Feel Like a Rock Star”) have hit the road together in 10 years. For the tour they’re bringing along Jake Owen and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, the latter of whom can really rock a flying V guitar!
June 18, Wells Fargo Center
Need a few reasons to check out this concert? How about “Shilo” “Red Red Wine,” “Forever in Blue Jeans” and “Sweet Caroline”? Sweet freaking Caroline! Not only did he write these hits, but he sells them so hard in concert, wearing glittery garments that should (but don’t) contradict his status as a top-notch songwriter.
Dave Matthews Band
June 26 and 27, Susquehanna Bank Center
On one hilarious sketch on the “Saturday Night Live” finale last weekend, Bill Hader began by saying, “Hi, I’m Dave Matthews. Remember me? From college?” Apparently a lot of you do, as Dave-demand is high enough for a two-night stand at the Susquehanna Bank Center next month.
The Beach Boys
June 27, PNC Bank Arts Center
Celebrating their 50th anniversary, this touring incarnation actually features all surviving members of the Beach Boys. This is note-worthy because over the past few years, a “Beach Boys” concert could mean just one Beach Boy or another on the stage with a bunch of younger dudes in Hawaiian shirts. But this lineup actually features Brian Wilson, the group’s resident genius songwriter who is touring with the band for the first time in more than 25 years. Whether they’re picking up good vibrations or just picking up bags of cash, the tour is a rarity not to be missed.
July 5 and 6, Wells Fargo Center
Coldplay continue to rise to the occasion and be the arena band that Gen Y needs them to be. Most recently, they busted out a spirited and sweet cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for your Right” on the day that MCA died. Plus, word is that they hand out light-up wristbands to attendees that makes for a cool concert effect.
July 14, Citizens Bank Park
The most enduring wonder about “The Wall” is that it’s an album about isolating yourself, but it continues to reach out and find new audiences. When Pink Floyd attempted to tour for the album shortly after releasing it in 1979, their production was so elaborate that they could only stage the show at four venues. Thankfully, Floyd founder Roger Waters figured out how to bring it to more venues.
July 21, Wells Fargo Center
Aerosmith are a national treasure! Think about it: In an age where it’s a possibility that a Tupac ghost could appear on any stage any-where, it’s a marvel that a real live classic band like the bad boys from Boston have all of their original members after all the years of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. Not only are they all still living, but they’re all still rocking and continuing to make vital music.
Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez
July 29, Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
J-to-tha-Lo! E-to-tha-Ig! OK, the second one doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? But this co-headlining tour really has high potential for spicy duets.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
Sept. 2 and 3, Citizens Bank Park
Experiencing the Boss in concert is a rite of passage. Yes, it’s mostly wealthy white men in khakis who continue to honor this ritual, but don’t let them distract you. The magic is on the stage, where the 62-year-old Springsteen some-how summons an energy that could wear out a performer one third of his age. Also, “Thunder Road”!
Aug. 28, Wells Fargo Center
The mood of Madonna’s most recent release, “MDNA,” feels like the soundtrack to a midlife crisis. For a concertgoing audience, this can be a good thing if she indulges in over-the-top stunts and theatrics and plays a set that lives in the present rather than getting hung up on nostalgia.