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The BEST Summer 2012 Concerts

Although it just officially turned into springtime, I can’t help but feel summer has already arrived. The excessive sunshine, the urge to break out the sundresses and seeing cute puppies on the quad does not have me complaining in the slightest. I have accepted the unusually warm weather with open arms and senioritis has made me more than ready for summer as well, but I digress… Anyway, what better way to celebrate the sunshine than to get outside and listen to your favorite artists?!

Considering myself a concert-newb, I have really only gotten into the live music scene within the past year. I was surely missing out. After attending Virgin Mobile’s Free Fest at Merriweather and seeing bands such as The Black Keys, Two Door Cinema Club, Empire of the Sun and so on, I was hooked. Fortunately, Summer 2012 will not disappoint and it’s not too late to start being a summer concert connoisseur. It will be a great time to attend concerts and outside festivals no matter what kind of music taste you may have.
Being from Loudoun County, Virginia, my geographic background makes me an ideal candidate for loving cowboy boots and country music, yet this is far from the case. However, that being said, with a little bit of research, it becomes blatantly obvious that those who do love this genre will be very pleased with this summer’s line up. Headlining at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristol, Virginia on June 3rd for the WMZQ Fest is Miranda Lambert. Jana Kramer, Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann are a few of the musicians who will accompany Miranda, and for $25 lawn tickets, this seems like a great deal. Brad Paisley will also be playing at Jiffy Lube on August 25th. Others include, Kenny Chesney at DC’s FedEx field August 12th, Lady Antebellum at Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion May 20th, and Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan in Virginia Beach August 24th.


This seems to be the summer of rock and once again, I am not complaining. One of the most anticipated concerts, starring the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be playing at DC’s Verizon Center shortly after school ends on May 10th. I will be seeing them in Charlotte on April 6th so I will be sure to report back on their performance! I will also be seeing Coldplay who is also coming to the Verizon Center on July 8th. Going into more of my preference of a rock-ish genre, there is also the Black Keys (who were awesome live!) hitting several stops including Merriweather (MD) on May 18th with an opening act from the Arctic Monkeys. The Beach Boys (who don’t really fit in this category…) will be at the same venue on June 15th and just one day later, Dave Matthews Band will be playing at Jiffy Lube on June 16th. Arguably some of the most famous kings of rock, KISS and Motley Crue have just announced their summer tour, which will kick off at Jiffy Lube on July 30th. For those who like these famous “blast from the past” artists, you will also enjoy The BIG Concert, featuring STYX, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nuget, again, at Jiffy Lube on May 18th.
I could not find too much in this genre but if you are more into Hip Hop and Rap, Drake, J.Cole, and Waka Flocka Flame will be in Virginia Beach on May 23rd and then DC’s Verizon Center on May 25th. Keep checking various sites in your areas to see what pops up!

There are also several music festivals this summer that recognize several artists in one convenient location. Highly anticipated is Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee, a four-day fest from June 7th-10th. Showcasing Hip Hop, Indie and Pop/Rock artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Feist, Bon Iver, Foster the People, The Shins, Skrillex, Ludacris, Flogging Molly, Mac Miller, The Temper Trap, SOJA, The Kooks, the list goes on an on. Needless to say, I am trying to rationalize the 250$ tickets, because this seems like an awesome line up! For those living up in New Jersey, the Bamboozle festival is from May 18th-20th in Ashbury Park and features artists such as the Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Eat World, Mike Posner, Motion City Soundtrack—oh and DJ Pauly D. Orion a festival in Atlantic City, NJ will take place from June 23rd to 24th with a more Punk Rock approach including headliners such as Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Modest Mouse and Cage the Elephant. Finally, up in Randall’s Island, NY is the Governors Ball which showcases some of the best Electronic and Indie music such as Passion Pit (coming to JMU!), Beck, Explosions in the Sky, Major Lazer, and Santigold.
It was hard narrowing down these artists and festivals because there is so much to choose from this summer! Be sure to check out sites like TicketMaster and StubHub to find your favorite artist near you. Happy hunting and enjoy your summer to the fullest by getting outdoors and experiencing live music. You won’t regret it!

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