Summer presents exciting concerts

With the school year coming to a close, students are in the midst of the stresses of final projects and exams, all the while fully aware that the allure of summer is within their grasp. That means internships, jobs, vacations and hopefully taking advantage of the bustling concert circuit.

Summer marks a time when the biggest tours get rolled out, often with many bands and artists partnering up to draw larger crowds and make the experience just a little bit more special. It also means plenty of outdoor shows and festivals that will take advantage of the nice weather.

And this summer offers some of the biggest names in the industry, many of whom are returning after long absences. But from the looks of it, this summer will keep music fans busy from beginning to end.

The Beach Boys are back and going on a 50-year anniversary reunion tour that kicks off Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz., and continues through the end of July. The tour will see three of the iconic group’s founding members, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Brian Wilson, touring together for the first time in 46 years.

As if a Beach Boys reunion tour isn’t enough for fans, there is also a new album in the works, meaning concert goers might potentially hear new material this summer in addition to the band’s extensive back catalogue. After all, Love and Jardine have been known to play up to 40 songs each night, so fans will certainly get their money’s worth at these shows.

Another summer staple is returning this year, too. Dave Matthews Band, a go-to favorite among high school and college crowds, will embark on a summer tour across the U.S. much to the delight of fans who were deprived of a big tour last year.

Fans of the group can expect multiple-night standings at amphitheaters around the country from May to September with strong support from the like of The Avett Brothers, Fitz and the Tantrums and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Make note, Dave Matthews Band is known for amping up its spontaneity during extensive sets, so expect some interesting improvisation during big hits such as “Crash into Me.”

Perhaps the biggest tour of the summer belongs to the classic rock genre, though. The simply titled “The Tour” will unite Mötley Crüe and KISS to share the stage for the first time in 30 years — expect it to be one of the most explosive shows of the season.

Whether or not you are a fan of the groups, these two acts are notorious for pyrotechnics and special effects, and will likely create a blazing inferno and an unforgettable fireworks show.

Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee performed a drum solo upside down on a roller coaster loop last summer, if that is any indication of what to expect from the band this year.

KISS will play last each night and the tour will stop in Irvine, Calif., at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Aug. 14.

Finally, any forecast of what to expect from summer concerts would not be complete without mentioning the Vans Warped Tour. Affectionately known as punk rock summer camp, this tour, now in its 18th year, will feature some of the biggest names in the alternative, punk and rock genres.

Acts such as Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, Rise Against, All Time Low and Yellowcard will perform on the main stage. There will also be at least six other stages featuring more than 90 artists throughout the course of the tour, which will stop in Irvine, Pomona, Ventura and Chula Vista, Calif., in June.

Warped Tour is simply an event that a person has to experience at least once. There are slip ’n slides, meet and greets with artists, loads of free stuff, skate demos and non-stop music for about nine hours. It’s a hot, sweaty celebration of music that never lets up for a second and leaves patrons sunburned with memories for weeks to come. Just be prepared for omnipresent mosh pits and tons of people running around advertising free hugs.

Aside from famous bands and large-scale festivals, summer 2012 will also feature many smaller-scale summer tours from bands like Reel Big Fish and Eve 6 which will be performing at clubs around the country.

Touring has become the most important source of income for an artist in the wake of rampant digital downloads, so acts are trying to create the best live experience possible to draw in the biggest crowds — and summer is the best time of year to do so.

No matter what genre of music one prefers, there are bound to be plenty of options to take advantage of this summer. It might be worth it to stop lounging poolside or watching reruns and get out there to experience the traveling circus of a live show.


Nick Mindicino is a sophomore majoring in print and digital journalism. His column “Industry Ballads” ran Fridays.