20 Essential Acts to Catch on Tour This Spring and Summer

These are the can't-miss shows we'll be at as the weather and touring season warm up

Paul McCartney, Austin City Limits 2018, photo by Amy Price
Paul McCartney, Austin City Limits 2018, photo by Amy Price

    This article is presented by StubHub

    Some people plan their summers around beach trips, backyard cookouts, or the minor league baseball season tickets their boss got them instead of a Christmas bonus. Music fans, though? Music fans tend to plan their summers around the myriad tour and festival dates that fill up the calendar in the months between April and September.

    If you’re just such a music fan (and we suspect you might be, since you’re currently reading this sentence), then we recommend using StubHub to sort out your upcoming concert adventures. The online ticket marketplace gives you easy access to shows and events in more than 50 countries around the world, including the sought-after spring and summer tours that you’ll still be talking about when Thanksgiving rolls around.

    In the face of so many concerts to choose from, we’ve pruned that bounty into a manageable list of 20 shows you’d be crazy to miss this spring and summer. Whether you’re on the bleeding edge of American K-pop fandom, planning a legendary night with a former Beatle, or just celebrating the birthday of your favorite Hootie and the Blowfish record, StubHub can turn your concert dreams into I-was-there! reality.


    01. BTS

    BTS Saturday Night Live Debut


    K-Pop is having A Moment in 2019, and the well-choreographed troubadours of BTS are the chief instigators. Fresh off a history-making SNL performance of “Mic Drop” that our reviewer compared to “the glossiest Brockhampton song ever produced,” the Seoul septet are ready to move to phase two of their US takeover: an expansive debut tour that will see them wow stadium crowds at the Rose Bowl, Soldier Field, and more.

    Buy: Tickets to upcoming BTS shows here.

    02. Paul McCartney

    Paul McCartney, Austin City Limits 2018, photo by Amy Price

    Paul McCartney, Austin City Limits 2018, photo by Amy Price

    While most men his age spend their days leaving all-caps comments on their grandkids’ Facebook feeds, Paul McCartney is out doing what he’s done for almost 60 years: playing the songs that defined his generation (and, if we’re being honest, every one’s since) to arenas full of spellbound fans. If you’ve got “bask in legendary glow of an ex-Beatle” written anywhere on your bucket list, this might be the summer to cross it off.

    Buy: Tickets to upcoming Paul McCartney shows here.

    03. Ariana Grande

    Ariana Grande on Ellen

    Ariana Grande on Ellen

    Sound issues aside, Ariana Grande’s performance at Coachella made history in more ways than one. After claiming the title as the youngest performer to ever headline America’s preeminent music festival, the ascendant pop master is ready to take the songs of her two latest albums on a massive victory lap that stretches all the way from April until September. Or, in her own words: thank u, next.


    Buy: Tickets to upcoming Ariana Grande shows here.

    04. Cher

    Cher Tour


    When you’re as talented as Cher, you can do basically anything you want. Marry Sonny Bono? Sure! Basically invent the pop applications of Auto-Tune a decade before anyone else was paying attention? Absolutely! Tour across America in the spring and summer in advance of a two-week Las Vegas residency? Please! That last one is happening now. Adjust your ticket budget accordingly.

    Buy: Tickets to upcoming Cher shows here.

    05. Twenty One Pilots

    Twenty One Pilots, photo by David Brendan Hall

    Twenty One Pilots, photo by David Brendan Hall

    Move over, Beyhive. Make room, Beliebers. When it comes to choosing the coolest fandom name in popular music, the title belongs to Twenty One Pilots and their Skeleton Clique. Members of said Clique will be out in force at Twenty One Pilots shows all over North America this summer, and will likely be represented by an international contingent during the band’s July appearance at Lollapalooza Paris.

    Buy: Tickets to upcoming Twenty One Pilots shows here.

    06. Dead and Company

    photo by Ben Kaye

    Dead and Company 2018, photo by Ben Kaye

    On their tireless tours in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and the rest of the Grateful Dead invented or refined elements of music festival culture that are still present today. Fortunately for fans, they’re still at it: this summer, they’ll be joined by next-generation balladeer John Mayer for another trip around the country and through the back catalog as Dead and Company.


    Buy: Tickets to upcoming Dead and Company shows here.

    07. Blackpink

    BLACKPINK at Coachella 2019, photo by Debi Del Grande

    BLACKPINK at Coachella 2019, photo by Debi Del Grande

    While BTS might be getting the bulk of the coverage, they’re not the only K-pop phenoms with designs on the hearts and minds of US pop fans. The ladies of BLACKPINK are also currently on their own inaugural headlining tour of America, and made their own history as the first-ever K-pop band to play Coachella (a performance we called “a flamboyant expose into the genre [that] packed the force of a globe-trotting revue”). See them now, and brag about it later.

    Buy: Tickets to upcoming BLACKPINK shows here.

    08. The 1975

    The 1975 // Photo by Philip Cosores

    The 1975, photo by Philip Cosores

    Whether you want to admit it or not, The 1975‘s surprise hit “Love It If We Made It” summed up how many of us felt about the unhinged unrest of our current moment (back in December, we said it felt like “If Billy Joel wrote ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ in 2018 with a millennial’s social media feed as his only reference.”). That track, and the rest of the surprising affecting A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, will be on full display when Matty Healy and his boys hit stages across the country on their summer US tour.

    Buy: Tickets to upcoming The 1975 shows here.

    09. Hootie and the Blowfish

    Watch video Hootie and the Blowfish on The Tonight Show

    Hootie and the Blowfish on The Tonight Show

    It’s 2019, and we’re all comfortable enough in our poptimism by now to admit that Cracked Rear View holds up and then some (you’re probably humming the chorus of “Let Her Cry” right now). A bunch of people seem to agree; just this year, the record was certified as an astonishing 21x Platinum. Celebrate the record’s 25th anniversary, plus the first new Hootie and the Blowfish material since 2005, with the band this summer.


    Buy: Tickets to upcoming Hootie and the Blowfish shows here.

    10. Dave Matthews Band


    Summertime in America brings with it a few constants: Fourth of July fireworks, the ambient buzz of baseball, and tours from the Dave Matthews Band. Since 1994, the jam band legends have averaged an ironman-like 72 shows per year, many of them coming under the stars in amphitheatres across the country during the months when the weather’s warmest. This year is no different, to the relief of calendars everywhere.

    Buy: Tickets to upcoming Dave Matthews Band shows here.

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