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Some Like It Rock

This summer’s concert season promises overstuffed bills, still-got-it legends, mercurial reggae kings, and the best young bands working today. (Note: Some shows are already sold out, but where there's a will there's a way.)


Clockwise from left: Depeche Mode, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Beastie Boys, Animal Collective, Lee "Scratch" Perry.  

Bruce Springsteen
IZOD Center; May 21, 23; $65 to $95 (sold out)
Despite the lukewarm reception to Bruce's latest, Working on a Dream (and even if Ticketmaster's initial sale hadn't been a disaster), getting tickets to these gigs would have been a tall order: At nearly 60, the Boss is still churning out grand, life-affirming three-hour sets.


TV on the Radio
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield; June 5; $30 (sold out)
Central Park's SummerStage season sets off right with a benefit concert featuring the beloved Brooklynites, still buzzing off last year's Dear Science, yet another critically obsessed-over album. (They'll also be playing Celebrate Brooklyn! in August.)

Hot 97 Summer Jam
Giants Stadium; June 7
The event that's birthed more beef than a champion farm cow is always good for a notable development or two. This year's performers include Mary J Blige, T-Pain, the Dream, Young Jeezy, Jadakiss, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Elephant Man, and Mavado.

David Byrne
Prospect Park Bandshell; June 8; free
Byrne will be playing a selection from all the music he's done in collaboration with Brian Eno, including the Eno-produced Talking Heads albums. A Celebrate Brooklyn! gig but, amazingly, not one of their benefit shows — this one's totally free!

Femi Kuti & the Positive Force
Prospect Park Bandshell; June 25; free
Fela Kuti's oldest son, and carrier of the Afrobeat flame, splits a bill with Brooklyn's own Melvin Gibbs.

Dr. Dog
Prospect Park Bandshell; June 27; free
The retro-leaning Philadelphians get an opening slot from Phosphorescent, a.k.a. Matthew Houck, whose Willie Nelson cover album, To Willie, has gotten great reviews.

Explosions in the Sky / Constantines
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield; June 30; $25
Another great SummerStage benefit, this one featuring the crescendo-loving Texan post-rockers and the perennially underrated Canadian indie rockers. (Just listen to "Young Lions.")


Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
River to River Festival; Battery Park; July 4; free
Oberst has just released Outer South, his second excellent album with the Mystic Valley Band. Jenny Lewis, every indie boy's No. 1 crush, opens.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
River to River Festival; South Street Seaport; July 10; free
This ascendant local act is inspired by the mopey, sing-along tunes of eighties Brit rockers like the Cure, the Smiths, and Echo & the Bunnymen

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra
River to River Festival; Castle Clinton; July 16; free
The Orchestra plays the music of Sly & the Family Stone — a good thing, seeing as Sly himself isn't quite all there — with a special appearance from Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell.

SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield; July 18; free
Okay, so last year's The Renaissance, Q-Tip's first proper solo album in nine years, didn't quite take off. But we're still talking about the man with "Can I Kick It?" — one of the best-ever summer jams — in his repertoire.

Lee "Scratch" Perry
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield; July 19; free
The reggae hero and spaceman teams up with Ivory Coast icon Alpha Blondy and local stalwart Subatomic Sound System.

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