SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park; May 29, $65
The beleaguered, activist-y blues-rocker has risen above it all with a chart-topping folk album, Detours. Hear her perform it and no doubt muse on war, the state of the nation, and maybe ex Lance Armstrong's dalliance with Ashley Olsen.
Stone Temple Pilots
PNC Bank Arts Center, May 31, $20.25–$59.25
When erratic front man Scott Weiland quit Velvet Revolver earlier this week, we genuinely felt for Slash and the other deserted bandmates. That sentiment proved fleeting with the announcement that STP has officially reunitedwith Weiland rightfully at the helm! Revel in the return of the gritty alt-rock king at this landmark gig.
McCarren Park Pool, June 6, $37.50
The wild-child Sri Lanken hip-hopper confessed to us that she has a new album in the works. Considering she's a Brooklyn resident, expect her to give lots of love and previews of new material at this June gig in her home borough.
Death Cab for Cutie
McCarren Park Pool, June 10, $41.50
By the time this hotly anticipated "pool show" rolls around, Ben Gibbard's mopey indie band will have released their new album, Narrow Stairs. Pull yourself away from the slip 'n slide during the two-minute intro to jammy single "I Will Possess Your Heart."
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, June 14, $25–$79.50; Madison Square Garden, June 19, $39.75–$89.75
Just last week, our own Hugo Lindgren pointed out that Athens' favorite sons have overcome a decade of creative inertia with Accelerate, their new album full of loud, bristling guitars and Michael Stipe–isms. Iron Maiden fans will choose the MSG show. Otherwise, the outdoor amphitheatre at Jones Beach seems more suited for this band's down-home rock sound.
PNC Bank Arts Center, June 14, $26.25–$69.25; Madison Square Garden, June 16, $54.50–$74.50
Tickets went so fast for Maiden's recent show in New Jersey that you perhaps (like us) missed out on the leather pants, pyro, dueling metal solos, pyramid stage props, and set list pulled exclusively from the best era of their careerthe eighties! Redeem yourself at these upcoming gigs; they'll be playing from their May release, Somewhere Back in Time, a best-of comp of their, yup, eighties stuff.
Kenny Chesney / LeAnn Rimes
PNC Bank Arts Center, July 24, $43.50–$80.75
We're mostly rockers here at nymag.com, but it's hard to ignore a country lineup like this one. Chesney's summer tours are always, like, the biggest thing in the industry, and now that he's got a great, newish album out, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, and the power-piped Ms. Rimes on the road with him, why not help him continue his winning streak?
Crosby, Stills and Nash
Central Park SummerStage, July 29, $66
Nothing says summer like reliving the seventies counterculturethese dudes were, after all, one of the main events at Woodstock. Hope for classics like "Heart of Gold," expect anti-Bush laments before hearing "Military Madness," and then pay respect to a bygone era when you didn't have to open your bag for security to listen to peace music.
Counting Crows / Maroon 5
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, July 31, $29–$149; PNC Bank Arts Center; Aug. 7; $30.25–$150.25
Adam Duritz's blues-rock band is back with a solid album about redemption, Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings. Accept their apology for permanently implanting "Mr. Jones" into the public consciousness at their two summer shows, co-headlined with earnest balladeers Maroon 5.
The Police / Elvis Costello
PNC Bank Arts Center, Aug. 3, $40.25–$225.25; Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Aug. 5, $57.50–$232.50
The reunited eighties megastars play three arena shows in late summer. Fellow British rocker Elvis Costello and his band add more wattage (and more pain to the wait) as openers.