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.
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!
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.
Prospect Park Bandshell; July 21; $45 to $100
Browne, who could have called it a career after writing “These Days” and still gone down in history, will play one of Celebrate Brooklyn!’s five benefit shows.
Prospect Park Bandshell; July 30; free
Celebrate Brooklyn! will see SummerStage’s Lee “Scratch” Perry and raise them a Burning Spear, arguably the only other artist alive that can match Perry’s reggae pedigree.
Giants Stadium; July 31; $89.50
The rock giants had a surprise latter-day smash with last year’s Black Ice, thanks to an exclusive Wal-Mart retail deal and if-it-ain’t-broke jams like “Rock ’n’ Roll Train,” “She Likes Rock ’n’ Roll,” and “Rocking All the Way.” (Seriously.) Find out for yourself why Angus Young’s wild-man shtick is timeless.
All Points West
Liberty State Park; July 31–August 2; $89 for one-day passes/$199 for three-day passes
The summer’s big-dog event has a hit (Beastie Boys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Bloody Valentine) and miss (Coldplay?) lineup. Either way, it’s good to see a New York–area music festival coming back for a second year.
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield; August 8; free
This year, SummerStage’s token dance party features Berlin producer Alexander Ridha, a.k.a. Boyz Noise. Pretty hip pick — that Youth Outreach Committee is working!
Prospect Park Bandshell; August 14–15; $30
All of the instant “best album of the year” proclamations for Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion would have been really ridiculous … if they weren’t arguably still true. “My Girls” should sound pretty epic ringing throughout Prospect Park.