We checked around, and now we've got genuine facts to back it up: Concerts are four times better in the summer. Maybe it has something to do with the sun and the outside venues, or maybe because it's the time of year when the biggest and best artists hit the road. Or maybe it's because it's a lot easier to bust a move when we're not buried beneath 45 pounds of winter clothing. Whatever the case, here are 10 shows coming to town this summer you should clear your calendar for.
The Shins (Masonic Auditorium, June 8)
James Mercer is leading a whole new group of Shins these days, which means he's either constantly fine-tuning his indie-pop project or he's a real asshole to work with. The band's recently released fourth album, Port of Morrow , is big in a stage-blanketing kinda way.
The Beach Boys (Blossom Music Center, June 13)
The Beach Boys celebrate their 50th anniversary this summer with their first album of new material in 20 years and the first time original and longtime members — including Brian Wilson — have toured together in forever. See them while you still have a chance.
Fun. (House of Blues, June 14)
"We Are Young" has been stuck in our earholes ever since its inclusion in a Super Bowl commercial. You were probably sick of the song before the N.Y.C. band's second album, Some Nights , came out in mid-February. But, true to their name, it's loads of fun.
Brad Paisley (Blossom Music Center, June 15)
The affable country star loads up on the things many of his peers seem to forget about, like serious guitar-playing skills and good songs. The dude's got a dozen years' worth of hits to choose from, so his concerts come off like one big best-of playlist.
(Quicken Loans Arena, June 19)
Package tours are the last refuge of fading artists before they hit the rib-fest circuit, but neither of these bands has lost much since they were filling arenas back in the '70s. Best of all, no new albums to support means sets filled with nothing but songs you know.
Fiona Apple (Cain Park, July 6)
Apple's first album in seven years — its full title is a whopping 23 words long, so we'll just call it The Idler Wheel — comes out the day before she starts her six-week tour. She hasn't played too many live shows over the past decade, so we're doubly excited.
Nicki Minaj (State Theatre, July 19)
Minaj has dominated radio ever since her debut album came out in 2010, so her first headlining tour has plenty of material to choose from. Expect Broadway-style sets, wardrobe changes, and lots of funny voices.
Rod Stewart/Stevie Nicks
(Quicken Loans Arena, July 20)
Stewart missed the Faces' recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so he'll do his best to make up for it with a hits-packed show. The summer's oddest pairing could be the one not to miss, especially since Stewart and Nicks share the stage for a few songs.
Tim McGraw/Kenny Chesney
(Cleveland Browns Stadium, July 29)
The superstars team up for a stadium tour that's a little bit country and a whole lotta kickin' back with cold beer and flip-flops. You won't hear too many fiddles, banjos, or other traditional instruments here, but there will be plenty of tall, cool reasons to celebrate summer.
Florence + the Machine (Jacobs Pavilion, July 30)
There are times when Florence Welch seems like a British Stevie Nicks, complete with flowing gowns and songs that blend relationship drama and spiritual dilemma. But her witchy-woman-meets-indie-torch-goth tunes make for some great rafter shaking.