Your Summer Soundtrack: The Biggest Concerts of Summer 2014

by Carmen Borrison

In two seconds flat, Sophie Goldberg, a freshman art major, transformed from just a girl calmly getting ready for a night out, into a giddy, twerking, fearless diva belting at the top of her lungs, all because of one thing: Beyoncé. When Pandora switched tracks to Sophie’s anthem, she was practically jumping out of the seat of her makeup station chair to get the night started.

“I think that I would sell my soul to see this tour,” said Goldberg, talking about the recently announced Beyoncé and Jay Z “On The Run” tour, which is scheduled to cross the nation this summer.

The powerhouse couple of the generation, with a combined 36 Grammy awards shared between the two, are pairing up for the first time for what is looking to be one of the most exciting and anticipated tours of the year.

But that is not the only summer concert worth getting excited about this year. Now that the Coachella hype has blown over, it is time to look at what is next in this summer’s lineup throughout California and across the country. Whether they are the hottest artists of today, or throwback classics gearing up to go on tour once again, if you’re a music junkie, you cannot miss this hot summer music tour list.

The festival season means lots of outdoor venues, food stands, popsicles, and probably a sunburn. Take advantage of the warm summer sun and listen to your favorite artists, or multiple, performing all in one place.

Vans Warped Tour, the popular alternative/punk rock festival, returns this summer to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Among the 100+ bands and artists performing, some headliners are All Time Low, 3OH!3, We The Kings, The Summer Set, The Maine, and Breathe Carolina.

Freshman religious studies major Cameron Gardner is a frequent Warped Tour fanatic, and loves music festivals because she gets to see all of her favorite bands in one place.

“I’m most excited to see Yellowcard, Issues, Mayday Parade, Of Mice And Men, and We The Kings. But I’m disappointed that A Day To Remember isn’t going,” she said.

For fans of indie music, the place to be this summer is the sixth annual Outside Lands Music Festival which takes place in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco on August 8-10. With almost 200,000 people attending annually, this Coachella of Northern California is featuring the top artists of Kanye West, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Atmosphere, and Capital Cities.

Negin Ehsanipour, a freshman communications major and Bay Area native, is very excited to return to her fourth consecutive year of Outside Lands this summer.

“I think that if you care about music even a little bit, even if you don’t know the artists, it can still be worth it to go just because the environment is so cool,” Ehsanipour said. “It's a more chill and low-key version of Coachella and not as hot.”

And Outside Lands is not just all about the music either. Like Negin said, the atmosphere and environment as a whole is what really makes for a great experience.

“Last year my sister and I discovered the ‘technology free-zone’ which was really cool because they were all about putting your phone away and getting in touch with your surroundings while you were up there,” Ehsanipour said. “They had face paint, so my sister and I sat for fifteen minutes and painted each other’s faces and drew different things. It was really, really cool.”

“There’s a lot of food and it’s all amazing so it’s pretty hard to resist buying stuff. There are also different vendors that sell clothes or sunglasses too, which is cool,” she said.

Outside Lands famously also has sections called “Beer Lands” and “Wine Lands” with tastings from the best local breweries and wineries in the Bay Area.

For fans of electronic music, Hard Summer is coming back to southern California for its two day electronic and house music festival. The headliners are A$AP Mob, Flosstradamus, Disclosure, and Dillon Francis.

Dozens of the biggest names in country are touring this summer such as Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Toby Keith. Among this bunch is the resurfacing Garth Brooks, the American country singer famous for songs like “Friends In Low Places” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” Garth Brooks had eight albums produced throughout the 1990’s is going on a comeback world tour this summer after a 13-year hiatus.

Another blast from every 90’s kid’s past, The Backstreet Boys, are also on tour this summer with Avril Lavigne. Although these two have been separately touring for years, if you are feeling nostalgic don’t miss this duo pair up for the ultimate 90’s pop flashback experience.

Another popular group making a comeback this summer is Outkast, who played their first show in years on the Coachella main stage in April.

Kiss are back on tour this summer as well, pairing up with Def Leppard, the iconic rock band from the 70’s. Kiss will be celebrating both their 40th anniversary and recent entrance into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

Throwback concerts can surely stir up emotions of nostalgia and bring back pleasant memories, but what about the hot artists of today that you blast in your car every morning?  Summer 2014 is without a doubt all about the biggest names in music right now.

Justin Timberlake, the triple threat singer, actor, and dancer, is going on a solo tour this summer after splitting from being on tour with Jay Z earlier this year. After the success of Timberlake’s comeback album “The 20/20 Experience”, the concerts will surely feature all the hits from “Suit and Tie,” and “Mirrors,” to earlier hits such as “Sexy Back.” This is not one to miss for fans of JT.

Little Monsters get ready, because Lady Gaga is back this summer, promoting her newest album: ARTPOP. Gaga, one of the most iconic and groundbreaking pop performers of the decade, is set to take the stage yet again beginning May 14th, stopping in California mid-June and then once again in mid-July.

One Direction, the unconventional British pop boy band, is kicking off their biggest tour yet, the “Where We Are” world tour, which will stop in the US in August and September. After selling out tickets in the UK and Ireland in a matter of minutes almost a year ago, the group was forced to add more tour dates and tickets due to their immense world- wide popularity.

Dozens more exciting top charting artists and bands are touring this summer as well, including Bruno Mars and Pharrel Williams, Linkin Park and 30 Seconds To Mars, Arcade Fire, Katy Perry, Dave Matthews Band, and Fall Out Boy and Paramore.

Whether you are a fan of classic rock, punk, alternative, country, electronic, hip hop, or pop music, the biggest names from every genre are doing exiting things this summer throughout the country. The clock is ticking and the time is NOW to buy tickets to your favorite artist’s concerts before they sell out.

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