From Taylor Swift to Rolling Stones, summer heats up
Welcome to summer.
OK, we are aware summer doesn't officially begin until June 21. But when it comes to live concerts, we'll call it summer as soon as the sun is shining for two days in a row. Can we move on now?
This summer is shaping up to be a hot one, a packed season for current pop megastars (Taylor Swift!), classic rock legends (the Rolling Stones!), up-and-comers (Charli XCX!), returning talents (Shania Twain!) and evergreen standbys (Kenny Chesney!).
From big festivals to the ushering in of a high profile new performance space with the West Riverfront Park, it's going to be one to remember.
This is how we do summer in Metro Detroit. When the heat goes up, so does the volume.
Top 15 for '15: The best of the best for the summer.
1. Taylor Swift, May 30, Ford Field: The planet's biggest pop star in the city's biggest venue. Get ready to party like it's 1989.
2. Kid Rock, Aug. 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, DTE Energy Music Theatre: The Son of Detroit makes his mark for good, putting on the longest run of shows in the history of the Clarkston amphitheater — 10 — and topping his own Michigan sales record in the process.
3. Drake, May 27, The Palace of Auburn Hills: Coming off his headlining performance at Coachella — and that kiss with Madonna — rap's emo king sets off on his brief Jungle Tour outing, which follows his February mixtape "If You're Reading This It's Too Late."
4. Rolling Stones, July 8, Comerica Park: The Stones — combined age: 282! — hit the Tigers' home for their first Detroit show in 10 years, not counting that little performance they put on during halftime at Super Bowl XL, of course.
5. AC/DC, Sept. 8, Ford Field: The Aussie vets bring their arsenal of ballads to this quiet, acoustic performance.
6. Foo Fighters, Aug. 24, DTE: Dave Grohl rides those Sonic Highways all the way into Detroit for the band's first area performance since sweating it out for 2 hours, 45 minutes at The Palace back in September 2011.
7. D'Angelo, June 27, Royal Oak Music Theatre: The long dormant R&B star returns on the heels of last year's standout out-of-nowhere release "Black Messiah."
8. Shania Twain, July 25, Palace: If you are thinking, "Man, I feel like ... it's been a long time since Shania Twain has played here!" you would be right. This marks the Canadian country superstar's first local show since she played the Palace a dozen years ago.
9. One Direction, Aug. 29, Ford Field: No Zayn, no problem. The UK sensations roll on without fifth member Zayn Malik, who gave up his One Direction status last month. (Tickets for this show, the group's second Ford Field engagement, went on sale long before Malik dropped out of the group.)
10. Lana Del Rey, May 31, DTE: The enchanting singer, who made her Detroit debut last May at the Masonic Temple, upgrades in a big way by jumping up to DTE, which will test her starpower in a huge setting.
11. Kenny Chesney, Aug. 22, Ford Field: After a year off, the country cowboy returns to his second home at Ford Field for his eighth show at the venue; outside of the Detroit Lions, no one has played the downtown stadium more.
12. Mumford & Sons, June 16, DTE: The former folksters drop their banjos and pick up electric guitars at this show — their Metro Detroit debut — that comes on the heels of their new album, "Wilder Mind."
13. Jimmy Buffett, June 25, West Riverfront Park: Margaritaville has been parked at Comerica Park for the last three summers, but this year it moves to the Riverfront as the biggest show scheduled at the city park-turned-concert grounds.
14. Zac Brown Band, Sept. 12, Comerica Park: After blowing out arenas for years, the Georgia rockers step up to the stadium level with this Saturday night showcase at the Tigers' home.
15. Nicki Minaj, July 31, DTE: Minaj's "Pinkprint" to success includes this DTE date, her biggest Metro Detroit headlining concert to-date, which includes an opening set by Detroiter Dej Loaf.
Classic rock round-up: These acts have been around the block once or twice before.
Eagles, July 24, Joe Louis Arena: You can check out, but you can never leave.
Van Halen, Sept. 4, DTE: David Lee Roth is back — and bald! — in the group's first tour since their 2012 tour was aborted without warning.
Neil Young, July 14, DTE: The tireless 69-year-old rocker pops into DTE with a new band (featuring Willie Nelson's sons!) and openers Band of Horses.
Motley Crue, Aug. 9, Palace: Isn't this tour over yet?
Robert Plant, June 9, Meadow Brook Music Festival: Still waiting for him to answer for "Worse Than Detroit."
Brian Wilson, July 5, Fox Theatre: The Beach Boy returns, and brings Detroit's own Sugar Man, Rodriguez, along for the ride.
Dynamic Duos: Two acts are better than one!
Alabama Shakes and Father John Misty, June 3, Masonic Temple: We'll gladly take either of them on their own. Together? Yes please!
Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa, July 10, DTE: Pittsburgh rapper Khalifa, who has become a reliable summer presence, switches things up with this joint tour with the reborn arena rockers.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, July 27, Meadow Brook: The odd couple brings the tour behind their standards album, "Cheek to Cheek," to the Rochester amphitheater.
Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson, Aug. 5, DTE: 1995's hottest tour comes barreling into DTE 20 years late.
Charli XCX and Bleachers, Aug. 11, Fillmore Detroit: The bratty British pop singer and the nerdy fun. guy team up for their "Charli and Jack Do America" outing.
Incubus and Deftones, July 22, DTE: We'll take Deftones however we can get them, even if that means in a joint-headliner with Incubus.
Primus and Dinosaur Jr., Aug. 2, Freedom Hill Amphitheater: For Gen-Xers who remember when alt-rock was really alt-rock.
Charlie Wilson and Kem, June 13, DTE: After a March date at Joe Louis Arena, this soulful pairing circles back for an outdoor show.
Festivals: Pack a lunch, it's gonna be a long one.
Warped Tour, July 24, Palace: The fest that was once described as "punk rock summer camp" continues to sip from its fountain of youth, even though it is now old enough to legally drink.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, July 11, DTE: Slayer, King Diamond and Hellyeah headline this annual celebration of metalheads getting sunburned.
Movement, May 23-25, Hart Plaza: Detroit's annual celebration of techno includes performances by Disclosure, DJ Snoopadelic and a host of homegrown electronic music legends.
Mo Pop, July 25-26, West Riverfront Park: Modest Mouse and Passion Pit headline the expanded, two-day version of this third-year festival, which moves from its home at Freedom Hill down to the West Riverfront Park.
Downtown Hoedown, June 5-6, West Riverfront Park: Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts head up WYCD-FM's annual country fest, which moves to the West Riverfront Park after several years at Comerica Park.
Faster Horses, July 17-19, Michigan International Speedway: The "three day hillbilly sleepover," as organizers call it, returns for its third year with Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line and Brad Paisley, but the real draw is the weekend-long party.
Bled Fest, May 23, Hartland Performing Arts Center: What's more punk rock than a punk rock festival in a former high school?
Mad Decent Block Party, Aug. 15, Palace: Diplo's traveling festival of fun sets up shop in the Palace parking lot with sets from a host of EDM notables.
Electric Forest, June 25-28, Double JJ Ranch: The Western Michigan festival that has quietly built one of the most dedicated fan bases on the festival circuit returns for its fifth year.
H.O.R.D.E., July 9, DTE: A one-off return of the '90s roots-rock and jam band festival, with Blues Traveler, 311 and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
Omissions: Can't win 'em all. These acts aren't hitting Metro Detroit this summer.
U2: No luck this time around, but you can always listen to that song they dropped into your iTunes while you wait for them to come back.
Phish: We get it, we got them last year, but two in a row would have been nice.
Florence and the Machine: Florence Welch hasn't graced us with her presence since a July 2012 appearance at the Fox, and while the band is out this summer supporting its new album "How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful," the dates are limited to big summer festival gigs.
Paul McCartney: Kanye West's pal is headlining Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer, but there's no word on a Detroit show, which would be his first since 2011.
Courtney Barnett: The Australian singer's debut album "Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit" is one of the year's best albums, but we won't get a chance to hear her perform songs from it, at least not this summer.