Summer ’16: Beyoncé leads list of 40 hottest concerts

Adam Graham
The Detroit News
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The weather’s not the only thing that’s heating up.

The summer concert season is here, and music’s biggest names have lined up concerts at Metro Detroit concert venues from downtown to the suburbs.

From Beyoncé to Black Sabbath, Drake to Dixie Chicks, we’ll be bombarded by dozens of big concerts between now and Labor Day.

Here are summer’s 40 hottest shows, ranked by a complex algorithm we calculated by measuring buzzworthiness, anticipation levels and our own subjective tastes. Miss them and it’s going to be a looong fall.

Beyonce brings her Formation World Tour to Ford Field in Detroit on June 14.

1. Beyoncé, June 14, Ford Field: Queen Bey brings her Formation World Tour to the Detroit Lions’ home on what is sure to be an epic night of girl power — good news for everyone except Becky with the good hair.

2. Guns N’ Roses, June 23, Ford Field: Many thought it would never happen, but the core original lineup of Guns N’ Roses is back for the first time in almost 25 years. Even more surprising? Early reviews for the reunion have been overwhelmingly positive.

3. Drake, Aug. 16, Joe Louis Arena: After performing dates at Meadow Brook, the Fox Theatre and the Palace of Auburn Hills, the Toronto rap superstar (and meme master) makes his first appearance at Joe Louis Arena performing behind his latest blockbuster, “Views.”

4. Coldplay, Aug. 3, Palace of Auburn Hills: Four years and two days after the band’s last area appearance, the Super Bowl 50 Halftime headliners take on the Palace for a night of winsome, soaring rock ‘n’ roll.

Singer Chris Martin and Coldplay bring their winsome sound to the Palace at Auburn Hills on Aug. 3.

5. Faster Horses, July 15-17, Michigan International Speedway: The #PartyoftheSummer returns as the three-day country music festival sets up shop with headliners Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum — Who are we kidding? The party is the headliner.

6. Movement, May 28-30, Hart Plaza: Downtown Detroit’s annual techno music celebration lands an appearance from electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, the architects who helped pave the way for techno to happen.

7. Twenty One Pilots, June 3, DTE Energy Music Theatre: The rock duo from Columbus, Ohio, hot on the heels of its breakthrough hit “Stressed Out,” headline its biggest area concert to date.

8. Halsey, July 27, Masonic Temple: The 21-year-old singer from New Jersey hits town after last year’s “Badlands” (as well as her duet with Justin Bieber) made her a star.

9. The 1975, May 21, Meadow Brook: The young rockers with the old-sounding name hit No. 1 with this year’s experimental, ambitious second album “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,” material from which should highlight Saturday’s concert.

10. Mo Pop Festival, July 23-24, West Riverfront Park: M83, G-Eazy and HAIM headline the two-day alt-rock and pop music festival, now in its second year on the Detroit Riverfront.

11. Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, Sept. 2, Palace: Puff Daddy, which he’s back to calling himself, reunites Lil’ Kim, Mase, Faith Evans and more in a tribute to the label’s shiny suit heyday.

12. Selena Gomez, June 24, Palace: La Gomez has matured considerably since her last Palace concert, a November 2013 engagement that found her largely playing to her young fanbase. With songs like “Hands to Myself,” “Good for You” and “Same Old Love” behind her, expect a sexier Gomez this time around.

13. Dead and Company, July 7, DTE: The core surviving members of the Grateful Dead team up with guitarist John Mayer to celebrate the Dead’s eternal legacy in a night whose contact highs will last for days.

14. Kenny Chesney, Aug. 13, Ford Field: Outside of the Detroit Lions, no one has played more times at Ford Field than Kenny Chesney. This time around he’s bringing Miranda Lambert, who knows a thing or two about throwing huge parties.

15. Mad Decent Block Party, Aug. 20, Russell Industrial Center: Diplo, NGHTMRE and more headline this daylong dance party, celebrating its second year at the Russell.

16. Gwen Stefani, Aug. 2, DTE: It’s been nine years since the ex-No Doubt frontwoman’s last area solo concert. This one is backing her latest album, “This is What the Truth Feels Like,” and she’ll be joined by opener Eve, her co-star on songs such as “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” and “Rich Girl.”

17. Florence + the Machine, June 11, DTE: Florence Welch last brought her powerful pipes through town at a July 2012 concert at the Fox Theatre. This concert is the group’s first at DTE and follows last year’s “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.”

18. Sting and Peter Gabriel, June 30, Palace: The two stars — who first toured together in 1986 — will be performing their own hits as well as each other’s songs in this loose outing, dubbed “Rock Paper Scissors.”

19. Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, July 30, Palace: A tour that’s been in the making since Lovato starred with a young Nick Jonas (and his two Jonas Brothers) in the 2008 Disney channel original movie “Camp Rock.”

20. Dixie Chicks, June 4, DTE: Ten years ago, when the Dixie Chicks became political lightning rods after lead singer Natalie Maines openly criticized President Geroge W. Bush, the group kicked off its Accidents and Accusations tour at Joe Louis Arena. This DTE date — the group’s first area show since that Joe Louis concert — comes with considerably less controversy.

21. Vans Warped Tour, July 22, Palace: By now, you know the drill: Teens get dropped off for the day, forget to wear sunscreen, rock out to their favorite bands and go home sunburned and happy. With New Found Glory, Yellowcard and more.

22. Black Sabbath, Aug. 31, DTE: The metal legends stage what is supposedly its final Detroit concert.

23. R. Kelly, June 24, Joe Louis Arena: The R&B superstar brings a truckload of hits (and controversy) with him on his tour behind his latest, “The Buffet.”

24. 5 Seconds of Summer, July 27, Palace: The Aussie rock band returns to the Palace for the second straight summer, just as the screams finally died down from its last show.

25. Steve Miller Band with Peter Wolf, June 24, Palace: After years of playing the same songs over and over again, Steve Miller actually got interesting this year when he panned the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That makes hearing “The Joker” for the 79,000th time a little more exciting.

26. Noel Gallagher and Ryan Adams, July 12, Meadow Brook: Ryan Adams once covered Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” so in some respects this tour between the two singer-songwriters has been a long time coming.

27. The Art of Rap Festival with Public Enemy, Ice-T, Naughty by Nature and more, Aug. 6, Freedom Hill: A host of old-school rap legends highlight this nostalgic summer festival.

28. Paul Simon, June 19, Meadow Brook: “Stranger to Stranger,” Paul Simon’s first solo album since 2011’s “So Beautiful So What,” brings the 74-year-old legend to the Rochester amphitheater.

29. Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, Aug. 12, DTE: Wiz Khalifa makes what has become an annual stop at the Clarkston amphitheatre with his “Young, Wild and Free” friend by his side.

30. Don Henley, Aug. 20, Meadow Brook: The boy of summer returns for his second area concert in less than a year, and first since the January death of his Eagles partner, Glenn Frey.

31. Blink-182, Aug. 30, DTE: Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio replaces Tom DeLonge in the new incarnation of the brat-punk trio, touring behind its latest album “California.”

32. 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, June 11, Chene Park: The two rappers combine forces to perform their own hits and songs from this year’s joint LP “Collegrove.”

33. Meghan Trainor, Aug. 8, Meadow Brook: The Best New Artist Grammy winner headlines her biggest area concert to date on the heels of her second album, “Thank You.”

34. I Love the ’90s Festival, Aug. 19, DTE: Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice and more celebrate the decade that gave us Crystal Pepsi, “Beavis and Butthead” and Anna Nicole Smith.

35. Deftones, Aug. 12, Freedom Hill: The ’90s metal survivors keep roaring on the group’s latest album, “Gore.”

36. Weezer, Aug. 8, DTE: Everyone loves to pick on Weezer, but the complaints stop when the band steps on stage and churns out two decades worth of sing-along hits.

37. WYCD Hoedown, Aug. 31, DTE: Brad Paisley and Chris Young headline this modified version of the country music fest, which leaves Detroit for the first time in its 34-year history.

38. Jane’s Addiction, July 22, Freedom Hill: The classic alternative rock act will perform its 1990 album “Ritual de lo Habitual” in full, and will be joined by Dinosaur Jr. and Living Colour on the show’s undercard.

39. Big Show at the Joe, June 19, Joe Louis Arena: T.I. and Fetty Wap headline Joe Louis Arena’s annual hip-hop extravaganza.

40. Hollywood Vampires, July 16, DTE: Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry unite to prove that rock ‘n’ roll is undead.

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For a complete listing of all of summer’s upcoming concerts, visit

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