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Summer's hottest tours

This season, scratch your Brit-rock itch with Radiohead and Coldplay, get wiggy with Nicki Minaj, go mad for Madonna, and more

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Fiona Apple She may have left her enfant-terrible days behind, but music’s favorite fruit is still as eccentric — and fantastically dynamic in a live setting — as ever. June 19-July 29

The Beach Boys On their well-earned 50th-anniversary victory lap, expect classic harmonies (and the constant, scintillating possibility of a John Stamos drum cameo). Now-July 15

Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw What has four arms, four legs, and smells like wind chimes and sunbeams and bonfires on the beach? Yep: this have-you-never-been-mellow double bill. May 25-June 29

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw Two guys with more platinum Nashville hits than any ten-gallon hat could hold join forces on this massive summer jaunt. (Shaggy dreamboat Jake Owen opens.) June 2-Aug. 25

Kelly Clarkson and the Fray Fray frontman Isaac Slade had better be doing his calisthenics if he wants to keep up with Kelly’s Olympic lung power — girl never fails to bring it live. July 25-Sept. 15

Coldplay If every teardrop is a waterfall, it’s also a hundred-dollar bill for Chris Martin & Co.; scores of tour dates on the band’s first proper American outing in three years have already sold out. June 22-Aug. 11

Dave Matthews Band Get ready for a 39-date bonanza of hemp-anklet hits and noodly grooves. Come early for openers like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, the Avett Brothers, Delta Spirit, and Gary Clark Jr. Through Sept. 9

Death Cab for Cutie Ben Gibbard’s heartbreak merchants will cart a full orchestra around the country (and no doubt give new, endlessly parsed subtext to songs written before Gibbard’s 2011 split from doll-faced vixen Zooey Deschanel). July 3-Aug. 22

Def Leppard and Poison The 2009 cross-country carnival by these hard-rock ring-masters was so successful they decided to do it again — with Lita Ford along to man the ”Kiss Me Deadly” booth. June 20-Sept. 15

Drake This guy rolls deep: In addition to rising-star support acts Waka Flocka Flame, J. Cole, Meek Mill, French Montana, and 2 Chainz, Canada’s favorite hip-hop son will bring along the aspiring MC who most impresses him (and his fans) in an online contest this month. Through June 17

fun. The last-quarter-in-the-jukebox rally-rockers booked this small-venue tour before hitting radio ubiquity, so you’ll have no excuse to forget where you parked. May 28-Aug. 28

The Jacksons Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito really never can say goodbye; they return for their first tour since 1984. Whether late frontman Michael will join via hologram, as rumored, remains to be seen. June 18-July 29

Kiss and Mötley Crüe For those who think one hour of eyebrow-burning pyro and big riffs about strippers and love guns just isn’t enough — especially when performed by the only dudes with makeup kits and AARP cards who can still bag hot babes. July 20-Sept. 23

Lady Antebellum Come for the lizard-brain satisfaction of yelling ”Hootie!” at opener Darius Rucker, stay for the young trio’s surprisingly deep catalog of bubblegum barn burners. Through June 30

Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias Prepare to sweat several Zumba classes’ worth of calories when these two stars meet in the Latin-crossover middle (literally; they’re working on a new duet). July 20-Aug. 31

Madonna After production delays that bumped Her Madgesty’s hit parade deeper into the summer, she’ll get to work trying to convince sold-out arenas that songs from her recent MDNA are as awesome as ”Holiday.” Aug. 28-Nov. 20

Maxwell The man who spreads R&B like soft butter will make two-night arena stands in L.A., Atlanta, and Newark. The first night belongs to 1996 debut Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite and 1998’s Embrya; the second will focus on 2001’s Now and his ’09 comeback BLACKsummers’night. July 20-Aug. 4

Nicki Minaj Barbies, mark your calendars: Wherever Nicki goes, TGIPF (Thank God It’s Pink Friday). Details of the show itself are slim, but the Nostradamuses at EW predict at least one colorfully kooky costume, and perchance even a wig or two. July 16-Aug. 11

My Morning Jacket Reason one to see MMJ live: frontman Jim James’ amazing Wookiee boots. Reason two: The premier jam band for people who don’t believe in Hacky Sacks is donating $1 of each ticket sale to local charities. Aug. 3-26

Radiohead According to multiple eyewitness accounts, two new Radiohead songs have been spotted in the wild this year; catch one yourself when the indie-rock godheads embark on their first U.S. tour since 2008. May 29-June 13

Bonnie Raitt Following her acclaimed return to form with this spring’s Slipstream — and a fresh burst of adulation from fans like Adele and Bon Iver — the singer-songwriter takes fellow pros Mavis Staples and Marc Cohn on a summerlong ride. Through Oct. 28

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band The Boss marches down the Delaware River and beyond to pick up some extra shifts on his ever-expanding Wrecking Ball tour, and deliver his timeless workingman anthems to the 99 percent (and inevitably a few one-percenters trying to keep their evil-moneybags status under wraps). Aug. 18-Sept. 22

Van Halen Diamond Dave might not be able to fan-kick as high as he used to. Still, Van Halen could play nothing but 14 consecutive versions of ”Panama” and still send the diehards home happy. Through Sept. 17

My Craziest Tour Memory

James Valentine: ”We were in Panama with Duran Duran in 2008 for a show and [former keyboardist] Jesse Carmichael and I got lost hiking in the jungle. We finally made it back, our clothes all ripped up, and the Duran Duran guys were like, ‘What the f— happened to you?’ But we made it to the gig! And we didn’t die.”

Patrick Carney: ”After the last shows of our tour for [the Black Keys’ fifth album] Attack & Release in 2009, we did two homecoming shows in Cleveland. We sold out both shows, and [the club] stiffed us $65,000 — in our hometown! We sued ’em, and they had to set up a shell company.” The Black Keys will appear at several festivals this summer.

Gotye: ”Backstage in Brussels, I actually met about 50 members of my extended family. I wandered up the stairs after the set, all sweaty and tired, and it was just like a surprise party of 50 people who all looked kind of familiar cheering and clapping.” Check gotye.com for soon-to-be-announced tour dates.

Miranda Lambert: ”In Wichita we had to stop the show because a tornado was coming straight for our building. It was like Final Destination or something! It was three miles away when it veered to the left. On stage afterward, I sang ‘The House That Built Me’ and just started crying like a big baby. The crowd had to finish the song for me. But I told them, ‘Y’all better not tell anyone that I cried, or I’ll kick your ass.”’ Lambert is on tour through Aug. 18.