May Concert Calendar: The 15 top shows to see this month
As summer draws nearer, some of the season’s buzziest tours are kicking off a few weeks early. In May, Jack Antonoff will take Bleachers on the road again, Metallica will shock and awe stadium audiences throughout the country, and New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul, and Boyz II Men will rekindle ’90s R&B on their Total Package tour. EW has rounded up all the must-see shows you need to see this month — and revisit April’s roundup for the hottest in-progress spring tours.
- Dates: Through June 30
- Details: He’s helped mint pop gold for Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen, but now Jack Antonoff is returning to his side project, Bleachers, for his upcoming second studio album. Don’t forget your legwarmers and Aquanet: No one crafts ’80s-inspired indie-pop gems that sound ripped from a John Hughes movie quite like Antonoff.
- Tickets: Visit Bleachers’ site for more information and buy here or here.
- Dates: Through June 14
- Details: The former Vampire Weekend multi-instrumentalist and in-demand producer (Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean) released a new single, “Gwan,” last week and has promised that his full-length solo debut is coming soon. He’ll perform seven club dates — his first live shows since summer 2016 — in May and June.
- Tickets: Visit Rostam’s site for more information and buy here.
Daryl Hall and John Oates / Tears for Fears
Dates: May 4 – July 29
Details: These kings of ’80s pop-rock haven’t released new albums in more than a decade, but both have continued to tour regularly, including stints in 2016. They’ll up the ante this spring and summer, joining forces for a co-headlining tour. “We love collaborating,” John Oates recently told Parade, “and we love collaborating with kindred spirits.”
Tickets: Visit Hall & Oates or Tears for Fears’ sites for more information and buy here or here.
Zac Brown Band
Dates: May 4 – October 29
Details: The country band hits the road once again this summer, this time to support their rootsy upcoming album, Welcome Home. It’s tough to beat well-played country music during summer’s hottest months, and Zac Brown’s band itinerary will take them to Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Denver’s Coors Field.
Tickets: Visit Zac Brown Band’s site for more information and buy here or here.
Dates: May 5 – July 9
Details: Since promoting her 2011 album Metals, the Canadian singer-songwriter has largely stayed out of the spotlight. That changes this spring, when she’ll bring songs from her brooding new full-length Pleasure to North American theaters and festivals.
Tickets: Visit Feist’s site for more information and buy here or here.
Dates: May 8 – May 20
Details: The Sonic Youth frontman will hit the West Coast, Texas, and New York on an initial string of dates supporting his new LP, Rock and Roll Consciousness. The album, Moore’s first in three years, features plenty of his trademark guitar squalls, but it’s sharpened thanks to the slick guiding hand of Adele producer Paul Epworth.
Tickets: Visit Moore’s site for more information and buy here.
Dates: May 10 – August 16
Details: “Playing a stadium show is something that really requires you to go next level spectacle event,” drummer Lars Ulrich told EW in February. “You want to bring some s— that blows up. You want to have everything be larger than life.” The metal gods will bring that energy to North American stadiums this summer for their WorldWired tour. Expect a unique show — Ulrich says Metallica haven’t played the same setlist twice since 2004 — and plenty of music from their 10th studio album, 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct: “Fans are demanding new songs,” Ulrich says. “In 35 years of being in this band, I’ve never heard the phrase, ‘Play more new songs!'”
Tickets: Visit Metallica’s site for more information and buy here or here.
Dates: May 11 – July 28
Details: The singer-songwriter toured last fall in support of Ruminations, his stripped-down 2016 album. And in March, he released Salutations, a companion album that includes full-band renderings of every Ruminations cut, along with a few new tunes. He’ll launch the second leg of the full-band Salutations tour his month.
Tickets: Visit Oberst’s site for more information and buy here or here.
Dates: May 11 – May 19
Details: The Syrian artist, who has collaborated with Four Tet and Bjork, masterfully blends Middle Eastern dabke music with techno for a singular result that’s impossible not to dance to. He’s performing seven American dates in support of his upcoming June release To Syria, With Love.
Tickets: Visit Souleyman’s Bandcamp for more information and buy here.
Dates: May 12 – July 1
Details: To celebrate the 30th anniversary of 1987’s The Joshua Tree, the Irish rockers will perform the seminal album in its entirety at stadiums and as a Bonnaroo headliner — and, yes, that includes rarities like “Trip Through Your Wires” and “Exit,” as well as ultimate deep cut “Red Hill Mining Town,” which the band has never played live.
Tickets: Visit U2’s site for more information and buy here or here.
Mumford & Sons
Dates: May 12 – May 27
Details: The folk-rockers will briefly tour in May, opening some of the dates on U2’s Joshua Tree tour. They’ll also bring their cathartic live set to some cities off the beaten path: Writing that they “don’t always get the chance to visit all the places they’d like to,” Mumford announced gigs in Louisville, Ky.; Burgettstown, Penn.; and Camden, N.J.
Tickets: Visit Mumford & Sons’ site for more information and buy here or here.
- New Kids on the Block / Paula Abdul / Boyz II Men
- Dates: May 12 – July 16
- Details: Nineteen: that’s the number of top 10 hits these performers had between them from 1988 to 1997. There’s no better destination for late ’80s and early ’90s nostalgia and throwback pop and R&B jams than the Total Package tour featuring New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul, and Boyz II Men.
- Tickets: Visit New Kids on the Block’s site for more information and buy here or here.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Dates: May 26 – June 29
Details: Cave’s upcoming 19-date jaunt will be his first North American dates since summer 2014. That means that, in addition to his sprawling catalog, it’ll likely feature the North American live debuts of songs off his spare, devastating 2016 album The Skeleton Tree.
Tickets: Visit Cave’s site for more information and buy here or here.
Dates: May 26 – October 28
Details: The rocker still stages one of the most visually impressive concert experiences — the massive inflatable pig, the looming wall — and he’ll play Pink Floyd and solo cuts on his 54-date Us + Them tour this summer. He’ll also trot out songs from his first new album in a quarter-century, Is This The Life We Really Want?, set for release June 2.
Tickets: Visit Waters’ site for more information and buy here or here.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Dates: May 27 – August 2
Details: Led by the dueling six-string pyrotechnics of husband-wife duo Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, the ensemble will dazzle with their fiery blend of blues, rock, and soul on the road this summer with the Wheels of Soul tour. For a taste of what’s in store, check out their searing concert LP, Live From the Fox Oakland, released in March. Folk outfit the Wood Brothers and blues-rock band Hot Tuna, led by former Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, will provide support.
Tickets: Visit the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s site for more information and buy here or here.