Big, fat summer guide: Concerts

060214_Beyonce_600
Beyonce (Invision for Parkwood Entertainment)

READY FOR some musical "Hot Fun in the Summertime"? How much can you take? Afford?

Festival-mania heats up, fowl-weather-phobic acts come out of hibernation and large-capacity, lawn-enhanced "sheds" like the Mann (now solidly booked with good acts) and the Susquehanna Bank Center reopen for the season.

Hardly a day or night will go by this summer without several interesting options. These 14 have larger-than-life (you'll be talking about this for weeks) potential:

7th Annual Roots Picnic, May 31. Will the Roots shizzle with Snoop Dogg? Has Janelle Monae become the star her trajectory suggests? Is Philly's turbulently rockin' the War on Drugs gonna connect in this mostly hip-hop/funk/electronica-focused festival? Action Bronson, A$AP Ferg, AraabMuzik, Rudimental and Biz Markie (doing a DJ thing) also play Questo's picnic.

Festival Pier, Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street, 1 p.m., $40-$50, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Willie Nelson and Family, June 13. Coolest country caravan of the summer headlines the original "Outlaw Cowboy," plus Alison Krauss & Union Station, and the recent breakout star (and Grammy winner) Kacey Musgraves.

Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, 7 p.m., $35-$89.50, 215-546-7900, manncenter.org.

Firefly Music Festival, June 19-22. The East Coast's nearest thing to Coachella is just a short hop away. Foo Fighters, Outkast and Jack Johnson are top billed. And the support team's not shabby: Beck, Arctic Monkeys, the Lumineers, Tegan & Sara, etc. - spread over four days and five stages.

Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del., one-day tickets $49 (Thursday) or $109; four-day VIP passes $699; fireflyfestival.com. General admission all-festival passes available only through resellers.

Beyonce and Jay Z, July 5.

Haven't seen enough of the king and queen? Beyonce's got way more stage production going on than she shared last summer on the Parkway. And Jay Z's sure to approach this night differently with his lady love than he did with Mr. Timberlake.

Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, 8 p.m., $40.50-$255, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Vans Warped Tour, July 11. Bayside, Less than Jake, Mayday Parade, the Ready Set and Cute Is What We Aim For are just a few of the gazillion acts playing this 20th annual rock marathon. And it's guaranteed that some stars of the future will be spotted on the smaller stages.

Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, 11 a.m. $37.50-$45, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Bruno Mars, July 17. The latest in a line of commanding soul-pop tenors with excellent songwriting chops shares a night with kindred spirit Aloe Blacc.

Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, 8 p.m., $35-$131, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Gospel Meets Symphony, July 19. Marvin Sapp blends his mighty sounds of joy, rich in R&B and gospel, with the sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra (one of several genre-crossing Mann gigs the Fabulous Philadelphians are taking on this summer). And this one is free, with online registration.

Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, 8 p.m. Online registration opens at 10 a.m. June 16, 215-546-7900, manncenter.org.

XPoNential Music Festival, July 25-27. This year's lineup includes heavy flamenco kids Rodrigo y Gabriela, earthy rockers the Hold Steady, New Orleans heritage music staple C.J. Chenier and edgy alt-country troupe Hurray for the Riff Raff, all at admission prices that redefine "reasonable." The top-shelf three-day Go Anywhere ticket also buys a lawn spot for two evening shows at the Susquehanna Bank Center with Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26) and Beck, Band of Horses and Philly hotshots the Districts (July 27).

Wiggins Park, Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard and the waterfront, Camden, $5 (for a one-day kid's pass) to $140 (Go Anywhere) with discounts through July 14, xpn.org.

Katy Perry, Aug. 4 & 5. We love how Ms. P. makes fun of herself as a pop-candy object of allure, dressing up in cartoonish outfits and with onstage sets so bright and giddy, viewers need to wear shades. Don't know if she'll repeat her latest "Birthday" video bit - as an over-the-hill Las Vegas chorus girl - but guaranteed Katy will entertain.

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., 7 p.m., $26.50-$150.50, 800-298-4200, comcasttix.com.

One Direction, Aug. 13. Simon Cowell's best idea ever (they were originally put together for a British TV talent contest) has evolved from "just another" boy band to a well-meshed and balanced troupe with some talent as songwriters - and extraordinary staying power. Yeah, that's shocking even to themselves, they've humbly suggested.

Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way, 7 p.m., $57.60-$119.80, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

The Peach Music Festival, Aug. 14-17. With Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks bailing, this could be your last time to see the Allman Brothers Band, period. Jam-centric festival also delivers Trey Anastasio, Bob Weir with RatDog and more.

The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, $129 (early-bird four-day pass) to $450, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Philadelphia Folk Festival, Aug. 15-17. Rebounding from last year's rocking experiment, more attention will be paid this fest to traditional folk role models, from fiddle stomper Natalie MacMaster and old-world balladeer Archie Fisher to bluegrass/old-timey delights Sarah Jarosz, Old Crow Medicine Show and Steep Canyon Rangers. Plus blues heiress Shemekia Copeland, the sacred steel of the Slide Brothers and lots more.

Old Pool Farm, 1323 Salford Station Road, Upper Salford Township, early- bird tickets $46.40 (daily), $124.80 (weekend), $164.80 (with camping and Thursday concert), 800-556-FOLK, folkfest.org.

Budweiser Made in America, Aug. 30 & 31. The third MIA will play as a tale of two cities, staged simultaneously in Philly and L.A., with both shows available for online viewing. But how can you not turn out in person to see Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Mayer Hawthorne, the National, De La Soul, Tiesto, Spoon, Chromeo and the world's largest instant "Happy" dance video led by the man himself, Pharrell Williams?

Benjamin Franklin Parkway, early-bird two-day tickets $99.50 ($150 later), 800-745-3000, madeinamericafest.com, ticketmaster.com.

Aerosmith and Slash, Aug. 31. The enduring rockers hit the A.C. boardwalk arena. And their extra-special treat, Slash, goes way back with Aerosmith to their 1988 tour, which introduced the world to Guns N' Roses. Slash opens with the Conspirators but is sure to also stamp his ticket with the headliners on rumblers like "Train Kept A-Rollin'."

Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 7:30 p.m., $59.50-$195, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

 


Blog: philly.com/GizmoGuy

Online: ph.ly/Tech