I’m working in Detroit at Quicken Loans this summer, and I wrote this article for their Zing Blog. The original article can be found here.
It’s no secret that Detroit is a hub for musical innovation. From its Motown roots, and through the decades that followed, the city has produced countless legendary musicians – from Aretha Franklin to Eminem, Madonna to The White Stripes, and a multitude of artists in between. And with all of this musical clout comes a colossal collection of summer concerts. The sheer number of musical acts stopping by the D this summer can be a bit overwhelming, so we’ve laid out just a few of the must-see shows of the season. But don’t stop here! Go out and explore the city. Fans of any musical genre are sure to find something that will make them tap their feet, bang their head or sing along.
Whether you’re interested in the soulful sounds of Motown or the guitar riffs of Detroit Rock City, musical influences can be found all over the city. Here are three hometown acts that are coming back to Detroit this summer:
- The Romantics – July 12, GM Renaissance Center
The Romantics blew up on the music scene with “What I Like About You.” And what’s not to like about an energetic Detroit-bred rock band playing a free show on the river? The Romantics will bring their signature Detroit rock sound, with a dash of British punk invasion, to the Renaissance Center to kick off the Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series in July.
- Grand Funk Railroad – July 16, GM Renaissance Center
Do you prefer your classic rock with a hearty side of blues? Be sure to come back to the Rockin’ on the Riverfront series July 16 to catch Flint’s own Grand Funk Railroad. The band will only be playing a few shows around the country this summer, so this is one you won’t want to miss. And like all concerts in the Rockin’ on the Riverfront series, admission is free!
- Diana Ross – Aug. 25, The Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel
Motown legend Diana Ross will be returning to her hometown for an intimate show at a venue that boasts 1,500 seats and can fit up to 2,400 fans, so concert-goers can expect to see the celebrated songstress up close and personal.
There are some performances that never get old. These artists have been around for a while, but their musical influence is still as strong as ever.
- Fleetwood Mac – June 12, Joe Louis Arena
35 years after the release of their critically-acclaimed album, “Rumours,” Fleetwood Mac is back with a new four-song EP and a world tour. The current lineup of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks will take over the Joe this Wednesday, and there are a select number of tickets still available.
- Bon Jovi – July 18, Ford Field
Yet another Detroit sports hotspot will be bursting with music-lovers this summer, when Bon Jovi brings his Because We Can Tour to Ford Field. Fans can look forward to tunes from the band’s newest album “What About Now,” as well as old crowd pleasers like “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
You’ve likely heard these artists everywhere lately – your local radio stations, late-night TV, award shows. They’re taking the music charts by storm and coming to a venue near you with what are sure to be massive, high-energy shows.
- Justin Bieber – July 28, Joe Louis Arena
Our Canadian neighbor, Justin Bieber, will be in Detroit July 28, so expect traffic delays when the streets fill with screaming teenage girls. The show is part of Bieber’s massive Believe Tour, which began back in 2012. The tickets that haven’t been snatched up yet will likely be pricey, but they’re sure to be a hit with the teenybopper in your life.
- Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z – Aug. 6, Ford Field
After a six-year hiatus from performing, Justin Timberlake is back for the much anticipated Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour, co-headlining with Jay-Z. After collaborating on one of Timberlake’s newest tracks, “Suit & Tie,” the two acclaimed artists decided on a joint tour to take over stadiums around the country. Whether you’re a fan of Timberlake’s crooner style or Jay-Z’s can’t-be-touched raps, this tour will undoubtedly be one of the biggest of the summer.
- Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves – Aug. 17, Ford Field
If a down-home southern concert is more your style, grab that cowboy hat and head out to Ford Field in August when Detroit goes country for a night. Kenny Chesney is headlining his No Shoes Nation Tour with fellow country favorites Eric Church, Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves. Each artist brings their own unique sound to the tour, which should make for a show that caters to a diverse country fan base.
- Young Jeezy and Big Sean – June 22, Chene Park Amphitheater
After a Grammy nomination for his hit “I Do” in 2012, Young Jeezy will be headlining Hot 107.5’s Summer Jamz at the Chene Park Amphitheater on the Riverfront. Detroit’s own Big Sean is also scheduled to perform.
- Lil Wayne – Aug. 9, Joe Louis Arena
Lil Wayne’s America’s Most Wanted Tour is stopping by the D in early August, with guest performers T.I. and Future. Lil Wayne and T.I. already boast a wide range of hits to choose from, while Future released his debut album a year ago, so he may be a newcomer to keep an eye on.
If you love music festivals, but can’t make the trek out to Bonnaroo or across the pond to Glastonbury Festival, have no fear! Here’s just a small sample of up-and-coming bands that will appear in music festivals this year, and will be right here in Detroit this summer.
- The xx and Grizzly Bear – June 12, The Fillmore
The xx, an English indie pop band, has already performed at Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City, and are slated to perform at Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and a number of festivals around the world this year. But first they’re stopping by the Fillmore with Brooklyn-based band, Grizzly Bear.
- Fitz and the Tantrums – June 20, Saint Andrew’s Hall
Fitz and the Tantrums have caught the eye of the music festival community after their first single, “Out Of My League” garnered attention with its upbeat indie-pop sound. They’ll be performing in St. Louis’s major music festival, Loufest, in September. Before that, catch them at Saint Andrew’s Hall on June 20.
- Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band – July 20, Comerica Park
Parrotheads, unite! Jimmy Buffett is coming back to Detroit for an all-day beach party and concert at Comerica Park. Though the doors for Buffett’s show don’t open until 6 p.m., a free downtown beach party will begin at noon on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Montcalm Street, on the north side of Comerica Park. The party will feature live entertainment, games and, of course, tiki bars with plenty of frozen beverages.
Don’t forget, these lists are just a small taste of the talent coming to Detroit this summer. You can visit http://detroit.about.com/od/artsentertainment/a/showsconcerts.htm) for a full list of summer concerts in the Detroit Metro area. Now, put on your dancing shoes, warm up your vocal chords and get ready to explore our city’s famous music scenes!