Summer concert season packed with a variety of acts

Written By Amanda Myers, Staff Writer

We’re in the final stretch of the semester, which can only mean one thing: summer concert season is finally on the horizon.  After hearing announcements on the near-daily for months, enduring scorching sunburns and heat exhaustion will soon become second nature to lovers of pop, rock and everything in between.

This comprehensive list checks off the biggest draws and more intimate sets to make sure every week of your break is spent in sound.

Can’t Miss

David Byrne: May 13 at Benedum Center

Abstract punk pioneer Byrne returned this year with the album “American Utopia.”  He’ll be playing these tracks, as well as hits and deep cuts from the Talking Heads catalogue for what he is calling his “most ambitious show since the shows that were filmed for ‘Stop Making Sense.’”

Kendrick Lamar: June 16 at KeyBank Pavilion

The reigning king of hip-hop finally makes a Pittsburgh stop with SZA, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and more as part of the TDE: The Championship Tour.  The concert follows an earth-shaking Grammy performance. Expect plenty of pumped-up prose on society’s state as only Kendrick can pull off.

Radiohead: July 26 at PPG Paints Arena

After a 21-year absence, it looked like Thom Yorke and company were never going to return to the steel city.  Their most recent release, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” revealed a softer side of the band, and it will be a treat to see Yorke croon out these tearjerkers while spazzing out to fan favorites.

Arena Attractions

Shania Twain: July 17 at PPG Paints Arena

Queen of country pop long before Taylor Swift came to be, Twain will be touring behind the album “NOW” after supposed farewell shows in 2015.  Expect plenty of soul and sequins.

Foo Fighters: July 19 at PPG Paints Arena

The last time they were in town, Dave Grohl was sitting atop a rock throne with a broken leg.  Grohl will now have the whole stage to showcase his stride and powerful stage screams.  Except cover jams, epic singalongs and material from last year’s “Concrete and Gold.”

Eagles: July 24 at PPG Paints Arena

The sudden loss of Glenn Frey in 2016 was devastating for the band of brothers.  They returned last year with the additions of Vince Gill and Frey’s son, Deacon, proving that their melodies are still sunrise-worthy, even when they play indoors venues.

Arctic Monkeys: July 31 at Petersen Events Center

An upgrade from Stage AE to a bigger stage is fitting for a band whose last release, “AM,” was a commercial and critical slam dunk. With a new album set to come out in May, it’s fair to say Alex Turner’s sexy hip shakes will continue to mesmerize audiences this go around.

Indie Darlings

Real Estate:  June 5 at Mr. Smalls

The indie rockers that hail from New Jersey will release spacey specks of guitar-tuned fairy dust on Pittsburgh audiences this year.  They fill a void while bands like Death Cab for Cutie hide out in the dark.

Ween:  July 27 at Stage AE

You may know them thanks to the catchy end credits of “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.”  Beyond that, Ween have even wackier songs that highlight their routes in parody rock and epics that border on Beatles-esque, “Sgt. Pepper” territory.

The Flaming Lips: Aug. 24 at Stage AE

Front man Wayne Coyne returns to his birthplace after a five-year hiatus that last saw his band opening for The Black Keys.  The Flaming Lips’ live show is a true trip thanks to fluorescent visuals and crazy on-stage antics.

Conflict of Interests

June 1: Dave Matthews Band at KeyBank Pavilion, Code Orange at Mr. Smalls Theatre and Justin Timberlake at PPG Paints Arena

Now this is an eclectic bunch.

It’s unlikely you’ll find hardcore fans of all three bands, but each are worthy of praise.  Dave Matthews performed a solo set at Farm Aid last year at the venue and is sure to show the lawn at KeyBank Pavilion another drunken good time.

Hometown punk heroes Code Orange will deliver a seething set after being nominated for a Grammy.

And if witnessing JT bring sexy back isn’t going to fit into your summer schedule, there is always a second show at the arena on Sept. 25.

June 2: X Fest at KeyBank Pavilion, Kenny Chesney at Heinz Field, Def Leppard and Journey at PPG Paints Arena and Hayley Kiyoko at Mr. Smalls Theatre

An upgrade in stage size is fitting for X Fest’s 20th anniversary.  Guitar wizard Jack White is the headliner, with Cold War Kids, AWOLNATION, Sir Sly and more on the bill.

Prepare for the North Shore to be littered in beer cans and the occasional couch. 

Chesney is a concert some dread and others await on an annual basis.  Either way, it’s bound to be a party.

A double bill of aging rockers might not be every college student’s first choice, but Def Leppard never disappoint when it comes to delivering 80s anthems.

The smaller artist of the mix may be Kiyoko, but that doesn’t mean she should be discounted.  She has plenty of style and swagger.  If this date doesn’t work, she’s an opener for Panic! At The Disco’s show at PPG Paints Arena on July 18.

July 10: Weezer and Pixies at KeyBank Pavilion and Arcade Fire at Stage AE

Perhaps the most difficult choice for fans of alt-rock.

One is a great doubleheader with each group having the hits and deep cuts to please an audience of all ages.  The other is a festival mainstay taking the rare small stage to deliver soaring songs from their impressive back catalogue.