The return of major fall music festivals is still a ways off, but don't fret: some of the biggest names in music are performing in Austin this summer. With artists ranging from country music superstars to R&B legends, here are 12 of the highest profile acts coming to town over the next few months.
X Games Music with Kanye West, The Flaming Lips and more: Thursday, June 5 – Sunday, June 8
The X Games are coming to Austin for the first time ever, and the extreme sports competition will also host a world-class music festival during all of the action. At the top of the lineup is Kanye West, who recently debuted his newest song, “God Level,” in an Adidas commercial.
In addition to signaling the return of Yeezy season, the X Games festival (taking place at the Circuit of the Americas) features The Flaming Lips, who may play a few tracks from their anticipated Beatles tribute album, and Austin’s own Gary Clark Jr. as he continues his ascent as one of America’s best living guitarists.
Toadies Concert Tour - "Rubberneck 20th Anniversary": Saturday, June 14
This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Toadies' most famous and memorable album, Rubberneck. They celebrated the milestone with a performance of the entire album, beginning to end, earlier this year at SXSW. For diehard fans who couldn’t secure a wristband, the Fort Worth grunge stars return to Stubb’s for an anniversary tour that will have you reliving the alternative glory days of 1994.
Circuit of the America’s 2014 Country Megaticket: Friday, June 20 – Thursday, September 4
The Circuit of the Americas is hogging top acts this summer, particularly when it comes to country music. Performers Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts (with Sheryl Crow) and Brad Paisley are on tap to perform at the Austin360 Amphitheater. You can experience all three shows with just one “season pass” ticket. The Country Megaticket provides the best way for country fanatics to see The Voice’s Shelton, the incomparable Crow and more supporting acts that will make this summer unforgettable.
Texas Songwriters' Association Hall of Fame Show: Sunday, June 22
The Texas Heritage Songwriters' Association celebrates three legendary artists deeply engrained in our songwriting culture. This year's inductees are Waylon Jennings, K.T. Oslin and Buck Owens. The show at ACL Live will be filled with musical performances by Oslin, Lee Roy Parnell, Bonnie Bishop and Kris Kristofferson, but the real highlight is a tribute from Jennings' wife, Jessi Colter, and son, Shooter Jennings.
Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years - A Benefit Concert: Thursday, June 26
KLRU will pay tribute to Austin City Limits with a concert at ACL Live featuring a wide spectrum of acts from its legendary 40 years. Hosted by Jeff Bridges and Sheryl Crow, both of whom will perform, the show features Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Earl Keen, Alabama Shakes and many more. If you can’t make it out to the concert, set your DVR to record the two-hour special when it airs on KLRU on October 3.
Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green: Thursday, July 10
Lionel Richie's last stint in Austin was cut short when the final day of ACL Fest 2013 was canceled because of torrential rain. Luckily, Richie is on his way back to Austin with more soulful sounds. Fans can expect to party all night long with Richie and guest act CeeLo Green at the Austin360 Amphitheater.
Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers: Tuesday, July 29
Comedy luminary Steve Martin is also an accomplished banjo player, currently focused more on making music than on starring in Hollywood movies. Martin and his Steep Canyon Rangers will play The Long Center this summer. By mixing humor with classic bluegrass pickings, he'll entertain both fans of The Jerk and the lovers of Appalachian tunes.
Tori Amos: Wednesday, July 30
Tori Amos hasn't slowed down since beginning her solo career in the early ‘90s. Amos' catalogue continues with her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines, which was released on May 13. She stops at The Long Center on July 30 as part of a year-long tour across North America and Europe.
Fall Out Boy and Paramore: Saturday, August 2
For a certain generation, the summer of 2005 was spent perusing the aisles of Hot Topic with the slurred chorus of “Sugar, We’re Going Down” stuck in your head. Since then, Fall Out Boy has created many more hit singles to scream in your car on the way to work. With Paramore joining the tour, expect to experience an epic evening of emo rock at the Austin360 Amphitheater.
Michael Bublé: Sunday, August 3
Few can match the unique, enchanting voice of Michael Bublé. The Grammy-winning artist will bring his velvety vocals and charming personality to the Frank Erwin Center. Performing songs from his latest album, To Be Loved, along with his take on classics such as "You Make Me Feel So Young," and “Young at Heart,” there's a chance you'll fall under his spell and get swept off your feet.
Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden: Thursday, August 14
The dream of the ‘90s is alive this summer for fans of industrial music and grunge rock. Trent Reznor takes a break from crafting unsettling films scores to tour with Nine Inch Nails. Joining the nostalgic trip is Soundgarden, adding an authentic dose of Seattle grunge to the show at Austin360 Amphitheater.
Crosby, Stills and Nash: Thursday, August 28
Crosby, Stills and Nash's impact on American music runs deep: all three members have each been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — twice. The trio's soaring vocal harmonies and intricate folk rock are reason enough to witness the living legends as they close out another summer of music at The Long Center.