5 Must-See Summer Concerts

Photo: Unsplash Melanie van Leeuven

Photo: Unsplash Melanie van Leeuven

By Amanda Eisman

Over 32 million people attend at least one summer music festival each year. Are you one of them?

If images of giant mosh pits crammed with sweaty teens and beer-drenched college students come to mind, you’re not alone—but spare yourself from generalization—recent surveys reveal that concert attendance actually increases with age.

Photo: Unsplash. Chaz McGregor

Photo: Unsplash. Chaz McGregor

Who Goes to Concerts?

Of course, the general age range of concert attendees may vary according to the genre of music and artist who is performing. Although a Justin Bieber concert may contain an overwhelming flood of young, screaming girls who call themselves “Beliebers,” concert crowds are generally dominated by those ages 35-54.

Baby boomers also report seeing more concerts now than ever before with the gift of more free time. So if you are looking to liven up your summer with a concert or multi-day festival, we at Healthy Aging® are picking out our favorites in order to ease your decision-making process.

Must-See Upcoming Concert: The Desert Trip Festival

The Rolling Stones today (L to R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Charlie Watts. Photo: Rnakin. Used with permission, Harper Collins.

The Rolling Stones today (L to R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Charlie Watts. Photo: Rnakin. Used with permission, Harper Collins.

We can’t begin to list our favorite artists to see this summer without first mentioning one of the most sought-after reunion tours of the summer, The Desert Trip Festival.

This three day festival in Indio, California features the artists that we have grown up to love, including Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young (+Promise of the Real), Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, and The Who.

The festival takes place Friday through Sunday October 7-9 and again October 14-16 (two weekends) in the Empire Polo Field Venue and is jokingly referred to as “Oldchella” and “Classic Rock Coachella” for taking place in the same venue as the famous Coachella festival.

All tickets are sold-out on the festival’s website, but don’t worry—you can still purchase tickets for this epic event on Vivid Seats, a large, national, independently owned and operated online secondary ticket resale marketplace. One day passes are available on Vivid Seats for $199 and three-day passes range from $399-$1,599.

More Summer Concerts Beyond Oldies

Carrie Underwood’s Summer Tour

Country music fans, stay seated: Carrie’s coming back! Carrie Underwood launches her “Storyteller” tour on July 22nd at the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello, IA and tours across the U.S. until Nov. 28 in West Valley City, Utah.

Then, she flies across the world to finish her tour in New Zealand and Australia, ending in Brisbane, Australia on Dec. 17.

Her album Storyteller was released Oct. 23, 2015 and features her hit song “Smoke Break,” which won her CMT’s “Performance of the Year” and number one “Female Video of the Year”. Her previous studio album, Blown Away, emphasized her powerful vocals in songs of vengeance, murder, and love, but Storyteller takes on an entirely different attitude.

Underwood describes Storyteller as a laid-back album that reverts to a more traditional country feel. Lyrically driven songs give the album its name and, as a whole, the album exhibits “a fresh twang,” Underwood tells People Magazine.

After earning fame by winning American Idol in 2005, Underwood is now a 7 time Grammy winner who has topped the Country and Christian music charts countless times.

Underwood has followed her passion for singing since she was three years old and continues as one of the greatest country music artists of all time, bringing a modern, powerful, and lyrically charged take on traditional country music.

The Head and The Heart. Photo: James Minchin

The Head and The Heart. Photo: James Minchin

The Head and The Heart

If a relaxed concert atmosphere featuring contemporary indie pop music sounds more appealing than a cramped, cheering crowd, then The Head and the Heart’s “Signs of Light” tour should top your summer concert bucket list.

This 6-member band is up-and-coming and features Jonathan Russell (Vocals/Guitar/Percussion), Josiah Johnson (Vocals/Guitar/Percussion/Keys), Charity Rose Thielen (Vocals/Violin/Percussion), Kenny Hensley (Piano), Tyler Williams (Percussion/Drums), and Chris Zasche (Bass).

Their newest single, “All We Ever Knew,” ranked #6 on Billboard’s U.S. Adult Alternative Songs list and gives us a preview into their upcoming album, Signs of Light which will be released Sept. 9, 2016. Signs of Light is the band’s first album under Warner Bros. Records and the third record for the band, which formed in Seattle, Washington in 2009.

After The Head and The Heart took a break from their music career in 2013, they reunited in a bungalow on the beach, balancing the creations of their newest album with boogie boarding and unwinding under the sun.

The result? A cheery, upbeat album with a perfect balance of vocals and instrumental riffs. Although the band has not divulged any other songs from the latest album yet, you can catch them on tour from Jul. 7 to Feb. 4, 2016 where they will visit Canada, Mexico, and 25 U.S. states.

Lucius. Photo: Piper Ferguson

Lucius. Photo: Piper Ferguson


Another indie pop band that’s hot this summer is Lucius, starring front singer/songwriters Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who are nearly identical in both looks and sound.

Formed in Brooklyn, NY in 2008, Lucius consists of Dan Molad (drums), Peter Lalish (guitar), and Andrew Burri (guitar). Their latest album, Good Grief, was released Mar. 11, 2016 and was ranked #6 on Billboard’s Chart of “Independent Albums” by Apr.2.

Laessig and Wolfe not only coordinate makeup, hair, and outfits, but their voices as well. They create a complete mirror image of one another on stage and their voices blend almost precisely, creating an intriguing echo-effect.

Many of the songs on Good Grief were inspired by the tour from their last album Wildewoman. Laessig and Wolfe felt emotionally and physically drained from the Wildewoman tour after spending a significant time away from home and hardly getting a minute’s alone time. “There was so much going on [during the Wildewoman tour], there was no time to sit back and get some perspective,” the two told The 405, “We couldn’t enjoy the memories because we were onto the next thing. It gave us a lot to write about!”

One of the most talked about singles from their newest album is “Gone Insane,” which seems to perfectly capture the mixture of emotions that Laessig and Wolfe experienced during the Wildewoman tour.

The song starts out smoothly, with a persistent beat and the usual pristine blending of Laessig and Wolfe’s voices, but as it wears on, everything crumbles. Voices overlap and instrumentals clash until there is an undeniable, uncontrollable emotional breakdown. The music returns to a sedative hymn as quickly as it fell apart, making for an electrifying entertinement that leaves the listener numb.

Lucius will be touring Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the United States starting Jul.8 and ending Feb.8, 2016.

Twenty-One Pilots. Photo: DepositPhotos, S Bukley

Twenty-One Pilots. Photo: DepositPhotos, S Bukley

Twenty One Pilots

So, you want music and a show?

Twenty One Pilots never neglects the theatrical elements that compliment a great musical performance. You will find the energetic duo of Tyler Joseph (vocals/keyboard) and Josh Dun (drums) doing backflips on stage and drumming on top of a crowd, trusting the hands of their fans to hold them up.

With so much dancing, running, and acrobatics, you’d think these two are using the stage to train for the Rio Olympics—and they do it all without missing a note or a beat.
It’s no wonder this band is popularizing by the minute with such lively performances.

Their song “Stressed out” from their latest album Blurryface ranked number 2 of Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart quickly after its release and the band is reigning in audiences of all ages and musical preferences.

No one really knows what genre Twenty One Pilots belongs to. A mix of reggae, rap, rock, pop, and EDM can smoothly synthesize in a single song. Many fans label the band’s genre as “schizoid pop,” a definition that Joseph and Dun can accept with laughter.

The duo breaks down the barriers of genre by mixing multiple genres together in ingenious ways. Their newest single, “Heathens,” will appear in Suicide Squad, an upcoming movie about dangerous supervillains who form a pact. Unlike many of their multi-paced songs, “Heathens” maintains a slow, steady beat with a vocal undertone to supplement the medium pitched melody. The vocal overlapping creates a stunningly haunting effect that perfectly captures the theme of the movie.

If a huge confined audience isn’t your thing, you may want to avoid general admission tickets to Twenty One Pilots concerts or stand in a less crowded area towards the sideline or the back.

The energy of their concerts seems unmatched, especially when Dun brings his drum set into the front audience to play on top of them. Luckily the band is beginning to perform at larger venues which provide greater seating options and more personal space.

See Twenty One Pilots on tour this summer for a diverse musical experience; but if you miss them in the summer, don’t worry—they are touring from July 5, 2016 until March 5, 2017, closing out in the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Where to Find Tickets

Many of these summer concerts are selling out fast. Vivid Seats still has tickets available for the Desert Trip Festival and for each of the artists mentioned here. Whether you will sit back and enjoy some good vibes with a cold beer in hand or stand in a pit of cheering fans, you won’t want to miss these entertaining events!

Do check out our Twitter page. We feature these artists and more.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe to Healthy Aging® Magazine

The Premier Lifestyle Magazine for All Ages

Receive four digital issues delivered to your inbox. Just $24.95