Music moves us, literally and figuratively. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly pressed vinyl by your favorite artist, especially if you’ve been waiting years for a new record. While spinning tracks on turntables can soothe even the most savage beast, seeing our favorite artist in concert is something even more powerful. Live shows only enhance our appreciation for music and the effort it takes to create it.
The best singers, artists and rock bands do more than just play their records live. They entertain us, create innovative setlists, and reconfigure tunes to suit the audience. While hundreds of performers are embarking on summer tours this year, we’ve narrowed down our list of the best concerts for summer 2022. From old-school hip hop to hard rock to new wave to pop to rap, there’s something on the summer concert lineup for everyone. So dust off that concert tee and check out the top five summer concert tours for 2022.
Bad Religion Summer Tour 2022
Formed in California’s San Fernando Valley in 1980, Bad Religion is the seminal American punk band. For more than four decades, Greg Graffin et al have eschewed conventional popularity for a spirit that harkens back to anti-establishments acts such as The Clash and Neil Young.
While not a household name, music lovers of many genres respect the six-piece outfit for staying true to their underground roots and crafting melodic hardcore anthems such as “Infected” and Recipe for Hate.” Bad Religion’s live shows are as electric as their albums so don’t be surprised to see middle-aged fans head banging in mosh pits with their Gen Z children. Bad Religion’s summer tour takes them across Spain in May, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, France and Italy. The Bad Religion summer 2022 tour ends in Sweden on August 15.
Our pick: Rock out with the kings of American punk at the Rebellion Punk Music Fest on August 4 in Blackpool, England.
Billie Eilish Summer Tour 2022
Billie Eilish has quickly become one of the hottest names in music. The 20-year-old California native is the anti-popstar popstar with a flair for dressing gender neutral and subverting the male gaze. Lauded by the music cognoscenti, her rebellious brand of moody pop made her a media darling and fan favorite at the age of 14 after she released her debut single, “Ocean Eyes.”
This summer, the Grammy award winner conquers Europe. The “Happier Than Ever” tour—supporting the album of the same name, which broke Apple download records last July—takes the singer across the continent in just one month. The Billie Eilish European tour begins in Belfast, Ireland, on June 3, then heads to Great Britain, the Netherlands, France and Germany before ending in Zurich, Switzerland, on July 2.
Our pick: Sing along with the moody chanteuse at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on June 30.
De La Soul Summer Tour 2022
Hip hop begat in da Bronx in the 1970s but one of the pioneers of the genre is the Long Island–bred De la Soul (the rapper Common called their music “timeless”). The trio—Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo—has been crafting melodic jazzy rap and funky hip hop since their audacious debut, “3 Feet High and Rising,” in 1989.
Unfortunately, a lot of De La Soul’s music isn’t available on streaming devices (due to contractual issues with their former record companies) and nobody knows when they’ll be on Spotify. That’s why it’s imperative to check out De La Soul live this year. With classics such as “Me Myself and I” and “Saturdays” on the setlist (the trio eschews synthesized beats for live instruments), the band ends their short Spring/Summer U.K. 2022 tour in July.
Our pick: Hip to the hop with the American rap veterans at Dreamland Margate in Kent, England, on July 23.
Doja Cat Summer Tour 2022
Women have long made an impact on popular music. From The Supremes to Janis Joplin to Kate Bush to Dolly Parton, women in music are a force to be reckoned with. Doja Cat is no exception. The flamboyant singer-cum-TikTok-personality has taken the world by storm. Discovered on Soundcloud in 2012–when she was just 15—Doja Cat has had two top-10 hits in six years on the music scene and has amassed more than 21 million followers on IG as well as her fair share of controversy thanks to questionable tweets.
Still, her star shows no signs of fading. Expect hits such as “Say So” “Streets” and “Freaky Deaky“ as she takes her After Hours Til Dawn tour through select festival dates in Ireland, London and Sweden.
Our pick: Rap it up with the boss bitch at Lollapalooza on July 3 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Duran Duran Summer Tour 2022
With 40 years of innovative music under their designer belts and a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction on the horizon, Duran Duran, the British New Wave pioneers, are still a force to be reckoned with, decades after music snobs dismissed them as just another pretty boy band.
With numerous, well-deserved accolades for their 15th studio album, “Future Past,” the Birmingham, England–bred quartet of Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor (the band was originally a five piece with Andy Taylor on guitar) are headlining a slew of rock festivals across Northern and Southern Europe this summer, starting with the Jelling Musikfestival in Denmark on May 26 and ending July 10 at BST Hyde Park in London. Expect an always energetic and fun Duran Duran live show featuring past hits such as “Rio” and “Notorious” and future classics including the sublime, Bowie-esque “Laughing Boy” and the poetic and evocative “Wing.”
Our pick: Dance on the sand with the New Romantic rockers at Rock in Rio Lisboa on June 25.