June 27, 2012
Multi-day festivals, arena spectacles and once-in-a-lifetime shows will leave you with stories to tell for the rest of the year and beyond.
So grab some earplugs and check out our guide to the best large concerts and festivals of the summer, below.
• July 4th Jam on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway: Wednesday, July 4. Free. Celebrate America’s birthday with The Roots, Queen Latifah, Daryl Hall, Common, Joe Jonas and others on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the “Largest Free Concert in America,” Philly’s July 4th Jam. Don’t miss the explosive finale with a spectacular fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
• Roger Waters Presents The Wall at Citizens Bank Park: Saturday, July 14. Blurring the lines between concert and high-tech theater, Roger Waters’ presentation of the groundbreaking album “The Wall” has justifiably taken the world by storm. Citizens Bank Park will be transformed for Waters’ songs of alienation and discovery featuring classics like “Comfortably Numb” and Another Brick in the Wall.”
• XPoNential Festival: July 20-22. Just as Washington crossed the Delaware to turn the tides of the American River, you can cross into Camden to have your ears invaded by an amazing weekend of music during the XPoNential Festival. Picnic in Wiggins Park to the sounds ofRhett Miller, Dawes, The Hold Steady, Kathleen Edwards, War on Drugs or grab a three-day pass for access to shows by Wilco, Dr. Dog and the Counting Crows at the Susquehanna Bank Center next door.
• Budweiser Made in America Festival: September 1-2. Jay-Z. Pearl Jam. Philadelphia. Musical worlds will collide on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during the Budweiser “Made in America” Music Festival on Labor Day Weekend. The eclectic lineup includes dubstep-guru Skrillex, Miike Snow, D’Angelo, Odd Future, Passion Pit and many, many more. This is sure to be one seriously epic festival.
• Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball Tour: September 2-3. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band are taking the field at Citizens Bank Park Labor Day weekend as they continue their Wrecking Ball World Tour. You may only know the chorus to “Born in the U.S.A.,” but that’s not a problem; you can find out all the words and learn Springsteen’s life story at the National Constitution Center’s latest exhibition.
There’s even more great live music, below.
• Scorpions Farewell Tour at the Mann Center: Wednesday, July 11. The “Wind of Change” has whistled through the years, but it looks like the end is near seminal 80s rock group, Scorpions. Grab your lighter and head to the Mann Center for your last chance to hear “Rock You Like A Hurricane,” “Send Me An Angel” and “Still Loving You” during the Scorpion’s “Final Sting Tour.”
• Legend of Zelda™ at the Mann Center with the Pittsburgh Orchestra: Wednesday, July 25. For 25 years, gamers around the globe have been inspired and hopelessly frustrated by the adventures of Link in The Legend of Zelda™ video game franchise. Having played to sold-out shows around the globe, The Legend of Zelda™: Symphony of the Goddesses will bring the virtual world to life at the Mann Center with the Pittsburgh Orchestra.
• Sigur Rós on the Skyline Stage: July 29-30. Just like the Olympics, it has been four years since the world experienced the eerily beautiful sound of Iceland’s Sigur Rós. Fortunately for us, Jónsi Birgisson and company are coming to Philadelphia for a two-day stint on the brand-new Skyline Stage at the Mann Center. It may be difficult to sing along to their made-up language, but it will be easy to get lost in the sounds and the setting.
• M83 at the Electric Factory: Wednesday, August 1. After selling out Union Transfer in the blink of an eye in May, French electronic group M83 is returning to Philadelphia to fill the Electric Factory with their booming sound and spectacular light show. Known for their building anthems and stick-in-your head riffs, this is sure to be a spectacular show.
• The Influence Tour: Friday, August 3. Pennsylvania-born rapper Wiz Khalifa is bringing a few friends to the Susquehanna Bank Center this summer. In addition to Mr. “Black and Yellow” himself, The Influence Tour features high energy performances from Mac Miller, Chiddy Bang, Kendrick Lamar and others.
• 2nd Street Festival: Sunday, August 5. It’s almost time to party in the streets of Northern Liberties during the Fourth Annual 2nd Street Festival. From 12 noon until 10 p.m., North 2nd between Germantown and Green Streets will be shut down for a day of art, food, beer gardens, shopping and live music on four stages. Among the acts scheduled to perform: Man Man, The Great Unknown, The Spinning Leaves and more.
• Philadelphia Folk Festival: August 17-19. Pack up your tent and your favorite Birkenstocks for the 51st annual Philadelphia Folk Festival. One of the largest events of its kind, the Folk Festival features three days of performances from some of the top local, national and international acts. Throughout the festival, enjoy dancing, arts and crafts, special shows for kids, workshops and impromptu sing-alongs in the campgrounds.
• Jimmy Buffett at the Susquehanna Bank Center: Tuesday, August 28. Sure the fans call themselves “parrotheads” and there will be more Hawaiian shirts per capita than should be allowed by law, but let’s be honest with ourselves; we still sing along to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville whenever we get the chance.
• Madonna at the Wells Fargo Center: Tuesday, August 28. We’ve all seen a lot of Madonna lately, but it is hard to deny the power of almost 30 years of hits. A good show is a good show and you’re destined to see one when Madonna takes the stage at the Wells Fargo Center.