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The 30 Hottest Tours of Summer 2018

After a winter that felt like it would last forever, we’ve skipped right over spring and into a summer that promises to heat up on all fronts. For fans of music, that means the biggest albums of the year dropping left and right, a handful of jams vying to be dubbed the “song of the summer,” and, of course, the pinnacle time of the year for live music lovers.

For many, live music in the summer means jetting or vanning around the country (or world) to sample the wide range of musical festivals out there and the unique experiences they have to offer. But don’t fret if you’re more of a homebody, low on funds, or just not the type of person to trek out to the middle of nowhere to catch a fest. Summer, like always, has you covered.

Whether you’re most comfortable head banging in a dingy club, taking in a major production with all the bells and whistles, or simply laying on a lawn and staring up at the stars while the band plays on, a great show will be in your neighborhood soon. Here are the 30 hottest tours of the summer.

We’ll save you a seat.

–Matt Melis
Editorial Director


Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys -- Photo by Ben Kaye

Arctic Monkeys — Photo by Ben Kaye

Nobody said it would be easy for Americans to catch the Arctic Monkeys this year. With their new album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, out and turning heads, Alex Turner and co. will be ping-ponging back and forth between continents all summer long for US stints, European festivals, hometown shows, and any other type of appearance you can think of. The moral of this touring schedule: If they’re going to be playing near you this summer, don’t be a bloody fool and miss it. –Regan Bexler

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Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett, photo by Philip Cosores

Courtney Barnett – Photo by Philip Cosores

After mapping out a run of intimate US shows for May in support of her celebrated new album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Aussie guitar-slinger Courtney Barnett has added a new leg of North American tour dates that span the month of July. The trek comes after a brief stint over in Europe and includes stops in Toronto, Louisville, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, and Kansas City. Barnett will be joined by a variety of shouldn’t-miss opening acts, such as Jay SomBig ThiefJulien BakerPalehound, and Vagabon, among others. If you miss her on this leg, she’ll be returning to the States in early September with Waxahatchee after a string of August shows back home in Australia and neighboring New Zealand. –Lake Schatz

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David Byrne

David Byrne - Photo by Caroline Daniel

David Byrne – Photo by Caroline Daniel

David Byrne knew early on that his 2018 tour supporting American Utopia would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In a statement posted via BrooklynVegan, back in December, the ex-Talking Head called the forthcoming tour “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense.”

“I had an idea that everyone in the band might be mobile… so there would be no risers, drum platform or any of that stuff,” he explained. “With everyone mobile, I realized the stage could be completely clear. If we could have the monitors in our ears, the amps off-stage and the lights up high, then we had the possibility of a completely empty space.”

And Americans will have plenty of opportunities to see that remarkable vision come to life. Already off and running, Byrne will continue to swing through the states during the first 10 days of June before heading overseas. But don’t fret. If you missed his first American leg, he’ll return in late July and play shows across North American right into early October. –Alex Young

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Cake and Ben Folds

Ben Folds - Photo by Gretchen Bachrodt

Ben Folds – Photo by Gretchen Bachrodt

Alternative rock veterans Cake and Ben Folds will team up for a co-headlining tour this summer. The eight-date outing kicks off August 16th in Philadelphia and also includes stops at the Forest Hills Stadium in Forest Hills, New York; the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland; and the BMO Harris Bank Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If you’re willing to go the distance, you can have your Cake and Ben Folds, too. –Alex Young

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Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart

Dave Chappelle - Photo by Netflix

Dave Chappelle – Photo by Netflix

Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart will share the stage for a series of co-headlining dates this June. As of now, the comedy legends are due to play 11 shows together starting June 11th in Boston. The itinerary also includes dates in Houston and El Paso, Texas. Last year, Stewart struck a deal with HBO for his first stand-up special in 21 years. Chappelle, meanwhile, continues to churn out specials as part of his massive deal with Netflix. Don’t miss this chance to see Stewart out from behind a desk and Chappelle doing what he does best. –Alex Young

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Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino, photo by Ben Kaye

Childish Gambino – Photo by Ben Kaye

Donald Glover has spent the last few months cooped up on production sets filming movies, including Disney’s Han Solo anthology film and live-action remake of The Lion King in addition to the second season of his acclaimed FX series, Atlanta. Come September, however, Glover will get a chance to stretch his legs as he’ll head out on the road to perform a series of concerts as his hip-hop alter ego, Childish Gambino. Kicking off September 6th in Atlanta, the 19-date tour includes massive gigs at Madison Square Garden in NYC, Chicago’s United Center, and the Forum in Los Angeles. Accompanying Glover for each of the September dates will be hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd. The “This Is America” Tour picks up again in October with Vince Staples opening. –Lake Schatz

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Chromeo, photo by David Brendan Hall

Chromeo – Photo by David Brendan Hall

We’re less than two weeks away from Chromeo dropping Head Over Heels, their guest-studded follow-up to 2014’s White Women. And with a new album in tow, the Funky Lordz will keep their tour, which began in April and consumed most of May, going right through June and parts of July, August, and September, bouncing between solo shows and festival dates. Don’t miss your chance to get seduced by the latest from Dave 1 and P-Thugg. –Randall Colburn

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Dirty Projectors

Dirty Projectors - Photo by Ben Kaye

Dirty Projectors – Photo by Ben Kaye

Save for a few one-off shows, Dirty Projectors didn’t actually tour behind last year’s self-titled album. Perhaps Dave Longstreth was just waiting to put together the right touring party, something he seems to have accomplished as the band have revealed a full schedule for this summer. After performing at Arizona’s FORM Arcosanti, Dirty Projector’s proper tour kicked off May 12th in San Diego, California. They have played or will play venues in Nashville, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland, as well as festivals like Boston Calling, Governors Ball, and Sled Island. The North American leg wraps June 30th in Houston, Texas, after which the band will head to Japan and Europe for a number of concerts. So, unless you plan on hopping a boat or plane, make sure you catch them in June. –Ben Kaye

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Drake and Migos

Drake, photo by Marjorie Strick

Drake – Photo by Marjorie Strick

Drake has been promising to release his new album, Scorpion., any time now. In anticipation, he’s mapped out a gigantic North America tour with fellow hip-hop titans Migos. The aptly titled “Aubrey and the Three Amigos Tour” kicks off July 26th in Salt Lake City. Spanning over 40 dates, the tour includes multiple nights in Drizzy’s hometown of Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Miami, and Houston. They’ll also play four nights (!) in both New York City and Los Angeles before wrapping things up with a pair of shows in Migos’ hometown of Atlanta in mid-November. –Alex Young

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Echo and the Bunnymen and Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes -- Photo by Ben Kaye

Violent Femmes — Photo by Ben Kaye

Last summer, post-punk legends Echo & the Bunnymen and reunited alt-rockers Violent Femmes combined forces on a North American co-headlining tour. The two acts enjoyed hitting the road together so much they’re planning to do it again this July. The 11-date itinerary will see Echo & the Bunnymen and Violent Femmes perform in cities like San Antonio, Houston, Nashville, Lake Buena Vista, and Washington, DC. According to a press statement, the pair will take turns closing out alternate shows. –Lake Schatz

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Watch Interpol Perform “The Rover” on Colbert | Music News

On the heels of announcing their new LP, Marauder, post-punk heroes Interpol took to the Late Show With Stephen Colbert for a performance of the album’s lead single, “The Rover”.

Looking as dapper as ever, the band provided a straightforward rendition of the song, which we described as a “driving and relentless bit of post-punk revivalism.” Watch it below.

Marauder, the follow-up to 2014’s El Pintor, is the band’s sixth studio effort, and a press release describes it as “an adventurous departure in sound, with a heavy focus on lyrics and capturing their live energy.” Produced by Dave Fridmann, the album is slated to drop on August 24th via Matador.

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Interpol Announce Marauder, Stream “The Rover” | Music News

Interpol have announced their sixth studio album, Marauder. Set for an August 24th release via Matador Records, the LP follows 2014’s El Pintor.

The band revealed the news via a live-streamed press conference held in Mexico City. Marauder marks the first time they’ve worked with “an unfamiliar producer” since 2007’s Our Love to Admire, in this case Dave Fridmann (Spoon, The Flaming Lips). They recorded directly to two-inch tape at Tarbox Studios in upstate New York between December 2017 and April of this year.

In a press release, vocalist Paul Banks said, “Marauder is a facet of myself. That’s the guy that fucks up friendships and does crazy shit. He taught me a lot, but it’s representative of a persona that’s best left in song. In a way, this album is like giving him a name and putting him to bed.”

Described as “multi-layered and bold,” the album is “an adventurous departure in sound, with a heavy focus on lyrics and capturing their live energy.” You can hear that in the lead single, “The Rover”, a driving and relentless bit of post-punk revivalism. Check it out below, and tune into The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tomorrow, June 8th, to watch Interpol give the track its live debut.

You can also watch the press conference, which is set to be transformed into a music video:

Marauder Artwork:

Interpol Marauder Album Artwork

Marauder Tracklist:
01. If You Really Love Nothing
02. The Rover
03. Complications
04. Flight of Fancy
05. Stay in Touch
06. Interlude 1
07. Mountain Child
09. Surveillance
10. Number 10
11. Party’s Over
12. Interlude 2
13. It Probably Matters

Interpol have also revealed a run of international tour dates that include a pair of shows at California’s Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theater alongside The Kills and our March Artist of the Month Sunflower Bean. There’s also a February 16th, 2019 gig set for New York’s Madison Square Garden with Car Seat Headrest and recent AOTM Snail Mail. Pre-orders of Marauder placed through the official Interpol webstore get access to exclusive ticket pre-sales for the new dates. Find their full itinerary below.

Interpol 2018-2019 Tour Dates:
06/25 – Wien, AT @ Arena Wien Open Air
06/26 – Sesta Al Reghena, IT @ Sexto Nplugged
06/27 – Zagreb, HR @ INmusic Festival
07/01 – Glasgow, UK @ TRNSMT Festival
07/05 – Roskilde, DK @ Roskilde Festival
07/07 – London, UK @ Hyde Park (British Summer Time) *
08/24 – Brooklyn, NY @ House of Vans
09/14-16 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
10/04 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl #
10/06 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theater #
11/06 – Tokyo, JP @ Akasaka Blitz
11/14 – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall
11/24 – Copenhagen, DK @ TAP1
11/29 – Paris, FR @ La Salle Pleyel
02/16 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden ^

* = w/ The Cure
# = w/ The Kills and Sunflower Bean
^ = w/ Car Seat Headrest and Snail Mail

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Stream Mourn – “Doing It Right” | Music News | Origins

Origins is a recurring new music feature that gives listeners a peek behind the scenes into the inspiration for an artist’s latest track. 

Mourn stirred up some solid buzz after dropping their 2015 self-titled debut. As is unfortunately a common occurrence in the music industry, however, drama with their former Spanish label slowed down their ability to build on that reputation following the release of 2016’s Ha, Ha, He. The intrepid Catalonian quartet soldiered on, taking the lessons from the last two years and channeling them into their forthcoming effort, Sorpresa Familia.

Out June 15th via Captured Tracks, the post-punk outfit’s third album seeks to address issues that, while personal, also affect those of us in the world at large. Take, for example, the way they were dragged around by their old label, which they scream about on “Doing It Right”. The track takes actual words from emails sent to Mourn by their business contacts, twisting them into a satirical and sardonic snarl (“All we do is for good/ You don’t owe us anything/ Don’t be scared/ These numbers are normal”). But even if you’ve never been screwed by a label contract, alas, it’s too easy to relate to the idea of being toyed with by a bunch of suits.

Take a listen to the track below.

For more on how Mourn’s tight-knit friendships helped them survive those messy label interactions to get to “Doing It Right”, the band has shared the Origins of the new track.


Oprah Winfrey Email Meme You Get An Email

The song includes quotes from real emails sent to us and people working with us. We decided to take the craziest ones and transform them into a song. We also took things said to us in person and wrote them down to help form the story we lived. At that time we were going through a lot of bullshit and we needed to take it out in the least destructive way possible. And that is writing a song about it.

Instagram Bio: “Doing it right since 2007”:

instagram logo artwork

Instagram is the place where everyone is happy, everyone is successful and everyone is doing things right. Where everyone is good people. But that’s not always the truth and sometimes it’s hard to notice when something is going on behind all those filters. We took the Instagram bio of the record label we had problems with and titled the song with the slogan they always had. They kept telling how good they were, all the time they were “doing it right.”


Friendship Teletubbies Mourn Sorpresa Familia cover art

When you are going through hard times it makes it easier if you have someone by your side that is going through the same who can support you. We were lucky to have each other and to be able to share our feelings and to go through that experience Together.

The creative process for this song involved being in a room writing down all those things that hurt us and turning them into something positive. We used our problems to build a song that would make us feel better and even more connected to each other. It made us feel powerful, because no one can take that away from us. Never.


Mataró Maresme Cabrils Argentona map

Mataró is the capital of Maresme, the county where our towns Cabrils and Argentona are located. Carla and Jazz studied arts in high school in Mataró. We met there and went to the same class. We spent two of the best years of our lives there, even though that high school was terrible. And now we have our rehearsal place in Mataró, so that’s where we create and develop most of our songs. We are not very attached to that city, but at the same time it is very special to us.

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