In this June 2, 2018 file photo., Ariana Grande performs at Wango Tango at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. The singer brings her “Sweetener” tour to Atlanta in June 2019. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

25 Atlanta summer concerts: Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish and Hugh Jackman among the season's choices

Last year, stadium concerts dominated the summer concert palette.

This season, there are none. But all that translates to is a greater variety at Atlanta’s numerous amphitheaters and arenas (always a preferred choice when it’s 97 degrees outside – in May).

To keep up with the ever-growing inventory, make sure to check out Live Music Picks and Hot Tix every week in Go Guide and on the Atlanta Music Scene at AJC.com for complete listings of updated concert information. Unless otherwise noted, tickets to all concerts can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Hootie & The Blowfish opened for Jason Aldean at SunTrust Park in 2018, but will headline their own tour this summer. Photo: Robb Cohen Photography & Video /RobbsPhotos.com

Hootie and the Blowfish. Break out the cargo shorts and hacky sacks—it’s a ‘90s-palooza with the return of one of the most popular bands of the decade. Actually, Hootie never disbanded (the guys still played an annual charity event every year), and last year they opened for Jason Aldean at SunTrust Park with a set stocked with “Hold My Hand,” “Only Wanna Be With You” and “Time.” With Barenaked Ladies. 7:30 p.m. June 1. $51-$305.50. Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way, Atlanta.

Kristian Bush and Rita Wilson. The two pals will kick off a short collaborative tour in Atlanta. Wilson, of course known for her work as an actress and producer, recently released her fourth album, “Halfway to Home,” which she recorded in Nashville. (Bush was among the co-writers.) The Sugarland maestro plans to release an EP this summer. 8 p.m. June 5. $35-$50. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta.

Ariana Grande. Her “Sweetener” tour has been underway since March and the petite and prolific presence with the massive voice will remain on the road through October. Expect to hear plenty from her two current albums, “Sweetener,” and this year’s “Thank U, Next.” With Normani and Social House. 8 p.m. June 8. Sold out. State Farm Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta.

Kendrick Lamar, on stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., on April 23, 2017. The rapper is part of the inaugural Tycoon Festival in Atlanta. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Tycoon Festival. The inaugural event boasts a topline of major names: Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, 50 Cent, Trey Songz, T.I. and Fabolous, with more (Young Thug, O.T. Genasis, Casanova, Dave East, Blac Youngsta, DDG and D.C. Young Fly) rounding out the night of rap and R&B. 5 p.m. June 8. $51-$536. Lakewood.

Bone Thugs N Harmony. The hip-hop quintet from Cleveland will always be tied to their Grammy-winning 1997 hit tribute to Eazy-E, “Tha Crossroads.” But the output has remained steady, with Krayzie Bone and Bizzy Bone releasing “New Waves” in 2017. 9 p.m. June 15. $37-$100. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. 1-877-987-6487, ticketfly.com.

Luis Miguel. In 2018, Miguel received the Latin American Music Award for best tour of 2018. That same, exhaustive “México Por Siempre Tour” will visit Duluth before it finally winds down in July. 8:30 p.m. June 19. $39.95-$500. Infinite Energy Arena 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-626-2464, infiniteenergycenter.com.

FreakNik. The name doesn’t conjure welcome memories for many Atlantans who recall the annual spring break-themed event from the early-1980s to the late-1990s as a hedonistic binge of drinking and partying. But Atlanta-based After 9 partners want to change the image of FreakNik with a family (not necessarily kids) event and a lineup of Uncle Luke, Project Pat, Da Brat, Adina Howard, Foxy Brown, DJ Unk, Bun B, Kilo Ali, Lil Scrappy, Twista and Pastor Troy. 1 p.m. June 22. $51-$135. Lakewood.

Perry Farrell. While he’s known as the frontman for Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros (as well as founding Lollapalooza), Farrell is also a restless creative mind. His “Kind Heaven” album (out June 7) is his first solo record in 18 years, and joining him on it (and live) is Perry Farrell’s Kind Heaven Orchestra, which features Tony Visconti, Dhani Harrison, Elliot Easton (of The Cars) and Taylor Hawkins (of Foo Fighters). 8 p.m. June 22. Sold out (waitlist available). City Winery Atlanta, 650 North Ave., Ponce City Market, Atlanta. 404-946-3791, citywinery.com/atlanta.

Billie Eilish performs onstage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 20, 2019 in Indio, Calif. The young singer will also play Music Midtown in September. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella)

Billie Eilish. The young breakout singer behind “Ocean Eyes” and “Bad Guy” will receive a massive platform this fall as a headliner at Music Midtown. But first, she’ll support her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” with a tour that will keep her on the road until September. With Denzel Curry. 7:30 p.m. June 23. Sold out. Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park, 4469 Stella Drive NW, Atlanta.

Rick Springfield. The durable pop-rocker just released “Orchestrating My Life,” a collection of hits and fan favorites re-recorded with rock and orchestral arrangements. The complementary tour finds him playing with local symphonies (i.e., the ASO in Atlanta). 8 p.m. June 27. $39.50-$250. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.

Ultimate Queen Celebration starring Marc Martel. No doubt Rami Malek deserved his Oscar for portraying Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” But Martel is the guy—handpicked by Queen drummer Roger Taylor years ago to front another Queen tribute band—whose voice was mixed with Mercury’s in a few scenes. Prepare for a dropped jaw. 8 p.m. June 29. $25-$35. Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City. 877-725-8849, ticketalternative.com.

Dead & CompanyIn a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart was effusive in his praise of guitarist John Mayer, who has joined Dead stalwarts Hart, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann (along with longtime players Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti). “He’s not like a hired hand; he’s starting to become one with the music,” Hart said of Mayer. “That’s a feather in his cap because this ain’t easy music!” 7 p.m. June 29. $49.50-$760. Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way SW, Atlanta.

Hugh Jackman will trade acting for singing and dancing on his first arena tour.

Hugh Jackman. Many fans only know of the handsome Aussie for his onscreen presence. But his theatrical chops are serious, and his musical ability impressive (his Tony Award-winning 2003 performance in “The Boy From Oz” was stunning). This rare live run, “The Man. The Music. The Show.,” spotlights his love of standards, Broadway classics and “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack. 7 p.m. July 3. $65.50-$555. State Farm Arena, 1 State Farm Dr., Atlanta.

ELO. After Jeff Lynne’s ELO played a brief tour last summer—their first in North American since 1981 (when they played The Omni)—the responses were rapturous. Along with fronting ELO (“Telephone Line,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Mr. Blue Sky” and a few dozen more hits), Lynne is revered for his work as a producer and also a co-founder and member of The Traveling Wilburys. With Dhani Harrison. 8 p.m. July 5. $49.50-$680. State Farm Arena, 1 State Farm Dr., Atlanta.

New Kids on the Block: The Mixtape Tour. In a twist to the usual parade-of-openers-capped-by-headliner presentation of a multi-act show, NKOTB, who last brought “The Right Stuff” to Atlanta in 2017, hit the stage first, while their ‘80s contemporaries Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Salt N Pepa and Naughty By Nature are peppered in throughout the performance. 7:30 p.m. July 11. $29.95-$598. State Farm Arena, 1 State Farm Dr., Atlanta.

Mary J. Blige is teaming with Nas for a summer tour. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Mary J. Blige and Nas. This is the first time the New York natives are hitting the road together—Atlanta is the fourth date of a 22-city run—but not their first collaboration. They teamed in 1997 for Blige’s “Love Is All We Need” and in 2012 on Nas’ “Reach Out.” 8 p.m. July 16. $40.99-$300.99. Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Dr. NW, Atlanta.

Howard Jones. This-Will-Make-You-Feel-Old Alert: Jones’ debut album, “Human’s Lib,” turns 35. This tour with Men Without Hats (rulers of “The Safety Dance”), will celebrate that album’s anniversary, as well as Jones’ new electronic release, “Transform.” With All Hail the Science. 8 p.m. July 19. $38.50-$116.50. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta.

Jennifer Lopez. Raise your hand if you wish you could look as good as Lopez at ANY age, never mind on the cusp of your 50th birthday, the ostensible reason for this “It’s My Party” tour. 8 p.m. July 22. $49.95-$344.50. State Farm Arena, 1 State Farm Dr., Atlanta.

Gordon Lightfoot. He turned 80 in November, but the folk singer-songwriter behind such timeless nuggets as “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” is energized by the stage. He also can claim a noteworthy fan—Bob Dylan. 8 p.m. July 22. $45-$120. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.

Nelly and TLC. For five weeks, Atlanta-bred TLC will zigzag across the country with Nelly and Flo Rida (it’s technically a co-headlining jaunt among the threesome). TLC recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of “FanMail,” and also, the thrill of seeing Weezer cover “No Scrubs” on its new “Teal Album.” 7 p.m. July 24. $25-$135.50. Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way SW, Atlanta.

George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic. Yes, this is the third time in 12 months that Clinton is saying goodbye to Atlanta, and it is probably, most likely, perhaps truly his last tour appearance here. The “One Nation Under a Groove” tour will also feature Galactic, Fishbone, and Miss Velvet & The Blue Wolf. 7 p.m. July 25. $31-$71. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, foxtheatre.org.

Tedeschi Trucks Band. For this year’s “Wheels of Soul” escapade, the dynamic Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi and their awesome band have enlisted Atlanta’s Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope to join the fun. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2-3. $25.25-$146.25. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, foxtheatre.org.

Peter Frampton will play Atlanta on his final tour in August. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Peter Frampton. There are those artists who plaster the word “final” or “end of the road” on their tour announcements, always knowing they might still come back. But for Frampton, who is battling inclusion body myositis, a degenerative muscle disease, the word “Finale” in his tour title is, sadly, true. This is rock royalty. Go. See. Him. Now. With Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11. $29.50-$386. Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta.

Bryan Ferry. His 2017 appearance at the Tabernacle was the definition of elegance. This spate of shows is a fitting coda to Roxy Music’s recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will find him revisiting Roxy’s classic 1982 album, “Avalon,” the band’s only platinum-selling U.S. album. 8 p.m. Aug. 15. $45.50-$167.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta.

Melissa Etheridge. On her gritty new album, “The Medicine Show,” Etheridge sounds as potent as she did 20 years ago. It’s not an accident. As she recently told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I realized when I went through breast cancer that health is the most important thing. I saw that the healthier I kept my body, the healthier my voice was. It’s about what I eat on the road, things as boring as sleep and drinking enough water.” 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17. $63. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-876-5859, atlantabg.org.

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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.  
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