What do The Beatles, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, and Mötley Crüe have in common (other than selling millions of records and reaching legendary musician status)? They’ve all played the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, one of the most storied musical venues in the world. With a capacity of 17,500 and its distinct bandshell architecture, the Hollywood Bowl acts as a bucket list venue for those at the very top of their game.
As summer rapidly approaches, we thought we’d take a look at the Bowl’s calendar this season and let y’all know about some of the standout concerts that might have slipped under your radar somehow. Check ’em out below.
May 31 + June 1: Dead & Company
Firstly, I know our managing editor and longtime deadhead Nathan would not approve of this list without the inclusion of Dead & Company — the reconfigured assembly of original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann as well as new members John Mayer (yes that John Mayer!), Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti. Secondly, reviews for this iteration of the band have been largely well-received, with many touting Mayer’s added energy to the performance. Even better, Pitchfork said of their Fenway Park performance last year, “It’s hard to think of another tour this summer that’s as friendly to families as it is to psychedelic users.”
June 15: Phoenix, The Lemon Twigs
It’s been four years since the release of Phoenix’s last full length, and the rock band from Versailles will be ending that streak this June with their sixth studio album, Ti Amo. If you’re old school like me and like to experience new albums live the first time you hear them, Phoenix’s June 15th play at the Bowl (six days after the album drops) should be a solid show to catch.
June 25: Seu Jorge — The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie
For all you Wes Anderson fans out there, Seu Jorge (aka Pelé dos Santos) will be performing the soundtrack to the 2004 classic The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in full for a tribute show to the late David Bowie. For those not familiar, the Brazilian singer/songwriter and actor, Seu Jorge, recorded a number of David Bowie “covers” for the film, keeping the original melodies of hits like “Rebel Rebel,” “Life on Mars?”, and “Changes” while providing altered lyrics in Portuguese. It’s beautiful stuff, you can listen to the full soundtrack here.
July 9: Blondie, Garbage, Sky Ferriera
Serious woman power from three generations of music up in this one. New wave pioneers Blondie headline ahead of 90s alt rockers Garbage with support from Los Angeles native and edgy indie rocker Sky Ferreira. Each of these acts will definitely bring their own vibe while falling under one big umbrella of badass-ery.
July 21: Kool & The Gang, Morris Day + The Time, Village People
Easily the funkiest party to happen in the Northern Hemisphere all summer. Expect lots of bell bottoms and people dancing in the aisles. Bring your dad.
August 14: Incubus, Jimmy Eat World, Judah & the Lion
Not sure this one needs all that much captioning tbh. Incubus are forever amazing and I still listen to “Sweetness” from JEW like once a week, so. Are you listening, wooooooaaaaooooaaoao
September 24 — Solange, Blood Orange, Kelela, Moses Sumney, and more
This absolutely stacked night is also known as Cosmic Journey and is part of KCRW’s World Festival series this summer, acting to “celebrate the diversity of experimentation within R&B, folk and jazz.” Sounds pretty wavey and we’re very down with that. Also, hearing Moses’ angelic voice echo all around the Bowl sounds like a dream I wish I’ve had.
October 3 + 4 — Chance the Rapper
Chance is arguably the most exciting name in all music right now, which would make sense as to why both of these shows sold out in just minutes after they were announced. The two back-to-back concerts in October come at the tail end of the Chicago rapper’s six-month long, 40-date Be Encouraged Tour, which is poised (alongside Kendrick’s DAMN. Tour) to be one of the season’s most anticipated runs. Good thing verified resale tickets are good to go via Ticketmaster for both shows.
Find the full calendar and ticket information for all events this summer at the Hollywood Bowl here.