Outdoor Summer Concerts Return with Strong Tours

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday April 28, 2022
Originally published on April 12, 2022

Lady Gaga and Bad Bunny
Lady Gaga and Bad Bunny  (Source:Associated Press)

Although concerts have been back in full swing for several months now, this summer will be the first summer in two years that see the full return of one of summer's greatest pastimes: Outdoor concerts.

And while there are plenty of major tours slated to play indoor arenas, there's nothing quite like a red-hot summer concert, one with tailgating, lawn seats, pyrotechnics, and massive stage designs. Here are 10 of the most anticipated outdoor concerts of the year.

Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

I have no earthly idea how Elton John's farewell tour is still going on at this point — he's been on the road since 2018 — but here we are, and this final stretch of shows is likely the actual end of the road. I caught this tour four years ago, and I'll be going again this summer to say farewell one more time. A spectacular evening with one of the all-time greats, this summer is a perfect time to go pay your respects. Through July 2023.

Paul McCartney's Got Back Tour

Paul McCartney has been playing stadiums since he and The Beatles caused a sensation at Shea Stadium nearly 60 years ago and, lucky for us, he's showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. A McCartney stadium concert is a massively enjoyable, almost religious experience, even for a casual fan. His voice has held up, too, and the setlist is so chock-full of hits that you can't believe they've all come from one man. While he knows how to make it intimate with lots of banter and personal anecdotes, he's not above shooting some fireworks off from the stage, either. April 28-June 16.

Pet Shop Boys & New Order's Unity Tour

A vital part of the synth-dance-pop explosion of the '80s, Pet Shop Boys have been consistently releasing experimental and wholly decadent music for over 40 years. From "West End Girls" and "Always On My Mind" to "Opportunities" and "It's A Sin," dancing under the stars with the Pet Shop Boys sounds like my idea of a night out. To sweeten the pot, they'll be performing with New Order, which boosts the cool factor exponentially. May 10-October 16.

An Evening with Jackson Browne

Like James Taylor, Dead & Company, and Dave Matthews Band, Jackson Browne has become a mainstay on the summer concert stage. One of the most influential and successful songwriters of all time, Browne has influenced rock and pop music to an immeasurable degree. Browne is a storyteller, and an evening outdoors with him, his guitar, and his stories is a sure bet. June 3-September 25.

Backstreet Boys' DNA World Tour

Having grossed more than $92 million in one year alone, the Backstreet Boys' DNA World Tour has been making its way across the globe for three years now. With a setlist consisting of more than 30 songs spanning their record-breaking career, this tour — forgive the pun — is larger than life. June 4-September 14.

Norah Jones

It's been 20 years since a then-23-year-old Norah Jones swept the Grammys with "Come Away with Me," her instant classic debut album that made her a star. This year, in celebration of the album's 20 years, Jones is touring some of the country's most iconic outdoor venues. While there are bigger, flashier concerts burning up the night sky this summer, this is sure to be one of the loveliest. June 15-August 4.

Josh Groban's Harmony Tour

While he is known for the smooth, operatic voice that made him a household name, Josh Groban has proven himself time and time again to be an enigmatic, multi-hyphenate superstar. A Grammy, Emmy, and Tony nominee, Groban is a true entertainer in every sense of the word. Sure, the music is good, but it's also his effortless showmanship that makes him someone you'll want to spend a warm summer night with. June 17-August 2.

The Weeknd's After Hours / Til Dawn Tour

After his After Hours arena tour was postponed for more than two years, The Weeknd scrapped it completely and set his eyes on a much bigger prize: Football stadiums. It didn't hurt, either, that he released another epically perfect album, "Dawn FM," and decided to combine the two for what will be one astounding production. July 8-September 3.

Lady Gaga's The Chromatica Ball

Like The Weeknd, Gaga's stadium tour was postponed for two years because of the pandemic. Also like The Weeknd, Gaga mounted one of the most impressive and exciting Super Bowl halftime shows in recent memory, which bodes well for her first-ever show created just for stadiums. July 17-September 10.

Bad Bunny's World's Hottest Tour

Bad Bunny is one of the biggest stars on the planet right now, and his summer stadium tour is guaranteed to be just as big. His most recent arena tour, El Último Tour Del Mundo, was one of the most impressively designed tours I've ever seen, which means that he's probably cooking up one hell of a stadium show. August 5-December 10.