The Go staff is looking at the best and brightest of this summer's pop culture. Batman makes an appearance. As do Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Summer is always a busy time for concerts — and usually contains some of the year's best.
For summer 2012, my concert calendar has filled up fast. Every week has great shows, so it was tough to narrow the field to a top 10 list.
Here are my most anticipated concerts of the summer. Some are in arenas, some are outside, but all of them will rock.
10. Red Sky Music Festival — No matter what, this is going to be the biggest music event in the state in 2012. The big names announced so far for the festival — Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Def Leppard — are big draws. Plus, I'd pay to see Paisley play his paisley-patterned Telecasters any day. You may not know it, but the man can really tear it up. (July 18 to 21 at TD Ameritrade Park)
9. Weezer — Bespectacled frontman Rivers Cuomo and his band will be back in the area this summer. The last time they were in town, the band ripped through a greatest hits-style set that was one of the best of that year. Seeing them in the smaller confines of Stir Cove will make the experience that much more intense. Hopefully, Cuomo jumps off stage and mixes it up with fans like he did last time. (July 29 at Stir Cove)
8. My Morning Jacket — One of the best bands playing Lincoln's Pinewood Bowl this year is indie rock outfit My Morning Jacket, fronted by Jim James of Monsters of Folk. The band's latest, “Circuital,” was given four stars by Rolling Stone, which called it “a trippy vision of heaven.” And a little something you might not know: The title track was originally written for the Muppets. (Aug. 7 at Pinewood Bowl)
7. The Faint — They said at one point they were broken up, but the Omaha dance-punk progenitors didn't go extinct. They got the band back together and they'll be playing a pair of shows (one in Des Moines, another in Omaha) to kick off their reunion. Hear's hoping they don't call it quits again. (Aug. 18 at Slowdown)
6. Crosby, Stills & Nash — The classic rock/folk supergroup will play an outdoor concert in Lincoln. It's billed as “an evening with” the band, so expect to get your money's worth and hear all of the band's classic songs. (Aug. 8 at Pinewood Bowl)
5. Wilco — The annual Saturday in the Park concert in Sioux City snagged a heck of a headliner in Wilco, the alt-country turned noisy-rocking indie troupe led by Jeff Tweedy. It may be a bit of a drive from Omaha, but did we mention the show is free? You have few reasons to miss this show. (July 7 at Saturday in the Park in Sioux City)
4. Best Coast — One of the best sets I've seen in recent years was when sunny, California surf pop band Best Coast took the stage at Lollapalooza in the pouring rain. The rain didn't let up, but the music made it feel like the sun was shining a bit brighter. The band, led by Beth Cosentino, is expanding its song catalog this year with its sophomore album, “The Only Place,” released last week. (May 29 at Slowdown)
3. The Black Keys — This bashing, popping blues rock duo toured in a van and played in dingy clubs for years. Fast forward past some Grammy Awards, millions of copies sold and a lot more dingy clubs and the band is on an arena tour. They put in the hard work, that's for sure. I can't recommend this show enough. Every time I see them, they get better. (Aug. 1 at Mid-America Center)
2. The Shins — “Garden State” told us that this band's song would change our lives. Maybe, maybe not, but it got me listening to The Shins a lot more. With a new album, “Port of Morrow,” and one of the best songs out yet this year, “Simple Song,” this concert's a must for any fan of indie rock or awesome songwriting. (May 31 at Stir Cove)
1. Maha Music Festival — Desaparecidos showed they haven't lost a step at a recent secret concert, plus it would appear the reunited band has some new material. Add alt-rockers Garbage, who have released a new album after seven years, and you have one fantastic lineup. I haven't even mentioned the other bands... Maha's going to have a big year in 2012. (Aug. 11 at Stinson Park)
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