10 reasons to be amped for summer concerts

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From left to right by row, starting at top left: 1) Kenny Chesney, July 12; 2) Yeah Yeah Yeahs, June 24; 3) Bob Dylan, July 10; 4) Beyoncé, July 18; 5) Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Aug. 31; 6) Public Enemy, May 30; 7) Wilco, July 10; 8) Metric, June 15; 9) Bruno Mars, July 14; 10) Vampire Weekend, Aug. 5; 11) Brandi Carlile, June 29; 12) Avett Brothers, June 29; 13)Mavis Staples, July 21, 14) Willie Nelson, July 16; 15) New Kids on the Block, July 20; 16) Alabama Shakes, July 28; 17) Eli Young, July 12; 18) Fitz and the Tantrums, July 16-17; 19) Postal Service, Aug. 2; 20) Depeche Mode, Aug. 27

Photo: Photo illustration from wire and Star Tribune photos by Mike Rice,

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Watch the video: Star Tribune music critics Jon Bream and Chris Riemenschneider talk about the summer concert schedule in the Twin Cities.

Festivals, schmestivals. This spring, it seemed like all the news about summer concerts was bad: Live Nation’s ambitious (and expensive) River’s Edge Festival was put off for a year; so was First Avenue’s would-be answer to Chicago’s Pitchfork Fest. It’s as if last year’s abrupt cancellation of Somerset’s SoundTown had made “festival” a dirty word locally.

Then came tour announcements by the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons and Black Sabbath — all without Minnesota stops. But hey, we’ve got Kenny Chesney for the second consecutive year at Target Field. How’s that for diverse use of our publicly subsidized mega-venues?

Still, as we combed the concert calendar through Labor Day, we were pleasantly surprised to find plenty of cool or at least fresh trends to get us excited for the season.

  
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