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Must-See Summer Concerts

10 must-see summer concerts: Houston's music scene is really heating up

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Lady Gaga ArtPop Ball octopus costume May 201
Lady Gaga in just one of many bizarre costume changes on her Artpop tour, coming to Houston July 16th. Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage
One Direction in concert
One Direction will definitely be worth the wait when they roll into Houston August 22nd. One Direction/Facebook
Tim McGraw at March Madness Music Festival
A crowd favorite, Tim McGraw will take the stage as summer starts to settle down August 9th. Photo by Danny Hurley
ACL Festival 2013 Day Two Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar will be one of the eight artists performing in the H-Town Beat Down June 20th. Photo by Shelley Neuman
The Goo Goo Dolls in concert May 2014
The Goo Goo Dolls will bring back some favorites like "Iris" near the end of June. Photo by Kevin Song/The Observer
Lady Gaga ArtPop Ball octopus costume May 201
One Direction in concert
Tim McGraw at March Madness Music Festival
ACL Festival 2013 Day Two Kendrick Lamar
The Goo Goo Dolls in concert May 2014

One of the better things that comes with Houston's stifling summer heat? A ridiculously good lineup of concerts that attracts all kinds of audiences.

Break out the piggy bank and group text, because it's already time to plan your big summer night. This Houston concert season is shaping up as one of the best in recent memory.

Here are 10 Must-See shows:

1. Backstreet Boys

No, your eyes are not fooling you. This iconic 1990s boy band is on a World Tour, which will include songs from their latest album, In A World Like This, as well as hits from the peak of their stardom. Maybe it's time to dust off your CDs from more than a decade ago and listen to "I Want It That Way" and "Larger Than Life" to refresh your memory.

Oh and did I mention Avril Lavigne will be there too?

The details: Thursday, June 5th, 7 p.m.; Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion; tickets from $22.50

2. H-Town Beat Down featuring Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songz, Future, J. Cole, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Z-Ro and Trae tha Truth. 

If you tuned into the Grammy's, you would have seen Macklemore's acceptance for Best Rap Album of the Year. Everyone's heard about his immediate instagram apology that claimed Lamar got robbed and was the true winner.

This on-the-rise rapper is a definite crowd pleaser with his knockouts "Swimming Pools" and "m.A.A.d city". Not to mention the rest of the lineup includes the best of Houston's own.  

The details: Friday, June 20th, 7 p.m.; BBVA Compass Stadium; tickets from $38.

3. Goo Goo Dolls & Daughtry with the Plain White T’s

Prepare your picnic blankets for a summer night of great American rock with the noteworthy Goo Goo Dolls teaming up with American Idol alumni Chris Daughtry. This combination will allow concert goers to enjoy their longstanding favorites as well as get a taste for another similar artist.

The details: Friday, June 27th, 6:45 p.m.; Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion; tickets from $24.50

4. The Fray

If their name doesn't strike you as a must-see, go check out your Spotify to be pleasantly surprised with the number of hits you know, such as "How to Save a Life" and "Never Say Never." The smaller venue will be sure to provide a more intimate setting for this somehow soothing take on rock.

The details: Sunday, June 29th, 6:30 p.m.; Bayou Music Center; tickets from $39.50

5. Queen & Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert is aware of the daunting task of filling in for the legendary Freddie Mercury, but with his fierce stage presence and breathtaking vocals, the renditions of classics like "We Are the Champions" and "Somebody to Love" are not something to miss.

The details: Wednesday, July 9th, 6:30 p.m.; Toyota Center; tickets from $35

6. Lady Gaga

Get ready for a visual show in addition to eccentric vocals, because Gaga is not backing down with the number of outrageous, racy costumes she is bringing to her Artpop tour. Despite the low popularity of her most recent album, expect to hear her originals like "Poker Face" in addition to the more recent hits, "Applause" and "Do What U Want".

The details: Wednesday, July 16th, 7:30 p.m.; Toyota Center; tickets from $35

7. The Neighbourhood

Never heard of this indie rock band new to the scene? How about their chart topper "Sweater Weather"? Listen to their more unknown but capturing songs "Afraid" and "Female Robbery" before checking them out in person and getting hooked. 

The details: Thursday, July 17th, Venue: Bayou Music Center Opening Act: Tickets $29.50

8. Beyoncé & Jay Z

The only thing that could make this concert any better is if Solange barges on stage and goes after Jay-Z. Get ready for this iconic couple to take over Minute Maid Park for what's sure to be Houston's hottest summer ticket.

Perhaps you should practice singing "Drunk In Love" at the top of your lungs a couple hundred times too.  

The details: Friday, July 18th, 7:30 p.m.; Minute Maid Park; tickets from $108

9. Tim McGraw with Cassadee Pope and Kip Moore

Tim McGraw is your go-to country cowboy with favorites like "Something Like That" and "Truck Yeah", but what about newcomer Cassadee Pope? Winner of The Voice Season 3, this girl has pipes. Check out the Country Top 10 number "Wasting All These Tears" or my personal favorite, her original audition for The Voice.

The details: Saturday, August 9th, 6 p.m.; Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion Opening Act: Kip Moore & Cassadee Pope Tickets: $29.75 - $70 

10. One Direction

If you are a man reading this, buy tickets now for any female in your life (or yourself, no judgment here). And if you're a woman, well unless you are completely uneducated about the most remarkable boy band of our time, you either already have tickets or dream of getting them.

One Direction is a worldwide sensation which is blessing H-Town. These five European hunks are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and faint in a matter of two hours, because I know it can't just be me right . . . right??

The details: Friday, August 22nd, 7 p.m.; NRG Stadium; tickets: $39.50 - $99.50

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed above are those of the author and not necessarily those of CultureMap. Especially the One Direction opinions.

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