As the sunlight lingers and the temperature steadily rises, there is no better way to spend summer than being immersed in the lush sounds of some of your favorite artists. Your options are aplenty, as some of the Bay Area’s most gorgeous venues are booked with names big and small.
A Berkeley favorite, the Greek Theatre is home to a variety of artists. Alison Krauss and Union Station will grace fans with their soothing, folksy harmonies on Saturday, June 25, bolstered by opener M. Ward, aka the “him” of She & Him. Coming from the other side of the musical spectrum, the genre-hopping Slightly Stoopid will be performing their unique amalgamation of reggae, hip-hop and punk rock on Friday, June 29. The following night features a throwback to the classics as alt-rockers A Perfect Circle stop by the Greek on their tour.
Sure, we all think of the Greek as the hubbub of music culture, but the UC Botanical Garden also plays host to exciting outdoor concerts. Redwood Groves’ annual summer concert series offers a listening experience that is intimate and close to nature. Gypsy tango music comes to life in Trio Zincalo (June 23) while minimalist strings fill the air with Foxtails Brigade (Aug. 4). Known for her sweet vocals and haunting lyrics, singer/songwriter Mirah is scheduled for Aug. 11.
Moving (a ways away) from the campus, Mountain View’s the Shoreline Amphitheater is home to the annual Vans Warped Tour, set for July 2. This year, the lineup boasts some of the biggest names in rock, including 3OH3!, Simple Plan, Relient K and Hellogoodbye.
Conclude your summer with San Francisco’s biggest music festival, Outside Lands. Located in the stunning, sprawling lawns of the Golden Gate Park, it is a weekend filled with music, art and food. This year, it will take place from Aug. 12 to 14. Though headliners Muse, Arcade Fire and The Shins may be selling a majority of the tickets, there are smaller names worth seeing. Newcomers Foster the People are known to deliver enthusiastic sets. Phantogram delights fans with their mix of ethereal vocals and gritty, electronic beats. And folk artist Grouplove are sure to bring out your inner dance diva with their energetic country-twangs with a modern edge.
Of course, if you’re not a big fan of the outdoors and prefer your concerts to be enclosed, the area’s indoor venues are equally packed with acts. San Francisco-based group Cults have been garnering critical acclaim with their recent self-titled debut, and their breezy tunes will fill up Bottom of the Hill on July 25. The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is booked with hip-hop stars Kid Cudi and Wiz Khalifa, performing on June 19 and June 22, respectively. And if you’re eager for strobe light attacks and pulsating beats, the annual HARD Summer Music Festival comes to Oakland’s Fox Theater on Aug. 5, with Digitalism, Jack Beats, Caspa and Destructo.
Cynthia Kang is the arts editor.