There's no doubt. It's time to stock up on sunscreen and earplugs and head to your favorite outdoor venue. Here are just a few of the biggest deals headed our way this summer.
Auburn’s White River Amphitheatre kicks off its season with none other than Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra there on Sunday night. (See sidebar.)
Between those and this week’s lineup announcements for Bumbershoot and the Capitol Hill Block Party, there’s no doubt. It’s time to stock up on sunscreen and earplugs and head to your favorite outdoor venue. And here are just a few of the biggest deals headed our way this summer.
KUBE Summer Jam (6 p.m. June 18, White River Amphitheatre): Every year, Seattle’s most popular urban station packs White River with some of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B. This year’s star-studded lineup includes Drake, Trey Songz, Rick Ross, Fabolous, the Game and Jason DeRulo.
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Note to the people down front during the Game: Stay alert. He’s been known to “make it rain” and toss out a fist full of bills. How’s that for recession busting? Tickets are $32.50 to $86; more information at www.kube93.com.
Rihanna (7:30 p.m. July 2, White River Amphitheatre): These last couple of years have been a roller coaster ride for this 22-year-old Barbadian-American pop star. She was still riding high from the success of debut album “Good Girl Gone Bad” early last year when a highly publicized, violent altercation with then-boyfriend Chris Brown caused her to miss last year’s Grammys.
She bounced back from adversity last fall with sophomore smash “Rated R.” And with support from pop upstart Ke$ha (“Tik Tok”) and hip-hop bombshell Nicki Minaj (“I Get Crazy”), her Last Girl on Earth tour promises to be one of the year’s biggest. Tickets are $27.75 to $95.75; information at Ticketmaster.
Lilith Fair (2:30 p.m. July 3, Gorge Amphitheatre): This estrogen-powered package tour last made the rounds in 1999, right around the time female voices began dubiously fading from alternative radio in favor of the macho, derivative stylings of Creed and Nickelback.
But now Lilith is back with an eclectic cross-section of female pop stars that will bring founder Sarah McLachlan, Sugarland, Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat, Erykah Badu and more to the Gorge. Also in driving distance: A July 2 stop at the Sleep Country Amphitheatre in Clark County. Tickets are $33 to $107; information at www.lilithfair.com.
Rockstar Mayhem Festival (2:15 p.m. July 13, White River Amphiteatre), Rockstar Uproar Festival (Sept. 25, Gorge Amphitheatre): With Motley Crue’s Crue Fest out of the picture for at least a year, Rockstar seems determined to corner the hard rock fest market left behind by Ozzfest, first with the agro sounds of Mayhem, which will bring Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God and more to White River Amphitheatre in July. Tickets are $31 to $55.50; information at www.mayhemfest.com.
Then Rockstar will follow up with more Funky Monkey-approved bands – including Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour – when the inaugural Uproar trek hits the Gorge on Sept. 25. Ticket information to be announced; information at www.rockstaruproar.com.
Kings of Leon (7:30 p.m. July 17, Gorge Amphitheatre): During their “Youth and Young Manhood” days, you could catch these southern-fried indie boys at Neumo’s. Now the Kings are among the hottest rock outfits on the planet, and may sell out the 20,000-seat Gorge as they road test songs for a forthcoming album.
“There are times when it’s very tropical and beachy, but there’s always that dark chord in there that makes it Kings of Leon,” singer-guitarist Caleb Followill said of recently recorded material, also hinting at a twangier direction. “We have fiddle on this album. We have lap steel on this album.”
Added bonus: Northwest rock heroes Built to Spill will open. Tickets are $42.50 to $56.50; information at Ticketmaster.
Capitol Hill Block Party (July 23 to 25, Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood): It might not be the biggest of the regional music festivals, but it’s easily one of the hippest, having brought the likes of the Hold Steady, the Gossip and Vampire Weekend to the streets of Seattle’s most hipster-approved neighborhood.
Skinny jeans will be out in force for a lineup that includes Jack White’s the Dead Weather, MGMT, Atmosphere, Blonde Redhead and dozens more. Tickets are $23 per day or $60 for a three-day pass; information at www.capitolhillblockparty.com.
Lady Gaga (8 p.m. Aug. 21, Tacoma Dome): Sure, this one’s indoors. But no story on the hottest summer shows would be complete without mention of the hottest ticket of them all. This is a woman who has made herself a star not so much through the brilliance of hits “Telephone” and “Papparazzi,” but by making you wonder if she’ll show up looking more like a Transformer or Marilyn Manson’s scarier kid sister. Tickets are $49.50 to $175; information at Ticketmaster.
Bumbershoot (Sept. 4 to 6, Seattle Center): The grandaddy of Northwest music festivals has raised yet another army of pop heavyweights to invade the Seattle Center on Labor Day weekend. Among them: rock legend Bob Dylan, Courtney Love’s revived band Hole, and former Tacoma resident Neko Case.
But even before promoter One Reel announced this year’s lineup on Tuesday, there was already considerable buzz about the new, tiered ticket policy. This year, fans can pay $40 in advance per day or $50 at the gate to pick and choose from all the bands playing Bumbershoot. Or they can shell out $22 to $30 to see everything except for the big shots playing Memorial Stadium. And, frankly, Fisher Green and the Mural Amphitheater are where it’s at most years.
Find a full lineup and other details at www.bumbershoot.org.
Dave Matthews Band (6 p.m. Sept. 3 to 5): As if we need to highlight DMB’s annual big, Labor Day blowout, which fans of the Seattle superstar have had blocked out since – well, they always have it blocked out. Tickets are $62 to $85; information at Ticketmaster.
The Puyallup Fair (Sept. 10 to 26, Puyallup Fair & Events Center, Puyallup): Every year the Puyallup brings us our last chances to party outside with the big names in pop music. And this fair season will bring us Willie Nelson (Sept. 10), Dierks Bentley (Sept. 18), Queensryche (Sept. 20), Heart (Sept. 25) and more to the 11,000-seat grandstand.
But maybe the biggest surprise is that for first time in recent memory, a country act won’t headline opening night at the Puyallup Rodeo. Instead, it’s ex-Poison front man and “Rock of Love” star Bret Michaels, who is probably happy to be playing anywhere after the life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage he recently suffered. Ticket prices vary; information at www.thefair.com/concerts.
Jonas Brothers (7 p.m. Sept. 14, White River Amphitheatre): The Jo Bros will hit the road right around the time your tweener is giddy for their forthcoming TV flick “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.” They’re taking “Camp Rock” co-star Demi Lovato – also Joe Jonas’ old lady – on the road with them.
Oh, and another note to parents: Bring an umbrella or be prepared to dodge. They’ve been tight-lipped about the tour setup, but they’ve been known to hose the crowd down with foam. Trust me on this one. Tickets are $37.50 to $97.50; information at Ticketmaster.