Arts & Entertainment | May 17, 2018 9:00 am

The 21 Best Outdoor Concerts Coming to SF This Summer

The Pixies. Opera in the park. Arcade Fire. Let’s review.

This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man’s Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September. Stay tuned all month for more.

The Bay Area is not hurting for big-ass music festivals. And by all means, go enjoy one.

But the joys of live music and sunshine should not be limited to big-box bacchanals with Disney-length beer lines.

Hence: the 21 outdoor concerts you won’t wanna miss this summer, eclectic in aggregate but specific in use case.

We’ve got a John Waters-approved punk fest. Opera in the park. The Pixies at the Shoreline. And also the annual-ish northerly migration of Austin’s finest troubadour.

Don’t forget your sunblock.

Because the best way to kick off a weekend is with anthemic indignation
Muse at BottleRock, May 25

Because “Hard for Me” is worth the drive
Leela James at Concord Pavilion, May 26

Because personal trauma never sounded so appealing
Big Thief at Sasquatch, May 27

Because no one does hyper-literate quite like these guys
The Decemberists at Greek Theatre, June 27

Because your wife secretly loves them
Indigo Girls at Mountain Winery, June 29

Because John Waters says so
Le Shok at Burger Boogaloo, June 30-July 1

Because nothing sounds quite like this
Maizake Daiko at Yerba Buena, July 12

Because all the tutus are even better outside
San Francisco Ballet at Stern Grove, July 29

Because he is truly his father’s son
Fema Kuti at Stern Grove, August 5

Because some things get better with age
Willie Nelson (with Alison Krauss) at Mountain Winery, August 6

Because late-summer nostalgia
Weezer and Pixies at Shoreline Amphitheater, August 8

Because she can go toe-to-toe with headliner Florence
Lucy Dacus at Outside Lands, August 10-12

Because she was the voice of the ’60s
Ronnie Spector at Stern Grove, August 12

Because your weekend needs a little bit more qanun and dhol
Highest Ani at Yerba Buena, August 16

Because you have a teenage daughter/niece/cousin who needs a chaperone
Ed Sheeran at AT&T Park, August 21

Because “By the Way, I Forgive You” is an album of the year
Brandi Carlile at Mountain Winery, August 22

Because we trust them, even if the line-up’s still TBD
Literally everyone who shows up at Hiero Day, September 3

Because it’s like going to church, for your heart
Leon Bridges at Greek Theatre, September 7

Because Lady Bird had a point
Dave Matthews Band at Shoreline Amphitheater, September 8

Because it’s like a giant opera party in the park (with picnics)
Opera in the Park at Golden Gate Park, September 9

Because the odds are 60% transcendent, 40% garbage fire
Arcade Fire at Greek Theatre, September 21

Main image: Wikimedia Commons