The 22 Best Concerts This Summer in DC

Legends outdoors, legends in arenas and celebrations of local music

June 16, 2023 6:24 am
collage of music artists
You can't miss out on these summer concerts in D.C.
Getty/Danica Killela

The best season for live music is here. Summer in and around DC means visits from the biggest names in music, shows on massive lawns and a chance to see up-and-comers in tiny venues. Wear ear plugs — especially if you’re going to the Boris show. 

Shania Twain at Merriweather Post Pavilion, June 27

Man, I feel like it’s summer! (I’m sorry.)

Kill Lincoln at Union Stage, June 28

DC.s best ska band is touring with the fantastic Catbite. This is not a nostalgia tour. This is quality, modern ska. You are reading this in 2023. There is good, modern ska. 

Davido at Capital One Arena, July 1

When traditional African sounds meet futuristic production. 

Breakin’ Even Presents Staycation at Pie Shop, July 7 & 8

A two-day celebration of local-ish music headlined by the excellent, Baltimore-based Glosser (they sound like a modern version of Hum and Failure) and DC’s Flowerbomb (think Sheryl Crow meets Bully). 

Jenny Lewis at The Atlantis, The Anthem, July 21 & 22

Did you know one of the Troop Beverly Hills scouts and the second lead in The Wizard recently released her fifth, excellent solo album? 

Psyop at Rhizome, July 22

Is it even summer if you don’t take in some DC hardcore?

Horsegirl at DC9, July 25

2022’s “Anti-glory” is still stuck in my head. It’s damn near close to a perfect ear worm.

Overkill at Fillmore Silver Spring, July 26

Ya gotta love a band that has stuck to their aggressive metal sound for nearly 40 years. Ya also gotta love a band that has stuck to their aggressive metal font for nearly 40 years. 

Outlaw Music Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion, July 28

Is it even summer if you don’t see Willie Nelson perform outdoors? 

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Lyle Lovett and His Large Band with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap, August 5

Lovett is a national treasure, and his songs will sound fantastic with the NSO. The venue, Wolf Trap, is a national park and an ideal outdoor setting for this collaboration. 

Beyoncé at FedEx Field, August 5 & 6

You have to be the best stadium performer in the world to get me to go to FedEx Field. You have to be Beyoncé to get me to go to FedEx Field. 

Queens of the Stone Age at The Anthem, August 9

Riffs on riffs on riffs. Man, a Beyoncé and QOTSA double bill might be the ideal double bill. 

Tiwa Savage at MGM National Harbor, August 24

The Queen of Afrobeats in a casino. 

Aespa at MGM National Harbor, August 27

Who doesn’t enjoy K-Pop girl groups? 

Lil Baby at Capital One Arena, August 31

Not many rappers have over a billion streams about their drip. 

The Smashing Pumpkins at Jiffy Lube Live, August 31

This tour is called “The World Is a Vampire Tour.” An alternate name could be “The Give the People What They Want Tour.”

Madonna at Capital One Arena, September 2

It’s weird when a Madonna tour takes a backseat to Taylor Swift and Beyoncé tours. What would those tours look like without Madonna? 

Jeff Rosenstock at 9:30 Club, September 6

Rosenstock has a loyal, 20-years-in-the-making fan base. This is night one of his summer/fall tour. Expect a sweaty sing-a-long. 

Hannah Jadagu at Songbyrd, September 7

I’ll give a listen to any and everything Sub Pop releases. Sub Pop just released Hannah Jadagu’s Aperture, good for fans of less-is-more, indie-rock introspection. 

Black Cat 30th Anniversary, September 8, 9 

Celebrate the best rock club on 14th Street with Ex Hex, Velocity Girl, Ted Leo and more. 

Tove Lo at The Anthem, The Atlantis, September 14, 15

We’re one decade into the Swedish pop star’s attempt to become a global phenomenon. We’re like one or two more tour cycles away from arenas. 

Boris, Melvins at Howard Theatre, September 22

The loudest sound of the season. Fingers crossed Boris plays “Just Abandoned Myself.”

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