The 21 Best Concerts Coming to DC This Summer

From Merriweather Post to the National Gallery, live music is back

July 30, 2021 9:23 am
Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse

We’ve got our troubles this summer, but by and large, we’re on the upswing from 2020. One notable and exceptionally positive change: live music is back. 

Free outdoor concerts are a staple of the city, with DJs, singer-songwriters, salsa, cover bands, and more gracing local parks and pavilions (as well as a few events, like Fort Dupont’s Summer Concert Series and the Fairwood Community Park concerts in Prince George’s County, which are opting to live stream instead). We’ve also got some major headliners gracing the metro area with their presence this summer, from Joan Jett to Wilco to Green Day and more.

Below, 21 concerts to add to your summertime to-do list. 

Because it’s been a long time since we felt like doing “nothing at all” — and this show is the perfect something:
Bruno Mars, August 6 and 7, The Theater at MGM National Harbor

Because reggae-reimagined classics are our summertime jam:
The Archives, August 6, Live on the Plaza

Because we’re nothing if not ready to sing along to classics of the ’80s with a host of strangers:
Air Supply, August 6, Birchmere

Jimmy Buffet
Jimmy Buffet

Because it’s been a long time since we had an island escape:
Jimmy Buffett, August 7, Jiffy Lube Live

Because it’s time to relive your blunder years:
Green Day, Fallout Boy and Weezer, August 8, Nationals Park

Because your parents’ favorite CD had some excellent songs on it:
James Taylor & His All-Star Band, August 10, Merriweather Post Pavilion

Because soul set against the backdrop of the Chesapeake sounds like the ideal summer evening:
Honest Lee Soul, August 12, Annapolis Maritime Museum Tides & Tunes

Because Joan speaks to the angsty teenager living inside all of us:
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, August 12, Wolf Trap

Because this country crooner is “Proud to be Right Here”:
Luke Bryan, August 12, Merriweather Post Pavilion

Because that’s some excellent work from the Air Force brats:
America, August 13, AMP Powered by Strathmore

Because jazz is finally coming back to the sculpture garden:
Baltimore Jazz Collective, August 13, National Gallery of Art

Because high-energy R&B + a scenic river backdrop is the ultimate August date night:
JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience, August 13, Capitol Riverfront Friday Concert Series at Yards Park

Because dancing to this ’80s tribute band on a summer night is catharsis:
The Legwarmers, August 13 and 14, The State Theatre

Because we’re all ready to “Look for the Good” this summer:
Jason Mraz, August 15, The Anthem

Because obviously:
Modest Mouse, August 17, The Anthem

Because who can say no to bluegrass covers of Hall & Oates and One Direction on a floating stage?:
Trailer Grass Orchestra, August 18, Transit Pier Concerts at the Wharf 


Because the best bill of 2002 could be just as good 19 years later:
Wilco + Sleater-Kinney, August 20, Merriweather Post Pavilion

Because this singer-songwriter’s wild, edgy folk is just what we need right now:
Martha Wainwright, August 24, Jammin’ Java

Because this Tennessee born-and-bred family band has conquered hearts and dance floors — around the world:
Kings of Leon, August 24, Merriweather Post Pavilion

Because with his new song about home invasion, this Chicago rapper is still turning adversity into art:
Lil Durk, August 28, The Anthem

Because the sheer power of Alanis, Liz and Shirley in one room has to be seen to be believed:
Alanis Morissette (with Liz Phair and Garbage), August 31, Merriweather Post Pavillion

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