Summer doesn't officially start until June 21, but the summer music season is about to get into full swing. Although big-name acts appear in the Dallas-Fort Worth area throughout the year, there's just something about the warmer months that makes these concerts feel extra special.
Below are the 10 must-see concerts for the summer of 2013. You could easily go top-heavy with the superstars coming to the big venues, but several smaller places are hosting events you definitely don't want to miss.
Mumford & Sons
Tuesday, June 11 at Gexa Energy Pavilion
Don't blink or you'll miss this highly anticipated concert featuring the most well-known purveyors of folk rock today, Mumford & Sons. They're still riding high on the success of their second album, Babel, which earned them the Album of the Year award at the 2013 Grammys. They are joined by Michael Kiwanuka and Mystery Jets. (UPDATE: The band had to postpone this concert due to a health emergency with a band member. We'll keep you updated when the concert is rescheduled.)
Saturday, June 22 at Gexa Energy Pavilion
Having been around for more than 20 years, Tim McGraw can now be considered an elder statesman of country music. But that doesn't make him any less popular than he was back in the days of "Indian Outlaw," thanks in part to his burgeoning acting career. He is joined on his 2 Lanes of Freedom Tour by Brantley Gilbert and Love and Theft.
Wednesday, June 26 at House of Blues Dallas
There were plenty of seminal albums in the 1980s, but Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual has to be considered near the top. Containing such hits as "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," "Time After Time" and "She Bop," Lauper's 1983 debut album announced her as a major force in pop music. Lauper is touring to celebrate the album's 30th anniversary, with all-female Canadian rock band Hunter Valentine as opening act.
LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul
Monday, July 1 at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
These days it seems as if LL Cool J and Ice Cube are better known for their acting careers than their rapping, but both are still as active as they've ever been on the hip hop scene. Still, this concert, part of the Kings of the Mic Tour, has a decidedly old-school flavor to it, also featuring Public Enemy and De La Soul, making it 4-for-4 in acts started in the '80s.
Wednesday, July 3 at American Airlines Center
There are certainly still plenty of Beliebers out there in the world, but Justin Bieber has become increasingly known for his wild antics and out-of-touch behavior. From being caught smoking marijuana to showing up late for concerts to wearing bizarre outfits, including his get-up at a recent Miami Heat game, Bieber's focus seems to be anywhere but music. He tries to prove otherwise in this pre-Fourth of July stop.
Willie Nelson's 2013 4th of July Picnic
Thursday, July 4 at Billy Bob's Texas/Fort Worth Stockyards
Until he dies, and probably for years afterward, there will be no bigger name in Texas country music than Willie Nelson. The unabashed marijuana lover has organized this musical showcase off-and-on since 1973, making this the 40th anniversary of the event. It promises to be as big as ever, with performances from the likes of Nelson, Leon Russell, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Allan, Ryan Bingham and many others.
Saturday, July 6 at American Airlines Center
There's absolutely no stopping Houston native Beyoncé, not even the possibility of her being pregnant again. But whether she's in the family way or not, don't be expecting Mrs. Carter, as she's dubbed her latest tour, to be taking any kind of breaks. This is her first opportunity to go on the road in support of her 2011 album 4, thanks to her daughter Blue Ivy, and she won't let anything get in her way.
Saturday, July 27 at The Kessler
It's another trip in the way-back machine, especially for those who came of age in the late '80s, as Living Colour still holds a certain place in our hearts. That's mostly due to their debut album, Vivid, and its hit single, "Cult of Personality." This year is the 25th anniversary of Vivid, and the band celebrates by performing the album in its entirety.
Monday, August 12 at American Airlines Center
The impact Bruno Mars has had on the music world is vastly larger than his short stature. He's written and produced songs for the likes Adam Levine, Flo Rida and Cee Lo Green, and thanks in part to those collaborations, his first two albums have been massive hits, totaling four No. 1 songs so far. He brings English sensation Ellie Goulding along for the ride.
Lil Wayne, T.I. and 2 Chainz
Friday, August 16 at Gexa Energy Pavilion
The summer gets wrapped up with this triple bill featuring Lil Wayne, T.I. and 2 Chainz, among others. The three rappers, like pretty much everyone else in the hip hop world, have collaborated with each other on multiple projects, so you can expect multiple appearances by each of the trio throughout the night.