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20 huge concerts (and 150 more biggies) in a red hot summer to remember


Previewing the biggest concerts summer 2022 has to offer.

Summer concerts were back last year, but it was a one foot in, one foot out kind of thing, and summer had a stuttered start because of the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year, a full slate of summer concerts is on deck, including several major stadium tours, with shows and festivals that have been on hold since 2020 finally ready to return. 

In other words, summer concerts are back-back. 

In addition to major concerts at Comerica Park and Ford Field, festivals are ready to party again (welcome back, Movement and Mo Pop!) and Pine Knob — once again called Pine Knob, a victory for the fans who never stopped calling it Pine Knob — is celebrating its 50th anniversary as the area's top summer concert destination. 

It's a lot! To help sort through it all, here is a list of summer's 20 most gigantic concerts, followed by full concert listings at the area's top music venues. See you in the sunshine!

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1. The Weeknd

From Saint Andrews Hall to the Fox Theatre to the Palace of Auburn Hills and Little Caesars Arena, the pop-R&B superstar completes his climb to the city's largest venue when he plays the Detroit Lions home on the tour behind his latest album, "Dawn FM." Doja Cat opens. (July 27, Ford Field)

2. Elton John

The Yellow Brick Road stops here. Supposedly. This will be the "Rocket Man's" fifth local stop on his farewell outing — following two LCA shows in Oct. 2018 and two more in February of this year — and it's scheduled to be his final Detroit show, with the tour slated to finish up its North American run later this year. (July 18, Comerica Park) 

3. Movement  

It's been three years since body-rocking bass has filled and rattled out of Hart Plaza on Memorial Day weekend, a Detroit tradition which goes back to 2000. This year's return edition of the electronic music festival is set to feature 110 acts, including 2 Chainz, Carl Craig, James Murphy and more, on six stages over three days. (May 28-30, Hart Plaza)

4. Red Hot Chili Peppers

It's the biggest Detroit concert ever for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, now back with guitarist John Frusciante and plugging a new album, this year's "Unlimited Love." Opening are the Strokes, playing their first Detroit concert since 2006, and funky bass boss Thundercat. (Aug. 14, Comerica Park) 

5. Mo Pop

Making a move to Hart Plaza after an extended stay at downtown's West Riverfront Park (and an expected move to Historic Fort Wayne, which was nixed by the pandemic), the two-day Mo Pop festival returns with headliners Big Sean and Glass Animals, and an undercard that includes Jhené Aiko, Khruangbin and Wet Leg. (July 30-31, Hart Plaza) 

6. Billy Joel

Another pandemic holdover, the Piano Man was first due to play centerfield at the Tigers ballpark back in 2020 (and there are even promotional baseballs to prove it). He now falls smack dab in the middle of a busy three-night stand at the open air stadium, so get ready for a drunken singalong or two. (July 9, Comerica Park) 

7. Kevin Hart

It's rare when comics ascend to arena levels, and rarer still for a comic to stage multiple nights at an arena. So this two-night stand from the Philadelphia comedian (and frequent on-screen foil for Dwayne Johnson) is worthy of note and marks another milestone for one of today's most successful performers. (July 14-15, Little Caesars Arena) 

8. Kenny Chesney

It's beach time again. Kenny Chesney's 11th Ford Field concert — he's been playing the venue since 2006 — follows his 2020 album "Here and Now," and he'll be joined in this sunshine celebration by openers Dan + Shay, Old Dominion and Carly Pearce. Flip flops mandatory. (Aug. 20, Ford Field) 

9. Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

The binding legal agreement that Mötley Crüe signed to never tour again apparently wasn't all that binding, so here we are. Def Leppard headlines (and the returning Crüe helps bolster) this night of '80s rock and stadium excess, originally scheduled for summer 2020 but delayed two years because of COVID. (July 10, Comerica Park)

10. Chris Stapleton

Mr. "Tennessee Whiskey" rolls into town for his biggest Detroit concert to date, as the 44-year-old graduates to stadium status after performing back-to-back nights at Pine Knob (then still DTE Energy Music Theatre) in 2021. That itself is worthy of one of those shots of whiskey. (July 8, Comerica Park) 

11. Halsey

On the heels of 2021's assertive "If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power," the 27-year-old pop singer brings their latest vision to Pine Knob. (May 29, Pine Knob) 

12. Faster Horses 

This year's edition of the three-day country music festival features headliners Morgan Wallen, Eric Church and Tim McGraw. (July 22-24, Michigan International Speedway)

13. Justin Bieber  

Bieber's first area concert in six years was originally scheduled for Ford Field before it was shuffled to the downtown arena. (June 5, Little Caesars Arena)

14. My Chemical Romance  

Fans had been waiting since the group's 2013 breakup to see "The Black Parade" rockers once again; the extra delays due to COVID only ramped up anticipation. (Sept. 13, Little Caesars Arena)

15. Swedish House Mafia

After hanging up their DJ equipment in 2013, the "Save the World" trio is back to make you dance once again. (Aug. 17, Little Caesars Arena) 

16. Wu-Tang Clan and Nas

It's always a big deal when the Wu gets back together, and this double bill with Nas is a powerful blast of New York hip-hop. (Sept. 3, Pine Knob) 

17. Phish 

The perpetual jam band's first local concert since 2014 finds them still searching for the ever-elusive jam to end all jams. (Aug. 3, Pine Knob) 

18. Roger Waters 

The Pink Floyd vet plays all the hits in a tour that the bassist has said "could be his last hurrah." Time will tell. (July 23, Little Caesars Arena) 

19. Lil Nas X 

We thought it was over after "Old Town Road," but that mega-hit turned out to be just the beginning for this head-turning rapper. (Sept. 6-7, Fillmore Detroit)  

20. Chris Rock  

He won't be talking about "The Slap," but the comic legend has plenty more to pull from on his latest outing. (Sept. 16-18, Fox Theatre)

The rest: 

Pine Knob Music Theatre

33 Bob Seger Dr., Clarkston

May 27: AJR

June 3: Miranda Lambert / Little Big Town 

June 6: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

June 8: Styx and REO Speedwagon with Loverboy

June 10: The Lumineers

June 15: Tears For Fears and Garbage

June 17: Josh Groban

June 18: Steely Dan and Steve Winwood

June 21: Dave Matthews Band

June 22: The Chicks, Patty Griffin

June 25: 99.5 WYCD Hoedown with Brooks & Dunn, Tenille Townes, Joe Nichols, Parmalee

June 29: Dead & Company

June 30: Nick Cannon Presents "Wild 'N Out Live" 

July 2: Jack Johnson with Durand Jones & The Indications

July 3: Barenaked Ladies with Gin Blossoms and Toad The Wet Sprocket

July 4: Doobie Brothers 

July 5: Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire

July 12: Train with Jewel and Blues Traveler

July 16: Thomas Rhett

July 26: Chicago and Brian Wilson

July 27: Rod Stewart and Cheap Trick

July 28: Backstreet Boys 

July 29: Zac Brown Band

July 30: Chris Brown and Lil Baby

Aug 2: OneRepublic with Needtobreathe

Aug. 10: Incubus and Sublime With Rome

Aug. 14: Jason Aldean

Aug. 16: Alice In Chains and Breaking Benjamin with Bush

Aug. 19: "Kidz Bop Live" 

Aug. 21: Korn and Evanescence

Aug. 23: Sammy Hagar And The Circle with George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Aug. 24: Imagine Dragons

Aug. 26: Keith Urban

Aug. 27: Disney "Encanto - The Sing Along"

Aug. 30: Scorpions with Whitesnake and Thundermother

Aug. 31: Pitbull and Iggy Azalea

Sept. 1: Wiz Khalifa and Logic

Sept. 7: The Black Keys with Band Of Horses and Early James

Sept. 8: Odesza

Sept. 10: Florence + The Machine with Sam Fender

Sept. 16-17: Kid Rock and Foreigner

Sept. 21: Shinedown

Sept. 24: "Riff Fest" with Disturbed, In This Moment, Dirty Honey, The Violent, Fame On Fire and Eva Under Fire

Oct. 5: Five Finger Death Punch 

Little Caesars Arena

2645 Woodward Ave, Detroit

June 18: Maverick City Music and Kirk Franklin 

June 24: New Kids on the Block, Salt N Pepa, En Vogue and Rick Astley

July 2: Lil Durk with Rod Wave and Kash Doll

July 3: Machine Gun Kelly

Aug. 20: Twenty One Pilots

Oct. 4: The Who

Oct. 6: Lizzo

Oct. 8: The Killers

Oct. 9: Iron Maiden

Oct. 10: Michael Buble

Oct. 22: Shawn Mendes

Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill

14900 Metro Parkway, Sterling Heights

May 21: Whiskey Myers

May 22: Russ

May 24: Deftones with Gojira

June 2: Rüfüs Du Sol

June 18: Lee Brice

June 19: Peabo Bryson, Pieces of a Dream, Taylor Dayne and more

June 28: Cheer Live

July 2: ZZ Top

July 8: Halestorm with the Pretty Reckless

July 9: Third Eye Blind

July 10: Big Time Rush

July 21: 5 Seconds of Summer

July 30: RuPaul's Drag Race

Aug. 5: Toby Keith

Aug. 6: Maren Morris

Aug. 7: Goo Goo Dolls

Aug. 12: LANY

Aug. 13: Ted Nugent

Aug. 14: Dispatch with O.A.R. 

Aug. 16: Alicia Keys

Aug. 18: Rise Against

Sept 9: Jamey Johnson

Sept. 10: Jon Pardi

Meadow Brook Amphitheatre

160 Festival Dr., Rochester Hills

May 25: HAIM

June 10: Jackson Browne

June 18: Flogging Molly

June 25: Rex Orange County

June 28: My Morning Jacket

July 1: Puscifer 

July 10: Detroit Symphony Orchestra presents The Magical Music of Harry Potter 

July 16: Norah Jones

July 17: Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaak

July 22: Bonnie Raitt

Aug. 13: Lauv

Aug. 14: The Beach Boys

Sept. 29: The Head and the Heart

Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre

2600 Atwater St., Detroit

June 22: Gerald Albright

June 25: Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue

June 29: Average White Band

July 13: Will Downing

July 20: Boney James

Aug. 3: Norman Brown

Aug. 6: Musiq Soulchild w/ Chrisette Michelle

Aug. 16: Lord Huron

Aug. 19: UB40

Aug. 24: Keith Washington

Fox Theatre

2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit

May 20-21: Joe Rogan

May 26: Monsta X

May 28: D.L. Hughley

May 29: Yo Gotti with Lil Boosie

June 10: The Masked Singer National Tour 2022

June 11: '70s Soul Jam with the Stylstics and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

June 18: Leanne Morgan

June 29: Tedeschi Trucks Band

July 15: Bill Engvall

Aug. 19: A.R. Rahman

Aug. 21: Kadim Al Sahir

Aug. 26: Blondie with the Damned

Sept. 9: John Mulaney

Sept. 10: Il Volo

Sept. 15: Crowded House

Sept. 24: Franki Valli and the Four Seasons

Oct. 8: Bill Maher

Fillmore Detroit

2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit

May 13: Ryan Hurd

May 14: Tech N9ne

May 20: The Offspring

May 21: Girls Gotta Eat

May 26: Ray LaMontagne & Sierra Ferrell

June 5: Colin Jost

June 7: Asking Alexandria

June 12: Motion City Soundtrack

July 2: Less Than Jake, Bowling for Soup and the Aquabats

July 7: War on the Catwalk

July 18: Three Days Grace

July 20: Chase Atlantic

July 21: Rebelution

July 22: Banks

July 23: Big Gigantic

July 24: Celeste Barber

July 29: Clairo

Aug. 6: The Kid Laroi

Aug. 20: Anthrax and Black Label Society

Sept. 4: Idles

Sept. 10: John Mulaney

Sept. 15: Alexisonfire

Sept. 20: Coin

Sept. 21: Clannad

Oct. 1: Moderat

Oct. 2: The Gaslight Anthem

Oct. 9: King Princess

Oct. 10: Sabaton

Oct. 18: Awolnation

Oct. 19: Metric

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama