Dozens of national singers, bands and collectives are coming to central Indiana for the annual summer concert rush.

Some are newer acts tasting superstardom for the first time, such as Luke Bryan, St. Vincent or J. Cole. Others are supernovas, legends that have burned brightly for decades and remain in the top echelon in music history. Think the Rolling Stones and James Taylor.

Music fans would be lucky to hit even a fraction of the shows coming to town this year. To help people navigate which shows are a must-see, while reducing the hit that tickets can take on your bank account, the Daily Journal has put together a guide letting you know what to look for.

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From the Foo Fighters’ alt-rock bluster to the quiet country rage of Jamey Johnson, this summer should offer something for When these shows were announced, they were the ones that were circled first.

1. The Rolling Stones

July 4, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Cost: $59.50 to $395.50

The Scoop: The granddaddy of this summer’s concert season might actually have been your grandparents’ favorite band. Generations of rock ’n’ roll enthusiasts will come to see the ageless band still going strong in one of the country’s most iconic venues, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2. Foo Fighters

7 p.m. Aug. 26, Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $56 to $90.70

The Scoop: When special presale tickets for the alt-rock stalwarts went on sale over the winter, vehicles waited in lines stretching for miles to get to the box office. This is the first time the band has played in Indianapolis since 2008.

3. James Taylor

7:30 p.m. July 15, Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $40.25 to $145.75

The Scoop: The soft-voiced folk crooner is bringing his all-star band to Indy’s largest outdoor venue to help promote his new record, “Before This World.” Expect classics such as “Fire and Rain” and “You’ve Got a Friend” mixed in with newer material.

4. Luke Bryan

7 p.m. July 24 and 25, Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $43.50 to $88.70

The Scoop: Bryan’s two-night country throw-down has become a summer tradition in Indianapolis, and this year’s pair of shows already appears to be one of the top sellers of the year.

5. Van Halen

7:30 p.m. Sept. 2, Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $43.25 to $190.75

The Scoop: Don’t hold your breath for this one. David Lee Roth is back on board with the band, which seems committed to making it through their slate of shows this year. The band promises a night of rock ’n’ roll pyrotechnics, if they can make it all the way to September without tempers flaring.

6. Dave Matthews Band

7 p.m. July 17 and 18, Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $54 to $102.55

The Scoop: Diehard Dave Matthews Band fans know that the Indianapolis twin-bill is one of the band’s favorite shows to play. With set lists mixing older tunes, newer tracks, surprising covers and extended jams, it’s a must-see.

7. St. Vincent

8 p.m. Friday, May 29, Egyptian Room at Old National Centre

Cost: $36.50

The Scoop: The art-rock songstress follows up the success of her 2014 self-titled fourth album to tour the nation, performing off-kilter yet haunting songs such as “Birth in Reverse” and “Digital Witness.”

8. Pixies

8 p.m. June 13, Murat Theatre at Old National Centre

Cost: $41.50 to $90.25

The Scoop: A majority of the original indie rock behemoths — Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering — will bring their feedback-laden sound to town on the 25th anniversary of their seminal album, “Doolittle.”

9. J. Cole with Big Sean

6:30 p.m. July 26, Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $36.25 to $100.15

The Scoop: This North Carolina-based hip-hop artist has emerged as the next generation rap star, and is embarking on a stadium tour fitting of his talent on the heels of releasing his third No. 1 album, “2014 Forrest Hills Drive.”

10. One Direction

7:30 p.m. July 31, Lucas Oil Stadium

Cost: $26.50 to $99.50

What: Zayn might have left the band, but this worldwide teeny-bopper force of nature hasn’t missed a beat. The rest of the guys will bring the songs that fans know word for word, as thousands of pre-teens go into hysterics with every note.

Under-the-Radar: They’re not the shows everyone’s talking about, but they should be.

1. Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello with Mariachi El Bronx

7 p.m. June 23, Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park

Cost: $29.50

The Scoop: Like your thumping, driving rock music with a worldly flair? Then this trio of bands has what you’re looking for, from the Celtic snarl of Flogging Molly to the Gypsy whirlwind of Gogol Bordello to the horn-and-guitar driven Mariachi El Bronx.

2. Alabama Shakes

7:30 p.m. June 2, Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park

Cost: $48.10

The Scoop: With a gritty, down-home rock sound and lead singer Brittany Howard’s rusty, growling Southern drawl, Alabama Shakes captures the perfect soundtrack for a hot early summer night, situated with a stunning view of downtown Indianapolis.

3. The War On Drugs

8 p.m. June 12, The Vogue

Cost: $20 in advance, $22 day of show

The Scoop: The War On Drugs has been performing together for a decade, but finally gained mainstream attention in 2014 for its critically acclaimed album “Lost in the Dream.” Their atmospheric yet driving music is perfect for a small venue such as the Vogue.

4. Jamey Johnson

6 p.m. Friday, May 29, 8 Seconds Saloon

Cost: $20 to $39

The Scoop: At a time when country music gravitates toward vapid salutes to beer, trucks, fun and sun, the introspective voice of Jamey Johnson can be a refreshing change.

5. Tyler the Creator

8 p.m. June 19, Egyptian Room at Old National Centre

Cost: $39.50

The Scoop: Controversial yet brilliant at the same time, Tyler the Creator comes to Indianapolis to support his third album, “Cherry Bomb,” a more mature yet still rollicking addition to his musical career.

Five Bargain-Basement Tickets: Great artists at reasonable prices.

1. Kid Rock/Foreigner

6:45 p.m. Aug. 1

Cost: $20

The Scoop: For the second time in three years, Kid Rock wants to give concertgoers a break at the ticket booth. All of the seats at all of his shows this summer will be available for one low price, part of his “First Kiss: Cheap Date” tour.

2. Yacht Rock Revue

7 p.m. Aug. 1, Mallow Run Winery

Cost: $15 advance, $20 day of show

The Scoop: Don your aviator shades, boat shoes and best open-collar shirt. Yacht Club Revue is bringing the sounds of the ‘70s, from Hall & Oates to Michael McDonald to Steely Dan, to a modern audience.

3. Michael Buratto with Dylan Wright

9 p.m. Aug. 8, The Hi-Fi

Cost: $10

The Scoop: Buratto, formerly of the local buzz band Win With Willard, unleashes his album “National Animal” in his hometown. Wright, a Center Grove High School graduate now performing in Chicago, will open.

4. Knox Hamilton

8 p.m. June 16

Cost: $10 in advance, $12 day of show

The Scoop: This soulful indie quartet from Arkansas got its start playing worship music, and has grown into an up-and-coming pop rock band with a Southern edge.

5. Darryl Worley

6 p.m. July 31, 8 Seconds Saloon

Cost: $5 to $15

The Scoop: With three No. 1 singles and a handful of top selling albums over his 20-year career, Worley has been at or near the top of the country music world. See him croon in 8 Second Saloon’s intimate concert venue.

Author photo
Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.