2011 Summer Concert Preview: 10 Shows You Won’t Want to Miss
Looking for something fun to do to beat the heat this summer? Well, it's not officially summer until June, but we're jumping the gun with this 2011 Summer Concert Preview list, so you'll know exactly where you need to be -- and when -- in order to catch all of your favorite country stars live and onstage. Love Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert? Big fan of Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley? How about Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and the 'American Idol' gang? We've got got good news for you!
Talk about the tour of the year! In 2011, Taylor Swift was honored for marking 20 million in album sales, as well as surpassing artists in every other genre with her digital singles -- a pretty big feat for someone who's barely of legal drinking age. This summer, Swift will take the world by storm with her live performances, giving lucky fans a taste of all of the hits that made the singer-songwriter a household name.
Thirsty? Let Brad Paisley and opener Blake Shelton cool you down this summer with the H20 II Tour! The newlywed 'Hillbilly Bone' singer will tag along with the 'Water' hitmaker on the wet and wild road ride, which starts June 3 in Virginia Beach, Va., and runs through September 25 in Raleigh, N.C. Fans can expect this tour to be extra crazy, as both Mr. Paisley and Mr. Shelton are notorious for their hilarious antics.
Speaking of the Shelton family, Blake Shelton's new wife Miranda Lambert will provide summer crowds in Nashville with some musical enjoyment at the 2011 CMA Festival. In addition to the 'White Liar' hitmaker, this larger-than-life fest boasts big country names like Sara Evans, Darius Rucker, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Sugarland and Rascal Flatts! Better hurry if you plan to catch this rodeo, because it rides one long weekend only: June 9-12.
Get closer to Keith Urban than ever before when he hits the road on his Get Closer World Tour this summer -- pun very much intended. Urban will grab his buddy Jake Owen as the opening act, making this run one you really don't want to miss if you're a country music fan. The show starts June 16 in Biloxi, Miss., and travels through mid-October.
The American Idol Tour is a no-brainer for our 2011 summer concert preview, because not only is it one of the biggest of the year, but it's likely the only time you'll be able to see it -- ever. Of course, we know both Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina are destined for great success in country music, but who knows if they'll ever tour side-by-side like this again! The Top 11 contestants from Season 10 of 'Idol' will make their way to a theater near you starting in July.
To put it short and sweet, this one's a country fest, and those are the best kind. This one is a big extended weekend party -- Thursday, June 23, to Sunday, June 26 -- over in Cadott, Wisc., and features some of the biggest names in the whole dang boot stompin' industry. Catch live performances from Trace Adkins, Gretchen Wilson, Steel Magnolia, Justin Moore, Carrie Underwood, Jerrod Niemann, Clay Walker and Lonestar, just to name a few. Oh yeah, we told ya there's more where that came from, so don't cry to us when you miss this show of the summer!
Haven't heard of Lady Antebellum? Oh, they're just the biggest country music trio of the year, that's all. This summer, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood will take their Grammy-winning hits on the road for a 27-city tour, starting in Oklahoma in June. Come out and sing along to 'Just a Kiss,' 'American Honey,' and of course, 'Need You Now,' right along with the gang.
If anybody knows how to put on one heck of a summer tour, it's Willie Nelson. Nelson's Country Throwdown tour rolls out of Philly on May 27, and the bus is pulling a lot of extra weight. That's no stab -- Willie's 2011 gang includes Jack Ingram, Jamey Johnson, Brantley Gilbert, Craig Campbell, Randy Houser, Lee Brice and more. Don't miss this traveling group of country music guys, because the shows pulls its curtains closed on July 4.
Jason Aldean, perhaps the biggest party animal in country music history, will bring the festivities to you live-and-in-person this summer. Starting in June, you shake your stuff right alongside Mr. Aldean while he serenades you with 'My Kinda Party' -- so long as you have tickets to the show. As far as 2011 summer concerts go, this one is a must-hit and a surefire stop for a good time.
What country music fans demand, country music fans get. The country king, Tim McGraw, will take his new music to the pavement with the 2011 Emotional Traffic tour, new album or no new album. This ticket expires in August, and is undoubtedly one of the few times you'll actually want to get stuck in traffic! Did we mention that Luke Bryan and the Band Perry will be there?