South Florida's Ten Best Concerts of Summer 2016

Marilyn Manson will perform at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre on Friday, July 1.
Marilyn Manson will perform at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre on Friday, July 1.

Although the sweat dripping down the small of your back and settling somewhere in the spaces of your ass cheeks says otherwise, it somehow isn’t summer quite yet. The first official day of the summer is next Monday, June 20.

Thankfully, along with the increase in our electric bills and likelihood of hurricanes, there also comes a bevy of brilliant shows for the next three months. Here are our top 10 picks.

10. Steely Dan and Steve Winwood
Saturday, June 29
Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre

Depending on your age, there are three reactions to seeing these two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-rs on the same bill: a) Time to tick off a box on the bucket list! b) Here I come, musical time-travel machine! or c) Who? If you fall into the last category, you’re either an infant or a terrible person. It’s OK, we can fix that. Here’s the thing — everyone knows at least one Steely Dan song and at least one Steve Winwood song, even if it’s by accident, because they’re never not on the radio or playing in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. They’re two of the most influential and prolific pop-rock artists of the modern age, in particular Winwood, who’s had massive hits as part of the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic as well as on his own: “Higher Love,” “Roll With It,” “Gimme Some Lovin’” – the man’s entire career is a greatest hits collection.

9. Marilyn Manson
Friday, July 1
Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre

The Anti-Christ Superstar and Pale Emperor returns to his old South Florida stomping grounds early next month with a pair of metal bands, Of Mice and Men and Slipknot. There’s a lot to say about Marilyn Manson, but depending on your stance, it’s either all criticism or all praise. With Manson’s divisive and often controversial lyrics, there is no center. Nonetheless, Manson is one of rock’s most successful crossover artists. Operating primarily in the alternative, industrial, and metal genres, the multitalented Manson, who’s also an accomplished actor and painter, broke free from the chains of those labels in the '90s. Love him or hate him, he’s brilliant at what he does and, oh yeah, he puts on a hell of a show.

Mutemath and Twenty One Pilots perform Saturday, July 2, at BB&T Center in Sunrise.
Mutemath and Twenty One Pilots perform Saturday, July 2, at BB&T Center in Sunrise.

8. Mutemath and Twenty One Pilots
Saturday, July 2
BB&T Center

Over the last few years, there’s been a trend by artists and bands with somewhat similar fan bases to join forces for what we’ll call BOGO tours — buy-one-get-one-free-type concerts where a pair of headliners take the same stage at discount. Just this month, South Florida hosted Weezer/Panic at the Disco! in Miami and Frank Turner/Gogol Bordello in Fort Lauderdale. The next three months feature a few more rad BOGO shows, including the mighty pairing of Mutemath and Twenty One Pilots. There is no other way of putting this: If you’ve never seen either of these bands, this is your best opportunity to witness two of the hardest working groups losing their shit onstage in the best possible way, making you want to do the same. It’s almost a shame this concert is at the BB&T Center since both Mutemath and Twenty One Pilots are best experienced in a space small enough that they can crowd surf. But alas, they’re at the point that the power of their live shows necessitates a building big enough to contain all the magic.

7. Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa
Wednesday, July 20
Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre

Don’t bother applying for a new job for at least a month after this show. You will test positive for marijuana by merely attending. The High Road Tour (see?!) brings together the Doggfather and the “Black and Yellow” rapper for what should be one fun, superchill show at the fairgrounds. Sure, you can get pit or seats up front, but the real action, or lack thereof depending on tolerance, will be out in the lawn seats. Between songs like “See You Again,” “Gin & Juice,” and the song that brought these two hip-hop stars together, “Young, Wild, & Free,” it’ll be a lovely summer evening of classic hits — and hits of another kind.

6. Counting Crows and Rob Thomas
Friday, July 22
Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre

Another one of our BOGO summer tours unites a couple of '90s acts in the Counting Crows, who have made a few trips to South Florida the last few years, and Rob Thomas, who’s still enjoying his time as a solo artist apart from his old band, Matchbox Twenty. West Palm Beach will kick off the duo’s North American tour for what’s a natural pairing. Thomas and Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz have been friends for 20 years and played together early on in their careers. In a statement, Duritz said, “I still love nothing more than touring with my friends.” Thomas echoed that sentiment by adding, “Music is about good friends getting together and celebrating life. Our fans are going to be doing that in the audience and we will be doing that on stage as well.”

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