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Posted at 11:48 AM ET, 06/02/2011

Summer’s best concerts, from Animal Collective to Youssou N’Dour

Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion homecoming will be one of the summer’s highlights. (Adriano Fagundes)
The current musical landscape is more fractured than ever. No single genre dominates the airwaves or sales charts, so why not try a little bit of everything in your summer concertgoing this year? Ride through the quiet storm of seductive R&B by Sade and take in a show by indie-psychedelic breakout stars Animal Collective. Check out the rousing rebel-country of Eric Church and be entranced by standout Senegalese vocalist Yousson N’Dour. Or simply break out a blanket and enjoy whatever band happens to be playing at your local free concert series. In the year’s Summer Concert Guide we highlight some of the season’s best shows, from rock to hip-hop, country to jazz. Find your favorites, but be sure to check out something new as well. There’s a lot of music out there. Read about and listen to some of our top picks after the jump.

Animal Collective makes its highly-anticipated Merriweather Post Pavilion debut, U2 brings The Claw to Baltimore and Identity — the country’s first touring electronic music festival — visits Jiffy Lube Live.

Best rock concerts

The seductive sounds of Sade highlight a batch of shows that also include rap superstars Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Wiz Khalifa.

Best hip-hop/R&B concerts

Keith Urban is a natural showman, reeling off country-pop hits and stinging guitar solos. There are also plenty of ladies to look for this summer, including Sara Evans, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris.

Best country concerts

Senegalese superstar Yousson N'Dour, Dominican American up-and-comer Prince Royce and Mexican veterans Mana bring plenty of diverse sounds to the area this summer.

Best world music concerts

Two big June events — the Capital Jazz Festival and DC Jazz Festival, featuring Bobby McFerrin — get things going while visits from Renie Marie and Mose Allison keep things interesting as the summer goes on.

Best jazz concerts

Nothing beats free music, whether it's a lunchtime concert at the Reagan Building (featuring a season-opening performance by Smokey Robinson) or some Friday night jazz in the Sculpture Garden.

Best free concert series

Don’t miss our personal favorite of the free summer events: Going Out Guide Weekend Concerts at Carter Barron Amphitheatre, beginning June 17. The four Friday night shows, which start at 7:30, feature music from top local talent including Carolyn Malachi, Maimouna Youssef, Archives (featuring Lenny Kurlou) and Orquestra La Leyenda.

Going Out Guide Weekend concerts

By  |  11:48 AM ET, 06/02/2011

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