Cases in point: Beyoncé can fill arenas with pop fans, but with husband and rapper Jay Z on this summer's "On the Run" tour, she'll be able to boast stadium status. ZZ Top's rare onstage performance with Jeff Beck will provide a clash of guitar titans. And Willie Nelson's outlaw country will appeal to fans of a certain age who, if they get there early, will be treated to 25-year-old Kacey Musgraves, who's shaking up country music by seamlessly blending pop, feminism and twang. What you should see this summer:
ROCK AND POP
Nearly a year after releasing their polarizing fourth full-length album, "Reflektor," rock's most bombastic Canadians are finally rolling their arena tour into Washington, and it's a high-art road show that features a house-of-mirrors set design, dancing papier-mache bobbleheads and a pesky fine-print request that concertgoers don formal attire. Band members have said they hope to transform arenas into clubby, intimate spaces; that may explain a set filled with the anthemic rock songs that played so well in their club days, including soaring singalongs such as "Wake Up" and tracks off their Grammy Award-winning album "The Suburbs."
See them: Aug. 17 at Verizon Center. $30.50-$70.50.
Fall Out Boy and Paramore
One of the most successful acts to emerge from the 2000s' emo scene, Fall Out Boy began with punk. The Illinois quartet then added funk and blues while singer Patrick Stump learned to wail like an arena-rocker. The Boy took a break from 2009 to 2012, but its 2013 album, "Save Rock and Roll," proved that it still has inspiration, not to mention an audience. Joining the band for this tour is Nashville trio Paramore, another of emo's major breakouts. The group (expanded to a sextet onstage) is fronted by orange-haired Hayley Williams, whose vocal style is more pop than punk. Like Fall Out Boy, Paramore is still riding the wave of its 2013 album; the self-titled release topped the charts in the United States and a half-dozen other countries.
See them: July 18 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $40-$59.
Queen and Adam Lambert
A band that has long lacked a vocalist allies with a performer who, like a lot of "American Idol" contestants, didn't have much in the way of original material. Lambert first worked with Queen on "Idol" in 2009, performing "We Are the Champions," and subsequently made a number of one-off appearances with the group. But this summer's jaunt is the collaboration's first tour. Lambert gets to sing some of the biggest hits of the 1970s, doing an uncanny Freddie Mercury impression while the real Brian May plays those classic guitar solos. There's no guarantee that Lambert and Queen will rock this way again; when the tour ends, the singer plans to work on a new solo album.
See them: July 20 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$295.
Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden
After a hiatus that was hardly a vacation -- the break included winning an Academy Award for the score of the 2010 movie "The Social Network" -- industrial-rock pioneer Trent Reznor returned to Nine Inch Nails in 2013 with "Hesitation Marks." He "came back haunted," to paraphrase one of the album's songs, but Reznor's latest music is not his most anguished. It's harsh and insistent, yet relatively accessible -- a good match for the pop-savvy grunge of NIN's tourmate, Soundgarden.
See them: Aug. 4 at Jiffy Lube Live. $29.50-$99.50.
Robyn + Royksopp
Discovered at 13, Swedish dance-pop diva Robyn Carlsson was groomed for maximum appeal. But she soon took control of her career, and her music, and founded her own label. "Don't care what they say," she avows in "Do It Again," the title track from her new EP. Robyn originally worked with Max Martin, who crafted Britney Spears's first hits, but her current collaborator is Norway's Royksopp, the experimental electronic duo joining her on this tour. With her reviews better than her sales, Robyn has usually toured as an opening act (notably for Katy Perry and Coldplay). Royksopp, 34, has helped give her an edgier sound, and may bring bigger crowds as well.
See them: Aug. 21 at Wolf Trap. $30-$150.
-- Mark Jenkins
Beyoncé and Jay Z
Of all of this summer's collaborations and cash grabs, none will rival this pop supernova, which -- by pairing rapper and wifey, diva and beloved surfboard -- promises to provide just the voyeuristic glance at Bey and Jay that we've been dreaming of since the two coupled up in 2002 (or at least since a certain elevator video hit TMZ). The "On the Run" tour announced in April, however, will offer more than mere onstage chemistry: It will be the first time fans see the singer in all her Yoncé glory, performing the raunchy, transformative tunes off last winter's multiplatinum surprise album, "Beyoncé" (she left them off this winter's leg of her "Mrs. Carter" tour). As for Jay, his last Washington outing in January felt more tired than we'd seen before; here's hoping Bey's consummate energy rubs off on him.
See them: July 7 at M&T Bank Stadium. Show is sold out; aftermarket tickets available.
-- Lavanya Ramanathan
It's too early to be talking about the song of the summer, but Future's "Move That Dope," from his new album, "Honest," is definitely the song of the spring. You know it even if you don't think you do - its rattling bass line has been blaring out of cars every day it has been warm enough roll down the windows. By the time the voice-modulation-loving singing rapper (a.k.a. Nayvadius Wilburn) performs the hit at the Fillmore, though, it could be old news. Look to "Never Satisfied," a collaboration with Drake, to be his new album's next big single.
See him: June 8 at the Fillmore. $27.50.
Singer and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Kelis is serving up a lot more than a "Milkshake" these days. The seminal hit from 2003's "Tasty" is still an R&B/pop classic, but the New York native has moved on to heartier fare: "Biscuits n' Gravy," "Jerk Ribs" and "Cobbler" are among the soul-nourishing tracks on her new album, "Food." Despite the homey, comforting references, the new material still lives up to Kelis's edgy, experimental standard. And in addition to promoting "Food," she's pushing a new show on the Cooking Channel, "Saucy and Sweet." Here's hoping her show includes throwing samples to the crowd.
See her: June 15 at the 9:30 Club. $25.
Bruno Mars and Aloe Blacc
Even if Bruno Mars's pop-infused '50s soul thing doesn't do it for you, there's still good reason to drop part of your paycheck on his DMV date this summer: opener Aloe Blacc. You may know the Los Angeles native as the silent partner who had a hand in Swedish EDM hitmaker AVICII's "Wake Me Up," or as the voice behind the theme to HBO's "How to Make It in America." If you thought those two tracks were catchy, you'll be blown away by new music from his folk-soul fusion experiment, "Lift Your Spirit," which is guaranteed to do just that.
See them: July 11 at Jiffy Lube Live. $36-$105.
Summer Spirit Festival
The Summer Spirit Festival has become the concert of the season for local fans of golden-era hip-hop and alt-soul, and this year's lineup is one of the best in the event's history. Sharing headlining duties are Lauryn Hill, continuing her comeback tour and reminding us that she's a formidable rapper and singer, and Janelle Monae, one of the most thrilling outré artists of the decade. Plus, in a rare appearance on the same bill: Washington area native Raheem DeVaughn, famed lyricist Talib Kweli and go-go bands JunkYard and Backyard.
See it: Aug. 2 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $46-$125.
-- Sarah Godfrey
Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green
Many know Lionel Richie as the former Commodores vocalist whose solo career has brought us such pop and R&B hits as "Hello" and "All Night Long." But on his most recent release, 2012's "Tuskegee," Richie ventured into country, revamping some of his greatest hits and featuring guest vocalists Blake Shelton, Shania Twain, Darius Rucker and other country heavyweights. In a new collaboration, Richie's old-school class meets new-school cool in the always soulful and funky CeeLo Green, who is joining the crooner on this "All the Hits All Night Long" tour, which kicked off last year.
See them: July 21-22 at Wolf Trap. $45-$140.
-- Macy Freeman
WHAT YOUR TEENS WILL BE SEEING
It may prove impossible to make out a note emanating from the boys of One Direction -- impossible, that is, over the din of 40,000 shrieking pre-teens -- when the "Where We Are" tour brings Harry, Zayn, Niall, the rest of the guys and their enviable haircuts to Nationals Park. There's no sign of waning popularity for Simon Cowell's boy-band creation, which this summer is graduating from arenas to stadiums. The band may not have won its season of the "X Factor" in 2010, but that certainly hasn't affected its fan base, which will pile into some venues for three straight nights. In Washington, there's only one show on the books, but there are still tickets to be had.
See them: Aug. 11 at Nationals Park. $99.50.
As pop singers from Gaga to Miley embrace self-conscious artiness and unabashed raunchiness, Perry has stuck to the formula that made her a star: being the human equivalent of cotton candy. It works like gangbusters when Perry's on the road, as her coy performances and over-the-top stage setups -- a little bit Broadway, a little bit "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" -- send her fan base of 12-year-old girls (and their relieved moms and dads) into a tizzy. This summer's Prismatic World Tour brings Perry to Verizon Center in her usual kitschy form, with a flurry of cat costumes and sunflowers.
See her: June 24-25 at Verizon Center. $29.50-$153.50.
When Lindsey Stirling, one of the most unlikely music phenomena in years, first turned up on "America's Got Talent," her unusual fusion of fast-paced violin theatrics and dubstep drew quizzical looks and, sometimes, pans. But when her song "Crystallize" racked up 90 million views on YouTube, the music establishment was forced to figure out what it should make of the 27-year-old: reality-television reject, classical revivalist or indie act? It looks like Stirling is establishing herself as the latter. Her self-released sophomore record, "Shatter Me," debuted this month near the top of the pop charts, a remarkable showing for a classical album.
See her: June 24 at Echostage. $35.
This Dutch house-music DJ is a god among electronic dance music artists, pulling in millions of dollars a year delivering the big drops to thousands of kids on the dance floor. Tiesto's collaborator-packed new album, "A Town Called Paradise," comes out in June, just days before his headlining gig at the Thank You Festival at Merriweather, which highlights efforts to reduce childhood mortality. The outdoor festival should make for an interesting twist on music that usually sounds best late at night, blasting from club speakers.
See him: June 26 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$549.50.
Mad Decent Block Party
For the second year, producer-DJ Diplo is returning to Merriweather with a rat pack of noisy, exhilaratingly rude boys and girls of electronic music, and this summer's bill is gearing up to be even more compelling than the inaugural effort. In addition to Diplo, whose mixes are influenced by the sounds of Brazilian favelas, expect dubsteppers Flux Pavilion as well as Sleigh Bells, the duo of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss, whose menacing, atonal pop is precisely the stuff that has kids cranking the volume.
See it: Aug. 1 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$75.
Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Kacey Musgraves
If there's a singular country show to see this summer, surely it's this one, a lightning strike that wrangles three generations of troubadours onto one bill: Willie Nelson, that rules-flouting cowboy, still rolling at 81; angelic bluegrass queen Alison Krauss, with the band she's been playing with for 25 years; and Kacey Musgraves, the sassy, self-effacing heir apparent to Dolly Parton. The summer tour has Nelson and Krauss sharing headline duties (but, sadly, no duets) like a classic call-and-response: The still-brisk Nelson will reach into his trove of brilliantly unfussy hits, including "On the Road Again," and Krauss will bring her renowned virtuosity, tracing the hits of her nearly three-decade career with dobro master Jerry Douglas at her side.
See them: June 14 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$75.
-- Lavanya Ramanathan
Like a lot of country stars, Tim McGraw has named his summer tour after his new album, "Sundown Heaven Town." The tour, however, will arrive before the record is out. McGraw is using the concerts as a chance to preview new songs for his ticket-buying fans. But the first two singles have been released, revealing the two very different sounds McGraw is working with this year. The first song, "Lookin' for That Girl," is about a woman who likes both Tone Loc's hip-hop hit "Funky Cold Medina" and Deana Carter's country hit "Strawberry Wine," and the arrangement owes more than a little to Coldplay's new-wave, minor-key synths and processed arena-rock guitars. By contrast, the second single, "Meanwhile, Back at Mama's" -- where "supper's on the stove and beer's in the fridge" -- is a retro-country exercise in nostalgia, a duet with McGraw's wife, Faith Hill, over a down-home, acoustic-guitar figure.
See him: June 14 at Jiffy Lube Live. $30.25-$70.25.
Jennifer Nettles and Brandy Clark
Jennifer Nettles of superstar country duo Sugarland has just released "That Girl," her first solo album since 2004. Working with celebrity producer Rick Rubin and such famous co-writers as Sara Bareilles, Richard Marx and Mike Reid, Nettles doesn't reinvent the Sugarland wheel so much as find a little more room for her handsome alto. Go early, however, for her opener, Brandy Clark, who co-wrote three of last year's biggest and best country singles: Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart," Kacey Musgraves's "Follow Your Arrow" and Band Perry's "Better Dig Two." Clark also co-wrote a dozen terrific songs for her own 2013 debut album, "12 Stories," proof positive that modern country music can accommodate sharp wit and smart observations.
See them: July 13 at Wolf Trap. $25-$50.
We've been touting the Turnpike Troubadours for a while now, so we're glad Skype and Live Nation have jumped on board. The mega-companies' "Ones to Watch" campaign showcases acts that may be on the brink of stardom. Oklahoma's Turnpike Troubadours are an unlikely choice for such a corporate blessing, what with their tales of restless farmers, car-wreck victims, discarded veterans and adulterous drunkards -- all spiked by fiddle, steel and thumping drums. But lead singer Evan Felker's lyrics make these characters come to life in all their glorious flaws.
See them: July 20 at the Fillmore. $15.50.
Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line
This show brings together the reigning king of the bro-country movement and the threat to the throne. The best-selling subgenre marries state-of-the-art arena-rock to lyrics that offer endless variations on the same theme: a guy in his pickup driving back roads to his favorite fishing hole/skinny-dipping pond with a case of beer on the floor, country oldies on the radio and a scantily clad woman riding shotgun. Jason Aldean launched the bro-country phenomenon in 2010 with his hit single "My Kinda Party," but the Florida Georgia Line duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard perfected the formula with last year's hit single "Cruise." Aldean didn't release an album last year, but don't expect him to relinquish his crown just yet.
See them: July 25 at Nationals Park. $64-$84.
It was 25 years ago at That Pizza Place in Carlsbad, Calif., that an 8-year-old Chris Thile, an 8-year-old Sara Watkins and a 12-year-old Sean Watkins first performed as the string-band trio Nickel Creek. It was seven years ago that they wound up their "Farewell (For Now) Tour." That parenthetical hedge proved prescient, for this year they reunited to record "A Dotted Line," their first studio album in nine years, and to tour. The record's eight original tunes and two borrowed compositions sound much more like the last few Nickel Creek albums than the trio's early bluegrass recordings or the music of their more recent bands: Thile's Punch Brothers or the Watkins siblings' Works Progress Administration. So it's safe to expect that their show at Wolf Trap will deliver that blend of British folk music and hipster chamber-pop, a mix redeemed by its chiming melodies and superlative picking.
See them: Aug. 13 at Wolf Trap. $35-$125. Aug. 16 at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md. $55-$169.
-- Geoffrey Himes
Daryl Hall and John Oates
Questlove is a fan. Nicki Bluhm's career took off with a single YouTubed version of Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)." And this year, 40 years after the coiffed Philadelphians launched an enduring career singing soulful earworms such as "She's Gone," they finally made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (selected, in part, by public vote). The duo's hazy, synth-heavy funk has never been cooler, and there's a string of sold-out dates this summer to prove it. Expect a multigenerational fan base to turn out for their concert at Wolf Trap.
See them: June 19 at Wolf Trap. Show is sold out.
Anyone who writes off Ringo as the Beatles' weakest link clearly hasn't done their homework. Since the band parted ways in 1970, the wickedly talented 73-year-old drummer and sometimes singer ("Yellow Submarine," anyone?) has refused to rest on his laurels. Ringo's summer tour kicks into high gear with a little help from his rock-star friends: Todd Rundgren, Toto's Steve Lukather, Gregg Bissonette, Mr. Mister's Richard Page and original Santana singer Gregg Rolie. Most of Ringo's All-Starr Band play multiple instruments, which will make for lively takes on classic Beatles tunes, originals and covers.
See him: June 12 at Wolf Trap. Lawn tickets only, $35.
Heart's rise began with the release of "Dreamboat Annie" in 1976, and nearly 40 years later, the Wilson sisters are still going strong. Heart's familial alchemy -- Ann's steamroller vocals and Nancy's Zeppelin-esque guitar shredding -- has led to more than 35 million records sold and a 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So dig out your leather and get ready to relive the magic of such hard-hitting classics as "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda," as well as some of the band's shinier material from the more recent past.
See them: July 29 at Wolf Trap. $35-$45.
Don't let this barefooted champion of island escapism and tequila-fueled shenanigans fool you. Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band are one of the hardest-working acts in the business. The group has toured religiously every year since 1976, and by now, these guys know how to put on one heck of a show. Let the "Margaritaville" mogul whisk you away on a mini-vacay, conjuring images of sandy beaches and ocean breezes that, for one afternoon, are guaranteed to make you forget all about the sticky summer.
See him: Aug. 16 at Jiffy Lube Live. $45-$136.
Rod Stewart and Santana
It may not be the most intuitive of pairings, but these two music legends have the makings of a dynamite team. Santana recently popped up at Rod Stewart's show in Las Vegas for a teaser, and the two pulled off a version of the slow blues number "I'd Rather Go Blind" that brought the house down. Expect a similar duet or two to punctuate their blazing headlining sets. The singer's distinctive vocals and hit-centric set will win over fans in a heartbeat, and in return, the guitar god's high-octane playing should remove schmaltziness from the equation.
See them: Aug. 19 at Verizon Center. $39.50-$179.50.
Beck's new album, "Morning Phase," signals a return to the contemplative, melancholy sound he displayed in his much-acclaimed 2002 album, "Sea Change." The new self-produced recording features string arrangements by his father, David Campbell, as well as an acoustic sound with slow tempos that feel more resplendent than dirgelike. You never can be too sure what to expect from Beck's live shows, but it's safe to assume he'll play a bunch of the new tunes, infused with a playful dose of the absurd.
See him: July 24 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$75.
-- Jess Righthand
ZZ Top and Jeff Beck with Gary Clark Jr.
When this trio of hirsute dirty rockers from Texas plays with British axe-man Jeff Beck, it's safe to assume that some of the best guitar theatrics you've ever seen will ensue. After a somewhat underwhelming tour last summer with Brian Wilson, former Yardbirds guitarist Beck is amping it up for the release of his first album in four years by hitting the road with Billy Gibbons and Co. The tour will give each act a turn in the spotlight, but expect fireworks in the third set, when they'll team for their greatest hits. Joining them for this date will be neo-blues rocker Gary Clark Jr., who may well have time-warped from the grand days of Sly & the Family Stone and Betty Davis.
See them: Sept. 3 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$175.
'Remembering George Duke'
Summer jazz fests will be chockablock with tributes to keyboardist, composer and producer George Duke, who died of leukemia last August at age 67. But this all-star two-hour salute, hosted by singer Al Jarreau and bassist Stanley Clarke, should be particularly memorable and moving. Among Duke's closest friends and collaborators, the duo will preview tunes from an upcoming Jarreau album dedicated to his beloved colleague. And no doubt singer Dianne Reeves will pay poignant homage to her cousin.
See it: June 7 at Capital Jazz Festival, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Lawn tickets only, $75.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis is the face of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. But in concert, when not serving as host or soloist, he's happy to be seated in the brass section, amid fellow trumpeters well-versed in the rich vocabulary of traditional and contemporary jazz. From his perch, Marsalis has a terrific view of the action below - the reeds conjuring lush Ellingtonia, the trombones riffing in counterpoint, the nimbly swinging rhythm section creating moods and interludes. And if he takes special
pride in the choice of tunes and the colorfully evocative arrangements, well, who can blame him?
See them: July 30 at Wolf Trap. $25-$48.
Pat Metheny Unity Group
Sure, he's won 20 Grammy Awards, but guitarist Pat Metheny has seldom received the kind of acclaim accorded his Unity ensembles. The group's new album, "Kin," boasts a more expansive scope and vibrantly textured Unity sound. In fact, Metheny has described the transition from quartet to quintet as sonically moving from black-and-white to Technicolor. Fair enough, but whatever the band's configuration, Unity excels at creating music that possesses exceptional energy, beauty and soul. By the way, don't be surprised if at Wolf Trap, Metheny goes out of his way to showcase his wonderfully gifted bassist, Washington native Ben Williams.
See them: Aug. 6 at Wolf Trap. $25-$50.
Curtis Stigers is a jazz musician through and through, but his versatility allows for an effortless fusion of jazz, blues and rock. And his voice? Just try to describe it and not use such words as “romantic” and “rich.” It’s him you hear belting out “This Life,” the theme song for FX’s television show “Sons of Anarchy.” Since the 1991 release of his self-titled debut, Stigers has performed with the likes of Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Al Jarreau and other jazz and rock legends. His most recent album, “Hooray for Love,” was released last month and features 10 love songs that bring to mind the classic pop and jazz of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Onstage, Stigers is engaging and charismatic; don’t be surprised if he pulls out his saxophone.
See him: June 16 at the Howard Theatre. $25 in advance, $30 at the door.