Everything about music is in flux, but nothing more so than the way we ingest it. These days, we stream, watch “visual albums” and get excited about mix tapes. We don’t buy records. (Unless, of course, that record is Adele’s.)
Only one thing seems precisely as it was in the Summer of ’69: the summertime concert season. It’s as big, over the top, and packed with excellent performers as it ever was.
There remains no digital substitute for the live-in-real-time thrill of seeing Paul McCartney sing and play guitar, or watching Beyoncé do, in three hours, all the heart-pounding cardio that we’ve managed to do in the past year. There is no feeling like finding the perfect vantage point in a big field and letting the sounds of your favorite act wash over you.
Below, find 32 summertime concerts no music fan should miss.
The world seemed to stop on April 23 when Beyoncé surprise-released “Lemonade,” her sixth record, as a film on HBO. Like her 2013 self-titled visual album, “Lemonade” was an instant hit, buoyed by the record’s narrative of a wife scorned by a cheating husband. Unlike anything else in her discography, “Lemonade” flirts with reggae (“Hold Up”), classic rock (“Don’t Hurt Yourself”) and country (“Daddy Lessons”) while still managing to sound decidedly like a Beyoncé album. Her stadium tour -- Beyoncé’s first since her “On the Run” outing with Jay Z in 2014 -- has been equally flawless, with tributes to Prince joining such new tracks as “Formation” and “Sorry” on the set list. -- Rudi Greenberg
See her: June 10 at M&T Bank Stadium. Sold out.
Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses doesn’t traffic in subtlety. From the driving central riff of “Welcome to the Jungle” to the epic “Use Your Illusion” albums, these California hard rockers have squeezed as much melody and pure intensity out of their songs as anyone in the genre. With hair as big as their outsize personalities, Axl Rose and Slash openly feuded to the point at which a reunion seemed impossible. That is, until they took the stage at the Troubadour in West Hollywood this spring for a secret show. If the video from that performance is any indication, expect them to sound as tight as ever. -- Christopher Kompanek
See them: June 26 at FedEx Field. $45.50-$250.
Clad in black with matching makeup, these legendary Brits made a career crafting sad songs to sway to. Somewhere between post-punk and post-glam, they mined an area of contradiction where darkness could be approached with an almost optimistic energy. On “In Between Days,” Robert Smith expresses a dire thought: “Yesterday I got so old / I felt like I could die,” against a decidedly upbeat melody that somehow made it feel all right. The Cure hasn’t released a new album in years, so expect such classics as “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Let’s Go to Bed” when the band takes the stage at Merriweather. -- C.K.
See them: June 22 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Sold out.
Sooner or later, all the young stars made famous by the Disney Channel grow out of adolescence and have to negotiate the tricky transition to an adult career. Selena Gomez has handled it better than most. Her first non-Disney album, last year’s “Revival,” was surprising not for its upfront sexuality (that’s a given in today’s coming-of-age pop albums) but for its refusal to go the diva route: Both Gomez’s vocals and the underlying tracks displayed a remarkable restraint. That allowed the songs’ moody ambivalence about sex -- its irresistible pull and its undeniable danger -- to seep through. -- Geoffrey Himes
See her: June 4 at Verizon Center. $49-$199.
Ellie Goulding has the trappings of a pop star, along with the occasionally more intimate impulses of a folk singer. On her tour for “Delirium” -- an album of candy-coated pop that holds up through repeat listens -- she sings the lush electronic anthem “Devotion” solo with an acoustic guitar. Other songs are delivered as coordinated dance numbers with multiple costume changes and a light show befitting an arena tour, creating a rich contrast of divergent desires. A close listen to another track of the new album, “On My Mind,” reveals a sex-positive anthem that’s anything but a typical longing love song. -- C.K.
See her: June 13 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$59.50.
If this truly is “The End” for Black Sabbath -- as the iconic heavy metal band’s tour name suggests -- then it’s one lengthy goodbye. “The End” tour, which features original Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, began in January and stretches into December, when the band will (supposedly) call it quits for good in Brazil. It’s been an epic farewell so far, with the band mixing such rarely played songs as “Hand of Doom” and “God is Dead?” in with such classic rock staples as “War Pigs,” “Iron Man” and “Paranoid.” Black Sabbath is also marking closure with one last recording, an eight-song EP called “The End” that’s only available on tour. -- R.G.
See them: Aug. 21 at Jiffy Lube Live. $35-$150.
Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band; Paul McCartney
In 1964, a little band called the Beatles performed its first concert on U.S. soil at the Washington Coliseum. Now, 52 years later, surviving members Paul McCartney, 73, and Ringo Starr, 75, will return to the District — albeit separately — to give boomers a potent dose of nostalgia and younger fans a chance to hear one of pop’s greatest songbooks performed by two of the men who wrote it. The drummer is up first. Starr’s concerts often feel like a pop revue, with members of His All-Starr Band, which includes singer-guitarist Todd Rundgren, Toto’s Steve Lukather and Santana’s Gregg Rolie, trading vocals and solos on Beatles classics (like Starr’s “With a Little Help From My Friends”) and their own hits. McCartney’s concerts on his current “Out There” tour are usually three-hour marathons heavy on Beatles hits. (Singing along isn’t just encouraged, it feels required.) For die-hards, Sir Paul also includes plenty of his post-Beatles output, including Wings songs and “FourFiveSeconds,” his unlikely collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West. -- R.G.
See Starr: June 17 at Warner Theatre. $75-$280.
See McCartney: Aug. 9-10 at Verizon Center. $59-$250.
When Bruce Springsteen played two nights in Brooklyn in April, he announced they would be the last shows on “The River 2016 Tour” where he would play all the songs from the 1980 album in sequence. When he resurfaced in Europe 2 1/2 weeks later, he reverted to set lists that, while heavy on “The River” tracks, mixed in more songs from all phases of his career. And while “The River” is arguably the songwriter’s greatest album, the predictability of playing the songs in order robbed his shows of one of their chief pleasures: guessing what song is next. -- G.H.
See him: Sept. 1 at Nationals Park. Sold out.
The most fascinating thing about “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin,” David Ritz’s recent tell-all biography, is that the same friends and family who voice the harshest criticism of the singer’s private life also gush about her overwhelming talent. And why not? Whatever her personal foibles, Franklin is one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, not only for the rare power and range of her instrument but also for her ability to turn that voice into mind-boggling variations and high emotional drama. If you’ve never seen this 74-year-old vocalist, don’t miss your chance now. -- G.H.
See her: Aug. 26 at Wolf Trap. $35-$65.
Asha Bhosle comes from a place where vocalists are heard but not seen — Bollywood, home of the playback singer who records songs for a movie-musical actor to lip sync. Yet Bhosle’s voice was too strong and pure to remain offstage forever. The 82-year-old “filmi”-music diva began her career in 1943, and has contributed to more than 1,000 movies. Ironically, she began by taking “bad girl” parts that better-known singers refused. But by the time she started performing live regularly in the 1980s, she was a beloved symbol of India -- returned to prominence by soundtrack maestro A.R. Rahman. While Bhosle’s repertoire includes Indian classical ragas and traditional folk tunes as well as collaborations with Western musicians, this concert’s selection will surely feature many of the singer’s most stirring movie numbers. If these elicit waves of nostalgia, that’s entirely appropriate: Bhosle has announced that this is her farewell tour. -- Mark Jenkins
See her: June 29 at Wolf Trap. $40-$115.
Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples
Throughout the years, Bob Dylan has assembled talented musicians to play with -- most notably the Band, who made “The Basement Tapes” legendary before striking out on their own. Dylan’s tours in the mid ’70s, known as the Rolling Thunder Revue, brought such songs as “It Ain’t Me Babe” and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” to new heights of electricity. His latest album, “Fallen Angels,” continues his exploration of songs made popular by Frank Sinatra. For this summer’s tour, he’s bringing along the soulful croon of Mavis Staples, whom he briefly dated in the ’60s, for what promises to be another high mark in a career of colorful collaborations. -- C.K.
See them: July 5-6 at Wolf Trap. $45-$100.
5 Seconds of Summer
Never underestimate the power of a cover song. The four members of Australian rock band 5 Seconds of Summer conquered YouTube with their takes on hits from Mike Posner and Chris Brown, snagging the attention of Sony Music. But the group, which formed in 2011, really took off when it toured with One Direction in 2013. 5 Seconds of Summer released its most recent album, “Sounds Good Feels Good,” last year. Several of its songs have pop-influenced melodies, but the band’s sound is rooted in rock and influenced by such groups as Green Day and Good Charlotte. -- Macy Freeman
See them: July 8 at Jiffy Lube Live. $25-$89.95.
Baltimore indie-rock duo Wye Oak ditched the guitar on 2014’s “Shriek,” with singer Jenn Wasner switching to bass while Andy Stack manned the drums and keyboards for a more synthy, electronic sound. The sonic change marked an obvious departure from the guitar-driven drama of the band’s biggest hit, “Civilian,” and the 2011 album of the same name, but it only proved to make the duo’s music even more exciting. Now, Wye Oak is previewing new material on the road and Wasner is back to plugging in her guitar. So far, the new tracks sound like a synthesis of “Shriek” and “Civilian,” making the wait for the band’s as-yet-unannounced fifth album that much harder. --R.G.
See them: June 22 at Rock & Roll Hotel. $22-$24.
It’s nice to have friends in high places when you’re a rising country music star. Just ask Maren Morris, below, who’s opening for Keith Urban this summer. A gifted singer-songwriter, this 26-year-old Texan has already left her mark on the country music charts. When she affectionately references Hank Williams and Johnny Cash on her breakthrough hit “My Church,” you know exactly where her loyalties lie. And later, when she pleads for a “hallelujah,” you can almost hear concertgoers responding to her call. “Hero,” her debut album, arrives this week, packed with songs she co-wrote and bound to boost her profile and her following. -- Mike Joyce
See her: Aug. 27 at Jiffy Lube Live. $30.25-$65.
With help from T Bone Burnett, Lera Lynn nailed her supporting role as a singer in the second season of HBO’s “True Detective.” The result was a series of neo-noir-ish vocal and guitar performances that packed a haunting resonance. Nashville-bred, Lynn has since released “Resistor,” an album that more fully reveals her talent and range. It opens with the percussive jolt “Shape Shifter,” followed by the kind of intriguing vignettes that have become Lynn’s trademark. Some are languid and entrancing; others blunt and provocative. One way or another, Lynn leaves a distinctly soulful impression. -- Mike Joyce
See her: July 22 at the Hamilton. $15-$35.
Haitian Canadian DJ, producer and EDM artist Kaytranada is performing in Washington just months after releasing his first LP, “99.9%,” a 15-track primer on his blend of hip-hop, funk and house music. The album features such buzzy names as AlunaGeorge, GoldLink and Anderson .Paak as well as artists like Craig David and the Swedish band Little Dragon. Born Louis Kevin Celestin, Kaytranada began DJing at age 14. With the help of his brother, he learned to produce his own music shortly after and began doing so at a frenetic pace. Now 23, Kaytranada has released several EPs over the last few years and developed a large following on Soundcloud because of his remixes, such as his spin on Janet Jackson’s “If,” which went viral. -- Lauren McEwen
See him: June 3 at 9:30 Club. Sold out.
Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa
One of these headliners is a pioneer of West Coast hip-hop, famous for such timeless tracks as 1993’s “Gin & Juice.” The other rose to fame more recently, through such hits as 2010’s “Black and Yellow.” Both demonstrate a carefree and lively nature that fans enjoy. Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa are joining forces this summer on “The High Road Summer Tour.” Khalifa released a self-titled album in February, while Snoop put out his 13th studio album, “Bush,” last year. Also hitting the stage during the tour are supporting acts Jhené Aiko, Casey Veggies, Kevin Gates and DJ Drama. -- M.F.
See them: July 31 at Jiffy Lube Live. $25.75-$80.75.
“Hotline Bling” was one of the most talked about songs to come out last year. It’s undeniably catchy, and it spawned countless debates, covers and parodies. It also served as the lead single on Drake’s fourth studio album, “Views,’ which came out in April and showcases both his penchant for singing and his rap roots. The album features collaborations with Rihanna and others including Future, who will be joining him on the “Summer Sixteen” tour. -- M.F.
See him: Aug. 19-20 at Verizon Center. $49.50-$179.50.
Summer Spirit Festival
Erykah Badu headlines the Summer Spirit Festival, which once again boasts a solid lineup of R&B, neo-soul and hip-hop artists. With the 20th anniversary of her first album, “Baduizm,” coming early next year, fans can probably expect a set full of favorites. Singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe also is performing, so concertgoers likely will have their fingers crossed in the hopes that she and Badu will perform their hit collaboration, “Q.U.E.E.N.” Other standouts on the program include neo-soul artist Jill Scott, the Roots, the Chuck Brown Band, British singer-songwriter Daley, Leela James and Kindred the Family Soul. -- L.M.
See it: Aug. 6-7 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $94-$450.
Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals
Singer-songwriter and rapper Anderson .Paak isn’t the type of musician who can be easily filed into a single genre. The Oxnard, Calif., native, born Brandon Park Anderson, started his career releasing EPs under the stage name Breezy Lovejoy, but in 2014 he released his debut studio album, “Venice,” under his current moniker. His eclectic sound mixes soul, funk, R&B and hip-hop, and he’s also experimented with boom bap, a subgenre of hip-hop made popular in the 1990s. Last year, he contributed his raspy and soulful vocals to several songs on Dr. Dre’s “Compton,” which was released alongside the critically acclaimed N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton.” -- M.F.
See them: June 16 at the Fillmore. $20. June 17 at Baltimore Soundstage. $20-$22.
How Sweet It Is: A Tribute to Marvin Gaye
The late Marvin Gaye — a Washington native and one of the most iconic musicians to emerge from Motown’s golden years — will be honored during the Kennedy Center’s spring gala, an annual tradition celebrating milestones and key figures in the arts. Among those performing this year will be Andra Day, the singer-songwriter behind the Grammy Award-nominated album “Cheers to the Fall” and one of R&B’s most promising new vocalists. Other acts honoring Gaye in song include Ledisi, Jussie Smollett, Valerie Simpson and Mary Wilson. -- M.F.
See it: June 5 at the Kennedy Center. $45-$160.
Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell
No artist has had more of an impact on country music in the past year than Chris Stapleton. But the Nashville singer-songwriter has been leaving his fingerprints all over the genre for more than a decade, penning songs for Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker and many others. But it wasn’t until Stapleton’s solo debut, last year’s excellent “Traveller,” that the former frontman for bluegrass band the SteelDrivers started racking up accolades and fans. In June, Stapleton will share a bill with Jason Isbell, who lives around the fringes of country music. A songwriter with the ability to paint vivid, often stark Southern stories, the Alabama native is a formidable guitarist with a penchant for covering songs written by Neil Young and the Rolling Stones. -- R.G.
See them: June 18 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$149.
Dolly Parton’s cartoonish stage presence -- the blond wig and hourglass figure -- helped early in her career, when she needed the attention. Later, though, that image obscured the fact that she was one of the best songwriters and singers of her generation. Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, her most serious rivals in those two categories, recognized her talent -- and so will you, when you absorb the compelling stories of such songs as “Coat of Many Colors,” “Jolene” and “Down from Dover,” and their expert telling in Parton’s guileless soprano. -- G.H.
See her: June 8 at Wolf Trap. $45-$150.
With her tabloid-trumpeted divorce from fellow country music star Blake Shelton finally behind her, Miranda Lambert is moving on, performing for legions of fans this summer. The faithful know what to expect by now: “The House That Built Me,” “All Kinds of Kinds,” “Gunpowder and Lead” -- her list of hits could overheat a jukebox. And Lambert knows precisely how to deliver on those expectations, with attitude, heart, soul and a playful spirit, as when she briefly channeled Ella Fitzgerald during a recent show. Small wonder her fan base keeps growing larger and louder. -- Mike Joyce
See her: Aug. 25 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $45-$125.
When Jerry Lee Lewis flew to London in 1958, he was one of the biggest stars in rock-and-roll. When he returned, his career was collapsing in scandal, as news of his marriage to a 13-year-old cousin spread. Something similar happened to the Dixie Chicks, who flew to London in 2003 as the biggest stars in country music, only to return with their career collapsing as news spread of their blunt criticism of President George W. Bush. Lewis recovered to have a long and productive career, and the Dixie Chicks, whose last studio album came out in 2006, are bidding to do the same with this summer’s reunion tour. -- G.H.
See them: June 25 at Jiffy Lube Live. $42-$225.
Now that the bro-country movement is finally winding down, the question becomes: Which of the bro-country stars will make a successful transition to what comes next? The easy answers are Eric Church and Dierks Bentley, but they never fully committed to the movement in the first place. Of the full-fledged bro-country stars, the best bet is Brantley Gilbert, a much better singer than the guys in Florida Georgia Line and more likely than Jason Aldean to take cues from Chris Stapleton. There were hints on Gilbert’s last album, “Just As I Am,” that he was capable of more ambitious music. His tour and next album will reveal if he takes that next step. -- G.H.
See him: June 19 at Jiffy Lube Live. $30.25-$55.
The history of jazz singing has been overwhelmingly a tale of interpretive singing — of vocalists reinventing songs written by others. By contrast, Gregory Porter, the Grammy Award-winning singer with the glowing baritone, brings a singer-songwriter approach to jazz. He wrote or co-wrote the songs on his new album, “Take Me to the Alley,” with impressive results. A gifted lyricist in the tradition of Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield, Porter smartly uses the image of a railroad bridge as a multipurpose metaphor on “Don’t Lose Your Steam” and uses an urban side street as an image of both despair and hope on the title track. The elastic vocals, though, bear the unmistakable stamp of jazz. -- G.H.
See him: June 6 at the Howard Theatre. $42.50-$95. Aug. 6 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $52-$250.
The highlight of Chris Thile’s four-day “American Acoustic” festival at the Kennedy Center is likely to be when Thile, the virtuoso mandolinist for Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers, teams with Julian Lage, the most exciting young guitarist in the jazz world. Lage, who demonstrates his broad-spectrum approach to jazz on this year’s terrific “Arclight” album, already has experience with building bridges to the Americana world via his collaborations with Punch Brother Chris Eldridge. The sparks should fly when Lage trades licks with Thile. -- G.H.
See him: June 23 at the Kennedy Center. $39.
DC Jazz Fest
True to form, the DC Jazz Festival presents scores of artists throughout the city, indoors and out. A very short list: Kamasi Washington, Eddie Palmieri, Regina Carter, Kurt Elling and Cécile McLorin Salvant. A sure bet: the tribute to Howard University, one of the great incubators of jazz artistry, staged at the Kennedy Center, featuring NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson and gospel music luminary Richard Smallwood. It’s an all-star, alum-packed salute to Fred Irby III and Art Dawkins, Howard’s distinguished jazz educators, featuring Greg Osby, Cyrus Chestnut, Paul Carr and Afro Blue, among many others. -- Mike Joyce
See it: June 10-17 at venues throughout the District. Various prices. dcjazzfest.org/
For all his diverse talents, Poncho Sanchez has something else going for him: exuberance to spare. The Grammy Award-winning percussionist, composer, vocalist and bandleader fully engages audiences with his outsize personality and passionate embrace of Latin jazz, salsa, funk and soul. His unbridled showmanship helps explain why his band is such a popular festival draw, and his club engagements are similarly joyous, charged with clave rhythms, punchy horn riffs and spirited tributes to such influences as Chano Pozo and Herbie Hancock. -- Mike Joyce
See him: July 29-31 at Blues Alley. $40-$45.
Capital Jazz Fest
Chockablock with jazz and soul offerings, the Capital Jazz Fest is not for the indecisive. Contemporary jazz devotees will likely turn out in big numbers to celebrate Fourplay’s 25th anniversary; the stellar quartet’s longevity is almost as impressive as its chart-topping track record. Revitalizing decades of contemporary jazz favorites should pose no problem for pianist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Chuck Loeb and drummer Harvey Mason. Also on the bill: David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Take Six and Toni Braxton, among many others, plus a tribute to Earth Wind and Fire’s Maurice White. -- Mike Joyce
See it: June 3-5 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $59.50-$192; June 4 is sold out.