This fall is jam-packed with a ton of hot new releases, which only means one thing: Lots of supporting tours!
With many acts hitting the road behind their new LPs, concertgoers have a Whitman's Sampler of choices for live concerts. In fact, too many choices. But worry not: Fuse has whittled down the field to the 30 must-see gigs, complete with a convincing rationale. So get your tickets now and prepare to rock out. Just remember: don't be that jerk holding up the iPad to take a picture.
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When: September 4 - October 20.
Why you should go: Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers fans probably already have tickets to see this group comprised, in part, of Thom Yorke, Flea and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. But any fan of fractured pop and challenging, yet always rhythmic, dance music will find something to love at the group's live show. When the band first premiered, audiences cheered them on even after they had played all their planned material. No worries. A funky, jazzy improvisational jam ensued. Something tells us the guys are ready for shouts of "One more!" this time around.
When: September 5-29.
Why you should go: Following a few post-hiatus shows in intimate venues, this is the first time Fall Out Boy are playing arenas since 2009. And if you need an additional push to go, FOB will be accompanied by their friend-band Panic! at the Disco (Brendon Urie recently interviewed Pete Wentz on Fuse News, FYI) and genre-bending newcomers Twenty One Pilots, the duo that blew us away at SXSW. Three high-octane performers on one ticket? Done and done.
Who: Hip hop supergroup DelTron 3030.
When: September 8 - November 15.
Why you should go: Producer Dan the Automator, turntablist Kid Koala and rapper Del the Funky Homosapien are restlessly inventive underground rap stars in their own right. But like any comic book supergroup, these alt-hip hop heroes are unstoppable when they combine powers. The trio's comeback tour includes 16 dates, nine of which they'll be accompanied by a 16-piece orchestra.
When: September 10 - November 2.
Why you should go: When we look back on 2013, Born Sinner just might be the clear winner for Rap Album of the Year (and no, we haven't forgotten the albums from Jay or 'Ye). The North Carolina MC teams up with Wale for the "What Dreams May Come" tour this fall, so now's your chance to see both artists in their prime. And J. Cole has a tendency to bring former tour-mate Drake on stage, so who knows what surprise guests you might be treated to.
Who: Stoner rock vets Queens of the Stone Age.
When: September 10 - October 13.
Why you should go: We love EDM, pop and hip hop as much as you, but you can count the number of balls-to-the-wall rock bands who can still deftly craft a melodic tune on one hand. ...Like Clockwork is the band's best album in a decade, and the group have performed enough covers—see the band's improbable take of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"—that they'll probably whip out a few surprises on tour.
Who: Super-sexy Toronto R&B experimentalist The Weeknd.
When: September 10 - October 20.
Why you should go: With his debut album Kiss Land out now, the once-reclusive R&B mastermind behind three classic mixtapes is finally warming up to the public. Now is the right time to see him: His shyness has worn off and he's poised to elevate his career into the stratosphere.
Who: British indie rockers Arctic Monkeys.
When: September 15 - October 11.
Why you should go: To promote their latest album AM, the most-acclaimed of their career and a quantum leap forward from 2011's Suck It and See, the UK indie rock group have compiled a career-spanning set blending old chestnuts ("I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor") with future classics ("Why'd you Only Call Me When You're High?"). Even non-fans have to admire the group's interminable energy live. "We didn't really put any effort into the show side of things," bassist Nick O'Malley said of the band's early years in a recent interview. But as frontman Alex Turner noted, "We've raised the bar as a live band." We agree.
When: September 17 - October 3.
Why you should go: When we caught up with Brown at Rock the Bells, he teased the tour with this: "You never know what's going to happen. You don't know if Action Bronson is going to leg drop somebody or if he'll pick four girls up and throw them over his shoulder." And after Bronson body slammed a stage rusher in June, we know some kind of crazy sh-t is going to happen on this trek. Have your camera phone ready.
Who: Country's hottest newcomer Kacey Musgraves.
When: September 19 - April 27.
Why you should go: Tracks from the 24-year-old's excellent debut LP Same Trailer Different Park (which floored us and the Country Music Association) tell tales challenging small-town values and fighting for gay rights. Musgrave's show is strongly recommend for those looking for a country female to counteract polished, poppy Taylor Swift.
Who: Sweater-vested New York-based Ivy Leaguers Vampire Weekend.
When: September 19 - October 27.
Why you should go: Vampire Weekend are still riding a wave of adulation off Modern Vampires of the City, their third album and second in a row to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. On Vampires, the group update their Afropop-meets-indie-rock sound to avoid any accusations of running in place, but still retain the buoyant, bouncy rhythms that made them indie darlings to begin with. Live, Ezra Koenig is a wry, funny frontman, able to shift between mid-song yelp and clever joke without blinking an eye.
Who: Parisian pop-rock outfit Phoenix.
When: September 20 - October 13.
Why you should go: Definitionally, French pop/rock group Phoenix are considered an alternative group, but the band has quickly become stadium headliners due to an undeniable blend of stuck-in-your-head hooks and dual keyboards. When we caught the group earlier this year, they were still working out how to play new album Bankrupt! live, but still sounded like the polished band they are. Now that they've honed their skills doing the festival circuit, expect this to be the best round of shows the group have played in a while.
Who: SoCal alt-grunge wastoids Wavves, fronted by Nathan Williams.
When: September 23 - October 18.
Why you should go: Have you seen the band's late-night performance of "Nine Is God," their new track for the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack? Well, it rocks, like all Wavves songs, which follow that oh-so-catchy '90s alt-rock formula: loud-soft-loud, verse-chorus-verse. Thank the Pixies and Nirvana. Their shows are a rowdy, beer-swilling good time: "OUR US TOUR STARTS NEXT WEEK U F-CKN NERDS READY 2 PARTY?!" the band posted online. Yep...
Who: Trent Reznor's reunited industrial rock warriors, Nine Inch Nails
When: September 28 - November 25.
Why you should go: Even though Trent Reznor kicked several musicians out of Nine Inch Nails prior to the release of comeback LP Hesitation Marks, the industrial rock band's stage presence—as displayed at recent festival dates—is as strong as Reznor's rippling physique.
Who: Boston synth-pop outfit Passion Pit.
When: September 29 - November 10.
Why you should go: The fivesome led by Michael Angelakos are taking a victory lap in support of their second album, the charting Gossamer. Expect a small army of neon-bubbly synths and plenty emoting, especially on LP gems like the super catchy "Take a Walk." It's a dance party you won't want to miss.
Who: California heavy metal headbangers Avenged Sevenfold.
When: October 3-26.
Why you should go: Avenged Sevenfold just dropped a monster of an album with Hail to the King, and their formidable live reputation is enough reason to check them out in concert. But add in openers like alt-metal legends Deftones and Sweden's Ghost B.C.—their live show is a retro wonder—and you've got the must-see metal tour of the fall.
Who: "Brave" singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.
When: October 6–19.
Why you should go: With her high-profile visibility—singing "Brave" with Taylor Swift in Los Angeles and much being made of the similarities between the track and Katy Perry's "Roar"—it's a big moment for the singer. She's not letting the opportunity go to waste: The 31-year-old has promised "high-tech production" on tour. Perhaps, a laser light show while she's banging on her piano? Fireworks? Helicopters? We can't want to find out!
Who: Brooklyn's distorted duo Sleigh Bells.
When: October 4 - November 22.
Why you should go: We've only heard two songs from NYC indie rock duo Sleigh Bells' upcoming album Bitter Rivals, but we're already sold. The group continue their uptempo blend of crunchy guitars and melodic pop, all filtered through a Go! Team-esque, up-with-everything cheerful sound. Live, you'd never know frontwoman Alexis Krauss used to be an elementary school teacher, as she wails, coos and howls. Just give in now.
Who: UK soul singerEmeli Sande.
When: October 10-26.
Why you should go: There's a reason England decided to showcase their home-grown powerhouse at the Olympics' opening and closing ceremonies last summer: That voice!!! You'll witness the glory of her soulful style on gospel-tinged numbers like "Heaven" and "My Kind of Love."
Who: Seattle alt-rock vets Pearl Jam.
When: October 11 - December 6.
Why you should go: PJ drop their 10th album Lightning Bolt on October 15. Based on the album's title and first single—the furious punk-inflected rocker "Mind Your Manners"—Pearl Jam seem more fired up than they were on their last album, 2009's Backspacer, which means they're REALLY fired up.
Who: The Electric Lady herself, Janelle Monae.
When: October 13 - November 26.
Why you should go: To promote her new LP The Electric Lady, the Kansas City native danced all over David Letterman's desk and got right up in The Today Show audience's faces. And that was to perform one song. Imagine an entire night's worth of the fiery, soulful siren's genre-bending concoctions! Plus, don't forget: This was the woman who stood in when Aretha Franklin couldn't perform at a Chicago Symphony Orchestra event.
Who: Wildly influential shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine.
When: November 1-12
Why you should go: The Irish band's second album, 1991's Loveless, is a stone-cold alt-rock classic and its layered, lost-in-the-haze barrage of blissed-out reverb guitars went on to influence countless bands. In 2007, MBV reunited for their first show in 16 years, reminding fans old and new of their deafening power live. To date, it's the only show I've been to where earplugs weren't only necessary, they were distributed at the door.
Who: Los Angeles' fearless alt-jazz pianist/weed aficionado Fiona Apple and California singer-songwriter Blake Mills.
When: October 3-26.
Why you should go: Few shows are worth your money like an evening with Apple, not to mention Mills, who opened for Apple on tour last year. The current trek, billed as “Anything We Want: An Evening With Fiona Apple And Blake Mills,” suggest co-headlining placement and possible collaborations. Which throws even more unpredictable possibility into an evening hosted by Apple, whose recent travails include storming off stage and singing Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination" for a Chipotle ad.
Who: Buzzing SoCal sister act HAIM.
When: October 4-27.
Why you should go: The trio are one of 2013's hottest new arrivals thanks to a series of catchy indie-pop singles, especially glam stomper "The Wire," which is being hailed across the web as one of the Best Songs of Summer '13. After a spring tour with Vampire Weekend and slots rocking festivals like Lollapalooza, the girls release their debut LP, Days Are Gone, on September 30. Expect new material and grown men acting like 12-year-old One Direction fans.
When: October 15 - November 27
Why you should go: Paramore's Hayley Williams told MTV Metric's music makes you feel "infinite" and Hellogoodbye is "celebratory and meaningful." When you put it that way, who wouldn't pick up a ticket?
Who: THE Kanye West.
When: October 19 - December 7.
Why you should go: First off, Yeezus is a divisive but brilliant record. Secondly, if you see him in concert these days, you're almost guaranteed to witness an inimitable "Kanye Rant" in person, which is worth the price of admission alone. Plus, Kendrick Lamar, the self-described hottest rapper in the game, is opening. It all adds up to this: If you can afford the tickets, you should buy 'em.
Who: The man with 20/20 vision: Justin Timberlake.
When: October 31—February 16.
Why you should go: JT already killed it with Jay Z on their joint Legends of the Summer tour, but now it's Timberlake's time to shine. Not only does he have two new album's worth of material, with both Part 1 and Part 2 of The 20/20 Experience, to perform. But there's also pop classics lifted from his Justified and FutureSex/LoveSound LPs. And with the all-too-short 'N Sync reunion at this year's VMAs, we imagine he'll perform at least a few boy band treasures. It's pop perfection… live!
Who: Brooklyn psych-rock duo MGMT.
Why you should go: The band broke out on the strength of their debut LP, Oracular Spectacular, and its crowd-pleasing, neon-glow hits like "Kids" and "Electric Feel." Since then, the duo have dove further down the rabbit hole with their 2010 follow-up Congratulations and their new third album, MGMT, a even trippier, synth-drenched collection. Drink the Kool Aid this fall.
Who: Jay Z, who needs absolutely no introduction.
When: November 30 - January 31.
Why you should go: Not every new Jay Z album is a start-to-finish triumph, but Magna Carta…Holy Grail is his most interesting release since 2007's American Gangster. So if you missed him on tour with Timberlake this summer, now's the time to catch Mr. Carter on stage while he's touring behind a solid new album.
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