New Order doesn't really have anything to prove at this point. Hell, they could've stopped making music in '86 and rode the dancefloor-generated royalties of "Blue Monday" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" to some distant Manchester mansions. But here we are; sans original member Peter Hook, but if you've ridden with them this long, that doesn't matter anyway. The group hasn't released an album or toured the states since 2005's Waiting for the Sirens' Call, but expect a wide-ranging setlist of hits and obscurities.
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A$AP Rocky, Sept 21-Nov 18
A$AP Rocky has had an incredible year by anyone’s standards. He went from buzzed about underground artist to mixtape king to multi-millionaire major label signee to Rihanna’s stagemate at the 2012 VMAs. Now, just after the release of LongLiveASAP, his major label debut, A$AP is going on tour. As if A$AP alone wasn’t awesome enough, most tour dates will include Danny Brown and ScHool boy Q as openers.
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Father John Misty, Sept 15-Dec 29
Pull up YouTube footage of the former Fleet Foxes drummer performing "Only Son of the Ladies Man" on 'Letterman,' and you'll head directly online to get tickets to your local show: Dude is suave and hilarious, introspective and poignant all at once on tracks from his debut, 'Fear Fun.'
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The Weeknd, Sept 18-Oct 29
Just as the weather's getting cooler, you'll have an excuse to take your guy or gal to a Weeknd show and stand really close to each other. The Canadian sex jam master is opening for Florence + the Machine during a few stops on her tour, and he's also hitting a handful of smaller venues solo for what are sure to be sold-out crowds. The dude hasn't even released a debut album yet.
Aubree Lennon for Fuse
Ben Gibbard, September 26-November 14
Thank god for whatever came between the Death Cab for Cutie frontman and his exe Zoe Deschanel, because Gibbard is more productive now ever. He's preparing to release his debut solo album, 'Former Lives,' on October 16 on Barsuk, and word is he's readying material for the next Death Cab material. Expect plenty of new, unreleased songs to be road tested.
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Sleigh Bells, Sept 27-Nov 2
After conquering Europe promoting their 2012 release, Reign of Terror, Brooklyn noise pop duo Sleigh Bells are bringing their show stateside (with hip hop producer AraabMuzik opening) for a concert that's sure to make you sweat through your leather hot pants. Alexis Krauss wannabes, make sure your nail art and bangs are fresh before you hit the venue.
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Passion Pit, Sept 14-Nov 29
Not too many synth-pop outfits translate their electronic joy into a complete "live" experience, but not too many bands (indie, pop or otherwise) have the songwriting savvy of Passion Pit. Talking economic downturns, reactionaries and personal depression in the context of falsetto-filled tunes IS strange, but it’s also bold. And when you see Michael Angelakos bring his words alive onstage, it all makes sense.
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Tame Impala, Sept 29-Nov 17
Calling all you hippies who want to have some kind of live communal music experience: Check out Aussie collective Tame Impala when they head out on the road this fall. They're in Europe through September and October but they start off their seven-date U.S. stint in November in—where else—Brooklyn.
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Dan Deacon, Now-Dec 10
Deacon’s live shows are notorious for fan interaction. In the past, the experimental pop musician – who usually plays from the venue’s floor, surrounded by the audience – stages dance offs between audience members, choreographs dance moves led by a guy in a bright red ball suit, and coordinates group singing. For the fall tour, he’s one upped himself with a smart phone app specifically designed for his live shows. Who knows how exactly it works, but you can be sure it will be an awesome show.
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The Walkmen, Sept 14-Oct 18
If the Walkmen’s fall tour in support of their new album, Heaven, is anything like their past tours, you won’t want to miss it. Singer Hamilton Leithauser’s raspy, soulful half-yell of a singing voice comes across perfectly live, and the bands instrumentation sounds even better in person than on record. Plus, they tour with a small brass band.
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Cat Power, Oct 11-Nov 8
Go because Chan Marshall, the enigmatic Miami-based singer-guitarist behind Cat Power, just released the best album of her career, 'Sun.' It's upbeat, confident, full of dance-y synths and straight up sunny positivity, all things previously absent from her career. And who knows, maybe Iggy Pop, who appears on album gem "Nothin But Time," will drop by to add vocals at a few shows, particularly the Miami tour-opener.
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Regina Spektor, Oct 2-Nov 17
Although most people know her for the cutesy heartbreak song "Fidelity," Spektor is one of the most fascinating and reliable singer-songwriters around. With each new album, she melds whimsy, intellect and shades of sadness with an impeccable sense of melody. And live? She's a flawless performer, bringing to mind a perfectionist like Cole Porter as much as a thoroughly modern girl.
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Divine Fits, Now-Nov 4
Spoon frontman Britt Daniel and Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs singer-guitarist Dan Boeckner have teamed up to create a little magic with their new project and its debut, 'A Thing Called Divine Fits.' It's a solid-gold collection of synth-laden indie pop jams that have Daniel and Boeckner trading verses and riffs. Both are strong leaders on their own, live the combined energy could be mind-blowing--YouTube videos of their first gig in Austin says as much.
Grizzly Bear, Sept 16-Oct 10
Grizzly Bear is touring this fall in support of their highly anticipated new album, Shields. Grizzly Bear’s sound – baroque, unique but still somehow poppy, at times at least – translates wonderfully live. It’s not a particularly lively show, but it is rich on detail, capturing all the complexities of their songs.
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Animal Collective, Sept 18-Oct 5
Having indulged in loops and samples in a big way on ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion,’ the Baltimore indie collective has coaxed Deakin back into the fold and is returning to the live instrumentation of their ‘Feels’ period. The result—‘Centipede Hz,’ their latest album—is step forward in dazzling experimentation that still retains the melody of ‘Merriweather.’ If you're a fan and you've never seen them in concert, do not miss them this time around.
The Raveonettes, Sept 21-Oct 12
Danish indie rockers Raveonettes are hitting the states September 21 in Portland after their Lollapalooza gig earlier this summer. The "Observations" band will also make a stopover at Austin City Limits in October. Their latest album, Observator, is the follow-up to last year's acclaimed Raven in the Grave.
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Smashing Pumpkins, Sept 22-Nov 4
They're not the Smashing Pumpkins you used to know (considering frontman Billy Corgan is the sole original member at this point), but their new album 'Oceania' certainly sounds like it, and Corgan is ALWAYS a solid live performer. Dude can play a knock-you-down guitar solo with the best of 'em.
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Flying Lotus, Sept 23-Oct 25
Since releasing his debut album 1983 in 2006, Los Angeles hip-hop/electronic producer Flying Lotus has been busy, consistently releasing EPs and albums like a man given six months to live. While hipsters, hip-hop heads and Warp devotees wait for 'Until the Quiet Comes,' his fourth album, they can at least watch the producer drop blips, glitches and squelches over trippy, woozy beats.
John Legend, Oct 16-Nov 21
The R&B crooner took some time away from the musical spotlight to get engaged to his model girlfriend and lend his career advice to contestants on the ABC singing competition show "Duets." But after putting the final touches on his fourth album, Love In the Future, the "Ordinary People" singer is hitting the road again. His set is said to be co-executive produced by Kanye West, producer Dave Tozer, and Legend himself. Bring your sweethearts.
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Avicii, Sept 14-Oct 12
Last time we saw 23-year-old Swedish DJ Avicii at Lollapalooza, dude was spinning his ubiquitous style of house and electro-house from atop a giant, white head shooting lasers out of its eyes. Had we been on ‘shrooms, we would’ve been terrified, but the effect was mesmerizing. The producer has been growing in stature since “Levels” —aka that dance song you hear at every club every night—was released late last year, and when he performs at Radio City Music Hall on September 26 + 27, he’ll be the first DJ in the venue’s 80-year history to perform. He's already become the first electronic artist to headline a North American arena tour, so consider this a victory lap.
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Dinosaur Jr., Now-Oct 27
For a certain strain of ‘High Fidelity’-obsessed mid-30s male music nerd, the 2007 reformation of mid-‘80s/early ‘90s alt-rock kings Dinosaur Jr. was a watershed moment. Fine, they're not exactly a nostalgia act—their tenth album I Bet on Sky is out September 18—but you're not going for that. You're going to hear songs like "Raisans," reminisce when you first bought it at the indie store on vinyl and went home to hang out with your barista girlfriend. And that's perfectly okay.
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Justin Bieber, Sept 29-Jan 26
This one's a twofer! Not only is Justin Bieber hitting the pavement supporting his latest album, Believe, but Biebs is also bringing Carly Rae Jepsen with him. A warning to parents bringing their teen girls to the show: Bring ear plugs. One mom sued the pop star for $9M after suffering severe hearing loss at one of his 2010 shows.
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Amanda Palmer, Sept 11-Nov 17
If you want to see an alternative culture icon in the making, look no further than punk cabaret singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer. Her eclectic, prolific output has netted her a fiercely devoted set of fans that have allowed her to wholly circumvent the music industry as we know it. This is truly an artist whose continued success comes from the ground up. For an explanation as to why people like her so much, you're advised to check her out live.
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Bob Dylan, Oct 5-Nov 21
I mean... it's THE BOB DYLAN. He continues to release great albums in his twilight years, including the just dropped 'Tempest,' which features a track dedicated to John Lennon. While you may not recognize that version of "Like a Rolling Stone" that he's playing, one thing's for sure: If you haven't seen him, do it now before the dude's Never-Ending Tour finally comes to an end.
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The Who, Nov 1-Feb 26
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are bringing their classic 1973 rock opera ‘Quadrophenia’ back to life in its entirety this winter. And for a few Rhode Island fans, this concert is especially poignant. Ten fans still holding tickets to the band's canceled 1979 gig in Providence have been given vouchers to see this show when it hits Rhode Island in February. Classy move, Who duo.
Madonna, Aug 28-Nov 20
Sure, the European leg of Madonna’s MDNA Tour was marked by controversy, but those were mostly awesome scandals. After all, she defended gay rights in an increasingly homophobic St. Petersburg and cheekily mashed-up Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" with the eerily similar Madge classic "Express Yourself." Whether you liked her last LP or not, expect the hits and a great time.
David Byrne & St. Vincent, Sept 15-Oct 20
'Love This Giant,' the debut collaboration between Annie Clark, the sometime-delicate/sometime-fierce frontwoman for St. Vincent, and former Talking Heads singer turned rock elder statesman David Byrne, is a horn lover's wet dream. Eschewing the guitar, the instrument of choice for both musicians, we're curious as to how the two idiosyncratic performers (one of which, St. Vincent, has been known to crowd-surf and thrash around in the crowd) will fare with the newer material.
R. Kelly, Oct 13-Dec 7
In a 20-year career, R. Kelly has lyrically become: the first man to have sex on Neptune, a Jurassic Park-styled "sex-a-saurus," a man who can have sex while sleeping and a perpetual baby-maker able to pump out "Lil Kellys" like some horny college freshmen. You will probably see all of this live, in addition to a spotlight emanating from his crotch and showering the crowd with some illuminated R&Bukakke. Wear a raincoat.
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The xx, October 5-30
The xx’s new album, Angels, has been getting rave reviews for its spare, emotional, make-out friendly songs. Thankfully, their unique sound manages to remain intimate even in larger settings, so be sure to bring your date/boyfriend/girlfriend/whoever. The English group will visit 17 North American cities this fall, starting in Vancouver, BC on October 5th.
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Die Antwoord, October 13-22
South African hip-hop group Die Antwoord are taking their bizarre and excellent act on the road this fall. If you don’t know much about Antwoord, they’re often described as “freak rap,” which is about as apt description as you’ll find for them. That said, their live shows are fantastic – even if you don’t like the music, there’s always the WTF did I just see aspect.