The best summer concerts: July
Tue May 17 2011
Photograph: Chris Taylor
6 Jennifer Hudson
. 8pm; $59.50--$79.50.
7 My Brightest Diamond Win VIP tickets
. 7pm; free, tickets required.
11, 12 Bill Callahan Win tickets
Poll indie-rockers about their favorite contemporary songwriters, and odds are high that Bill Callahan's name will surface. The grim-faced singer has been on a roll since abandoning his Smog moniker in 2007, culminating in Apocalypse, his cerebral new album. July 11: . July 12: . 9pm; $20.
12 Animal Collective
One of 2009's best live music events was a two-night stand at Prospect Park by avant-pop MVPs Animal Collective; this summer, the ambitious four-piece will coalesce in New York City for the first time since then, testing out their spacey, jammy new material. . 5:30pm; $35.
12 Kid Rock + Sheryl Crow Win tickets
If we're going with record sales as a barometer of success, there's probably not a bigger bill this summer than cock-rocker Kid Rock and '90s adult-contemporary titan Sheryl Crow. PNC Bank Arts Center. 7pm; $37--$87.
13 James Blake Win tickets
The 22-year-old British wunderkind works at a high level of difficulty by stitching together sonic styles like dubstep and soul; his live show isn't to be missed, because despite the vocal murkiness of his self-titled debut, this bloke can really sing. . 8:30pm; $25.
13, 15 A Perfect Circle
July 13: , 7pm. July 15: , 8pm. $59.50--$95.
. 7pm; free.
16 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival featuring Q--Tip and Friends
Brooklyn Bodega. Noon--9pm; $15.
18 Levon Helm Band + Emmylou Harris with special guest Hayes Carll
We're hoping for a joint version of the heavenly "Evangeline" as these two American survivors share an outdoor bill with singer-songwriter Hayes Carll. Band stickman Levon Helm's voice is iffy these days, but his buoyant drum-set pulse hasn't aged a day; Harris, meanwhile, has an LP's worth of new originals, Hard Bargain, to draw on. . 6pm; advance $40, at the door $50.
19, 21 Rihanna + Cee Lo Green
RiRi preps her shortest shorts for these two super-hot NYC dates with rotund, gleeful soulman Cee Lo. There's a reason why she's among the best-selling artists of all time: Expect to get good and sweaty dancing to songs like "Only Girl (in the World)" and of course, "Umbrella." July 19: . July 21: . Time TBA; $39.75--$278.39.