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10 shows to see during the Hollywood Bowl's 2016 summer season

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano
Editor, Time Out Los Angeles
Sufjan Stevens at Coachella 2016; Day 1; Weekend 1
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanSufjan Stevens
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We would buy tickets to every show at the Hollywood Bowl if traffic and our wallets allowed it. The gorgeous outdoor amphitheater's stunning setting alone justifies a visit, but every year the LA Phil manages to match the venue's charms with an equally appealing lineup.

With single tickets set to go on sale Sunday, May 1, at 10am, we thought we'd dive into this summer's must-see concerts and theater performances at the Bowl. If you plan on attending multiple shows, consider a subscription series or a multi-concert plan to save a few bucks and get a jumpstart on single ticket sales.

Brian Wilson performs Pet Sounds + M. Ward
Sun, July 10, 7pm

Alongside founding Beach Boys member Al Jardine and later addition Blondie Chaplin, Brian Wilson will play through the landmark album Pet Sounds—including the sun-swept harmonies of “Wouldn't It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows”—for its 50th anniversary. As if we needed another reason to attend, the excellent M. Ward opens with a set of timeless, nostalgia-tinged folk.

West Side Story
Thu, July 14, 8pm; Tue, July 19, 8pm

Its Broadway-defining hits—"Maria," "America," "Somewhere" and "Tonight"—speak for themselves, but West Side Story is as poignant, powerful and achingly beautiful as it was in the mid-'50s. Hear Gustavo Dudamel conduct the LA Phil in this concert performance of the classic Leonard Bernstein score.

Weird Al Takes the Bowl
Fri, July 22, 8pm; Sat, July 23, 8pm

At the fine age of 56, “Weird Al” Yankovic proves he’s still the weirdest kid on the block—and he wears the crown proudly. Spitting comedic lyrics to the music industry’s biggest hits, Al has roped in the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to this two-night stand; Straight No Chaser opens.

Sufjan Stevens + Kurt Vile and the Violators + Ibeyi
Sun, Aug 7, 7pm

Sufjan Stevens manages to wrap complexly arranged suites and heartbreaking acoustic songs into shows that are always memorable and never alike. He shares the bill with lo-fi psych troubadour Kurt Vile and the smooth yet haunting sounds of twin sisters Ibeyi.

Rodrigo y Gabriela
Sun, Aug 14, 7:30pm

Childhood friends Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero used to be in a thrash metal band before they moved to the seaside to hone their slinky take on flamenco. That heavy background shines through in their visceral live shows, full of frenzied fretwork and—in this case—backed by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

Mega Nova
Wed, Aug 24, 8pm

Mega Nova is one of those rare supergroup's whose lineup actually lives up to the "super" part. Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana (UPDATE: Santana has withdrawn from the show) and his wife, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, lead this funk and jazz ensemble that also includes pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bass guitarist Marcus Miller and multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones.

Fireworks Finale with Jeff Lynne's ELO
Fri, Sep 9, 8pm; Sat, Sep 10, 8pm; Sun, Sep 11, 7:30pm

The Electric Light Orchestra is back in business; symphonic pop master Jeff Lynne played the Fonda last year to launch ELO’s intimate new album Alone in the Universe, but this fireworks finale with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra promises more of the bombastic, string-laden '70s outfit you know and (should) love.

Brainfeeder at the Hollywood Bowl
Sat, Sep 17, 7pm

Flying Lotus has created one of the most unique, experimental beat-heavy incubators under his Brainfeeder imprint. Label mates Thundercat and the Gaslamp Killer, as well as Shabazz Palaces, join FlyLo for an evening of deconstructed jazz and instrumental hip-hop. Oh, and did we mention that the legendary George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic will be performing, too?

Kraftwerk 3-D
Sun, Sep 18, 7pm

The krautrock and electronic pioneers sent museumgoers into a frenzy over their hot-ticket shows in New York and London institutions. The quartet appears here under its "Kraftwerk 3-D" moniker—a projection and animation-filled spectacle that brings the proto-techno group into the 21st century.

Sigur Rós
Sat, Sep 24, 8pm

Distinguished by the astonishing, crystalline voice of frontman Jónsi Birgisson, the Icelandic post-rockers play the Hollywood Bowl armed with seven albums worth of material. Outside of a field in Iceland, we can't think of a better location for the band's epic, neo-classical soundscapes than the Bowl.

See more of our favorite shows at the Hollywood Bowl this summer including Bloc Party, Culture Club, John Williams and more.

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