Music News & Reviews

Your 2016 Central Kentucky summer music guide

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Summertime always seems to go hand in hand with fine music. Perhaps that’s why so much of it happens when daylight stretches well into the evening. Some of it is as close as a neighborhood theater. Other sounds beckon from nearby cities, triggering plans for a seasonal road trip.

As in years past, we have assembled a list of concert activity between now — the unofficial start of summer — to mid-September, the all-too-official beginning of autumn. All shows are well within a two-hour drive of Lexington and represent everything from a turn at the Kentucky State Fair to a weekend at Forecastle to a swing by the Master Musicians Festival, and much more.

As always, double-check performance info with the venue for any late changes if you’re hitting the road for a show. All start times are subject to change.

Here are the concerts — more than 170 of them. The rest of the fun is up to you.

Tickets to most shows are available at Ticketmaster.com, unless otherwise noted.

June

▪  June 1: Dixie Chicks, Augustana. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. Sold out.

▪  June 3: Cage the Elephant, Portugal, The Man, Twin Peaks. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. 6 p.m. $25-$45.

▪  June 3-5: Bunbury Festival featuring The Killers, Mudcrutch, Deadmau5, Ice Cube, Florence + the Machine, Of Monsters and Men, Grimes, Elle King, more. Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove, Cincinnati. 1 p.m. Only single-day tickets available, $89 daily. Bunburyfestival.com.

▪  June 3: Cowboy Jukebox. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 9 p.m., $10.

▪  June 4: Salt N Pepa, Color Me Badd, All 4 One, Tone Loc, Rob Base, Young MC, Kool Moe Dee. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. 7 p.m. $56-$130.

▪  June 4: Cowboy Jukebox. Bogart’s, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $10.

▪  June 5: Selena Gomez. U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $30.50-$74.50.

▪  June 6: John Doe, Jesse Dayton. Taft Theatre Ballroom , Cincinnati. 8 p.m., $17-$22.

▪  June 7: Haim. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $30.

▪  June 7: Steely Dan, Steve Winwood. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $30-$125.

▪  June 8: The Joy Formidable. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8:30 p.m., $15.

▪  June 9-12: Festival of the Bluegrass featuring Lonesome String Band, The Wooks, IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Highway, Town Mountain, 23 String Band. Kentucky Horse Park Campground. 7 p.m. $20, $100. Festivalofthebluegrass.com.

▪  June 9: Nikki Hill. Willie’s Locally Known. 9 p.m. $8. Willieslocallyknown.com.

▪  June 9: Leon Bridges, Solo Woods. Brown Theatre, Louisville. 8 p.m. Sold Out.

▪  June 10: Ray LaMontagne. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $39.50-$69.50.

▪  June 11: Billy “Crash” Craddock. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $25-$30. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  June 11: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $20.

▪  June 11: Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, The Early November. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 6:30 p.m. $30.95-$50.95.

▪  June 11: John Conlee. Madison Theater, Covington. 7 p.m. $27-$55.

▪  June 12: Will Hoge. Willie’s Locally Known. 9 p.m. $19. Willieslocallyknown.com.

▪  June 13: Hinder, Like a Storm. 20th Century Theatre, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $25.

▪  June 13: Stu Hamm. The Southgate House Revival, Newport. 7:30 p.m. $20, $25. Southgatehouse.com.

▪  June 14, 15: Jason Isbell, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. Taft Theatre, Cincinnati. 8 p.m., $28.50-$48.50.

▪  June 14: Whitesnake, Whitford and St. Holmes. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $33-$53.

▪  June 14: Lake Street Dive, Holy Ghost Tent Revival. Madison Theater, Covington. 8 p.m. $25-$30.

▪  June 15: Weird Al Yankovic. Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville. 7:30 p.m. $35, $269.

▪  June 16: Jaon Eady, Justin Wells. Willie’s Locally Known. 9 p.m. $10. Willieslocallyknown.com.

▪  June 16: Dead & Company. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $40-$149.50.

▪  June 17: David Wax Museum, Wax Fang, The Landers. WUKY-FM’s Phoenix Fridays, Phoenix Park. 5:30 p.m. Free.

▪  June 17: Awolnation, Irontom. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 7 p.m., $25.

▪  June 17: Luke Combs, Six Gunz South. Madison Theater, Covington. 8 p.m. $15-$20.

▪  June 18: Jack Harlow. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 9 p.m., $12.

▪  June 18: The Oak Ridge Boys. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $35-$45.Renfrovalley.com.

▪  June 18: The Steve Miller Band. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $57.50-$95.

▪  June 19: .38 Special, Eddie Money, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Georgia Satellites, Tommy Tutone, Artimus Pyle. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. 3:30 p.m. $43-$130.

▪  June 21: Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $36-$136.

▪  June 22: Selena Gomez, Dnce. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. 6:30 p.m. $33.50-$126.

▪  June 22: Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $59.50-$149.50.

▪  June 22: Blitzen Trapper, Quiet Life. The Southgate House Revival, Newport. 8 p.m. $13, $15. Southgatehouse.com.

▪  June 23: Malcom Holcombe, David Olney. The Southgate House Revival, Newport. 8 p.m. $15, $18. Southgatehouse.com.

▪  June 23: R. Kelly. U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $69-$109.

▪  June 24: Justin Bieber. U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $50.50-$116.

▪  June 25: The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with Kristin Chenoweth. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $15-$80. My.cincinnatisymphony.org

▪  June 26: Rascal Flatts, Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Lane. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $29-$58.75.

▪  July 27: Dale Watson. Willie’s Locally Known. 9 p.m. $17. Willieslocallyknown.com.

▪  June 27: Ani DiFranco. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $25.

▪  June 29: Passion Pit. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $35.

▪  June 30: Awolnation, Death from Above, Irontom. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $33-$45.

▪  June 30: Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Dale Watson. The Southgate House Revival, Newport. 8:30 p.m. $20, $22. Southgatehouse.com.

July

▪  July 1: Buckcherry. Manchester Music Hall. 6 p.m.$25-$100. Manchestermusichall.com.

▪  July 1: Zac Brown Band, Drake White and the Big Fire. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $32.50-$79.50.

▪  July 2: Must Die!, Terravita, Vice Versa, more. Madison Theater, Covington. 8:30 p.m. $20-$25.

▪  July 5: Dawes, The Lone Bellow. Taft Theatre, Cincinnati. 8 p.m., $32.50.

▪  July 5: Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, Tesla. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $25-$99.50.

▪  July 6: Guns N’ Roses. Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati. $59-$250

▪  July 6: Barenaked Ladies, OMD, Howard Jones. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $41-$76.

▪  July 7: Phillip Phillips, Matt Nathanson, A Great Big World. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $36.50-$55.

▪  July 8-9: Master Musicians Festival featuring Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Dale Ann Bradley, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, James McMurtry, more. Somerset Community College, Somerset. 4:30 p.m., $55. Mastermusiciansfestival.org.

▪  July 8: Chris Cornell. Taft Theatre, Cincinnati. 8 p.m., $50.50-$76.

▪  July 8: Weird Al Yankovic. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $35-$57.50.

▪  July 9: Vanilla Ice, C+C Music Factory, Freedom Williams, more. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $30.

▪  July 9: LeAnn Rimes. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $45-$55. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  July 10: Paul McCartney. U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $39.50-$253.

▪  July 12: Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice and Men. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 6:30 p.m. $30-$79.

▪  July 14: The Fairfield Four. Willie’s Locally Known. 9 p.m. $15. Willieslocallyknown.com.

▪  July 14: Keith Urban, Brett Eldredge, Maren Morris. 7:30 p.m. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $28.50-$63.25.

▪  July 15: 7 Horse, Star & Micey, Warren Byrom and the Fabeled Canelands. WUKY-FM’s Phoenix Fridays, Phoenix Park. 5:30 p.m. Free.

▪  July 15: Freakwater. Cosmic Charlie’s. 10 p.m. $10, $12.

▪  July 15-17: Forecastle Festival featuring The Avett Brothers, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Grouplove, Alabama Shakes, The Arcs, Death Cab for Cutie, Ryan Adams, Brandi Carlisle, Glass Animals, Ghostland Observatory, Moon Taxi, more. Waterfront Park, Lousville. $69.50-$199.50. Forecastlefestival.com.

▪  July 15: Cale Tyson, Michaela Anne. Willie’s Locally Known. 9 p.m. $7. Willieslocallyknown.com.

▪  July 15: Sublime with Rome, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds, Bleeker. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 6:35 p.m. $32.50-$49.50.

▪  July 16: Faith Evans, Joe. Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville. 8 p.m. $53-$73.

▪  July 16: Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $30-$35. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  July 16: Joe Walsh, JD and the Straight Shot. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $39.50-$89.50.

▪  July 16: Daddy featuring Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack. The Southgate House Revival, Newport. 7:30 p.m. $18, $20. Southgatehouse.com.

▪  July 18: Victor Wainwright. WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. 6:45 pm. Woodsongs.com.

▪  July 19: Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$75.

▪  July 19: Savages. Taft Theatre Ballroom, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $20-$25.

▪  July 20: Daryl Hall and John Oates, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $25-$110.

▪  July 20: Parachute. Taft Theatre Ballroom, Cincinnati. 8 p.m., $25-$28.

▪  July 20: Savages. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $20.

▪  July 21: Vans Warped Tour. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 11 a.m. $40.50.

▪  July 22: Wynonna and the Big Noise. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $35-$45. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  July 22-23: Cincinnati Music Festival featuring New Edition, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Fantasia, Charlie Wilson, Maze with Frankie Beverly, Ledesi. Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $55-$125.

▪  July 22: Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 6:30 p.m. $20.25-$101.

▪  July 23: Zakk Wylde. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $29.

▪  July 23: Michael Franti and Spearhead. Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville. 8 p.m. $26-$30.

▪  July 23: Bush, Chevelle. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. Cincinnati. 6 p.m. $35-$59.50.

▪  July 23: Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. Taft Theatre, Cincinnati. 8 p.m., $32.50-$59.50.

▪  July 24: Aretha Franklin with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $35-$125.

▪  July 26: Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle. Lexington Opera House. 7:30 p.m., $55.50.

▪  July 26: 5 Seconds of Summer, One OK Rock, Hey Violet. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $25-$79.95.

▪  July 27: Coldplay, Alessia Cara, Foxes. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. 7 p.m. $29.50-$179.50.

▪  July 27: Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge, Saint Asonia. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 6:30 p.m. $29.95-$79.95.

▪  July 28: Jake Shimabukuro. Brown Theatre, Louisville. 8 p.m. $25, $35.

▪  July 28: Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Emmylou Harris. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $43.50-$75.

▪  July 29: Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. Lexington Opera House. 7:30 p.m., $85.50.

▪  July 29: Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. 7 p.m. $29.95-$89.95.

▪  July 29: Journey, The Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $38-$145.

▪  July 30: Ronnie Milsap. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $41-$51. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  July 30: Carcass. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 7:30 p.m., $25.

▪  July 30: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, North Mississippi All-Stars. PNC Pavilion. Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $52-$79.

▪  July 31: G-Eazy, Logic, Yo Gatti, YG. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 6:30 p.m. $25-$69.50.

August

▪  Aug. 1: We Banjo 3. WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. 6:45 pm. Woodsongs.com.

▪  Aug. 1: Diana Ross, Rhonda Ross. PNC Pavilion. Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $46-$96.

▪  Aug. 2: Marianas Trench. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $22.50.

▪  Aug. 2: 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream, Ryan Cabrera. PNC Pavilion. Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $33.50-$85.

▪  Aug. 3: Mark Normand. Cosmic Charlie’s. 9 p.m. $10.

▪  Aug. 3: Lake Street Dive, Aoife O’Donovan. Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville. 8 p.m. $25-$30.

▪  Aug. 3: Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, Tribe Society. PNC Pavilion. Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $39.50-$75.

▪  Aug. 3: Ratt. Mercury Ballroom, Louisville. 8 p.m., $25.

▪  Aug. 4: Ratt. Bogart’s, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $30.

▪  Aug. 5: Sara Evans. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $30-$45. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  Aug. 6: Umphrey’s McGee, The Main Squeeze. Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville. 7 p.m. $27.50, $30.

▪  Aug. 7: Korn, Rob Zombie, In This Moment. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 6:30 p.m. $25-$69.50.

▪  Aug. 8: Layla Zoe, Ina Forsman, Tasha Taylor, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. 6:45 p.m. Woodsongs.com.

▪  Aug. 9: Deerhoof. Cosmic Charlie’s. 10 p.m. $12.

▪  Aug. 9: Dolly Parton. Newlin Hall, Norton Center for the Arts, Danville. 7:30 p.m., $175-$500. On sale June 6.

▪  Aug. 9: Gwen Stefani, Eve. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $29.95-$149.95.

▪  Aug. 10: Blink 182, A Day to Remember, The All-American Rejects. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $25-$75.

▪  Aug. 12: Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. $32.50-$138.

▪  Aug. 13: Shenandoah. Manchester Music Hall. 7 p.m. $25. Manchestermusichall.com.

▪  Aug. 13 (sold out), 14: Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $31-$79.75.

▪  Aug. 14: Chris Botti. Brown Theatre, Louisville. 7 p.m. $45.

▪  Aug. 14: Gangstagrass. The Southgate House Revival, Newport. 7:30 p.m. $15. Southgatehouse.com.

▪  Aug. 17: The Beach Boys, The Four Tops. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $23.50-$63.

▪  Aug. 18: Reba, Parmalee. Kentucky State Fair, Freedom Hall. 7:30 p.m. $46-$58.

▪  Aug. 18: Darius Rucker, Dan + Shay, Michael Ray. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $28.50-$48.25.

▪  Aug. 19: Vandaveer, Nellie Pearl, Ben Lacy and Friends. WUKY-FM’s Phoenix Fridays, Phoenix Park. 5:30 p.m. Free.

▪  Aug. 19: Jeff Dunham. Kentucky State Fair. Freedom Hall.7 p.m. $40-$50.

▪  Aug. 20: Earl Thomas Conley. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. TBA $25-$35. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  Aug. 20: Counting Crows, Ron Thomas. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 6:45 p.m. $26-$80.50.

▪  Aug. 21: Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $42.50-$85.

▪  Aug. 23: Don Henley. PNC Pavilion, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $35-$149.50.

▪  Aug. 23: Soja, Fortunate Youth. Madison Theater, Covington. 8 p.m. $25, $27.

▪  Aug. 24: Kurt Vile and the Violators. Manchester Music Hall. 9 p.m. $20. Manchestermusichall.com.

▪  Aug. 26: Puff Daddy, Lil Kim, Mase, Faith Evans, others. U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $29.50-$125.

▪  Aug. 26: Jamey Johnson. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $40-$55. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  Aug. 26: Needtobreathe, Mat Kearney, John Mark McMillan, Welshly Arms. PNC Pavilion. Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $27.50-$54.50.

▪  Aug. 26: Kurt Vile and the Violators, The Sadies. Madison Theater, Covington. 8 p.m. $23, $25.

▪  Aug. 27: Moontower Music Festival featuring Manchester Orchestra, Drive-By Truckers, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, JR JR, others. Masterson Station Park. Noon. $49. Moontowermusicfestival.com.

▪  Aug. 27: The Lacs, Crucifix, Hard Target. Manchester Music Hall. 7 p.m. $15-$80. Manchestermusichall.com.

▪  Aug. 27: Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7:15 p.m. Sold Out.

▪  Aug. 27: Andy McKee, Owen Campbell. Taft Theatre Ballroom, Cincinnati. 8 p.m. $20-$22.

▪  Aug. 28: Andy McKee. Cosmic Charlie’s. 9 p.m. $20.

▪  Aug. 28: Chris Young, Brett Eldredge, Chris Lane. Kentucky State Fair, Freedom Hall. 7 p.m. $48-$60.

September

▪  Sept. 2-4: Red, White and Boom featuring Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, others. Whitaker Bank Ball Park. $179-$358 for 3 day admission. Lexingtonlegends.com.

▪  Sept. 3: Bobby Bare. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $25-$30. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  Sept. 8: Toby Keith, Eric Paslay. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $28.50-$58.25.

▪  Sept. 9: Loretta Lynn. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m. $55-$65. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  Sept. 9: Andrew Bird, Gabriel Kahane. Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville. 8 p.m. $33.50-$37.50.

▪  Sept. 10: R. Kelly. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. 7 p.m. $89, $110.

▪  Sept. 10: Gene Watson. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. 8:30 p.m., $25-$35. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  Sept. 11: Explosions in the Sky. Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville. 8 p.m.. $22, $24.

▪  Sept. 14: Andrew Bird, Gabriel Kahane. Madison Theater, Covington. 8 p.m. $35-$40.

▪  Sept. 16: John Anderson. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Renfro Valley. Renfrovalley.com.

▪  Sept. 16: NRBQ, Los Straitjackets. The Southgate House Revival, Newport. 9 p.m. $22, $25. Southgatehouse.com.

▪  Sept. 18: The Kills. Bogart’s, Cincinnati. 7 p.m. $22.50.

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