As part of The Baltimore Sun's Fall Arts Guide, we're picking the best arts activities coming to the area this fall. Here are the best pop music acts on the horizon.
Last year, singer-songwriter and actor Dwight Yoakam proved he could still surprise fans when he released "Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars …," an album of songs from his past, updated with a modern bluegrass sheen. At the Modell Lyric, expect a look back through his three decades of country hits. 8 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $36-$56. 410-900-1150, modell-lyric.com.
After releasing three critically acclaimed albums in three years, this Kentucky native has emerged as one of country's most refreshing new voices with a quiet, conversational approach. He's touring in support of 2016's "A Sailor's Guide to Earth," which was nominated at February's Grammys for album of the year. Fantastic Negrito will also perform. 8 p.m. Sept. 15 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $40-$59.50. 410-715-5550, merriweathermusic.com.
When the Weeknd introduced his brand of murky, intoxicated R&B at the beginning of the decade, the pop charts seemed an unlikely destination. Now, the Toronto native, born Abel Tesfaye, is one of the biggest names in music, with a powerful falsetto and a growing catalog of hits that effortlessly fill arenas. Gucci Mane and Nav will also perform. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at Capital One Arena (formerly Verizon Center), 601 F St. NW, Washington. $79.75-$150.75. 202-628-3200, capitalonearena.monumentalsportsnetwork.com.
A model of hard-rock consistency, Chicago's Rise Against has never shied away from creating urgent songs reflective of turbulent, political times. Touring in support of June's "Wolves," their eighth album, the quartet is still plugging away, speaking out loudly against those in charge of running the country. Pierce the Veil and White Lung will also perform. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at Pier Six Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. 7:30 p.m. $32.50. 410-547-7200, piersixpavilion.com.
A military brat who spent his formative years in Japan, MadeinTYO — aka Malcolm Davis — continues to mine his infectious brand of sing-songy, ad-lib-heavy rap first heard on his 2016 hit, "Uber Everywhere." The growth can be heard on his most recent tape, "Thank You, Mr. Tokyo." 24 Hrs and K Swisha will also perform. 8 p.m. Oct. 7 at Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place. $20-$22. 410-244-0057, baltimoresoundstage.com.
New Hampshire-born singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne returns to Baltimore in support of last year's "Ourboros," but expect a setlist spanning his six-album career. Dubbed the "Just Passing Through" tour, the occasion is LaMontagne's first acoustic tour in five years, and he's bringing a friend: Wilco's John Stirratt on acoustic bass. 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., downtown. $59-$350. 410-837-7400, france-merrickpac.com.
Sure to be a sweaty, invigorating set of anthemic rock, Vancouver duo Japandroids will perform in Baltimore in support of 2017's "Near to the Wild Heart of Life," their first release in nearly five years. Cloud Nothings will also perform. 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. $25-$30. 410-244-1131, ramsheadlive.com.
Few can be as captivating as singer/songwriter Regina Spektor, even with a piano as the indie-pop artist's lone accompaniment. That will be the setting for this intimate performance, which should feature plenty of tracks from her 2016 album, "Remember Us to Life." 8 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St. $59-$117. 410-837-7400, france-merrickpac.com.
Originally scheduled for February 2016 but delayed due to the singer's pregnancy, Janet Jackson finally returns to Baltimore for her "State of the World" tour. Expect a retrospective of hits spanning her 11-album career with touches of social commentary. 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at Royal Farms Arena. $39.50-$135. 410-347-2020, royalfarmsarena.com.
After a couple of solo-album missteps, Jay-Z released one of his strongest — and not coincidentally, most revealing — albums of his career with June's "4:44." It'll be fascinating to see and hear some of these bare and minimalist tracks translated for an arena. Nov. 29 at Capital One Arena. 8 p.m. $75-$220. 202-628-3200, capitalonearena.monumentalsportsnetwork.com.