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.

For more, see best bets for: theater | classical music | visual art | dance | books | film | eclectic | suburban events.


Dwight Yoakam

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.

Country musician Sturgill Simpson will perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion in September.
Country musician Sturgill Simpson will perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion in September. (Amy Harris / Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Sturgill Simpson

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.

The Weeknd

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.

Rock act Rise Against headlines Pier Six Pavilion this fall.
Rock act Rise Against headlines Pier Six Pavilion this fall. (Travis Shinn)

Rise Against

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.

These lesser-known Baltimore galleries and performance spaces may not be on your radar. It’s time to change that.

Ray LaMontagne

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.

Singer/songwriter Regina Spektor performs at the Hippodrome on Nov. 11.
Singer/songwriter Regina Spektor performs at the Hippodrome on Nov. 11. (Shervin Lainez)

Regina Spektor

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.

Janet Jackson

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.