To the dreary winter: You’ve had your time. Warm weather is almost here, and so is another busy concert season in the Baltimore area.
In terms of A-list, can’t-miss performances, we’re hoping the city’s venues still have some surprises in store. But the lineup so far for this spring and summer offers opportunities to dig deeper into exciting new artists (both local and otherwise) and to appreciate the stalwarts still grinding it out years into their career.
With that in mind, these are the 10 shows we circled first on our calendars. (Note: Dates, times and prices are subject to change.)
Bully & War On Women
Led by Alicia Bognanno, the Nashville alt-rock quartet Bully puts the singer/guitarist’s full-throated melodies against a winning background of grunge’s shaggy fuzz. But we’re most excited for Baltimore feminist punk act War On Women, who will celebrate the release of their new album for Bridge Nine Records, “Capture the Flag.” Expect a night of riffs and booming drums, led by captivating frontwomen. Shellshag will also perform. $14. 9 p.m. April 21 at the Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., Remington. 410-662-0069, theottobar.com.
Country star Dierks Bentley hits the road in support of his upcoming album, “The Mountain,” featuring the first single “Woman, Amen,” which feels arena-ready like a stomping Ed Sheeran song. The concert also marks a return to Maryland for Grammy nominees Brothers Osborne, the brother-duo of TJ and John Osborne from Deale in Anne Arundel County. They’ll likely play some new material, as their anticipated new album, “Port Saint Joe,” is released April 20. LANCO will also perform. $51-$249. 5:30 p.m. May 18 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. 410-715-5550, merriweathermusic.com.
Stacked Like Pancakes, the Baltimore-via-Towson brass-rock band, has been on an independent grind for years, self-booking tours around the country and crowd-funding their albums through online campaigns. In the process, they’ve built a loyal following (#PancakeNation they call it) that always comes out for their hometown shows. They’re raising money for their third album, “Strange Creatures,” and have already released the single “Hollow,” a more straightforward rock song with a punchy, horns-driven hook. 7 p.m. April 29 at the Ottobar.
More than a dozen years after forming, Soul Cannon, the talented hip-hop quartet from Baltimore, shows no signs of slowing down. Neither does frontman Eze Jackson, whose thoughtful and thought-provoking verses sound so smooth over the band’s inventive production. The all-Baltimore lineup is stacked with emerging talent, including :3LON, Dyyo and Nina Gala. $10. 8 p.m. May 25 at the Ottobar.
One of the best new voices in R&B comes from the 20-year-old Khalid, whose debut album, “American Teen,” earned him three Grammy nominations in January. Over two nights at Pier Six Pavilion (with the second added later due to demand), Khalid will perform album highlights like the ethereal “Location” and “Saved.” We’re holding out hope he’ll throw in “The Ways,” a dream-like standout from the “Black Panther” soundtrack that will gloriously float along the pavilion’s air. Tickets start at $46. 8 p.m. June 4-5 at Pier Six Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave., Inner Harbor. 410-547-7200, piersixpavilion.com.
In recent years, few evolutions in rock music have been as fascinating or rewarding as Paramore’s, the trio led by the stage-commanding Hayley Williams. The band, which began on the Warped Tour but quickly graduated to headlining arena shows, took another turn last May with the release of “After Laughter,” a new wave-inspired album whose sharp wit reveals itself more with each listen. Surely, they’ll play the hits that made them famous, too, like “Ain’t It Fun” and “Misery Business.” “Pumped Up Kicks” band Foster the People will also perform. $45-$86. 5:30 p.m. June 23 at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
It’s been a bumpy road for the Diplomats — the New York rap crew featuring Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey — with bouts of group infighting and inconsistent music that didn’t live up to their heyday. But the Diplomats — or more commonly referred to as Dipset — are one of rap’s most beloved groups for a reason: You didn’t just like their hard-hitting, tongue-twisting anthems, but you bought into their entire movement, from mixtapes and music videos to T-shirts and movies. We can’t wait to see that all-for-one energy on stage again. $40-$50. 7 p.m. June 24 at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, downtown. 410-244-1131, ramsheadlive.com.
Dish Baltimore Newsletter
Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.
Rumors have swirled for years that ’90s alt-rock heroes the Smashing Pumpkins (including the original lineup, minus bassist D’arcy Wretzky) will reunite this summer for a 36-city arena tour titled the “Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour.” We were relieved to hear the tour, which celebrates the band’s 30th anniversary, will completely focus on the band’s peak (and a bit after it), only playing songs from the 1991 debut “Gish” to 2000’s “Machina.” $29-$135. 7 p.m. July 27 at Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., downtown. 410-347-2020, royalfarmsarena.com.
Blue Ivy’s parents are set to hit the road together again. Their original “On the Run Tour” from 2014 was a fireworks-filled spectacle. But this time, the context is far more intriguing, as Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s most recent albums (“Lemonade” and “4:44,” respectively) deal directly with Jay’s infidelity and their marriage. So yeah, fireworks of a different kind. (The first date, July 27, is sold out.) $54.50-$355. 7:30 p.m. July 28 at FedExField, 1600 FedEX Way, Landover. 301-276-6050, ticketmaster.com.
After releasing two albums in 2015 (and a rarities compilation in 2017), Baltimore’s dream-pop duo has new music on the way: the appropriately titled “7,” Victoria LeGrand and Alex Scally’s seventh full-length record together. We’re hoping they lean into new material like the driving “Dive” and the hauntingly playful “Lemon Glow,” which brings a welcome pace to their trademark sound. In a live setting, Beach House’s material sounds and feels like a gorgeous reverie that could go on forever. There’s no Baltimore date for the world tour yet, so D.C. is the best bet. $38-$55. 6:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Anthem, 901 Wharf St. S.W., Washington. 202-888-0020, theanthemdc.com.