10 Minnesota Concerts That Will Make Your Summer

By Isaiah Neal

grandstand mn state fair
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

Music and summer go hand in hand, and some of the most memorable moments come from the ballads sung and the melodies hummed. Windows are rolled all the way down while we cruise through back roads, acoustic jam sessions take place by the lake, and seventh-inning stretches have everyone singing in sync. Many of today’s biggest names in music are headlining national tours that will bring everyone together to fill venues around the soulful state.

Drumroll please…Here is our round-up of 10 must-see performers stopping by Minnesota this summer.

Chance the Rapper, St. Paul

May 12, Xcel Energy Center

Chance the Rapper had the biggest year of musical career in 2016. Now, the South Side Chicago rapper is close to selling out St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center on stop No. 12 of his world tour. The newly awarded Grammy winner, who performed in the Twin Cities twice last summer on the “Family Matters Tour” and at Rock the Garden, is back on a much bigger stage. The gospel-rap masterpiece “Coloring Book” won Best Rap Album and even changed the rules of Grammy eligibility for all artists who release music on streaming-only platforms. If this tour is anything like past Chance journeys, expect an array of aesthetic appeals wrapped in joyful melodies and good vibes.

Tickets to experience this magnificent and colorful day are available at stpaultickets.com.

Tony Bennett, Moorhead

June 1, Bluestem Amphitheater

Bluestem Amphiteather, Moorhead_Urban Toad Media LLP
Photo courtesy Urban Toad Media LLP

Tony Bennett may be turning 91 this year, but the multitalented artist will continue to blow the audience away with his soothing show tunes when he comes to Moorhead this June. The ageless performer has thousands of classics at his disposal, and is sure to perform his hits such as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “The Good Life” and “I Wanna Be Around.” The humanitarian has a distinct voice that has been recognized for the last 60 years and sets the highest bar for pop music. Purchase tickets at bluestemamphiteater.org.

Alice Cooper, Hinckley & Mankato

June 8, Grand Casino Hinckley
June 9, Vetter Stone Amphitheater

When a complaint about the decibel levels of his concerts was brought to Alice Cooper’s attention, he replied “I guess I could have my snake swim over some ear plugs ... It’s the least I could do.” Snakes and fake blood have followed one of the world’s most beloved heavy metal entertainers ever since his first solo album, “Welcome to My Nightmare,” in 1975. Alice was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, where he reunited with former band members and insisted there was (figuratively speaking) “no bad blood.” Alice is scheduled to perform in Hinckley and Mankato this summer, giving fans the opportunity to see the artist’s captivating visual show. Tickets are still available to purchase through Ticketmaster.

KISS, Hinckley

July 15, Grand Casino Hinckley

KISS concert“Kisstory” will continue to be made in Minnesota as another tour is bringing the band closer to its fans this summer. The KISS legacy continues to live on for generation after generation to rock out and mosh to songs like “Detroit Rock City,” “Forever” and “Hard Luck Woman.” There seems to be an unbreakable bond between fans and this band. See them live at Grand Casino in Hinckley and purchase tickets at Ticketmaster.com.

Journey, Welch

July 1, Treasure Island

Believe it: Journey’s saga will live on with a 2017 tour with special guest Asia. The band has established itself as one of the most popular American rock bands of all time, producing some of the most well-known songs in modern music. The tour stops at Treasure Island where there will be a significant amount of gleaming cellphones illuminating the arena when the band plays their all-time favorites and Billboard hits. Tickets can still be found at Ticketmaster.com.

Santana, Prior Lake

July 13, Mystic Lake Casino

Carlos Santana_Maryanne Bilham
Photo by Maryanne Bilham

If you ask me, Carlos Santana is one of the most underrated living guitar players. For rhythmic enjoyers, Santana and his band provide a World Series sweep, a first-round knockout and a game seven buzzer beater. The Latin-American rock band that had hands clapping with its 1969 Woodstock performance will once again have the applause from fans at Mystic Lake Casino in July. Tickets are available through Vividseats and Ticketmaster.

Billy Joel, Minneapolis

July 28, Target Field

The “Piano Man” and living legend that is singer-songwriter Billy Joel is on tour and swinging for the fences at Target Field. Billy Joel has 33 Top 40 hits, 23 Grammy nominations, and has sold more than 10 million copies of his albums. While the concert doesn’t start at 9 o’clock on a Saturday, you can guarantee there will be a crowd settling in to see the iconic musician. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.

Guns N’ Roses, Minneapolis

July 30, U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium will welcome Guns N’ Roses for its seventh national tour since forming in 1985. Just a few blocks away lies the historic First Avenue, serving as a physical reminder of the “paradise city’s” deep roots within the music culture. Tickets and VIP packages are still available at Ticketmaster.com for a rock performance that will undoubtedly have listeners dressed in ripped Levi’s and the band’s famous two pistols and rose T-shirts.

Chris Stapleton, Duluth

Aug. 3, AMSOIL Arena

Get a good dose of country as double Grammy nominee Chris Stapleton travels to the shores of Lake Superior for the All-American Road Show tour. The established songwriter has written for artists such as Adele, Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker. The patriotic singer steps out from behind the curtains on this tour. Tickets are available exclusively through chrisstapleton.com.

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, St. Paul

Aug. 25-26, Xcel Energy Center  

Faith Hill Tim McGraw
Photo courtesy Xcel Energy Center

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill might be the most dominant couple in the country music world. The beloved duo is on tour for the first time in a decade, and they’ve come a long way since their first duet together, “It’s Your Love.” The Soul2Soul II Tour marks the 20th anniversary of the couple’s first tour and will captivate the hearts of all who come watch them perform for two nights in Minnesota. For more information on the tour, visit Soul2SoulTour.com, TimMcGraw.com or FaithHill.com.

Musical performances are always finding their way to the state of Minnesota. Additional concerts coming this summer include John Legend at Northrop (June 7), J. Cole at Xcel Energy Center (July 21), Coldplay at U.S. Bank Stadium (Aug. 12) and Lady Gaga at Xcel Energy Center (Aug. 21).

Find more music and arts events to keep you busy this summer on our Festivals & Events page.