15 can’t-miss concerts in Boston this March

From Mariah Carey to Ariana Grande, KISS to Dropkick Murphys.

Mariah Carey performs at the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square
Mariah Carey performs at the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square –Brent N. Clarke / Invision / AP, File

An American Idol and a four-night run from a familiar Phish bassist are just two of this city’s March music events.

Pop stardom

Kelly Clarkson
From “American Idol” to selling more than 25 million albums, few artists have defined the ’00s quite like Kelly Clarkson. Traveling the US as part of her Meaning of Life Tour, Clarkson will appear at TD Garden, along with Nashville country singer Kelsea Ballerini and “The Voice” graduate and Longmeadow native Brynn Cartelli. (Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston; $40-$399; all ages; with Kelsea Ballerini, Brynn Cartelli; tickets available here)  

Ella Mai
British songwriter Ella Mai had a big 2018, putting out her debut self-titled album in October, hitting the road with Bruno Mars, and grabbing two Grammy nominations for her song “Boo’d Up.” Headlining Boston for the first time, Mai will appear at Royale. (Saturday, March 9 at 6 p.m.; Royale, Boston; $107-$355; all ages; tickets available here)


Swedish pop superstar Robyn has evolved in many ways since her 1995 debut, garnering critical acclaim and multiple Grammy nods in the more than 20 years since. The singer released her eighth album, “Honey,” last fall, and will make her way to House of Blues, along with West Coast producer Channel Tres and British synthpop act Kindness. (Monday, March 11 at 6 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $65-$85; all ages; with Channel Tres, Kindness; tickets available here)

Ariana Grande
Chart-topping pop sensation Ariana Grande has had an enormous year, still riding the wave of last summer’s “Sweetener” and finding enormous success with February’s quick follow-up, “Thank U, Next.” One of the biggest names in music, Grande is embarking on a world tour that will bring her to TD Garden with the help of former Fifth Harmony singer Normani and Pittsburgh producer duo Social House. (Wednesday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston; $104-$4,245; with Normani, Social House; tickets available here)   

Mariah Carey
One of the supreme pop divas of her generation, Mariah Carey is responsible for more than 200 million record sales worldwide, countless Billboard-charting hits, and five Grammy Award wins. Traveling the world behind November’s “Caution,” her 15th album, Carey will appear at Wang Theatre. (Tuesday, April 2 at 8 p.m.; Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston; $69-$499; all ages; tickets available here)

Hip-hop heavy hitters


Florida-based vocalist T-pain is responsible for some of hip-hop’s most memorable hooks of the past 15 years. More recently, the singer and rapper has reinvented his live performance, ditching the autotune and often featuring a full backing band for a different kind of experience. In fact, on Wednesday he won Fox reality show “The Masked Singer” on his natural voice alone. T-Pain will play Royale, along with New York-based rapper Abby Jasmine. (Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m.; Royale, Boston; $30-$33; 18+; with Abby Jasmine; tickets available here)

North Shore native Ben Goldberg, known behind the mic as Token, has gained traction over the course of two records, most recently 2018’s “Between Somewhere.” The rapper has found himself freestyling on one of the biggest national radio morning shows and acting in a Mark Wahlberg film, and will headline his biggest hometown show to date at The Paradise. (Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; $20; all ages; with Kur; tickets available here)

Rootsy and jammy

Cass McCombs
West Coast music man Cass McCombs has produced a steady output since 2002, making nine albums and redefining his sound several times in the process. His new record, “Tip of the Sphere,” builds upon his signature dessert psych sound, and will bring him to The Sinclair with Brooklyn songwriter Sam Evian. (Saturday, March 9 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair, Cambridge; $18-$20; 18+; with Sam Evian; tickets available here)

Natalie Merchant and Lunasa
Folk rock songwriter and former 10,000 Maniacs vocalist Natalie Merchant recently collaborated with traditional Irish instrumentalists Lunasa during her summer UK tour. The partnership was so fruitful that Merchant is now touring the US with the group, playing a show at The Wilbur. (Tuesday, March 19 at 8 p.m.; The Wilbur, Boston; $106-$380; all ages; tickets available here)


Mike Gordon
Mike Gordon holds down the low end as the bassist for Vermont jam vets Phish, but his solo band has picked up steam over the past decade, too. Always finding a crowd in the northeast, the Sudbury native will play The Sinclair for four consecutive nights. (Thursday, March 21 at 8 p.m. through Sunday, March 24 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair, Cambridge; $32.50-$35; 18+; tickets available here)

Hard rockers

Dropkick Murphys
A St. Patrick’s Day in Boston would be incomplete without hometown heroes Dropkick Murphys providing the soundtrack. The celebrated punks will play their annual four-night run at House of Blues, complete with a rotating lineup of opening acts, an acoustic set, and a boxing event on Saturday. (Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m. through Sunday, March 17 at 6 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $49-$75; all ages; with The Interrupters and Stop Calling Me Frank (3/14), Booze & Glory and Amigo the Devil (3/15), The Devil Makes Three and Booze & Glory (3/16), and Lenny Lashley (3/17); tickets available here)

Influential ’90s emo punk trio Jawbreaker called it quits right when they were getting their major label break in 1995. More than 20 years later, the band has had a resurgence in the emo community and is reuniting for their first tour since originally disbanding, stopping at House of Blues along the way. (Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $40-$50; all ages; with War on Women, Pohgoh; tickets available here)

Vundabar and Sidney Gish
Two locals are combining forces to bring Boston to the big stage. Garagey trio Vundabar has made a quick climb to international attention over the course of three successful records, while songwriter Sidney Gish made an enormous splash onto the map thanks to two highly buzzed-about albums in 2017. The two will headline the Paradise, along with fellow Boston pals Future Teens. (Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; $15; all ages; with Future Teens; tickets available here)

Guitar heroes

Elaborate hard rockers KISS have toured the world both with and without makeup since 1973. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are hitting the road for one final tour, making a stop at TD Garden for their final Boston show. (Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston; $55-$995; all ages; tickets available here)

Gary Clark Jr.
Texas-bred guitar man Gary Clark Jr. has kept the blues alive over the past decade, sharing the stage with veteran rockers from The Rolling Stones to B.B. King while forging his own modernized sound. Now the Grammy winner is touring behind his new album, “This Land,” and stopping in Boston for two nights at House of Blues. (Tuesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, March 27 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $44-$64; all ages; tickets available here)


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