15 can’t miss concerts in Boston this May

From Peter Wolf to Justin Bieber.

Kayana Scymczak/The Boston Globe

If it’s true that April showers bring May flowers, then Boston’s concert scene is blossoming into quite the beauty. Before it’s too late, plan accordingly so that you can catch as many shows as possible.

From two former lovers at the top of the pop charts to several Boston bands celebrating new albums to artists coming together to celebrate the life of Prince, here are some of the best live acts in the city this month.

Locals Releasing Records

You Won’t

Local folk duo You Won’t is releasing its sophomore album, Revolutionaries, on April 29, and to celebrate, they’ll be headlining The Sinclair with Jocelyn Mackenzie and Alpenglow.


(Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair; $12; 18+; with Jocelyn Mackenzie and Alpenglow; tickets available here)

Hallelujah the Hills

Boston vets Hallelujah the Hills just released their fifth album over the course of more than a decade of being a band. They’ll send the new album into the world with a locally stacked bill at Great Scott.

(Thursday, May 12 at 9 p.m.; Great Scott; $10; 18+; with Swale and Old Hat; tickets available here)

Debo Band

Jamaica Plain’s Debo Band is one of the best and most authentic Ethiopian funk bands on American soil. They’re releasing a new album Ere Gobez on May 20 and are taking to The Sinclair along with Providence’s What Cheer? Brigade.

(Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m.; The Sinclair; $15; 18+; with What Cheer? Brigade; tickets available here)

Mr. Lif

Local hip-hop legend Mr. Lif has worked with everyone from Thievery Corporation to Galactic to Akrobatik. Now he’s releasing his sixth full-length album, Don’t Look Down, in the familiar setting of Middle East Upstairs.

(Thursday, May 5 at 10:30 p.m.; Middle East Upstairs; $13; 18+; with Red Pill; tickets available here)

Pop Royalty

Justin Bieber

Love him or hate him, Justin Bieber is going to be in the city of Boston for two straight nights. Plan accordingly.


(Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden; $50.50-$126; all ages; tickets available here)

Selena Gomez

“Hands to Myself” singer and former Disney star Selena Gomez will pack the Garden just a few short weeks after former squeeze Justin Bieber makes work of it. #TeamSelena will be out in full force.

(Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden; $37-$87; all ages; tickets available here)

Boston Institutions

Boston Pops Opening Night

Boston’s premiere orchestra kicks its 2016 season off with special guest Seth MacFarlane. Other guests this summer include Brian Wilson, John Williams, and Mandy Patinkin.

(Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m.; Symphony Hall; $40-$130; all ages; tickets available here)

Together Boston

Boston’s own electronic music and technology festival takes over town for the seventh year, presenting acts such as London’s Floating Points, San Francisco’s Giraffage, and Michigan’s Matthew Dear throughout the week.

(Sunday, May 15 through Sunday, May 21; various venues; $190 for a festival pass; various age restrictions; tickets available here)

Hip-Hop Heavy Hitters

Del the Funky Homosapien

You’ve heard Del the Funky Homosapien many places, from a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Soundtrack, to his work with Gorillaz, to his verses in Hieroglyphics, or his supergroup Deltron 3030. (He’s also Ice Cube’s cousin!). He’ll be heading up a big bill at the Middle East.


(Friday May 6 at 8 p.m.; Middle East Downstairs; $18; 18+; with DJ Shiftee, Sean Anonymous, ESH & Arc, Baeja Vu; tickets available here)


Def Jam lyricist and Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Redman has eight solo albums to his name and starred in one of the all-time great episodes of MTV Cribs. He will perform in the very intimate setting of Boston’s Hard Rock Cafe.

(Saturday, May 28 at 8 p.m.; Hard Rock Cafe; $69.57-$138.14; 21+; with Termanology, Notoriety, Cife….Man; tickets available here)

A Taste of Something Different


J-Pop metal band Babymetal has been fascinating American audiences lately with its odd combination of influences. Their new perspective on heavy music has gained the group enormous traction, earning them a headlining spot at House of Blues in their first ever stop in Boston.

(Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues; $37.50-$50; all ages; tickets available here)

David Liebe Hart

The puppeteer famous for his educational songs on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job tours through Boston and brings some of his odd tunes to Out of the Blue Too Gallery.

(Friday, May 27 at 8:30 p.m.; Out of the Blue Too Gallery; $12.50; all ages; with Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Tredici Bacci, and Listening Woman; tickets available here)

Rock of Ages


Montreal post-punks Ought tour through Cambridge in support of 2015’s Sun Coming Down, bringing along Priests and Allston’s own Ursula for support.

(Wednesday, May 4 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair; $15; 18+; with Priests and Ursula; tickets available here)

We Could Never Take The Place of Your Man: A Tribute to Prince


Local artists from a large mix of local bands take to Atwood’s to honor the life and music of Prince. A supergroup house band will be joined by different guest vocalist to tackle songs that scale Prince’s illustrious career.

(Thursday May 5 at 10 p.m.; Atwood’s Tavern; $7; 21+; tickets available here)

Peter Wolf

Frontman for the legendary J. Geils Band and acclaimed solo artist Peter Wolf has a new record out called A Cure For Loneliness. Fans can get a taste of the new tunes in the modest-sized Somerville Theatre.

(Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.; The Somerville Theatre; $41.50; all ages; tickets available here)


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