15 can’t-miss concerts in Boston this July

From Kendrick Lamar to Tom Petty, Randy Newman to Cyndi Lauper.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs on the Coachella Stage on April 16, 2017 in Indio, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Outdoor summer music festivals and one of hip-hop’s most elite rhymers are just two music events hitting Boston in July.

Hip-hop heavy hitters

Tank and the Bangas
This New Orleans soul and hip-hop collective went from being regulars in the French Quarter to becoming a viral Internet sensation when the group won NPR’s Tiny Desk series contest earlier this year. The band brings jazz, poetry, and improvisation to its live sets, and will play an early evening show as part of the MFA’s Concerts in the Courtyard series. (Wednesday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Norma Jean Calderwood Courtyard at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; $24-$30; all ages; with Sweet Crude; tickets available here)

Kendrick Lamar
If he hadn’t done so already, Kendrick Lamar solidified himself as one of the kings of hip-hop with the release of his latest album, DAMN., this past spring. The Compton lyricist has already scored seven Grammys in his still-young career and will take his hits to the Garden for a night that will also feature Houston icon Travis Scott and feel-good rhymer D.R.A.M. (Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden; $108-$580; all ages; with Travis Scott, D.R.A.M.; tickets available here)


Kyle Bent
Randolph, Massachusetts’s own Kyle Bent will bring a fresh take on alternative hip-hop and tunes from his latest album, Complex Simplicity, to the Sonia stage for an all-ages show.  Local lyricist Chovi will join. (Saturday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m.; Sonia; $13; all ages; with Chovi; tickets available here)

Garage rockers

Brazilian psych-rockers Boogarins are traveling the country in support of the group’s new record, Lá Vem a Morte, and will make an appearance at Great Scott along with local rocker Doug Tuttle and Allston jammers Midriffs. (Thursday, July 6 at 9:30 p.m.; Great Scott; $13; 18+; with Doug Tuttle, Midriffs; tickets available here)

All Talk
Boston basement rock trio All Talk is celebrating the release of its new record by headlining a stacked local bill that will also feature lo-fi songwriter Soft Fangs, psych-rockers Blau Blau, and ethereal dream-poppers Littlefoot. (Friday, July 14 at 7 p.m.; Middle East Upstairs; $10; 18+; with Soft Fangs, Blau Blau, Littlefoot; tickets available here)

Ultimate Painting
The British garage rock noodlers of Ultimate Painting don’t often make it to the States, but when they do, you can expect a psychedelic serving of jangly guitars. The group will top a bill that will also include locals John Andrews and the Yawns, Hands and Knees. (Friday, July 21 at 7 p.m.; Sonia; $12; all ages; with John Andrews and the Yawns, Hands and Knees; tickets available here)

Acoustic pluckers

The Americana fuzz-rock of Boston’s Milk comes alive on the band’s new album, Horsetown Threshold, and this is your chance to check out that music in person. The band will headline a show at Middle East, joined by New Hampshire indie rockers Badfellows and twangy locals Canyon King. (Wednesday, July 5 at 7 p.m.; Middle East Upstairs; $10; 18+; with Badfellows, Canyon King; tickets available here)


Langhorne Slim & The Law
Rambling folkateer Langhorne Slim is one of the more prolific names in the neo-folk scene, having continuously put out soulful records for more than a decade. This month, he’ll make his way to The Sinclair with his band The Law, along with Nashville country crooner Jonny Fritz. (Sunday, July 9 at 7 p.m.; The Sinclair; $20; 18+; with Jonny Fritz; tickets available here)

The Head and the Heart
Folk favorite The Head and the Heart has made a rapid rise over the course of three albums. The Seattle collective will headline the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, along with acclaimed Brooklyn songwriter Big Thief. (Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Blue Hills Bank Pavilion; $25-$55; all ages; with Big Thief; tickets available here)

Summer festivals

Levitate Festival
Marshfield’s two-day music festival will return bigger than ever for year No. 5. This summer’s lineup has New England roots-jammers Dispatch, New England Conservatory-bred soul quartet Lake Street Dive, Chicago guitar kings Umphrey’s McGee, and Vermont favorites Twiddle. (Saturday, July 8 at 12:30 p.m. to Sunday, July 9 at 9:15 p.m.; Marshfield Fairgrounds; $64-$359; all ages; with Dispatch, Ziggy Marley, The Revivalists, more; tickets available here)

Warped Tour
When the annual traveling alt-rock festival makes its way to Xfinity Center this year, it will feature sets from local names like Street Dogs, Sammy Adams, and Big D and the Kids Table, and big-name touring acts like Anti-Flag, GWAR, and American Authors. (Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.; Xfinity Center; $25-$80; all ages; with Blessthefall, Municipal Waste, Silverstein, more; tickets available here)


Green River Festival
Greenfield’s annual music and hot air balloon festival will return midway through the month with three days’ worth of music, arts, food, and beer. This year’s artists will include Boston soul quartet Lake Street Dive, Grateful Dead all-star tribute Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and New Orleans greats Funky Meters. (Friday, July 14 at 5 p.m. through Sunday, July 16 at 8 p.m.; Greenfield Community College; $35-$170; all ages; with The Mavericks, Houndmouth, The Infamous Stringdusters, more; tickets available here)

The classics

Randy Newman
Nasally-voiced LA piano man Randy Newman is one of the great songwriters of his time. He’s won Grammys, Academy Awards, and Emmys, and will appear for a special night in Boarding House Park as part of this year’s Lowell Summer Music Series. (Friday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Boarding House Park; $54-$154; all ages; tickets available here)

Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper
One of this year’s big-ticket summer tours features scratchy-voiced British rock legend Rod Stewart as the headliner and ‘80s pop queen Cyndi Lauper as the special guest. Two of the great voices in rock history will appear together at the Xfinity Center. (Saturday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Xfinity Center; $39.50-$325; all ages; tickets available here)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Classic rock hitmaker Tom Petty is touring for the 40th anniversary of his staple band, the Heartbreakers, and he’s hinted that it could be the group’s final extensive tour. Don’t miss your chance to see him in action, along with Boston’s own Peter Wolf, for two nights at the Garden. (Thursday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden; $75-$565; all ages; with Peter Wolf; tickets available here)