15 can’t-miss concerts in Boston this December

From Celine Dion to Ween, Cher to Pixies.

Celine Dion performs “The Show Must Go On” at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Celine Dion performs “The Show Must Go On” at the Billboard Music Awards on May 22, 2016, in Las Vegas. –The Associated Press

Experience two renowned decades-spanning vocalists or celebrate the Boston music scene to make the most of live music here in Boston this December.

Diva royalty

Celine Dion

French Canadian vocalist Celine Dion is responsible for some of the most iconic anthems of the ‘90s and 2000s, most notably her Academy and Grammy Award winning single, “My Heart Will Go On.” Moving on from her 16-year Las Vegas residency, the top-selling Canadian artist of all time will play two shows at TD Garden as part of her Courage World Tour. (Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. to Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston; $59.50-$249.50; all ages; tickets available here)



Singer, actress, and overall icon Cher runs the gamut of emotions with each live performance. Bringing decades of hits and some carefully picked ABBA covers to Boston as part of her Here We Go Again Tour, Cher will play TD Garden. (Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston; $47.95-$500; all ages; with Nile Rodgers and Chic; tickets available here)

Indie rockers

Lucy Dacus

Virginia-born indie rocker Lucy Dacus has emerged as one of the genre’s most thought-provoking songwriters, putting out two albums and an EP since 2016 and teaming up with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker for a supergroup called boygenius. Closing out 2019 with a U.S. tour, Dacus will play Royale with the help of West Coast plucker Haley Heynderickx. (Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m.; Royale, Boston; $20-$22; 18+; with Haley Heynderickx; tickets available here)


Experimental rockers Battles reemerged as a duo in 2018, and released their first album with the new lineup, “Juice B Crypts,” in October. Touring behind the record, they will share a bill with hometown funk noisemakers Guerilla Toss at Brighton Music Hall. (Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.; Brighton Music Hall, Boston; $20; 18+; with Guerilla Toss; tickets available here)  

Weird vibes

Lightning Bolt

Providence-based noisemakers Lightning Bolt formed while attending Rhode Island School of Design more than two decades ago. While the duo tours less frequently these days, they will play The Sinclair, touring behind their seventh album, October’s “Sonic Citadel.” (Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair, Cambridge; $20; 18+; with Baby; Baby: Brookline Community Teen Band; tickets available here)



Beloved Pennsylvania oddballs Ween reunited in 2015, but touring has been relatively sparse since. With a knack for hopping from spoof to sincere and everything in between, Gene and Dean Ween will bring one of their marathon live shows to Boston for a show at House of Blues. (Friday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $60-$75; all ages; tickets available here)

Listen local


There’s perhaps no Boston band with a following as devoted as Pile’s. The quartet is headed into its tenth year, having released its debut album in 2010. Closing out 2019 with a headlining gig at The Sinclair in support of their seventh record, May’s “Green and Gray,” the band will share the stage with fellow locals Lady Pills and Pet Fox. (Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair, Cambridge; $16-$18; 18+; with Lady Pills, Pet Fox; tickets available here)

Boston Music Awards

Boston’s annual celebration of its vast music community returns to House of Blues, welcoming a diverse lineup of performers from futuristic Brockton lyricist Lord Felix to Brighton bummer pop rockers Future Teens to darkwave pop trio House of Harm. This year’s event also features a special tribute to local legends Ric Ocasek and The Cars. (Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $20; all ages; with Brandie Blaze, Jefe Replay, Optic Bloom, and more; tickets available here)


Few bands have been as influential to alternative rock as Boston quartet Pixies. The band’s reformation in 2014 has spawned three albums since, including September’s “Beneath the Eyrie.” Playing a hometown show, Pixies will play their first gig at the newly opened Big Night Live. (Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.; Big Night Live, Boston; $96; 18+; with Kristin Hersh; tickets available here)


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

It wouldn’t be the holiday season in Boston if it wasn’t capped off by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ annual Hometown Throwdown. The local ska punk legends bring their multi-night run back to the House of Blues for year number 22, inviting some special local guests and plenty of plaid for the occasion. (Friday, Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. to Sunday, Dec. 29 at 4 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $27; all ages; with Walker Roaders and Art Thieves (Dec. 27), Suicide Machines and Rebuilder (Dec. 28), Big D and The Kids Table (Dec. 30); tickets available here)

Extended jams


After a year off from touring, Berklee-bred jam rockers have returned to the road fueled by its sixth studio album, “Emit Time.” Playing a different setlist each night and mixing in elements of funk and jazz to fusion and metal, the band has accrued quite a following over the past decade, and will headline two consecutive nights at The Paradise. (Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. to Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; $20; 18+; with Jojo Mayer’s Nerve; tickets available here)

Tedeschi Trucks Band

South Shore native Susan Tedeschi and husband Derek Trucks are no strangers to Boston. Together, they make up soul-stewed southern rock collective Tedeschi Trucks Band, whose performances are marked by Trucks’ virtuoso slide guitar solos and Tedeschi’s signature vocal and guitar chops. In what’s become something of an annual tradition, the band will return to the Orpheum for three straight nights. (Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. to Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.; $57-$122; all ages; with The National Reserve; tickets available here)

Hip-hop heavy hitters

A$AP Ferg

Harlem rapper and A$AP Mob mainstay A$AP Ferg is known for his prolific contributions to the New York trap scene. Putting out his fifth release in six years, August’s “Floor Seats,” the MC will play House of Blues as part of his U.S. winter tour. (Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $30-$50; all ages; with Murda Beatz, MadeinTYO; tickets available here)

The Roots

Philly hip-hop collective The Roots rarely have time off from their day jobs as house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but when they do, they make occasional trips to Boston. Hosting a post-holiday party on Lansdowne Street, the band will play House of Blues. (Thursday, Dec. 26 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $64; all ages; with Phony PPL; tickets available here)

Pop all-stars

Jingle Ball

Kiss108’s annual wintry pop celebration boasts a deep lineup of hitmakers. This year’s lineup will bring recently announced eight-time Grammy nominee Lizzo, One Direction alumnus Niall Horan, songwriter and Berklee grad Charlie Puth, and many more to TD Garden. (Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston; $26.50-$256.50; all ages; with Niall Horan, Charlie Puth, Lizzo, 5 Seconds of Summer, Why Don’t We?, Halsey; tickets available here)

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