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No Doubt at New Orleans Jazz Fest
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is the one that truly kicks off the season, and it got off to one kick-ass start this year thanks to the eclectic variety of acts that played there, including No Doubt. While the set was, understandably, 90s radio hit-friendly, Gwen Stefani and co. brought their high-octane energy to the stage and proved that they’ve still got it.
Florence + the Machine at Bonnaroo
How do you get goosebumps in the unforgiving Tennessee heat? When you watch the transcendent Florence + the Machine perform on stage. Florence Welch’s unique voice can only be matched by her ability to reach out and touch (sometimes literally) fans. Her Bonnaroo performance was as emotional as it was entertaining, and even if you’ve heard “Shake It Out” a million times on the radio, you never heard it quite like this before. That sing-a-long chorus gave Bonnaroo-ers chills, scorching temps be damned.
Sir Paul McCartney at Lollapalooza
Hey, just because you’re a legend doesn’t mean you automatically make this list, but Sir Paul McCartney still knows how to bring it. When you see McCartney in concert, he does not disappoint. Lollapalooza attendees got more than what they came for when they heard classics like “Blackbird,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Hey Jude,” and “Helter Skelter,” among others. However, what really made this set list so special was his duet of “Get Back” with Alabama Shakes front woman Brittany Howard. (Alabama Shakes, by the way, also turned out one hell of a show at Lolla 2015.) There are few talents that deserve to share the stage with McCartney, and Howard is unequivocally one of them.
Robert Plant at Sasquatch!
Just like McCartney, Plant doesn’t use his status as music god to phone it in. Rather, the Led Zeppelin front man proved that in the rock world, age really is just a number. And, look, pound for pound, you’re not going to get a more breathtaking setting than the Gorge Amphitheatre, but when you throw in Robert Plant performing “Whole Lotta Love” live and sounding damn awesome doing it, well, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Tame Impala at Outside Lands
Have you seen Tame Impala live yet? Go see Tame Impala live ASAP, seriously. And, if you have the means to travel back in time to go watch their set at this year’s Outside Lands: first of all, that’s awesome, and second of all, enjoy this trippy, rocking time. The Aussie band played a perfect mix of fan favorites like “It Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and tried out some of their new psychedelic tunes like “Let It Happen” during their festival stints this summer, and they did not disappoint, especially not here. Rock 'n' roll isn’t dead: it’s been revived by the ultimate in cool, Tame Impala.