Rock On! Outdoor Summer Concerts in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | June 26, 2013

Not to sound like a Hallmark greeting card, but music is a universal connector amongst human beings. Whether you prefer DMX or Blake Shelton, we all enjoy kicking back with some tunes. If you ask me, the best time to attend a concert is during the warm summer months, when you can enjoy the musical stylings of your favorite artist(s) outdoors.

Luckily for us Metro Detroiters, there are several outdoor music venues in the area:

DTE Energy Music Theatre, 7774 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkston, is one of the most popular amphitheatres in the U.S. Last year, everything from the audio system to the concession stand was revamped. If you’re 21+, make sure to grab an ice-cold beer from The Pine Tap before your show begins, as there are over 20 craft beers to choose from.

This summer, shows taking place at DTE include:

  • Rascal Flatts (Thursday, June 27)
  • Dave Matthews Band with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (Tuesday, July 9)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company (Tuesday, July 23)
  • Keith Urban (Sunday, August 4)
  • Kid Rock (seven dates between Saturday, August 9 through Tuesday, August 20)
  • Big Sean (Saturday, August 31)

Meadow Brook Music Festival, 35554 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills, hosts everything from rock shows to family-friendly concerts. While there is a concession stand on the grounds, there are several surrounding restaurants perfect for grabbing a bite pre- or post-concert, including Buddy’s Pizza.

This summer, shows and events taking place at Meadow Brook include:

  • O.A.R. with Andrew McMahon and Allen Stone (Sunday, June 30)
  • FUN. With Tegan and Sara (Tuesday, July 16)
  • OneRepublic (Saturday, July 27)
  • Jim Gaffigan (Friday, August 2)
  • Wine and Food Festival (Saturday, August 24 through Sunday, August 25)
  • Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (Sunday, August 25)

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Pkwy, Sterling Heights, has both pavilion and lawn seating, and events take place rain or shine. In addition to concerts, there are two different festivals taking place this summer: Stars & Stripes Festival and Mo Pop Festival.

This summer, shows taking place at Freedom Hill include:

  • Cake (Saturday, June 29)
  • Foreigner (Wednesday, July 3)
  • Steve Miller Band (Saturday, July 20)
  • The Beach Boys (Friday, August 2)
  • REO Speedwagon (Sunday, August 18)
  • Smokey Robinson (Thursday, August 29)

Chene Park Amphitheater, 2600 Atwater St., Detroit, is not only outdoors, it’s also right on the waterfront in the heart of downtown Detroit. Take in a show from a seat or claim a square of grass and sprawl out as much as you’d like.

This summer, shows taking place at Chene Park include:

  • Three Dog Night with War (Thursday, June 27)
  • Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds & Rachelle Ferrell (Saturday, July 13)
  • TGT: Tyrese, Ginuwine & Tank (Sunday, July 28)
  • D’Angelo & Erykah Badu with Hiatus Kaiyote (Sunday, August 4)
  • Toni Braxton (Saturday, August 17)
  • Michael McDonald & Toto (Sunday, August 25)

Rockin’ on the Riverfront Summer Concerts begin in early July. The (free!) series is presented by Chevrolet and will feature a rock concert each Friday night for six consecutive weeks. They will all take place outside of the GM Renaissance Center.

This summer, shows taking place at Rockin’ on the Riverfront include:

  • The Romantics (Friday, July 12)
  • America (Friday, July 19)
  • Grand Funk Railroad (Friday, July 26)
  • Great White (Friday, August 2)
  • Loverboy (Friday, August 9)
  • Night Ranger (Friday, August 16)

Comerica Park, 2100 Woodward Ave., is home to the Detroit Tigers, and this summer, the venue will host Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band on Saturday, July 20.

If you’re heading to an outdoor concert, don’t forget the SPF! Happy listening.