You’re a Connecticut music fan. You have an open mind, a sturdy bank account and lots of free time. How will you spend your summer?
Some shows — Kendrick Lamar in Hartford, say — don’t require much thought; buy the ticket and go. Music festivals, too: I just assume you’ll be there. (This year’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas lineup looks particularly promising.) And fill up on as much jazz as possible.
Other decisions require feedback from someone you (hopefully) trust. Use this list like a mixtape, one with builds, dips, transitions and some sort of narrative running through it. There’s an attack plan for every week, and efforts were made to cover the whole state. Have fun.
June 7 to 13
Start slow with low-key singer-songwriter Mishka (performing in a duo) at Stage One in Fairfield (June 7). Head to New Haven for either the Decemberists’ new electro-pop streak (College Street Music Hall, June 8) or go hear the Julian Casablancas-fronted Voidz (Toad’s Place, June 8).
June 14 to 20
Get your power pop fix with The Posies and The Shellye Valauskas Experience (with guitarist Dean Falcone) at StageOne (June 14). Kurt Vile destroyed College Street Music Hall last time around; he’ll return this week (June 15).
Noodle-dance to the New Mastersounds in Hartford (Infinity Hall, June 17), then ska it up in New Haven with the Toasters (June 18). Dua Lipa postponed her June 20 show in Wallingford, which frees you up for either Rhiannon Giddens (Ridgefield Playhouse) or Philly rock band mewithoutYou (Space Ballroom).
June 21 to 27
The Sea The Sea at Cafe Nine brings much-needed Thursday-night (June 21) folk into your life; further north, guitarist Quinn Sullivan gets the blood flowing at Infinity Hall in Norfolk (June 21). Sad fans: Emo Night Brooklyn returns to the Webster Underground in Hartford (June 22).
June 28 to July 4
Singer-songwriter Tim Barry used to front the punk band Avail; hear his rootsier solo work at the Space Ballroom (June 28). Friday night’s (June 29) a toss-up between Blessid Union of Souls (Infinity Hall) or Sam Hunt (Xfinity Theatre) in Hartford; prog-metal trio King’s X at Toad’s Place in New Haven; or Barenaked Ladies (Mohegan Sun) or Reba McEntire (Foxwoods) at the casinos.
(Give it to Hunt, simply because Maren Morris is opening.) Get intimate with Tokyo rockers The Molice at 33 Golden Street in New London (June 30, with Connecticut band the Right Offs opening). Oh, and U2 is at Mohegan Sun on July 3.
July 5 to 11
The sprawling soul-stew of the Tedeschi Trucks Band (Xfinity Theatre, July 6) is always fun, but so are The Doobie Brothers and a Walter Becker-less (RIP) Steely Dan (Mohegan Sun, July 6). There’s an indoor/outdoor Heavy Folk Fest (July 7) at Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, with lots of local steampunk, progressive folk and metal starting at 3 p.m. German guitarist Uli Jon Roth (remember the Scorpions?) melts faces on Sunday at Infinity Hall in Hartford (July 8).
July 12 to 18
Start with Moldy Peaches singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson (July 12) at the Space Ballroom, then slide into Mud Morganfield (Muddy Waters’ son!) at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville (July 13). Legendary prog band Yes — some configuration of it, anyway — is at Foxwoods (July 13); so are guitar gods Steve Miller and Peter Frampton (July 14).
(Some version of) Lynyrd Skynyrd plays Hartford (Xfinity Theatre, July 14); more guitars arrive at Xfinity for the Vans Warped Tour (July 15). Save some energy for Canadian singer/rapper Tory Lanez at the Oakdale Dome (July 16).
July 19 to 25
Charlie Puth and his new Top 10 album head to Mohegan Sun Arena (July 19). Countrify your life with Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town at Xfinity Theatre in Hartford (July 20), then satiate your Black Crowes jones with the Magpie Salute (Rich Robinson’s band, July 21) and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood (July 22) at the Warehouse in Fairfield.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Beth Hart, two blues-based musicians at the top of their respective games, break up the week at College Street Music Hall (July 25).
July 26 to Aug. 1
Go hear Arkansas doom-metal band Pallbearer in Hamden (Space Ballroom, July 26), then turn north for ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro (Infinity Hall, July 27) and Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker (Xfinity Theatre, July 28) in Hartford.
Aug. 2 to 8
Groove out with reggae hero Beres Hammond in New Haven (Toad’s Place, Aug. 3) or rage with Rise Against at Mohegan Sun (Aug. 3). Spend Saturday night with The Cult, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots at Foxwoods (Aug. 4) (feed some slots while you’re there).
Let Thomas Dolby blind you with science at the new State House venue in New Haven (Aug. 5), or blaze with Rae Sremmurd and Wiz Khalifa in Hartford (Xfinity Theatre, Aug. 5). Find out if actor Billy Bob Thornton can play music on Monday night in Hamden (Space Ballroom, Aug. 6), and have some mid-week fun with Franz Ferdinand (College Street, Aug. 8).
Aug. 9 to 15
Take a break. Stretch. Breathe. You’ve earned it.
Aug. 16 to 22
They say August is the Sunday of summer, but you don’t have to believe them. 3 Doors Down (fresh off playing Trump’s inauguration) and Collective Soul team up at Mohegan Sun (Aug. 16), punk veterans Agent Orange play in New Haven (Cafe Nine, Aug. 17), and punk-pop groups 311 and the Offspring head to Hartford (Xfinity Theatre, Aug. 21).
Save some energy for Toots and the Maytals at College Street Music Hall (Aug. 22).
Aug. 23 to 30
Toby Keith (Foxwoods, Aug. 23) and 5 Seconds of Summer (Mohegan Sun, Aug. 29) at the casinos; or roadhouse singer Wayne Hancock (Cafe Nine, Aug. 29) and Wolf Parade (Space Ballroom, Aug. 30) if you’re sticking closer to New Haven.
See you next summer!