Call it "The Avengers" effect.
Just as the movie studios decided months ago to pack the summer's blockbusters with as many superstars as possible, concert promoters did the same thing with this summer's tours.
The reasons behind the joint venture tours of Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw (Aug. 11, MetLife Stadium) or Kiss and Mötley Crüe (Sept. 22, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater) or Kelly Clarkson and The Fray (Aug. 21, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater) are the same as stacking "The Avengers" with Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo, or even "What to Expect When You're Expecting" with Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock and Matthew Morrison. Adding more stars lessens the chances of a major flop, and it lowers the pressure on everyone involved.
This summer, the strategy is being used by acts from all levels in nearly every genre. LMFAO is touring with Far East Movement (June 26, Nassau Coliseum) and a posse of up-and-comers from its label Cherrytree Records, including Seaford's Matthew Koma. Santana has teamed up with The Allman Brothers Band (July 24, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater). "The Summerland Tour" (July 31, the Paramount) joins '90s heroes Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms and Marcy Playground, while "The Last Summer on Earth" (Aug. 14, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater) brings together Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Cracker.
Drake (June 16, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater) says he hand-picked the "Club Paradise Tour" -- featuring J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill and French Montana -- to build "a meeting place for fans of our music to really see the songs come alive."
"I said to myself, 'OK, it's been a while since there was a tour where you can see anybody who has one of your favorite songs out right now or anybody that has one of the songs that's in the club right now,' " Drake says, during a recent teleconference. "I wanted to extend myself over the budget and expand to give everyone a really great experience . . . I hope [fans] will understand how serious I take it. They give me the opportunity to sell out an arena, and I take that blessing seriously."
All the precautions may have been unnecessary, though. After a weak 2010 season caused by the economic downturn and an only slightly better 2011, this summer looks much stronger. Executives at Live Nation say they are feeling optimistic about this summer. "It's just a better time in general," says Jason Miller, president of Live Nation's New York operation, which includes Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh. "The general trend in North America is that people are looking at going to concerts more often. People are excited about going to concerts."
Alan Ostfield, Live Nation's president for the North Atlantic region, says that the Jones Beach season is particularly ambitious this year. "We're doing more shows this summer than we have in the past seven years -- close to 40 shows this summer," he says. "We're trying to offer something for everybody, and we're trying to offer a price point for everybody."
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14 concerts to see
fun. (June 16-17, Terminal 5). The breakout band of the year so far celebrates the success of its No. 1 single, "We Are Young," with a pair of hometown concerts, ready to prove that there are way more hits to come from the group's "Some Nights" album.
Governors Ball Music Festival (June 23-24, Randalls Island). The Governors Ball, which debuted last year, has doubled in size and switched islands, moving to Randalls Island for the year. With Passion Pit, Atmosphere and Santigold headlining Saturday and Beck, Modest Mouse and Cults headlining Sunday, it's an indie-pop lover's dream.
LMFAO (June 26, Nassau Coliseum and June 29, Prudential Center). There will be plenty of party rocking, with no apologies, as Redfoo and Sky Blu wiggle-wiggle-wiggle into town. The Nassau show will be even more special as Seaford's Matthew Koma kicks off the party.
Aerosmith (July 1, Nassau Coliseum and July 24, Izod Center). Ever combustible, the Boston rockers follow a period where they teetered on the edge of a breakup with a newfound excitement about a new album due later this year and a new tour. It seems the stability Steven Tyler has found as an "American Idol" judge has helped smooth things out.
CBGB Festival (July 5-8 various venues). The spirit of the former nightclub that served as new wave and punk's epicenter has been reborn as a festival spread throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn for three days, featuring CBGB graduates like David Johansen and the Cro-Mags to those influenced by the club's scene, including Guided by Voices and relative newcomers The Cloud Nothings.
Great South Bay Music Festival (July 13-15, Shorefront Park). The Patchogue festival's most ambitious and most eclectic year yet, with the Irish punk of Black 47 mixing with the Long Island blues of Kerry Kearney, the free-form rock of moe. and the folk of Ollabelle.
Warped Tour (July 21, Nassau Coliseum parking lot). This year's traveling punk-rock circus will have a distinctly Long Island flavor, with Taking Back Sunday and Bayside on the bill, alongside longtime Warped faves New Found Glory, Senses Fail and more.
Rufus Wainwright (July 28, Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center). He won't have to travel far from his East End home, which he celebrates in the lovely song "Montauk" on his new album, for this show, part of the tour to support his more pop-leaning recent album "Out of the Game."
Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw (Aug. 11, MetLife Stadium). The country music giants join forces for the "Brothers of the Sun" tour, where they will perform separately and most likely together on their recent duet "Feel Like a Rock Star." Chesney will also roll out songs from his upcoming album "Welcome to the Fishbowl."
Kelly Clarkson (Aug. 21, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater). While her live show is as potent as ever, the original "American Idol" may actually be even stronger these days, with a pair of hit singles ("Mr. Know It All" and "What Doesn't Kill You"), a spot on the new TV show "Duets" and the current tour with The Fray.
American Idols Live (Aug. 22, Nassau Coliseum and Aug. 28, Prudential Center). Thanks to the most-talented Top 10 the show has seen in years, this year's tour seems set to be a well-crafted treat, with the eclectic styles of Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and their pals all holding their own.
Electric Zoo New York (Aug. 31, Sept. 1-2, Randalls Island). This year's Electric Zoo is overflowing with EDM hitmakers, from David Guetta and A-Trak on Aug. 31, Martin Solveig and Axwell on Sept. 1, and Skrillex and Diplo on Sept. 2.
Madonna (Sept. 6 and 8, Yankee Stadium). The area gets to see what Madonna was rehearsing for the past month at Nassau Coliseum, though she will certainly save some surprises for her first Yankee Stadium shows. After all, the "MDNA" launch started in a stadium for the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever.
Bruce Springsteen (Sept. 19, 21-22, At MetLife Stadium). The Boss returns for a homestand at the new MetLife Stadium, the replacement for the demolished Giants Stadium, which inspired the title track of his recent "Wrecking Ball" album. The new building should fit nicely with the theme of "hard times come, hard times go" that Springsteen and the massive E Street Band have been preaching on the tour.
Concerts at Jones Beach
JUNE 8, 10 Neil Diamond
JUNE 9 Yanni
JUNE 12-13 Dave Matthews Band with Fitz and the Tantrums
JUNE 24 The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour
JUNE 29 Stevie Nicks
JULY 3-4 Phish
JULY 7 The Scorpions with Queensryche
JULY 24 The Allman Brothers Band and Santana
JULY 28 Identity Festival
AUG. 2 Wiz Khalifa with Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Chevy Woods
AUG. 3 311 and Slightly Stoopid
AUG. 5 System of a Down with Deftones
AUG. 8 Big Time Rush, Cody Simpson
AUG. 9 O.A.R. with Rebelution
AUG. 17 Big Time Rush with Cody Simpson
AUG. 18 Chicago and The Doobie Brothers
AUG. 30 Jimmy Buffett
SEPT. 1 Jason Mraz with Christina Perri
SEPT. 15 Florence + the Machine
SEPT. 22 Kiss and Mötley Crüe
SEPT. 23 Peter Gabriel
Foster the People (Tuesday-Wednesday at 6 p.m. and June 11), Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, $40.75, summerstage.org, 212-360-2777.
The Wanted (June 15 at 8 p.m.), Best Buy Theater, $34, bestbuytheater.com, 212-930-1950.
Keane (June 15 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $49.50-$79.50, www.thegarden.com, 866-858-0008.
Bonnie Raitt (June 20-21 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $40-$125.50,
k.d. Lang (Aug. 12 at 8:30 p.m.), Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, $126-$226, whbpac.org, 631-288-1500.
Train (Aug. 27 at 6 p.m.), Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, $55, summerstage.org, 212-360-2777.
Dream Theater (July 18-19 at 8 p.m.), the Paramount, $51.50-$89.50, paramountny
Stone Temple Pilots (Aug. 27 and 29 at 8 p.m.), the Paramount, $75-$125, paramount ny.com, 631-673-7300.
Glen Hansard (June 29 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $35-$45, www.thegarden.com, 866-858-0008.
Kellie Pickler (Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.), the Paramount, $35-$75,
Radiohead (Thursday-Friday, 7:30 p.m.), Prudential Center, $69.50, prucenter.com, 973-854-8760.
Tune-Yards (Friday at 7 p.m.), Terminal 5, $25, termi nal5nyc.com, 212-582-6600.
Alabama Shakes (June 24 at 3 p.m.), Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, free, summerstage.org, 212-360-2777.
Best Coast (July 17 at 8 p.m.), Terminal 5, $20, termi nal5nyc.com, 212-582-6600.
Childish Gambino (June 25 at 6 p.m.), Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, $35, summerstage.org, 212-360-2777. Also, June 26 at 6 p.m., Prospect Park Bandshell, $35, bricarts
Ledisi (June 27 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $49.50-$99.50, www.thegarden.com, 866-858-0008.
Maxwell (Aug. 3-4 at 7:30 p.m.), Prudential Center, $59.50-$250, prucenter.com, 973-854-8760.
The Cult (June 8 at 8 p.m.), Terminal 5, $29.50, termi nal5nyc.com, 212-582-6600.
Howard Jones (July 7 at 8 p.m.), the Paramount, $25-$75, paramountny.com, 631-673-7300.
Rick Springfield (Aug. 3 at 8 p.m.), the Paramount, $52.50-$89.50, paramount ny.com, 631-673-7300.
Dead Can Dance (Aug. 29-30 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $55-$95, www.thegarden.com, 866-858-0008.
Roxette (Sept. 2 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $29.50-$129.50, www.thegarden.com, 866-858-0008.
Hawthorne Heights (June 9 at 4 p.m.), Vibe Lounge, $15, clubloaded.com, 516-208-6590.
Sparks the Rescue (June 19 at 6 p.m.), Ollie's Point, $12, club loaded.com, 631-264-7712.
Black Keys (July 28-29 at 1 p.m.), Catalpa Festival at Randall's Island, $99.99-$179.99, catalpanyc.com, 646-657-2977.
Il Divo (May 29-31 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $69.50-$129.50, www.thegarden.com, 866-858-0008.
Ximena Sarinana (July 11 at 7 p.m.) Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, Free, sum merstage.org, 212-360-2777.
Shonen Knife (July 21 at 9 p.m.), Bell House, $12, thebell houseny.com, 718-643-6510.
Sigur Ros (July 31, 6 p.m.), Prospect Park, $42, bricartsme dia.org/celebrate, 718-683-5600.
Manhattan Transfer (June 19 at 8 p.m.), B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, $45, bbkingblues.com, 212-997-4144.
Norah Jones (July 3 at 6 p.m.), Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, $49.50, summerstage.org, 212-360-2777.
Chris Botti (July 24 at 8 p.m.), Beacon Theatre, $40-$85, www .thegarden.com, 866-858-0008.
Scissor Sisters (July 6-7 at 8 p.m.), Terminal 5, $39.50, termi nal5nyc.com, 212-582-6600.
Hot Chip (July 18 at 7 p.m.), Prospect Park Bandshell, $35, bricartsmedia.org/celebrate, 718-683-5600.
M83 (Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m.), Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, $35, summer stage.org, 212-360-2777.