Summertime! Most Americans may be planning vacations, but the biggest names in the music business are getting ready to work.
An incredible range of musicians are hitting the road this summer -- pop diva Christina Aguilera, rockers Fall Out Boy, country king Tim McGraw, living legend Bob Dylan to name just a few -- selling out shows, delighting fans, and maybe even trashing a few hotel rooms along the way.
The drawback for music lovers? Just one: Whittling down one's choices and deciding which shows to catch. We've highlighted 10.
1. Justin Timberlake
From mixing songs for Madonna to dating Jessica Biel, 26-year-old Justin Timberlake is as hot as a leather car seat in August. The former 'NSYNCer's much-anticipated 2007 FutureSex/LoveShow makes its U.S. debut in his hometown of Memphis on Aug. 6, and by September will have zigzagged from New York (Madison Square Garden) to Los Angeles (Staples Center). Tickets are still available at many of the stops but even with prices hitting as high as $161, they're selling fast.
Since she last hit the road in support of her 2003 record "Dangerously In Love," Beyoncé has gone from superstar to superduperstar. The Beyoncé Experience which kicked off April 10 in Tokyo, arrives stateside on Saturday, July 7, and swings through 28 cities and 31 performances before leaving our shores again. The diva's official Web site offers exclusive information on ticket presales, and VIP packages.
3. Dave Matthews Band
Thirteen years since its first national tour, the Dave Matthews Band continues to attract a fiercely devoted, neo-hippie audience to its jam-heavy and thick-with-(illicit)-smoke gigs. This summer, Matthews and his band will kick off in Illinois and rock 28 locations-- 37 performances in all -- leaving an army of tailgaters in their wake.
4. Toby Keith
Country music's favorite male artist, as named by the American Music Awards in 2004, launches his Big Dog Daddy Tour from Birmingham, Ala., on June 21 and winds down in Hartford, Conn., on Sept. 23. Registering online for Operation Big Dog, Toby's fan club, affords members access to meet-and-greets, advanced ticket purchases and discounted merchandise prices, making this summer concert an opportunity for more than just music.
5. American Idol Live!
Didn't get enough of Sanjaya Malakar on this season's "American Idol"? Scream for him one more time at American Idol Live!, which kicks off on July 6. The 10 finalists from the show's recently completed sixth season, including Jordin Sparks, will share the stage as their 15 minutes of fame tick tock to the final seconds.
311's 2006 tour was its best sold-out success to date, pulling in their largest -- 18,500 people -- crowd yet, so expect this summer's tour to sell out quickly. A tip: Fans of this rock-reggae fusion group are encouraged to post reviews, set lists and other notes on the band's extensive Web site. Read in for a taste of what you might hear when they hit your town. Matisyahu, the New York-based orthodox Jewish reggae star, the English Beat and Particle will open.
7. Norah Jones
Who says every show needs to be a rager? Sit back and enjoy mellow, modern-day blues courtesy of velvet-voiced Norah Jones and the Handsome Band. Already well into her tour, Jones winds down her U.S. leg on June 30 before heading off to Europe. Didn't manage to catch her? Never fear -- she plays "Good Morning America's" Summer Concert series on Friday, July 6.
8. The Fray
This radio-friendly four-man band is teaming up with Reverb, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about environmental causes, to insure their tour will be as eco-friendly as possible. The band will be riding carbon-neutral buses during their June 11 - August 6 schedule, though the blogosphere has been buzzing with rumors of potential add-on dates. Special appearances by Ok Go! and Mae have been announced.
9. Michael Bublé
Crooner Michael Bublé, whose swingy reinterpretations of old standards like "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "Always On My Mind" are exciting generations not yet born when the original versions debuted, is circling the United States between July and August before heading off to Western Europe until December. The Canadian is scheduled to play many of the nation's greatest venues -- including New York's Radio City Music Hall and Los Angeles' Greek Theater -- the perfect settings for his style, but small enough that ticket demand will be intense.
Alternative rockers Incubus take to the road to promote their latest album, "Light Grenades." With the record's first single, "Oil and Water," already tearing up the radio, the seemingly ancient act (they've been together since 1991) should attract new fans -- which means you'll face stiffer competition for seats. Things kick off in Tucson, Ariz., on July 7.