Summer is the time for big concerts. Festivals and tours bring a variety of acts through town that aren’t so keen to visit Des Moines in December. Here are some of the bigger shows coming our way over the next few months.
May 13 at the Central Iowa Expo grounds, Boone. Shinedown and Five Finger Death Punch co-headline Lazer 103.3’s annual rock fest, which this year moves to Boone. The lineup features a little something for everyone, with former Guns n’ Roses axman Slash and Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, returning favorites Theory of a Deadman and Buckcherry along with Chevelle, Volbeat, P.O.D., Adelita’s Way, Black Stone Cherry and Art of Dying.
Lazerfest has become one of the biggest shows in Iowa, and the new location only gives the concert room to grow, better sight lines and less mud. Tickets are $42 in advance through Ticketmaster, $50 day of show.
80/35 Music Festival
July 6-7 at Western Gateway Park. The Des Moines Music Coalition’s annual, two-day music fest returns for its fifth go-round with The Avett Brothers and Death Cab for Cutie headlining. Dinosaur Jr., Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, F****d Up, Freddie Gibbs and Dan Deacon have been announced so far, along with local bands Leslie and the Ly’s, The Sundogs, Maxilla Blue and Mumford’s. Most of the rest of the bill will be announced Tuesday.
Tickets are $29 per day or $49 for both days until May 15, when they go up to $39/$65. One-day passes will be $45 at the gate. Tickets are available at midwestix.com.
June 24 at Water Works Park. Country fans were bummed when the Big Country Bash was canceled earlier this year, but Country Blast (not affiliated with BCB) has stepped up to fill the void. Billy Currington, Clay Walker, Joe Nichols, Neal McCoy, Uncle Kracker, Jason Brown and the Robby Michael Band will bring the twang to Water Works Park.
Tickets are $32.50 through redtrucktickets.com through May 15. They’ll be $40 through June 23 and $50 at the gate.
Nitefall on the River
Concerts held at Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater. One of the more eclectic concert series returns for more outdoor shows on the bank of the Des Moines River. So far the lineup includes rock tribute act Hairball (May 26), local favorites The Nadas with Steve Poltz (June 1), reggae legend Jimmy Cliff (June 12), Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers with Cornmeal (June 20), Yonder Mountain String Band (July 5), Ingrid Michaelson (July 12), the BoDeans (July 26) and Andrew Bird (Aug. 21). More shows will be announced soon.
Tickets for all Nitefall shows are available through ticketfly.com.
The Val Air Ballroom has a hip-hop heavy summer planned, with upcoming shows by Kid Ink (May 26), Tech N9ne (May 29) and Bow Wow (June 13). Last year’s 80/35 headliner, Girl Talk, comes back on June 25, and on Tuesday, shock rocker Marilyn Manson plays a sold-out show, his first Des Moines concert in 15 years.
Iowa State Fair Grandstand
Aug. 9-19. The free stages at the Iowa State Fair won’t be announced until later in the month, but the Grandstand schedule is full of a mix of new and returning faces. Christian act TobyMac (Aug. 9) kicks things off with Tenth Avenue North and Jamie Grace opening. The Happy Together Tour (Aug. 10), pairs The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams. Larry the Cable Guy (Aug. 11) performs a stand-up set with Reno Collier. Miranda Lambert (Aug. 12) and The Band Perry (Aug. 14) with Easton Corbin provide some powerful, female-fronted country. Kids and their parents will turn out for Big Time Rush (Aug. 16). Hank Williams Jr. with guests George Thorogood and the Destroyers perform Aug. 17. Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy (Aug. 18) should satisfy the classic rock fans, and Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, the Eli Young Band and Edens Edge close out the fair Aug. 19.
All shows are on sale through Ticketmaster.
The casino’s next big show is country singer Craig Morgan (May 11). As the summer moves on it rolls out some classic rock powerhouses, with Styx (June 8) and Foreigner (July 26). Tickets for all three shows are available through Ticketmaster.
Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
Wild and crazy guy Steve Martin plays banjo with the bluegrass group Steep Canyon Rangers June 23. Tickets are $42.50-$72.50 through Ticketmaster.
Wells Fargo Arena
During the summer, big acts often like to perform outdoors, but Wells Fargo Arena is still bringing in some big ticket bands. Daughtry returns to Des Moines on June 22. The Gang of Outlaws tour assembles ZZ Top, Gretchen Wilson and 3 Doors Down into an eclectic bill on June 26. The summer closes out with an Aug. 28 show by Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford. All three shows are on sale now through dahlstickets.com.