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The Summer Concert Guide

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It’s summer, and while there are still serious symphonies and operas on cultural calendars everywhere, we like to spend the hotter months focused on the straight-up fun stuff, like festivals, one-off concerts, and full-on throwback tours.

Taylor Swift with HAIM and Vance Joy at the Staples Center

Taylor Swift with HAIM and Vance Joy at the Staples Center

August 21-22, 24-26 | 1111 S. Figueroa St. | 213.742.7100

When it comes to the sister act behind LA-based indie pop group HAIM, we pretty much consider ourselves groupies. This summer, they're opening for Taylor Swift at the Staples Center, which is kind of a huge deal for the group. Even if pop isn't your schtick, stick around to belt out "Blank Space" afterwards anyway, T. Swift knows how to do angsty love songs justice.

Ryn Weaver at the El Rey Theatre

Ryn Weaver at the El Rey Theatre

July 13 | 5515 Wilshire Blvd. | 323.936.6400

Since Ryn Weaver's first single, "OctaHate," went viral last summer, it seems like the 22-year-old newcomer's name has been on everyone's lips. Her new studio album, The Fool, just came out a few days ago. It's a good idea to catch her at the El Rey this summer—we're betting she outgrows the 700-seat venue sooner than later.

FYF Festival at Exposition Park

FYF Festival at Exposition Park

August 22-23 | Exposition Park

Historically, Coachella has hogged the spotlight when it comes to SoCal's festival scene, but there's a fresh crop of events that are quickly catching up. The FYF Festival has netted so much success so quickly that they've outgrown three separate venues in the span of a decade. This year's lineup is a refreshingly eclectic mix that's totally deserving of a new home at Exposition Park: FKA Twigs, Flume, Frank Ocean, Purity Ring, Morrissey, and Solange Knowles.

Alabama Shakes at the Greek Theater

Alabama Shakes at the Greek Theater

August 13 | 2700 N. Vermont Ave. | 323.665.5857

Alabama Shakes has been a favorite for a while now, and their new album, Sound & Color, is one of the year's best. Seeing them at the Greek Theater, surrounded by the greenery of Griffith Park, is kind of a no-brainer.

Miguel: Wildheart Tour at Hollywood Forever

Miguel: Wildheart Tour at Hollywood Forever

September 4 | 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. | 323.469.1181

The Hollywood Forever auditorium is by far the most intimate venue in L.A. (it's so tiny, tickets sell out in minutes), but the neighboring open-air Fairbanks Lawn—which ranges along the cemetery grounds (yep, cemetery) is massive. And much better suited to accommodate the crowds a Miguel show is guaranteed to draw. (This is also where Cinespia hosts their much-loved movie screenings.) Picnicking is encouraged: We like to pick up a to-go spread at Stir Market on your way—they require four hours notice for picnic orders.