It happened in Raleigh, North Carolina: the sip of water heard ’round the world.
Paul McCartney, famous for not wetting his whistle onstage, finally took a drink during his May 27 show.
The Earth shook.
The glass became less full.
But it’s hard to blame the guy: McCartney’s set on his “Freshen Up Tour” spans 38 songs and nearly three hours, encompassing every aspect of his career, from the Beatles to Wings to his solo repertoire and even a tune from his pre-Beatles band, the Quarrymen, the 61-year-old “In Spite of All the Danger,” which McCartney hasn’t aired here since 2005.
That’ll change soon enough, as McCartney’s marathon engagement at T-Mobile Arena on June 28 and 29 is easily the biggest concert event of the month.
The rest of the top 10 shows for June:
Las Vegas Death Fest
Thursday-Saturday, Fremont Country Club and Backstage Bar & Billiards
Finally, Grandma gets to see to her favorite alien-obsessed Italian gutturalists when you take her to see Xenomorphic Contamination as part of this year’s Las Vegas Death Fest. Go ahead, close your eyes, and just imagine the look of pure joy on her face when she sings along to chestnuts such as “Colonized From the Inside” and “Metamorphic Oblivion” as LVDF returns for its 11th entrails-encrusted edition, this time featuring more than 40 acts in addition to headliners Bloodsoaked, Blood Red Throne and the kid-tested, mother-approved Holocausto Canibal.
Reggae in the Desert
Saturday, Clark County Amphitheater
You want good vibes? Reggae in the Desert has enough good vibes to choke an Orc. Seriously, you’ll probably have to resort to plastic surgery to remove the smile from your face after attending this annual, all-day event, whose lineup this year is highlighted by Mykal Rose, Sly & Robbie, Don Carlos and more.
June 15, T-Mobile Arena
She used to have a little, now she’s got a lot … of candles on her birthday cake. Yeah, J. Lo’s turning 50, but considering the enviable shape she’s in, we doubt she’ll be gorging on too much of the aforementioned confection. So she’ll be celebrating by hitting the road instead for what will be one of her most elaborate productions yet. Don’t forget to show up with a present, cheapskate.
RBRM: Bobby Brown + Bell Biv DeVoe
June 15, The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel
Candy girls, rejoice: Forty-one years after Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell first got together in their hometown of Boston to launch what would later become R&B heartthrobs New Edition, those three and later group member Ronnie DeVoe are back on the road together. They’ll perform hits culled from the New Edition, Bobby Brown and Bell Biv DeVoe catalogs, from “My Prerogative” to “Poison” to “Mr. Telephone Man” for, you know, those who remember what a telephone was.
June 16, The Pearl at the Palms
His smile is as big and warm as his voice, and Anderson .Paak knows it, hence the title of his latest outing: the “Best Teef in the Game Tour.” The R&B live wire is hitting the road in support of new record “Ventura,” whose diversity is underscored by its guest musicians, with appearances by soul great Smokey Robinson, Outkast’s turbo-tongued Andre 3000, a posthumous contribution from Nate Dogg and more.
June 22, MGM Grand Garden
Speaking of precociously talented R&B singers, this 21-year-old phenom has already earned five Grammy nominations and in April became the first artist to occupy the entire top five of the Billboard R&B Songs chart. Now he’s headlining his debut arena tour in support of sophomore record “Free Spirit,” his first of what is likely to be many No. 1 albums.
Hootie and the Blowfish
June 22, T-Mobile Arena
They’re gonna love you the best that they can, and clearly the affection is mutual, as these ’90s alt-rock-radio mainstays are doing blockbuster business on their first tour after a decadelong hiatus from the road. The outing coincides with the 25th anniversary of their smash debut, “Cracked Rear View,” which remains one of the top-selling albums of all time, certified platinum 21 times over.
June 27, The Bunkhouse Saloon
“Knuckle Up” when these rap-punk antagonists bring in the noise in a very literal sense with a bracing songbook equally indebted to Jason Voorhees, Atari Teenage Riot, The Gravediggaz and 1,000 hardcore bands playing at once.
June 29, Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq
Because who wouldn’t want to see a three-dimensional approximation of a late metal great belting out anthems about dreaming evil and rainbows in the dark? Sure, there are reportedly plans for a Whitney Houston hologram tour as well, but she has way fewer songs about slaying dragons, so the choice here seems fairly obvious.
Anticipated music releases
Jonas Brothers, “Happiness Begins” (Friday): For some, “Happiness” is a new Jonas Brothers album for the first time in a decade.
Santana, “Africa Speak” (Friday): The guitar great recorded a whopping 49 songs for his new record, 11 of which made the final cut.
Bruce Springsteen, “Western Stars” (June 14): The Boss promises “sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements” on his new one. Now, how about a Vegas tour date already, chief?
Madonna, “Madame X” (June 14): Speaking of which, the Material Mom hits the Colosseum at Caesars Palace for a trio of small hall shows in November to support her latest.
The Black Keys, “Let’s Rock” (June 28): Yes, let’s rock. And we shall all do so together when the Black Keys headline Life is Beautiful in September.